Ramsar COP7 DOC. 12

23/03/1999

COP7's logo"People and Wetlands: The Vital Link"
7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971),
San José, Costa Rica, 10-18 May 1999

 Ramsar COP7 DOC. 12

Agenda item X

Regional overview of implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in Asia

The National Reports upon which this overview is based can be consulted on the Ramsar Web site, http://ramsar.org/caxref:1359

Contracting Parties in the Asia region - Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Viet Nam

Note by the Ramsar Bureau: Resolution 3.3 of Ramsar COP3 held in 1987 established the Standing Committee of the Convention, and for the purpose of the composition of the Committee also decided that Contracting Parties to Ramsar should be grouped into the seven regions which have been operating in the Convention ever since. The practice of the Ramsar Bureau has been to automatically assign new Contracting Parties to one of these regions, according to the geographical location of the country. The accession of Israel to the Convention in 1997 gave rise to a challenge of this Ramsar Bureau practice by the Islamic Republic of Iran (Alternate Representative for the Asia Region in the Standing Committee), at the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee in 1997. As a consequence, the Standing Committee decided to initiate a process of revision of the regionalization arrangements under Ramsar. The results of this process are reflected in Ramsar COP7 DOC. 15.1 entitled "Regional categorization of countries under the Convention, and composition, roles and responsibilities of the Standing Committee, including tasks of Standing Committee members". Pending a decision on this matter by Ramsar COP7, and in the absence of instructions to the contrary by the Standing Committee in its capacity as the only decision-making mechanism in the Convention between meetings of the Conference of the Parties, the Bureau has continued to treat Israel as a Contracting Party in the Asia region and to assign new countries joining the Convention to the existing seven regions. It should be noted that the participation of Israel at the Pan-Asian Regional Meeting held in Manila in February 1999 was challenged and that as a consequence the meeting decided that the Israeli delegation should leave the meeting (see Ramsar COP7 DOC. 30).

Contracting Parties yet to submit National Reports - none


§I. Major achievements since COP6 and priorities for the next triennium

The following have been prepared based on the information provided by the National Reports submitted for COP7 as summarised in Sections 2 and 3.

A. Main achievements since COP6

A1. National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plans development have been completed, or are planned, in 14 countries. National Wetland/Ramsar Committees have been established in 9 countries.

A2. Wetland concerns are increasingly being considered in national environmental / conservation planning initiatives.

A3. Some efforts are being made to increase cooperation among the institutions responsible for wetland management and to coordinate the implementation of various environment-related conventions and agreements.

A4. The restoration and rehabilitation of degraded wetland habitats and sites is receiving increasing attention.

A5. There is increasingly active participation of local stakeholders in site management.

A6. Environmental Impact Assessment is required by law in all countries.

A7. A significant number of actions have been taken to enhance education and public awareness at all levels, with the active involvement and contribution of NGOs.

B. Priorities for the next triennium

B1. Promote membership in the Central and West Asian regions. Efforts by Contracting Parties to promote membership through their participation in regional agreements and/or frameworks needs to be increased.

B2. Promote further designations to the Ramsar List, paying particular attention to habitat-types under-represented on the List (coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds and peatlands) and particularly in countries with only one Ramsar site. Promote the development and implementation of management plans for all listed sites.

B3. Adopt a coordinated approach to addressing training needs and explore the feasibility of sharing training resources and expertise on a bilateral or multilateral basis.

B4. Give attention to the review of legislation which impact on wetlands, the use of economic valuation to assist decision-making, and private sector involvement in wetland conservation and wise use, and increase efforts to have wetlands considered specifically in water management policies or plans.

B5. Promote the development of comprehensive national wetland inventories, including information on total area of wetlands and rates of loss and/or conversion.

B6. Increase efforts to establish bilateral and multilateral cooperative actions for the management of shared wetlands and/or catchments, and consider the designation of transfrontier Ramsar sites.


§II. Description of activities undertaken

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1. Since COP6, the ranks of member states in the Asian region has grown from 13 to 19 with the inclusion of Israel, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Bahrain, Syrian Arab Republic and Thailand (in order of accession). Central Asian states are still not represented in the Convention, although the Bureau has received advice from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that they plan to join the Convention in the near future. The inclusion of Bahrain and the Syrian Arab Republic has increased the number of member countries from the arid and/or semi-arid regions of Asia, but true arid-zone states are still not represented in the Convention. It is hoped that the recently-signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Ramsar Convention will advance membership of arid-zone states in the near future.

2. Seven member countries have taken actions to promote the Convention among non-member states. China (March 1997), Japan, Islamic Republic of Iran (December 1998), Mongolia (September 1997) and the Philippines (February 1999) hosted regional/sub-regional meetings involving both member and non-member countries. In addition, Japan has also promoted membership in the Convention through training courses and by providing financial support for participation in COP6. Bahrain has promoted accession among its non-Contracting Party neighbours through interventions in regional and/or international-level meetings, while Israel has done so through its participation in the Mediterranean Wetland Initiative and in regional and international initiatives on migratory species.

3. In terms of cooperation across shared watersheds, Thailand, which shares the Lower Mekong River Basin with Cambodia, Lao and Viet Nam, is currently participating with these countries on a project to develop a management plan for wetlands in the Basin (refer to General Objective 7 below). The Bureau notes that none of the countries report efforts to promote membership through their participation in regional agreements and/or frameworks such as the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN), Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

National Wetland Policies/Strategies and their implementation

4. National wetland policy, strategy and/or action plan development has been completed, is under way or is planned in 14 of the 19 Contracting Parties. China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand already have a policy document in place, while in Bangladesh, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia and Viet Nam development of a policy document is reported to be under way. Bahrain, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea state that a policy development process is planned for the near future. The Republic of Korea has formulated a Wetland Conservation Act which will constitute the legal basis on which the wetland policy/strategy/action plan can be established at governmental level in the near future. Israel reports that wetland policy concerns have been integrated into the country’s biodiversity strategy and will be incorporated into the overall sustainable development policy which is currently being formulated. In Japan, the wetland policy is contained within the National Strategy on Biological Diversity. Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Viet Nam report that provincial/state level policies/action plans, are being developed or are planned as a follow-up to the national policy. In Japan, the Hokkaido Wetlands Conservation Master Plan, adopted in 1994, sets out the basic policy for wetland conservation in that prefecture.

5. Responsibility for implementation of the policy lies with a single government ministry in China and the Philippines. In Sri Lanka this responsibility lies with a committee drawn from several government ministries, while in Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand it is borne by a cross-sectoral committee (which includes NGO representatives). In Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, this is also the National Ramsar / Wetland Committee.

Reviews of legislation

6. Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia and Pakistan have undertaken a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands. In India, Indonesia, Israel and Japan, legislative or similar amendments have been made to better reflect wetland conservation and wise use concerns. In India, the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification was issued to regulate activities in intertidal areas, which are under intense pressure from human activities. In Indonesia an Act was formulated to conserve fish resources within the Danau Sentarum Wildlife Reserve Ramsar site. In Israel, the Ministry of Environment has formulated a draft coastal law to preserve and restore the coastal environment, and to establish principles for the management and sustainable development of the coastline. Also, the Wildlife Protection Law was recently amended to protect all vertebrates, including amphibians. In Japan, actions taken include introduction of the Environment Impact Assessment Law, and amendments to the River Law and the Comprehensive National Development Plan.

Integrated approaches to wetland management

7. In 17 member states conservation and wise use of wetlands form part (or will) of other national environmental /conservation planning initiatives. Only in Bangladesh, Israel and Mongolia are wetland conservation and wise use considered specifically in water management policies or plans. In Mongolia, wetland concerns are addressed in the National Water Policy, while in Bangladesh economic valuation of wetlands has been incorporated into the National Water Management Plan, which is under preparation. Israel’s Water Law provides for legal action to be taken for pollution of water resources. Also a master plan for water economy is being developed which will give due consideration to the allocation of water for the maintenance of the ecological functions of wetlands.

8. Of the 17 states referred to above, 12 indicate that efforts are also being made at national level to have wetlands managed as integrated components of land/water and coastal zone resources and environments. These efforts ranged from the development of sectoral guidelines in Malaysia; the incorporation of wetland conservation concerns into development and environmental planning processes in Bangladesh, Israel, Japan and Mongolia; and the inclusion of wetland concerns into legislation in Bahrain, India, Israel, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam; to the establishment of cross-sectoral planning committees in Sri Lanka.

Wise use publications produced

9. Refer to General Objective 3 below (paragraphs 24 & 25).

Toxic chemicals and pollution

10. In response to Recommendation 6.14, and since June 1997, Japan has been implementing a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) pilot project, and is currently evaluating the feasibility of a national PRTR system. In addition, research has been conducted into endocrine disruptors and the effects of lead shotgun pellets on waterbirds.

11. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, studies have been conducted on the effect of pollution in the Caspian Sea on the coastal wetlands. In China, actions have been taken at three wetland sites to shut down pollution-causing industries and implement a "polluter pays" approach. Israel has also adopted the "polluter pays" principle, including penalties and legal action against repeat offenders. In addition, the Hazardous Substances Law of 1993 enables the courts to impose penalties for the discharge of toxic chemicals into waterbodies. In India, the National Lakes Conservation Plan and the Ganga Action Plan, which include a focus on toxic pollution abatement and water quality monitoring, are being implemented nationwide with the assistance of central and state authorities and research institutions. In Bahrain, Bangladesh, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Pakistan pollution impact studies have been undertaken at specific Ramsar sites.

Economic valuation techniques

12. Eight countries - Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea - report some success in efforts to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions. In Bangladesh economic valuation of wetlands has been incorporated into the National Water Management Plan, which is under preparation. In India, economic valuation techniques are being applied in the management of three Ramsar sites, Keoladeo National Park, Harike Lake and Chilka Lake. Israel reports that an interdisciplinary study on "Valuing Irreversible Biodiversity Loss" will develop an economic model for estimating potential loss of species diversity arising from development decisions. In addition, the Hula Nature Reserve Ramsar site rehabilitation scheme includes forecasts of the expected recreational benefits of the project, based on the Contingent Valuation Method.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs)

13. In all 19 countries Environmental Impact Assessments are required by law for projects in wetland areas; but this does not necessarily cover all wetland types as defined by the Convention or all activities which potentially impact on wetlands. In Nepal and Sri Lanka, this only extends to wetlands within protected areas and in the Republic of Korea, only to reclamation projects. In Israel, EIA legislation presently only covers some development activities but is being expanded to include other project types and environmentally-sensitive areas, and to increase opportunities for public review.

14. In Japan, EIA legislation was introduced after a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands (refer to no. 6 above). In the Philippines there is no legislation for EIA as a process, only for specific actions which have the potential to impact on wetlands. However, these are covered by the provisions of a Presidential Decree for projects (e.g., major dam and reclamation projects) and areas (e.g., protected areas, watersheds, mangroves, coral reefs and flood prone areas) defined as environmentally critical. In Mongolia, EIA criteria are considered in the formulation of national policies, programmes and plans. Jordan reports that efforts are under way to prepare an EIA manual based on the lessons learnt from the Azraq Oasis Conservation Project.

Restoration and rehabilitation of wetlands

15. Wetland restoration and rehabilitation activities are being undertaken in 18 member states. Actions include the development of policy and institutional mechanisms to promote restoration and rehabilitation, restoration of degraded catchment areas, reintroduction of native species, development of management plans which include a restoration component and the implementation of habitat-type and site-based restoration activities.

16. Restoration has been identified as a priority in the National Conservation Action Plan for China, the National Environmental Action Plan of Sri Lanka and the National Conservation Strategy and Flood Action Plan of Bangladesh. In Japan, wetland restoration and rehabilitation is addressed under the National Strategy on Biological Diversity, and includes compensatory measures for degradation to wetland areas. In Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand priority is given to the rehabilitation of mangrove habitats. At present, restoration activities are being undertaken in 20 inland wetlands, 15 mangrove areas and four coral reef areas in India, while Israel is giving priority attention to the rehabilitation of coral reefs and rivers. A degraded wetland in a tin mining area is being restored in Malaysia, with plans to use it as a demonstration site for wetland restoration and rehabilitation. The Azraq Oasis Ramsar site in Jordan has benefited from a three-year GEF-funded project to restore the ecological character of this Montreux Record-listed site.

Encouraging active and informed action by local stakeholders

17. Actions to promote the participation of local stakeholders in the conservation and wise use of wetlands are reported to be under way in 16 member states. In the majority of cases local stakeholder participation is ensured in management planning processes for Ramsar and other wetland sites. Japan hosted the international workshop on the involvement of local communities in Ramsar site management in response to Recommendation 6.3 of COP6, to review the guidelines for community involvement in Ramsar site management to be considered at COP7.

18. In the Philippines, local stakeholder participation has been institutionalised through their representation on Protected Areas Management Boards (PAMB). The Indigenous People’s Rights Act or Republic Act 8371 (IRPA) goes one step further by declaring that indigenous people have rights of ownership over land, water and natural resources and all improvements made by them at any time within ancestral domains/lands. At the Hula Nature Reserve Ramsar site in Israel, the Hula Valley Administration, comprising representatives of all stakeholder groups in the area, is responsible for the formulation of integrated development plans for the site, which take into account the needs of all user groups. In other areas, landowners have been involved in deciding actions to resolve conflicts between conservation and development, for example in mitigating damage to crops from birds. In India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan and Sri Lanka local community representatives are involved in site and/or wetland management processes. In the Republic of Korea, local community groups voluntarily conduct monitoring programmes at both the Ramsar sites. In China, local community participation has been included as a major component in donor-funded projects. In Bangladesh, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan and Sri Lanka specific focus is directed towards the involvement of women in wetland conservation and wise use initiatives.

Private sector involvement

19. Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka report successes in getting the private sector involved in wetland conservation and wise use activities. In Japan, private sector activities which support the conservation and wise use of wetlands are subsidized through the Japan Fund for Global Environment. Also, amendments to the City Green Zone Conservation Law in 1995 now allow prefectural governors to designate specific private-sector organizations as management entities to buy up green space within city planning areas, to manage as conservation areas. In 55 national parks and nature reserves in Israel, private companies lease the visitor centre facilities and part of the profits generated are re-invested for further development, management and use of the site. In Malaysia, private sector support takes the form of funds to produce and distribute a four-page newspaper supplement, "Wetland Wonders", which highlights wetland conservation issues in the country. In the Philippines, private sector involvement has been limited to their membership in the management boards of wetland protected areas. In Indonesia, a "friendship cooperative" has been formed to manage the Danau Sentarum Nature Reserve Ramsar site, as a partnership between the local communities and the private sector to market the wetland resources harvested. In Sri Lanka, the private sector is invited to provide input to management plans for ecotourism activities, particularly linked to the hotel industry.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

Education and Public Awareness programmes (EPA)

20. Fifteen countries report the existence of government-run EPA programmes. In 14 of these there are also NGO-run EPA programmes, many of which are undertaken in cooperation with government agencies.

21. In Thailand, EPA actions are identified as a priority in the national wetland policy, and are to be implemented through cooperative efforts with local NGOs in each area. The Philippines has no comprehensive national programme for wetland EPA, but it is included as a component in existing programmes and in the regular activities of the protected areas and wildlife sector, both government and NGO. In Mongolia, a National Programme on Public Ecological Education has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Nature and Environment and Ministry of Education. This is a government-run programme implemented by the National Coordinating Council under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education. Under this programme steps are being considered for the incorporation of wetland conservation and wise use issues into the formal education curricula. In India, the Central Government has provided financial assistance to State Governments to organize activities aimed at increasing awareness at all levels about the values and functions of wetlands. Bahrain, China, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel and Jordan cite examples of actions taken to promote EPA through the mass media and the production of information material. Wetland visitor centres have been established in Bahrain, China, India, Israel, Japan and Jordan as a means to enhance education and public awareness, particularly in the proximity of urban centres.

Wise Use as part of formal education curricula

22. Wetland issues and Ramsar’s wise use principles have been included in the formal curricula of educational institutions in seven states: Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Sri Lanka and Thailand. However, many other countries have extracurricular activities and programmes designed to promote awareness of the value of wetlands. In Thailand wetland conservation issues are incorporated into the larger component of conservation of natural resources and environment, and included in the curricula at all levels. This is also the case in Sri Lanka, where wetland issues are covered at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and as part of Natural Resources Management courses at university level. In Israel, as in Mongolia (refer to paragraph 20 above), the ministries of Environment and Education work with environmental education centres throughout the country to develop formal curricula for all levels of education. Israel is also a partner in the "Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)" project, through which water resources, water pollution and species conservation issues have been introduced in the curricula of 24 schools throughout the country. In the Islamic Republic of Iran wetland issues are addressed at university level. Indonesia and Jordan reports plans to introduce wetland conservation and wise use issues into the curricula at intermediate and secondary school level.

23. Indonesia, Israel and the Republic of Korea have also taken efforts to promote education and awareness (linked to capacity building) among other target groups. In Indonesia, the Forestry Training Centre provides wetland management training for rangers and middle-level managers, while improving their understanding about wetland values and functions (refer to General Objective 4 below). In the Republic of Korea, this is achieved through the Environmental Officials Training Institute which provides both central and local government officials with educational programmes on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. One of the largest field study centres in the Mediterranean region is based at the En Afeq Ramsar site in Israel and was established in collaboration with GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network). This centre serves as both a visitor centre (catering to about 70,000 visitors a year) and provides in-service training in wetland ecology for school teachers and university lecturers.

Wise use publications produced (refer to paragraph 9 above)

24. A teachers’ kit on wetlands has been produced and field-tested in the schools around the Tasek Bera Ramsar site in Malaysia. The Ramsar Administrative Authority in Jordan has produced a booklet on "Ramsar Convention and the Importance of Wetlands" in Arabic and English, with information on the Convention as well as values and functions of wetlands.

25. In China, a "Handbook with Guidelines on Wetland Conservation and Wise Use in China" has been produced and is being used as an educational tool by many wetland nature reserves and some universities. With support from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, a wetland conservation training manual is being developed in Bangladesh, and is expected to be applicable to most countries in the sub-continent, and possibly the rest of Asia. The "Guidelines for Ecotourism Development - Chilka Lake" produced in India, highlights the wise use of wetlands for ecotourism development. In Israel, several publications have been produced on the restoration, conservation and development of wetlands, including river rehabilitation activities.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Institutional coordination and cooperation

26. Mechanisms are in place, or being introduced, in 18 states to increase cooperation between the institutions responsible for wetland management. Nine countries - Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand - have a National Ramsar/Wetland Committee, of which six (India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand) include NGO representatives. In addition, India has also established a National Committee on Mangroves and Coral Reefs to address issues specific to these wetland ecosystems. In Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand these committees have responsibility for the development, coordination and implementation of the National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan (refer to paragraph 5 above). Plans are under way for the establishment of a National Wetland Committee in Bangladesh and Mongolia. Pending the establishment of the national wetland committee in Bangladesh, the National Environment Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, has been given the task of coordinating the development and implementation of the wetland action plan. Israel does not see the need for a separate Wetland Committee since less than 3% of the original wetland area remains; instead wetland concerns are addressed in comprehensive land-use and other planning systems, and implemented through planning authorities at national, provincial and local levels.

27. In addition to the National Ramsar Committee, Japan has established committees at local government level to assist in the management of Ramsar sites, and promote exchange of information and regional cooperation between local governments. The "Important Shorebird Habitat Administrative Communication Meeting" has also been set up to promote education, survey, research and information exchange on waterbird migration and important waterbird areas. In India, state-level Steering Committees and district-level Coordination Committees have been set up to formulate, implement and coordinate wetland management actions. In addition, a Research Sub-committee has been established to advise the government on technical and scientific issues.

Coordinated implementation of international conventions

28. Thirteen countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka) report that opportunities exist for regular dialogue between personnel responsible for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention and other international environment-related conventions. More often than not, this is a consequence of the fact that responsibility for implementation of the various conventions lies with one department or several departments within the same ministry. In all of these except Viet Nam, responsibility for the implementation of the Biodiversity and Ramsar Conventions lies with the same ministry. In March 1997, Israel organized an Expert Meeting on Synergies to recommend measures to promote synergy in the implementation of the various environment-related conventions.

29. In Indonesia coordination for the implementation of all environment-related conventions is through a Steering Committee comprising senior officials of various agencies. In Malaysia and Sri Lanka the Ramsar Administrative Authority is also responsible for the Biodiversity, Ramsar and Climate Change Conventions and is represented on the National Steering Committees for the other conventions, which provides opportunities for regular dialogue and coordination of activities.

Training needs and opportunities

30. Analysis of training needs has been undertaken, or is under way, in Bangladesh, Jordan, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. In Jordan this has been followed by a review to identify training opportunities. Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Pakistan report having undertaken a review to identify training opportunities for individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands, but have not provided further details. In 14 countries there are people who have gained wetland-related training within, but largely outside, the country. The Bureau notes that previous meetings of member countries in the Asia region have identified training as a priority need, and cited lack of financial resources, tools and expertise as limitations to building capacity among wetland managers.

31. Training modules or programmes for wetland site managers have been or are being developed in China, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan. For the last five years the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has organized a training course on wetland conservation and migratory birds for middle-level managers from developing countries in the Asian region (refer to paragraph 52). In Indonesia, the Forestry Training Centre provides wetland management training for rangers and middle-level managers, while improving their understanding about wetland values and functions. In Bangladesh, China and Indonesia training modules for wetland managers have been developed: in China this was produced through a GEF-funded project, while in Bangladesh, support from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund is being used to produce a wetland conservation training manual for use in the country and with possible applications for other Asian countries. Israel has long been involved in training programmes organized by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) established within the framework of the Barcelona Convention.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

Status of management plans for Ramsar sites

32. Refer also to Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2. In 29 of the 70 Ramsar sites in the Asia region, management plans are being implemented, are already completed or are currently under preparation. In China management plans are being implemented in five of the seven Ramsar sites and is in preparation for the sixth. India has fully prepared plans for five of its six Ramsar sites, and the management plan for the sixth site, Sambhar Lake, is under preparation. Pakistan has a fully prepared management plan for only one of its eight Ramsar sites, and a draft plan for another. Although Ramsar sites in Japan have no specific management plan, in seven of them site management issues have, or are being incorporated into local Environmental Protection / Conservation Plans. Four of these include a regular programme for monitoring of flora and fauna populations.

33. Monitoring programmes designed to detect changes in ecological character are included in all six management plans in China as well as in the plans for the Berbak Ramsar site in Indonesia, Hula Nature Reserve and En Afeq Nature Reserve in Israel, Tasek Bera in Malaysia,Taunsa Barrage and Uchhali Complex in Pakistan and Azraq Oasis in Jordan. In Jordan, regular monitoring of physio-chemical parameters is also carried out in another 14 important wetland sites in the country.

Change in ecological character at Ramsar sites

34. These issues are considered in Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2.

Montreux Record sites

35. These issues are considered in more detail in Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2. There has been no change in the number of Montreux Record sites in Asia since COP6. The total number of Montreux Record sites remains at eleven: three in India, seven in the Islamic Republic of Iran and one in Jordan. India reports efforts being undertaken to assess the status of all three Montreux Record listed sites with a view to removing them from the Record. Further information is provided in Ramsar COP7 DOC. 13.3 Annexes 6 and 7.

Sites referred to in COP6 Recommendation 6.17

36. These issues are considered in Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

National inventories and directories of "important" wetlands

37. Seven countries - China, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand - state that national wetland inventories have been prepared. In Thailand the national inventory identifies wetlands of international (according to the Ramsar criteria), national (sites with historical and cultural value as well as those in protected areas) and local (sites of importance in the culture and tradition, and for the livelihood of local communities) importance. In China there are plans to update the existing national wetland inventory. In Nepal a comprehensive inventory exists for Terai wetlands (163 sites) and is under way for the rest of the country. In Viet Nam, an inventory of wetlands in the northern region has been completed, and one for the southern region is planned. India, Israel, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea report that national inventory preparation is planned.

38. The Directory of Asian Wetlands, produced in 1989, lists 900+ sites in the Asian region which fulfil the Ramsar criteria, but this document has not been updated since. The Directory of Wetlands of the Middle East was produced in 1995 and lists 223 sites in 13 countries which fulfil the Ramsar criteria. The Directory of Indian Wetlands, produced in 1993, includes information on wetlands of over 100 hectares in size but does not include mangrove sites. In Indonesia a list of "important" wetlands (produced in 1996) is appended to the National Strategy and Action Plan on Wetlands. In Japan, checklists of wetlands of importance for migratory shorebirds have been compiled. Jordan has documented information on 15 "important" wetland sites which are monitored on a regular basis. A list of "important" wetland sites has been produced in Malaysia for use in determining priority wetlands for Ramsar-site designation. In Nepal, priority-listing of wetlands is under way, and now includes some 40 sites. In Israel, efforts are under way to summarise the information existing in different wetland directories to produce a directory of "important" wetlands which will include information on coastal, marine and inland wetlands.

Estimates of wetland area and rates of loss and conversion

39. Estimates of total wetland area are quoted for China, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan, but little information has been provided about the source of this data or the extent of its coverage. Partial estimates have been quoted for Japan (tidal flats, coral reefs, lakes and marshes), Mongolia, Philippines (mangroves and coral reefs), Sri Lanka (coastal wetlands), the Republic of Korea (tidal flats) and Thailand (important sites for migrant waterfowl).

40. Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea provided estimates of wetland loss in recent years. In Malaysia, the rate of wetland loss is given as 0.9% per annum, but with no elaboration. South Korea estimates that it has lost more than 810.5 hectares of tidal flats to reclamation projects in the last 10 years. In the Philippines, mangrove cover has been reduced to approximately 100,000 hectares from 450,000 hectares in 1918. This is attributed largely to conversion of mangroves for brackish water aquaculture operations. Japan reports a loss of 7.0% in total area of tidal flats between 1978 and 1989, a 1.6% loss in coral reef moat between 1979 and 1992 and a 2.2% decrease in natural lake shore area between 1985 and 1991. Losses are attributed to reclamation and dredging in the case of tidal flats and reef moats, and the construction of man-made structures along lake shores. Israel reports that 97% of their wetlands were drained prior to the enactment of the Nature Reserves Law and the establishment of nature protection bodies in the country. Much of the remaining 3% of wetland area is contained within the two Ramsar sites in the country.

COP6 priorities for Ramsar listing and statements of intent

41. Since COP6, 12 sites have been added to the Ramsar List from Asia. Eight of these were designated by the six new Contracting Parties on accession and in fulfilment of their obligations under Article 2 of the Convention. Mongolia and the Republic of Korea between them added a further four sites to the List: Ogii Nuur, Terhiyn Tsagaan Nuur and the Valley of Lakes in Mongolia, and Woopo Wetland in the Republic of Korea. Indonesia, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Thailand report having taken actions in response to recommendations from COP6 regarding further nominations to the Ramsar List. In Thailand the recommendations were used as a basis for the compilation of the national wetland inventory. Japan gave priority attention to sites which meet the 1% criteria for waterfowl populations, while Malaysia has taken steps to designate a 600-hectare mangrove island as a Ramsar site. The Republic of Korea took particular note of peatland ecosystems in designating their first Ramsar site - the High Moor, Yongneup of Mt. Daeam. Indonesia considered recommendations relating to the waterfowl criteria, peatland ecosystems and subterranean karst or cave systems in their decision to designate a further three sites to the Ramsar List. It should be noted, however, that apart from the Republic of Korea, none of the actions taken has resulted in the designation of additional sites to the Ramsar List.

42. The Islamic Republic of Iran is studying two sites for inclusion in the Ramsar List: Gomishan Marsh and Hure Baho Kalat Govater Bay. The Philippines reports that the preparation of documentation for the designation of two sites: Naujan Lake and Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is under way. In Israel, the coastal and marine reserves of Rosh Haniqra, Shiqmona and Dor-Habonim are being considered for designation to the List. Viet Nam reports its intention to nominate the Tam Nona, Con Van and Tam-Giang-Cau Hai sites to the List. Sri Lanka proposes to designate a further two sites to the List but has not provided details, while Indonesia proposes to designate Pulau Rambut Nature Reserve, Wasur National Park and Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park as Ramsar sites.

Transfrontier sites

43. At present there are no transfrontier Ramsar sites in Asia. Bangladesh and Mongolia have important Ramsar-listed wetlands which straddle one or more international borders and which therefore have the potential to be designated as transfrontier sites.

44. The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, the largest contiguous tract of mangrove forest in the world, is shared between Bangladesh and India. The site is Ramsar-listed on the Bangladesh side but not in India. Bangladesh has plans to designate St. Martin’s Island in the Bay of Bengal, which shares an international border with Myanmar, as a Ramsar site. Mongol Daguur the first Ramsar site in Mongolia, is part of the Dauriia International Protected Area complex, which straddles China, Mongolia and Russia. Cooperation in the management of the Dauriia International Protected Area is effected through a tripartite agreement between the three countries. The site is Ramsar-listed in Mongolia and Russia (Torey Lakes), but not in China. Mongolia is currently spearheading discussions to designate this site as a transfrontier Ramsar site. Indonesia is party to the developing Tri-National Wetland Cooperative Management Programme between Wasur National Park (in Irian Jaya), Tonda Wildlife Management Area (in Papua New Guinea) and Kakadu National Park (in Australia). Preliminary steps are being taken in Israel to list the following as Ramsar sites with a view to their future designation as transfrontier Ramsar sites: Eilat coral reserve, Rosh Haniqra Nature Reserve and some nature reserves along the Jordan River Valley.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

Bilateral or multilateral activities for shared wetlands, watersheds and species

45. Shared wetlands and/or watersheds - Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Israel, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines and Thailand are involved in, or plan to undertake joint actions for the management of transfrontier wetlands or watersheds. In China and Mongolia, this has been institutionalised through formal agreements - China has an agreement with the Russian government for the co-management of Xingkaihu Lake transfrontier nature reserve, while Mongolia has signed bilateral agreements with China and Russia related to environmental protection, including the tripartite agreement for the Dauriia International Protected Area (refer to paragraph 44 above), and transboundary water courses. Nepal has discussed wetland management issues in its transboundary meetings with India in 1997 and 1998. Thailand, which shares the Lower Mekong River Basin with Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, is currently participating with these countries on a project to develop a management plan for wetlands in the Basin. Indonesia is party to the developing Tri-National Wetland Cooperative Management Programme between Wasur National Park (in Irian Jaya), Tonda Wildlife Management Area (in Papua New Guinea) and Kakadu National Park (in Australia) (refer to paragraph 45 above). Israel reports on the launch of several multilateral initiatives on shared water resources as a result of the Middle East peace process, including the development of the Jordan Rift Valley in cooperation with Jordan and the United States, development planning for the northern region of the Gulf of Aqaba in cooperation with Jordan and Egypt, and the proposed establishment of transfrontier protected areas between Jordan and Israel in the Dead Sea and Gulf of Aqaba.

46. For shared species, China, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea are party to bilateral or multilateral agreements on migratory species. China has formal bilateral agreements with Australia and Japan; the Republic of Korea with Russia and Japan; and Japan with the Australia, China, the Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the United States.. These agreements are aimed at reducing hunting pressure on migratory waterbirds, creating protected areas in important migratory bird habitats, and promoting exchange of information and expertise through site visits and joint research activities.

47. The East-Asian Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network, launched in Brisbane in 1996, now boasts a total of 19 sites in Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. The Northeast Asian Crane Site Network was launched in China in March 1997, and to date, China, Japan, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation between them have nominated a total of 16 sites to the Network. Both of these networks were established under the Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Strategy 1996-2000, adopted at COP6 (Brisbane Initiative); the third network, the Anatidae Site Network is planned to be launched at COP7. India and the Islamic Republic of Iran while not signatories to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or the Bonn Convention), have signed memoranda of understanding on the Siberian crane, Slender-billed curlew (I.R. of Iran only) and Houbara bustard (I.R. of Iran only) under the Convention. Signatories to the Bonn Convention in the Asia region are: Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The International Centre for the Study of Bird Migration has been established in Israel to coordinate the creation of a network of weather and bird radar systems at key points throughout the Middle East, and develop educational and public awareness programmes.

"Twinned" sites

48. Japan is the only Contracting Party in Asia which has "twinned" Ramsar sites. Since 1994 Kushiro-Shitsugen, Kiritappu-shitsugen, Akkeshi-ko & Bekambeushi-shitsugen have been twinned with Kooragang Island Nature Reserve, in New South Wales, Australia. The Yatsu-Higata site in Japan was twinned with Boondall Wetland Park in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, in 1998. The main aims of these twinning initiatives are to promote information exchanges, conduct joint research on migratory waterbird issues, and enhance education and public awareness about the Ramsar Convention.

Coordinated implementation of international conventions

49. Refer to General Objective 4 above (paragraphs 28 & 29 above).

Support from bilateral or multilateral donors

50. Thirteen member countries in the Asia region enjoy donor support for wetland conservation and wise use actions on a bilateral and/or multilateral basis. The main multilateral donors operating in the region include the European Union, Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, while major bilateral donors are the governments of Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States . Regional organizations such as the Asian Development Bank and the Mekong River Commission also provide vital financial support for wetland conservation and wise use projects.

51. In Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand donor support has gone towards the conservation of critical wetland habitats, establishment of protected areas, and development of the national wetland inventory, respectively. Much of the donor funds in Pakistan have been directed at the conservation and wise use of mangrove areas, while in India, funds provided by the Japanese government have been used to improve water quality at Bhopal Lake. In China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka donor funds have been used to develop and implement integrated management plans for Ramsar and other wetland sites, while in Mongolia, Thailand and the Philippines the funds have been used for institutional strengthening and capacity building. Donor funds were used for the restoration and rehabilitation of wetland areas, development of tools and methods for research and monitoring, and to promote education and public awareness in Israel.

52. Ramsar Small Grants Fund - In 1997 and 1998, the Fund supported 8 projects in 7 Contracting Parties of the region, amounting to a total of SFR 285,000. Regrettably some recipients of SGF funds in previous years have failed to meet their obligations in terms of reporting on progress and final project outcomes at all, or in a timely manner. These issues are considered in more detail in Ramsar COP7 DOC. 15.5.

Budgetary allocations for wetlands conservation and wise use outside the country and consultation between the development assistance agency and the Ramsar Administrative Authority

53. Japan and the Republic of Korea are the only member countries in Asia that have development assistance programmes. In Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has offered training courses in wetland conservation and protection of migratory birds since 1994, for trainees from the developing countries of the East Asian region. In 1995, 3% of the total budget for overseas development assistance in the Republic of Korea was earmarked for the environment sector but largely directed towards the improvement of drinking water supply systems and wastewater treatment systems.

54. Both countries report that a formal process exists for consultations between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources
.

Budgetary allocations for wetlands conservation and wise use in the country

55. In all countries except Bahrain and Bangladesh, there is an annual budgetary allocation for wetland conservation and wise use. In India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal, the Republic of Korea and Thailand there is a specific allocation in the annual budget for wetland conservation and wise use activities, while in the other twelve countries it forms part of a larger natural resource management/environment budget. In Israel, less than 30% of the total annual budget for nature conservation is contributed by the government; the balance comes from income derived from nature reserves and national parks.

56. In the Islamic Republic of Iran the wetland-specific funds are channelled through a project on "Ecological studies and sustainable utilisation of Ramsar sites", while in Thailand, specific allocation is made for implementation of activities under the National Wetland Policy. In Nepal, a portion of the annual environmental budget goes towards the management of the Ramsar site. In India, a specific annual allocation is made under the "Wetlands and Mangroves" scheme to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Annual and Voluntary contributions

57. Japan is the only member country in Asia which has made voluntary contributions to further the work of the Convention globally. These funds have helped to facilitate the participation of developing country representatives in meetings of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, to fund projects under the Small Grants Fund and to support priority wetland conservation and wise use initiatives in the Asia region.

58. As of 29 January 1999, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam were in arrears with the payment of their annual contributions to the Convention.

Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

In this optional section of the National Report, Contracting Parties were asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within their country.

Sixteen Contracting Parties responded to this section: Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

NGOs which have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in the country

59. Fifteen member states enjoy the support of NGOs (including Ramsar Partners) in promoting wetland conservation and wise use in the country. Japan has 4227 listed private-sector environmental protection organizations nation-wide but it is unclear how many of these include wetland issues as part of their regular scope of activities.

Consultative mechanisms involving NGOs for wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation

60. NGOs are represented on the National Wetland/Ramsar committees of India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand. In India, NGOs are also represented in the state level Steering Committees to advise on the implementation of conservation and wise use programmes, particularly at Ramsar sites. In Sri Lanka, NGOs are represented on the cross-sectoral National Steering Committee for environment-related conventions.

61. In Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand mechanisms exists for NGOs to express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation. In Southern Thailand, NGOs have formed the Swamp Forest Conservation Network, which provides an avenue for local NGO groups to express their views to a wider audience. NGO networks also exist in India and Israel; in Israel, environmental NGOs are part of an umbrella organization called Life and Environment, which represents the network at government planning and decision-making fora and which meets regularly to exchange information on specific environmental activities, plan campaigns and set priorities for action.

NGO representative on official delegation to Ramsar COPs

62. India and Indonesia are the only Asian Contracting Parties to have included an NGO representative in their official delegation to previous COPs. It should be noted that there are six new Contracting Parties in the region for whom COP7 will be the first opportunity to participate as full members.

NGOs as part of site management committees

63. In India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, local and international NGOs are represented on Ramsar site management committees.

Areas of Ramsar work where NGOs are most active

64. The main contribution of NGOs in the implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan is towards increasing education and public awareness about the values and functions of wetlands (i.e. General Objective 3). In addition, NGOs in some countries also provide training in wetland management, and undertake wetland management planning, inventory, assessment, monitoring, restoration and rehabilitation activities.

Other comments and suggestions:

65. Eleven Contracting Parties responded to this section: Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam:

i. Standing Committee - Jordan felt that the Standing Committee and STRP have failed to fulfil their role and, furthermore, that communication between the Committee and the Contracting Parties is almost negligible.

ii. STRP - Jordan: see comments under Standing Committee.

iii. Bureau - Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines noted that the advice and guidance provided by the Bureau has been effective and useful, particularly in the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

iv. Partner Organizations - Indonesia noted support provided by Ramsar NGO partners, while the Philippines sought out Wetlands International for mention as the most visible and effective NGO.

v. Strategic Plan - Malaysia feels that the Strategic Plan provides a firm basis for conservation actions and international cooperation while strengthening the role of major stakeholder groups, especially NGOs. Pakistan also notes that the Plan strengthens the role of NGOs in the country while identifying priorities for wetland conservation. Given the significant water shortages in the country, Israel reports a particular interest to assist with the development of wetland conservation measures for arid and semi-arid zones. With increasing public awareness and establishment of policies and legal mechanisms, the Republic of Korea expects to be able to implement the Plan in an increasingly efficient manner in the future. Bangladesh and Mongolia experience some difficulty in implementation of the Strategic Plan because the institutional structures necessary to ensure effective implementation of the Convention are still being set up in the country. China, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran feel that the Convention should allocate funds to support the implementation of the Plan in developing countries. Jordan suggests a review of the policy regarding distribution of funds under the Small Grants Fund to ensure equity among member countries. Viet Nam suggests changing the name of the Convention to "Convention on Wise Use, Management and Conservation of Wetlands" to alter the perception that the convention is only concerned about the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats. Bangladesh and China feel that more training opportunities should be made available for staff of Ramsar Administrative Authorities to help build capacity.


§III. Summary statistics

This Summary statistics section has been prepared based on the responses to each question asked in the National Reports prepared by each Contracting Party from the region. In Section I more detailed information is provided and the corresponding paragraphs are indicated in the "Nos" column below. In the table below the response of each Contracting Party to the key questions asked in the approved National Report format have been scored as either Y=Yes or N=No. In some cases the total of these responses may not be as great as the number of the National Reports submitted for this region because not every question was answered by all Contracting Parties.

This summary table is designed to give a clearer view at both the regional level of those areas of the Convention’s Strategic Plan 1997-2002 which have been addressed since the 6th Conference of the Contracting Parties and conversely, where the National Reports indicate there has been little or no activity. Those areas of activity where the National Reports have indicated little activity are shown shaded and in bold text. [Note: in this Web version, these shaded cells appears as white rows against the aqua background.]

No.

Strategic Plan General Objectives and (Actions)

Y

N

  General Objective 1 - Universal membership    

1 - 3

Actions taken to encourage accession by non-Contracting Parties (Actions 1.1.1- 2)

7

11

  General Objective 2 - Promoting the wise use of wetlands    

4, 5

National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan in place (Action 2.1.2)

6

13

4, 5

National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is being developed (Action 2.1.2)

5

14

4, 5

Conservation and wise use of wetlands forms part (or will) of other national environmental / conservation planning initiatives (Action 2.1.2)

17

2

4, 5

For countries with a Federal system of Government, there are Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state levels of Government (Action 2.1.2)

4

0

6

Review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands has been carried out (Action 2.1.1)

7

11

6

Legislative or similar amendments have been made (Action 2.1.1)

4

2

7, 8

Efforts are being made to have wetlands managed as integrated components of land/water and coastal zone resources and environments (Action 2.2.2).

12

2

10, 11

Actions taken to address the impacts of toxic chemicals and pollution on wetlands (Action 2.3.1)

15

1

24,25,

Production of "Wise Use" publication (Action 2.3.2)    

12

Actions taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions (Actions 2.4.1, 2.4.3)

8

8

13, 14

Environmental Impact Assessment is required for actions potentially impacting on wetlands (Actions 2.5.2, 2.5.3)

19

0

15, 16

Wetland restoration and rehabilitation is being undertaken to some extent (Actions 2.6.1- 3)

18

0

17

The participation of local stakeholders in the conservation and wise use of wetlands is being encouraged (Actions 2.7.1 - 4)

16

3

19

Private sector involvement in the conservation and wise use of wetlands is being encouraged (Actions 2.8.1-4)

6

13

  General Objective 3 - Raising awareness of wetland values and functions    

20, 21

There exist government-run programmes for Education and Public Awareness in this country which include wetlands (Actions 3.2.1-2)

15

3

20, 21

There exist non-government-run programmes for Education and Public Awareness in this country which include wetlands (Actions 3.2.1-2, 8.3.1)

15

2

22, 23

Wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles are included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. (Action 3.2.5)

7

10

  General Objective 4 - Reinforcing the capacity of institutions    

26, 27

Mechanisms are in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the institutions responsible for wetlands management (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

18

1

5

A National Ramsar/Wetland Committee exists - government only (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

3

15

5

A National Ramsar/Wetland Committee exists - it includes non-government representatives (it is cross-sectoral) (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

6

12

30,31

A training needs analysis has been done or is under way (Action 4.2.1)

4

15

30,31

A review of training opportunities has been completed (Action 4.2.2)

6

13

30,31

Training modules or training programmes specifically for wetland managers have been completed, or are being developed (Action 4.2.3).

9

10

30,31

Nationals of the country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country (Action 4.2.4).

14

3

  General Objective 5 - Management of Listed sites    

32-36

See the table below and Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2 - Proposal No. 2    

Status of management plans for Ramsar sites (Actions 5.1.2, 5.2.3)

Contracting Party Number of Ramsar sites Plans being prepared (or updated) Plans fully prepared Plans being implemented Plans include monitoring
Bahrain

2

1

0

0

1

Bangladesh

1

0

1

0

0

China

7

1

0

5

6

India

6

1

0

5

5

Indonesia

2

1

1

0

1

Israel

2

0

0

2

2

Islamic Republic of Iran

18

1

0

0

1

Japan

10

0

0#

0

0

Jordan

1

0

0

1

1

Malaysia

1

1

0

0

1

Mongolia

4

0

0

0

0

Nepal

1

1

0

0

0

Pakistan

8

1

1

0

2

Philippines

1

0

0

1

0

Republic of Korea

2

0

0

0

0

Sri Lanka

1

0

1

0

0

Syria

1

1

0

0

1

Thailand

1

1

0

0

1

Vietnam

1

0

0

1

0

Totals

70

10 (14%)

4 (6%)

15 (21%)

22 (31%)

* Although Ramsar sites in Japan have no specific management plan, in seven of them site management issues have, or are being incorporated into local Environmental Protection/Conservation Plans.

Of the sites designated in 1976 by the former USSR, two sites are in the independent State of Kazakhstan, and one each in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. None of these Central Asian States are Parties to the Convention, and therefore these sites have not been included in the table above.

Nos

General Objective 6 - Designation of Ramsar sites

Y

N

37, 38

A national inventory of wetlands has been completed (Action 6.1.2)

7

12

37, 38

A national inventory of wetlands is planned for the near future (Action 6.1.2)

8

9

41, 42

Actions been taken to list under-represented wetland types on the List or in response to the various related decisions from COP6 (Actions 6.2.1, 6.2.3)

7

8

43, 44

The country has sites included in the Ramsar list which are trans-frontier sites (Actions 6.2.5, 7.1.1)

2

15

  General Objective 7 - Mobilising international cooperation and financial assistance    

45 - 47

Bilateral or multilateral activities have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of trans-frontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Actions 6.2.5, 7.1.1)

8

8

48

Countries which have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others (Action 7.1.2).

1

18

28, 29

Mechanisms in place to promote cooperative actions between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the focal points for other international environment Conventions to which the country is a signatory (Actions 7.2.3-5, 7.2.7-8)

13

4

45 - 47

The country is cooperating as part of bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species (Action 7.2.5).

8

10

50 - 52

Multilateral and/or bilateral donors are supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in this country (Actions 7.33, 7.4.2, 7.4.4)

13

6

53, 54

The government makes an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within the country (Action 7.4.1).

17

2

53, 54

The country has a development assistance programme which includes funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries (Action 7.4.2)

2

0

54

There is a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in the country, where one exists (Action 7.4.2)

2

0

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