Ramsar COP8 DOC. 18: Progress report on Ramsar-CBD Joint Work Plan

26/07/2002

[English only]


"Wetlands: water, life, and culture"
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

Ramsar COP8 DOC. 18
Information Paper
English only

Progress report on the implementation of the second Joint Work Plan (2000-2001) of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

[Note from the Bureau: This document was written in early 2002, in order to report on progress to the end of 2001, and has not been updated.]

I. INTRODUCTION

1. A draft second Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) for 2000-2001 was prepared by the Ramsar Bureau in consultation with the CBD Secretariat, the Chair of Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). Following consideration by CBD's SBSTTA at its fifth meeting held in Montreal, Canada, on 31 January-4 February 2000, the Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 was endorsed by the CBD's 5th Conference of the Parties held in Nairobi, Kenya, 15-26 May 2000, which recognized the Plan as a potential model for the development of other joint work plans between Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The Plan was approved by the 24th meeting of the Ramsar's Standing Committee in December 1999. The second Joint Work Plan is available in English, French and Spanish at: http://www.ramsar.org/key_cbd_jwp2_e.htm.

2. The actions of this second CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan were presented under the various thematic areas of the CBD, in particular those work programmes for inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems, and also considered cooperation and joint actions with respect to the many cross-cutting issues which both the CBD and Ramsar Convention have under consideration. The final sections covered the mechanisms for further strengthening institutional cooperation in the areas of linkages between the subsidiary scientific bodies and the national focal points of both conventions and in national reporting.

3. At its 6th meeting (March 2001), SBSTTA requested the Executive Secretary to prepare a report on the second Joint Work Plan, including a draft third Joint Work Plan covering suggestions for future joint activities, for consideration by the 6th meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties.

4. The two secretariats have prepared this note to report on implementation of the second Joint Work Plan for consideration by the 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (April 2002) and Ramsar's COP8 (November 2002). The third Joint Work Plan was welcomed and endorsed by CBD COP6 (Decision VI/20) and is available as Ramsar COP8 DOC 19.

II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CBD-RAMSAR JOINT WORK PLAN 2000-2001

5. The CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau (the Ramsar Convention's secretariat) have collaborated closely on the implementation of the second Joint Work Plan by exchanging information and by coordinating their activities so as to avoid duplication of effort.

6. The mechanisms employed by the convention secretariats to facilitate the implementation of actions of the Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 have focused on:

a) active participation of secretariats in both the CBD's SBSTTA and Ramsar's STRP meetings respectively and in CBD COP5, so as to facilitate exchange of information and extend the scope of cooperation between the secretariats;

b) assisting each other in the identification of experts from each convention to participate in the work of liaison groups and other technical working groups;

c) reviewing and incorporating elements of the CBD programmes of work, COP decisions, and SBSTTA documents; and Ramsar's COP decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) and documents, as well as outcomes of the STRP Working Groups, when drafting recommendations and resolutions to the Conferences of the Parties to the CBD and Ramsar, and in the preparation by the secretariats and subsidiary bodies of technical papers;

d) disseminating to Parties and other governments the technical papers and guidelines prepared through each convention's processes through linkage between the Web sites of the secretariats, and specific announcements as appropriate; and

e) co-management by the secretariats of the Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative.

7. Progress achieved in implementation of the Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 is reported for each of its actions in section III of this note.

8. Substantive overall progress has been made in the delivery of the Plan. This has included:

a) increased collaboration between the secretariats and respective subsidiary bodies including participation in liaison groups and working groups on common issues;

b) the contribution to the development of substantive guidance to Parties of both conventions by members of Ramsar's STRP and the Ramsar Convention's International Organization Partners, notably IUCN and Wetlands International (the latter also contributing under their Memorandum of Cooperation with the CBD); and

c) the recommendations from the STRP that the guidance developed by SBSTTA for consideration by CBD COP6 on invasive alien species and on impact assessment also be considered by the next Ramsar COP for their adoption, so as to ensure that consistent guidance on such key matters is available to the focal points of both conventions for national implementation.

9. In addition to the implementation of the specific actions in the Joint Work Plan 2000-2001, significant collaboration has also been developed during the period of the Plan on other topics of common interest. These include:

a) secretariats' contributions to the development and review of the CBD Strategic Plan and the second Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008;

b) the STRP work on climate change and wetlands and the contribution from STRP members to the preparation during 2001-2002 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of a report to CBD on climate change and biodiversity, so as to ensure consistency of advice to the two conventions on wetland-related climate change matters;

c) the implementation by Wetlands International of the Global Programme on Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands, funded by the Environment and Development Department (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in support of the two conventions, which is designed to enable countries to fulfil their obligations, including under the CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan and in the development of the joint Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative; and

d) the joint development by the CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau of a project, now funded through the Wetlands International/DGIS Global Programme, to review and elaborate the CBD Programme of Work on the biological diversity of inland waters, for consideration by SBSTTA8.

10. Certain obstacles to the delivery of fully collaborative actions between the conventions and their various bodies have been recognized by the CBD secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau from their experience in implementing the Joint Work Plan 2000-2001. Ways and means of addressing such obstacles have been incorporated, where possible, into the third Joint Work Plan (2002-2003).

11. A significant complexity for implementation concerns the different time frames and schedules of the two conventions' meetings of Contracting Parties and meetings of their respective subsidiary bodies. For this Plan, consequences have included the fact that formal approval of the Plan took place some time after the onset of the Plan period, and that it is difficult to achieve timely introduction and review of materials prepared by one convention's subsidiary body through the process of the other's equivalent body.

12. The first two CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plans have been for a two-year duration most closely linked to the cycle of CBD meetings of the Conference of the Parties, with implementation reporting at the end of each two years. The Plan periods and reporting are not closely linked to the three-year cycle of Ramsar meetings of the Conference of the Parties. For example, Ramsar COP will not formally receive and review this implementation report on the 2000-2001 Plan and the third Joint Work Plan until November 2002, halfway through the third Plan cycle. Thus, in order to maximise the benefits and efficiency of Plan implementation, clearer mechanisms are needed for regular review and amendment of the Plan during its lifetime in light of emerging issues and developments in the work of both conventions, notably those called for in decisions of meetings of the Conference of Parties that take place during the Plan period. Consideration should be given in future to reporting on Plan progress to date to each significant meeting of each convention.

13. The first two CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plans have focused on global-scale activities through collaboration chiefly between secretariats and subsidiary scientific and technical bodies. There is a need to engage more fully the national focal points of both conventions in the delivery of joint action on matters of common interest, recognizing that closer understanding and cooperation at country level between CBD focal points and their counterpart Ramsar Administrative Authorities are essential for the successful implementation of the Conventions.

III. PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING THE ACTIONS OF THE CBD-RAMSAR JOINT WORK PLAN 2000-2001

A. Thematic areas:

14. The Ramsar Convention uses a very broad definition of 'wetland' and accordingly it recognizes wetland types found within each of the following thematic areas for which programmes of work have been or are to be approved under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As a result of this, Ramsar Contracting Parties undertake activities relating to all of these thematic areas, as does the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Convention.

15. In Sections 1-3 dealing with the thematic areas, consideration has been given only to those actions that are not cross-cutting in nature. Sections 4-16 provide details of implementation progress on joint actions with respect to the cross-cutting areas and institutional links.

1. Inland water ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

1.1 The Ramsar Convention, through its national Administrative Authorities, STRP members and focal points and the Secretariat, will assist, as resources permit, in assessing the status and trends of inland water biological diversity, including its uses and threats, aiming at identifying areas where the lack of information severely limits the quality of assessments (refer decision IV/4, Annex I, part A.2, paragraph 8(a)); and will assist in developing and disseminating regional guidelines for rapid assessment of inland water biological diversity for different types of inland water ecosystems (see 6. below also) ;

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), supported by both CBD and Ramsar, is designed to provide information and guidance to both Conventions on inter alia status and trends of wetlands (including inland waters), and multi-scalar assessment methodologies. Substantive input has been made throughout the MA design process during 2001 by both conventions (Ramsar Bureau, CBD Secretariat, and Chairs and members of SBSTTA and STRP) so as to ensure that MA outputs during 2002-2004 meet the conventions’ needs on ecosystem assessment information and guidance on future scenarios and response options.

The design of the joint Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative (see Action 1.2 below), developed during 2000/2001, includes spatial analyses of wetlands and biodiversity in relation to river/catchment basins and drylands (to provide joint information relevant also to joint work with UNCCD).

During 2000/2001 a major global review and update of the status and trends of waterbird populations has been underway by Wetlands International in its role supporting Ramsar, CBD and the Convention on Migratory Species, which will be reported during 2002.

Ramsar’s guidance on wetland risk assessment (in Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8) has been made available to CBD Parties (refer to progress on Action 10.1), and includes rapid assessment early warning indicators. The Ramsar Bureau has supported the CBD Secretariat in its development during 2001 of the pilot project on methods for rapid assessment of inland water biological diversity, including a priority for small island states.

1.2 The Ramsar Secretariat will continue to assist the CBD Secretariat in the compilation of case studies of watershed, catchment and river basin management experience and best practices (refer decision IV/4, Annex I, part A.2, paragraph 8(c)), and closely related to this, both secretariats will continue to advise and encourage support for the proposed River Basin Initiative for demonstration sites.

Compilation of case studies on wetlands, biodiversity and river basin management forms a key component of the design of the joint Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative (RBI). During 2000-2001 the Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat have worked closely in guiding the design and initial operational phase of the Initiative, with the financial support of the Ramsar Convention, UNDP-GEF and the Netherlands government (through Wetlands International). The RBI provides an innovative demonstration of the mechanisms and benefits of collaborative Convention development of activities that support the common requirements of their Parties.

The RBI is designed to support Parties in their implementation of CBD Decision IV/4 and Ramsar Resolution VII.18 (Guidelines for integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management). It promotes and supports the integrated management of wetlands, biological diversity and river basins worldwide and operates through a cross-sectoral partnership at local, country and international scales. During 2001 a user needs and contributions survey of all CBD Focal Points, Ramsar Administrative Authorities, and other interested organisations confirmed a strong need and support for the objectives of the Initiative.

By the end of 2001 the RBI had finalised its design, established electronic discussion networks, including a "Virtual Water Forum" on integrating wetlands biodiversity and river basin management in preparation for the 3rd World Water Forum (Japan, 2003), and initiated development of a Web-based information portal which will form the major mechanism for case study compilation and information sharing. Full funding proposals for the operational phase of the Initiative are being submitted to UNDP-GEF and Netherlands government in early 2002.

A detailed progress report on the RBI is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/13.

1.3 On the basis of the request by the Conference of the Parties to CBD, as contained in decision IV/4, Annex I, part B, paragraph 12, the Ramsar Bureau and STRP will work closely with the Executive Secretary of CBD and SBSTTA to promote desirable convergence between approaches on criteria and classification of inland water ecosystems between the two Conventions (see also 11 below relating to the identification and designation of important sites).

The Executive Secretary studied the criteria and classification of inland water ecosystems, using the criteria set out in Annex 1 of the CBD text, in comparison with Ramsar’s classification and criteria for identification of Wetlands of International Importance, and the further guidance on use of wetland classifications prepared by the STRP for consideration by Ramsar COP8 in relation to wetland inventory. The final paper will be presented to SBSTTA 8 as an information document. Ramsar’s Standing Committee considered the Executive Secretary’s draft paper and recommendations particularly with respect to the potential expansion of Ramsar criteria to cover socio-economic and cultural features, and have determined that the matter be fully debated at SBSTTA 8.

1.4 CBD’s SBSTTA may wish to take into consideration Ramsar’s Guidelines for integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management (Resolution VII.18) relating to promoting and operationalizing the ecosystem approach for inland water ecosystems.

The role of these Ramsar guidelines, along with others available in the Ramsar ‘toolkit’ (refer to progress on Action 10.1), in supporting the ecosystem approach, will be covered in the 2002 review and elaboration of the CBD programme of work on inland water biological diversity.

During 2001 the Ramsar Bureau has worked closely with CBD Secretariat and Wetlands International in project development and securing funding for the review and elaboration of the programme of work on inland water biological diversity, to be undertaken during 2002.

1.5 Ramsar’s STRP will report its findings in the area of allocations and management of water for maintaining ecosystem functions to SBSTTA at an appropriate future meeting.

STRP’s Guidelines for the allocation and management of water for maintaining ecosystem functions were approved in late 2001 for COP8 consideration, along with a background paper providing additional guidance on methodologies, with case studies. These will be made available to SBSTTA in 2002 in relation to CBD work on both inland waters and agricultural biodiversity.

1.6 Once its work is completed, the Ramsar Expert Working Group on restoration will provide a report to SBSTTA for its consideration and appropriate action. This report will also be provided to the subsidiary scientific bodies of CCD and UNFCCC as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

STRP’s Guidelines for wetland restoration were approved in late 2001 for COP8 consideration. They include guidance on selecting wetlands appropriate for restoration, and will be made available to SBSTTA and the subsidiary scientific bodies of CCD and UNFCCC and IPCC in 2002.

Concerning climate change, STRP has prepared a comprehensive review of the impacts of climate change on wetlands and the role of wetland in mitigating the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. This has been approved for COP8 consideration, and will be made available to SBSTTA in 2002. STRP is assisting IPCC in its preparation of CBD’s technical report on climate change and biodiversity so as to ensure the findings of the Ramsar review contribute to CBD’s consideration of these matters.

1.7 With respect to financing national actions under the inland waters theme (vi. above), both Secretariats will provide advice as appropriate to their respective Parties to assist their development of suitable projects for consideration by the Financial Mechanism of CBD.

In August 2000 the Ramsar Bureau appointed a Senior Advisor on Environment and Development Cooperation whose responsibilities include assisting Parties in the development of wetland conservation and wise use projects for consideration by the Financial Mechanism of the CBD and other donor agencies.

1.8 In consultation with an interested national government, prepare for consideration by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) a project proposal for a pilot demonstration site, possibly in Africa, at which the common interests of CBD, Ramsar, CCD and UNFCCC can be considered and integrated into an on-ground management model.

Preparatory work to identify a suitable demonstration site is continuing. In addition the Ramsar Bureau has been contributing to the development of several GEF projects that will deliver common interests of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), including CBD.

2. Marine and coastal ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

2.1 The Expert Working Group of Ramsar’s STRP is investigating and developing guidance for the Ramsar Parties on IMCAM and will consult with the CBD Secretariat and others as appropriate in preparing this advice. Once the review has been concluded, findings will be made available to SBSTTA for its information and appropriate action.

The CBD Secretariat is represented in the STRP’s Working Group on integrated coastal zone management and is contributing to its preparation of guiding principles and guidelines for integrating wetlands into ICZM. These will be finalised in early 2002 for COP8 consideration and made available to SBSTTA.

With regard to operational objective 1.1 of the Jakarta Mandate programme of work ("To review the existing instruments relevant to IMCAM and their implications for the implementation of the Convention"), the Ramsar Secretariat will assist by identifying experts for the implementation of IMCAM at different levels (national, regional and global) through its established Experts Database.

Identification of experts from Ramsar’s database is available on request from the Ramsar Bureau, and further experts will be identified to contribute review of the STRP’s guiding principles and guidelines for integrating wetlands into ICZM.

The Ramsar Secretariat will also promote the development and implementation of IMCAM at the local, national and regional level (operational objective 1.2), including: assisting the development of appropriate education and public awareness programmes at all levels – through its Outreach Programme - (activity (g) under the operational objective).

This will be achieved primarily through the application of the COP8 guidelines on wetlands and ICZM. To promote wise use issues on coastal (and other wetland) ecosystems, the Ramsar Bureau has established through its Outreach programme an Outreach Web site (http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm) which includes guidance on national education and public awareness planning, case studies, information exchange networks and educational materials, including for coastal wetlands.

2.2 Ramsar’s STRP will be asked to review the conclusions of the Expert Consultation on Coral Bleaching within its mandate of work relating to linkages with the Climate Change Convention, and to report to the Standing Committee of the Convention on appropriate follow-up actions. The Ramsar Secretariat, resources permitting, will assist, as appropriate, in the implementation of activities relating to coral bleaching which may be identified by SBSTTA 5/COP 5.

The Executive Secretary of the CBD informed the Ramsar Bureau about the outcomes of the sixth meeting of the SBSTTA regarding coral bleaching and physical degradation and destruction of coral reefs. The STRP has addressed the issue of coral bleaching and climate change in its report to COP8 on climate change and wetlands (refer to Action 1.6), for consideration on follow-up actions.

2.3 See 8 below relating to the identification and designation of important sites. This pertains to operational objective 3.2 of the Jakarta Mandate work programme ("To develop criteria for the establishment of, and for management aspects of, marine and coastal protected areas"). Although inventory and management of important sites is dealt with thoroughly in section 8 of this JWP, it is noteworthy that Ramsar’s activities in this area will facilitate the implementation of this operational objective.

STRP has prepared, with contribution from CBD Secretariat, additional guidance on identification and designation of internationally important coral reef and mangrove wetland types, for consideration by Ramsar COP8.

The Ramsar Bureau contributed to the development of the first meeting of the Expert Group on Marine and Coastal Protected Areas organized by the CBD Secretariat, held in Leigh, New Zealand from 22 to 26 October 2001, and will participate in its second meeting (March 2002). The Ramsar Bureau reviewed and provided input to the CBD Secretariat’s desk study on "The values and effects of marine and coastal protected areas on marine and coastal biological diversity". This document was used as a working document for the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Marine and Coastal biological diversity.

3. Other ecosystems that include Ramsar-defined wetlands

3.1 Forest ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

3.1.1 Linkages will be promoted between the IPF, CBD’s Work Programme on forest ecosystems and the forested wetland activities being undertaken and promoted by Ramsar.

Ramsar will contribute as appropriate to the implementation of CBD’s programme of work developed by SBSTTA7 in November 2001, including making available to SBSTTA in 2002 the guidance on identification and designation of internationally important mangrove and peatland (including forested peatland) wetland types.

3.1.2 See 8 below relating to the identification and designation of important sites.

3.2 Agricultural land ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

3.2.1 The Ramsar Convention (with the support of Wetlands International) will identify those Ramsar sites where agricultural practices are being undertaken either within, or in close association with, Ramsar sites, and provide this advice to the CBD Secretariat. Management guidelines developed for these agricultural ecosystems will also be sought by the Ramsar Secretariat, and provided to CBD and CCD.

This is pending further development of information management systems supporting Ramsar site information. Further analysis of the impacts of agriculture on wetlands is being prepared for consideration by Ramsar COP8, in addition to the STRP’s guidelines on water allocation and management for maintaining ecosystem functions, which will be made available to SBSTTA.

3.3 Dryland, Mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

3.3.1 It is proposed that, in the programme of work on this thematic area submitted to CBD COP5, the joint activities being undertaken by CCD and the Ramsar Convention might be appropriately incorporated, and special reference made to the proposed joint demonstration project referred to under 1.8 above involving CCD, CBD, Ramsar and UNFCCC.

Ramsar Bureau has continued to identifying focal areas of joint activity with CCD, including analyses of wetlands in drylands through the River Basin Initiative (refer also to progress on Action 1.2)

3.3.2 It is further suggested that, in the programme of work on this thematic area submitted to CBD COP5, the activities under the Ramsar Convention’s MedWet Initiative might be considered and appropriately incorporated.

The SBSTTA considered the activities of the Ramsar’s MedWet initiative in the preparation of the programme of work on dry and sub-humid lands, which was endorsed by the fifth Conference of the Parties. In 2001 Ramsar established a MedWet Coordination Unit in Athens, which will take forward input to collaborative work with CBD and CCD in the Mediterranean Basin.

3.4 Mountain ecosystems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

3.4.1 The Ramsar Bureau will collaborate with the IUCN- the World Conservation Union in providing input to the appropriate CBD documents relating to the development of this programme of work.

Guidance on the identification and designation of internationally important mountain wetlands has been prepared during 2001 for consideration by Ramsar COP8, and will be made available as input to CBD’s programme of work.

B. Cross-cutting areas:

4. Alien species

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

4.1 Ramsar’s STRP will complete its review of the IUCN Guidelines and the CBD Guiding Principles once they are finalized and report on their value for application by Ramsar Parties.

The Ramsar Bureau contributed to the work in 2000 of CBD’s Liaison Group on invasive alien species in its preparation of a proposed programme of work and assisted the CBD secretariat on these matters at SBSTTA6.

The STRP has determined that the IUCN Guidelines and CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] on invasive alien species are applicable to wetlands by Ramsar Parties. Ramsar’s Standing Committee has determined that the CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] (once approved by CBD COP6 in April 2002) should be recommended for adoption also by Ramsar Parties at COP8 (November 2002), with the addition of guidance to wetland managers on their application through the Ramsar process. In addition, the STRP is preparing for consideration by COP8 a "Guide to wetland invasive species guidance" covering the IUCN guidelines and CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] and the tools and guidance produced by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). This will be made available to CBD Parties to assist in the Conventions’ joint efforts to address invasive species issues.

4.2 It is proposed that the relevant CBD bodies should take into account the work of the Ramsar Expert Working Group on Invasive Species for input to the development of a common terminology in this area.

The STRP determined that the CBD terminology in its Guiding Principles [Guidelines] is appropriate for Ramsar use.

4.3 Ramsar’s Expert Working Group will also provide to the CBD Secretariat information pertaining to marine and coastal alien species and genotypes, including any available incident list (refer Jakarta Mandate programme of work - operational objectives 5.1 and 5.3).

The STRP determined that it could not progress this action during its current triennium.

5. Incentive measures

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

5.1 In the preparation of the COP5 background paper on incentives, the CBD Executive Secretary may wish to invite input from the Expert Working Group of the Ramsar STRP.

The Executive Secretary invited inputs from the Ramsar Bureau on the COP 5 background document on "Further analysis of the Design and implementation of Incentive measures". STRP has provided input through the lead role of IUCN on its Expert Working Group, and has prepared a draft Resolution concerning further work on incentive measures and the removal of perverse incentives for consideration by Ramsar COP8, including further collaboration with the CBD incentives processes.

5.2 Given its dual role with both CBD COP5 and Ramsar STRP activities in this area, IUCN could facilitate linkages between the Internet-based Resource Kit they maintain and the information and case studies submitted to CBD in response to Decision IV/10 A.

The IUCN Internet-based resource kit, developed in support of both Ramsar and CBD, is now available on http://www.biodiversityeconomics.org/assessment/ramsar-503-01.htm.

5.3 Following CBD COP5, the Ramsar STRP will review the outputs and adjust its programme of work in this area accordingly, so that it is complementary.

STRP’s Expert Working Group on incentives determined that capacity in the current triennium were insufficient to permit further preparation of guidance on wetland-related incentives, and have recommended that this form a priority topic for its future work, taking into account the work of SBSTTA on the design and implementation of incentive measures and its recommendations for further cooperation.

6. Indicators for biological diversity, monitoring and early warning systems

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

6.1 Following SBSTTA5, Ramsar’s STRP will review the outputs and decisions under this theme and decide on an appropriate, complementary course of action to take.

STRP determined to defer further consideration of indicators until the further work on this theme had been undertaken by SBSTTA, so as to ensure appropriate harmonisation of approaches on indicators of ecological character of wetlands, and will determine a programme of further work in the light of CBD COP6 decisions on this matter.

6.2 CBD to invite a suitable representative of Ramsar’s STRP to attend any future meetings of the CBD liaison group. This same liaison group will be invited to consider in its future deliberations the existing tools in this area that the Ramsar Convention has developed, especially its early warning system framework and monitoring frameworks.

Ramsar’s early warning system and monitoring frameworks are available to CBD in Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8 (refer to progress on Action 10.1). The STRP has prepared new guidelines for wetland management, including further guidance on monitoring and the use of indicators, for consideration by Ramsar COP8, and this will be made available to the CBD process.

7. Traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

7.1 CBD’s Working Group on Article 8(j) may wish to consider the Ramsar Guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities’ and indigenous people’s participation in the management of wetlands and supporting case studies and resource materials in their work, and to consult with other environment conventions about developing a multi-convention approach to examining this cross-cutting area.

The second meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related provisions will be meeting in Montreal from 4-8 February 2002. This working group may wish to explore the desirability of developing a multi-convention approach and explore ways and means to facilitate collaboration between the relevant conventions and programmes through the exchange of information, cooperation and coordination of activities to ensure that they are mutually supportive with regard to the maintenance and application of traditional knowledge and the involvement and participation of indigenous and local communities in their respective activities. The Working Group may recommend to COP 6 the possibility of the Secretariat to consult with the various environmental conventions in developing a multi-convention approach to examining this cross cutting area.

The Ramsar guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities' and indigenous people's participation in the management of wetlands have been considered in the preparation of documents for second meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions."

The theme of Ramsar’s COP8 is "Wetlands: water, life and culture" and in support of this an ad hoc working group is preparing guidelines for integrating cultural issues and wetlands, including full recognition of indigenous peoples’ and local communities cultural issues in wetland conservation and wise use, for consideration by COP8. Once available these guidelines will be transmitted to the CBD liaison group and task force to contribute to its work. An information pack on Culture and Wetlands, with fact sheets describing many different aspects of this issue, has been prepared by the Ramsar Bureau for World Wetlands Day 2002 and is available to CBD Parties on request.

8. Important sites, inventory and site management

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

8.1 Ramsar and CBD will jointly promote the application of the Strategic Framework for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance, recognizing that in so doing they are working to serve the common interest of identifying areas of global importance for biodiversity conservation found in all of the thematic areas for which programmes of work have been, or are planned to be approved, under the CBD.

Ramsar’s Strategic Framework has been made available to CBD Parties as Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 7 (see Action 10.1 for details). Refer also to the progress on action 1.3.

8.2 Once the Ramsar STRP completes the preparation of its detailed guidance for identifying and designating peatland, wet grassland, mangrove and coral reef Ramsar sites, this will be provided to SBSTTA and all CBD Focal Points.

STRP’s guidelines for identifying and designating peatland, wet grassland, mangrove and coral reef Ramsar sites will be considered by Ramsar COP8 and subsequently available through the CBD website. Similarly, COP8 will also consider identification and designation guidelines for mountain wetlands. (refer to the progress on action 2.3)

8.3 As the Ramsar and Migratory Species Conventions (CMS) collaborate in their efforts to build site networks for migratory birds and marine turtles, SBSTTA will be kept informed so that this can be factored into the appropriate thematic work programmes.

A Ramsar-CMS joint work plan will be finalised early in 2002, and will include identification of common areas of activity with the CBD/CMS joint work plan so as to ensure full tripartite collaboration between the Conventions.

8.4 When the Ramsar STRP Expert Working Group on inventory completes the preparation of its guidance in this area, this will also be provided to SBSTTA and all CBD Focal Points, as well Ramsar Administrative Authorities and national STRP Focal Points.

A Framework for Wetland Inventory has been prepared by the STRP Expert Working Group on inventory for COP8 consideration. The framework will be made available on the CBD website after approval of Ramsar COP8.

8.5 Also, when the STRP Expert Working Group on management planning completes the preparation of its additional guidance in this area, this will be provided to the CBD Secretariat for its consideration.

STRP has prepared new guidelines for management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands, which will be considered by Ramsar COP8. The guidelines will be used for refinement and further elaboration of the CBD programme of work on inland water biological diversity, and work on marine and coastal protected areas, as appropriate, and be made available on the CBD website after approval of Ramsar COP8.

9. Impact assessment and minimizing adverse impacts

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

9.1 Following CBD COP5, both SBSTTA and STRP may wish to review their respective programmes of work in consultation with IUCN, IAIA and others and seek closer cooperation in taking this area of work forward.

Through the joint role of IUCN and IAIA in supporting the work of both SBSTTA and STRP, improved harmonisation between CBD and Ramsar guidance on impact assessment has been achieved. Through this mechanism STRP provided input to SBSTTA7’s paper and guidelines on impact assessment. STRP have determined that the CBD guidelines (once approved by CBD COP6 in April 2002) should be recommended for adoption also by Ramsar Parties at COP8 (November 2002), with the addition of guidance on their application through the Ramsar process.

9.2 Given its dual role with both CBD SBSTTA and Ramsar STRP activities in this area, IUCN will be requested to facilitate linkages between the Internet-based Resource Kit they maintain and related information submitted to CBD. IAIA will also be invited to assist with the development of this Resource Kit.

The IUCN Internet-based resource kit, developed in support of both Ramsar and CBD, is now available on http://www.biodiversityeconomics.org/assessment/ramsar-503-01.htm. IAIA is now an observer organisation to STRP.

10. National strategies, policies, laws and plans

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

10.1 Both secretariats may wish to actively promote to their respective focal points the Ramsar ‘toolkit’ as well as the CBD handbook and, in the context of national strategies, policies, laws and plans, continue to encourage integrated approaches being taken to ensure wetland conservation and wise use are factored into national biodiversity conservation instruments.

The Ramsar ‘toolkit’ of nine Wise Use Handbooks was introduced to CBD Parties in the progress report on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems prepared by the Executive Secretary to the CBD for the Sixth meeting of the SBSTTA. The ‘toolkit’ has also been made available to CBD Parties on request through display at SBSTTA. The ‘toolkit’ is also being prepared on CD-ROM in .pdf format for availability in 2002. Relevant case studies from the ‘toolkit’ are available to CBD Parties on the Ramsar Web-site on http://ramsar.org/index_lib.htm. CBD Parties can also access ‘toolkit’ information through CBD’s Web-site on http://www.biodiv.org/programmes/areas/water/links.asp.

The Ramsar Bureau has publicised the availability and value of the CBD Handbook on the Operations of the Convention on Biological Diversity to its Administrative Authorities and others through the Ramsar Web site and electronic list servers, following its publication in November 2001.

Through the guidance in Wise Use Handbooks 2 (Developing and implementing National Wetland Policies) and 3 (Reviewing laws and institutions to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands) are being encouraged to work closely with CBD focal points to ensure integrated approaches. Progress will be assessed from Ramsar COP8 National Reports during 2002.

11. Small island developing States

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

11.1 During 2000, the Ramsar Convention’s Standing Committee (its inter-sessional governing body) will identify priority areas for the Convention, taking into consideration the Barbados Programme of Action. It will also continue to seek the resources for a SIDS internship within the Secretariat.

In 2000 Ramsar’s Standing Committee reviewed the role of the Convention in relation to the Barbados Programme of Action and determined that its priorities should form a focus for development of specific actions for incorporation into the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008. Work to develop a joint programme of activity, including identification of the needs of SIDS in relation to wetlands has been initiated underway between Ramsar and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with the support of the Government of Australia.

11.2 Both secretariats may wish to make the other aware of and, as appropriate, invite the other to attend meetings, workshops and similar events that are considering the special environmental management issues of the SIDS.

Refer to progress on action 11.1

11.3 Resources permitting, the STRP and the Ramsar Secretariat will contribute to the work of SBSTTA and the CBD Secretariat in the development of rapid-assessment methodologies for small island States and states suffering from ecological disasters (refer decision IV/4, Annex I, part A.1, paragraphs 6 and 7).

Refer to progress on action 1.1

12. Sustainable tourism

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

12.1 Following consideration of the subject at CBD COP5, the CBD Secretariat may wish to provide the Ramsar Secretariat with appropriate information, decisions and other guidance to assist with the preparation of appropriate guidelines for consideration at Ramsar COP8.

The CBD Secretariat convened a workshop on sustainable tourism in June 2001. The workshop drafted "International Guidelines for Activities related to Sustainable Tourism Development in Vulnerable Terrestrial, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Habitats of Major Importance for Biological Diversity and Protected Areas, including Fragile Riparian and Mountain Ecosystems". The comments received will be compiled and the final draft will be presented to CBD COP6. To this end, and as promotional material, the Secretariat is preparing a booklet in all UN languages with a summarized text of the guidelines to be presented to the World Summit on Ecotourism to be held in Quebec City in May 2002.

Under its ‘Outreach’ programme Ramsar has been developing information and site networks for visitor and education centers at Ramsar sites, available through the Ramsar Web site (http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm) and a further programme of Outreach work will be considered at COP8.

13. Sustainable use of components of biological diversity

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

13.1 As indicated under 10 above, both secretariats may wish to actively promote to their respective focal points the Ramsar ‘toolkit’ as well as the CBD handbook and, in this context, promote the principles and guidance given therein for promoting the Ramsar Wise Use concept.

Refer to progress on action 10.1. Ramsar’s information pack on Wetland Values and Functions, produced in February 2001, is available to CBD Parties on request from the Ramsar Bureau or the Ramsar Web site on http://ramsar.org/values_intro_e.htm in English, French and Spanish.

CBD Secretariat convened three regional workshops to develop practical principles, operational guidelines and associated instruments for sustainable use of components of biological diversity. A final meeting is proposed to conclude the synthesis of the results of the three regional workshops. Case studies are collected, analysed and posted on the CBD website. An information document on case-studies will be prepared for COP6.

13.2 Ramsar’s handbook Economic Valuation of Wetlands: a Guide for Policy Makers and Planners will be promoted to all CBD Focal Points through the Clearing House Mechanism and other appropriate avenues. Reciprocally, the Ramsar Secretariat will promote the CBD Handbook on the Operations of the Convention on Biological Diversity to its Administrative Authorities and focal points.

The Ramsar’s handbook on Economic Valuation has been made available to CBD Parties in English, French and Spanish through the Ramsar Web site at: http://ramsar.org/index_lib.htm

Refer also to progress reported under Action 10.1

C. Institutional links:

14. Between subsidiary scientific bodies and focal points

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

14.1 The Chair of SBSTTA now has permanent observer status on Ramsar’s STRP. It is proposed that SBSTTA may wish to consider an appropriate reciprocal status for the Chair of STRP, possibly as a permanent observer to the CBD’s Bureau.

The Chair of STRP and Ramsar Bureau participated in SBSTTA6 and 7 and reported on progress of STRP work relevant to the implementation of this Joint Work Plan. The CBD Secretariat participated in the 10th meeting of the STRP and has contributed to the development of the technical guidance documents to be considered by Ramsar COP 8.

The CBD secretariat has advised the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention about the COP5 decisions and SBSTTA 6 and 7 recommendations, which are related specifically to Ramsar and its activities.

15. National focal points and rosters of experts

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

15.1 The CBD and Ramsar Secretariats may wish to prepare by June 2000 a country-by-country register of focal points and experts. This will be distributed to all of their respective Parties and the individuals included therein, as well as posted on the web sites of the two in order to promote national-level linkages and collaboration.

At the Partners Web page in CBD Web site links are made to the Ramsar's Roster of Experts, Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel Focal Points, Ramsar Administrative Authorities, Ramsar CEPA (Communication, Education and Public Awareness) Focal Points. (http://www.biodiv.org/convention/partners-workprogramme.asp)

Ramsar Administrative Authorities have been encouraged to develop closer working links with their CBD counterparts, including through their participation on National Ramsar/Wetland Committees.

15.2 In conjunction with this, the CBD and Ramsar Secretariats may wish to continue linking with similar endeavours carried out by other relevant international and regional environmental conventions and bodies, in order to further promote international and national level synergy.

The Ramsar Bureau has prepared a draft comparative listing of the focal points of MEAs, including technical focal points, in collaboration with the secretariats of these Conventions, for consideration for dissemination in 2002.

16. National reporting

2000-2001 Joint Work Plan Actions

Implementation progress

16.1. During 2000, the secretariats may wish to investigate the feasibility of the Ramsar National Report format meeting the reporting obligations of Parties to both Conventions with respect to certain elements of the CBD programmes of work. Such a step would move toward the modular approach to national reporting advocated by the WCMC Report. A report on the outcome of this investigation could be presented to SBSTTA6.

The secretariats of the CBD and Ramsar contributed to the workshop on Streamlining National Reporting for Biodiversity-Related Conventions, Cambridge, UK, 30-31 October 2000. The objective of workshop was to identify options for streamlined/harmonized reporting and agree on an action plan including pilot projects in a representative group of countries. More information is available at: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/conventions/harmonization.htm. The Conventions will continue to support implementation of the pilot projects that are testing options for national reporting, including modular reporting.

During 2001 Ramsar consulted CBD secretariat on the Convention’s draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and has contributed to the preparation of the CBD Strategic Plan. The Ramsar Bureau has also initiated review and analysis of its National Report format for COP8, and in early 2002 will develop a national target setting process for Parties for the 2003-2005 triennium, drawing on the national reporting experience of CBD, and based on the actions of Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008. Collaboration on CBD’s liaison group work on national reporting will contribute to this process.


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