The 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties


"Wetlands and water: supporting life, sustaining livelihoods"
9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Kampala, Uganda, 8-15 November 2005
Agenda item XV
Ramsar COP9 DR 24

Ramsar sites and national systems of protected areas

Submitted by Nigeria

1. NOTING that the Durban Action Plan from the Vth World Parks Congress held in September 2003 made the following call to action: "The world urgently needs an ecologically representative, effectively managed, global network of protected areas";

2. MINDFUL of the Ramsar Convention's vision for the List of Wetland of International Importance, namely, "To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the ecological and hydrological functions they perform," and the associated targets of reaching 250 million hectares and 2500 Ramsar sites by the end of 2010 (Operational Objective 10.1.1. of the Ramsar Stragetic Plan 2003-2008);

3. CONSCIOUS that globally there are now 1,459 Wetlands of International Importance found across 146 Parties with a total area of 125,397,780 hectares [these figures to be updated], making this the largest network of protected areas in the world;

4. ALSO AWARE that Recommendations 5.13 and 5.19 from the Vth World Parks Congress urged IUCN to work with Ramsar Parties and the Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to promote application of the IUCN's Protected Area categories to the global Ramsar sites network in order to facilitate future assessments, monitoring and reporting on protected area management;

5. WELCOMING the adoption by the 7th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Malaysia in February 2004, of the programme of work on protected areas (Decision VII.28), and in particular its request that the Executive Secretary "strengthen collaboration with other organizations, institutions and conventions with a view to supporting implementation of the activities contained in the programme of work, promoting synergies and avoiding unnecessary duplications, and to establish a liaison group of relevant organizations including the World Heritage Convention, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Man and Biosphere programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, relevant regional conventions and other organizations";

6. ALSO WELCOMING the adoption by CBD's COP7 of a revised programme of work on inland waters (Decision VII.4) and its indication that in progressing toward comprehensive, adequate and representative systems of inland water protected areas, Parties should seek to harmonize their actions to operationalise CBD Annex 1 with the criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance (Activity 1.2.2), and FURTHER that they should "harmonize this work with the development of national networks of wetlands of international importance, which are comprehensive and coherent in line with the Ramsar strategic framework for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance and taking into account ecological connectivity and the concept, where appropriate, of ecological networks, in line with the programme of work on protected areas (Decision VII/28)";

7. ACKNOWLEDGING that CBD's revised programme of work on inland waters referred to above also invites collaboration between the Ramsar Secretariat and STRP and their CBD counterparts, the Executive Secretary and the SBSTTA, in further the elaboration of guidelines on existing criteria for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance, the development of additional, possibly quantitative criteria, and the articulation of guidance on interpretation and geographical scale of application of the Ramsar criteria nationally and regionally; and

8. CONCERNED that the revised programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity adopted by CBD's COP7 fails to acknowledge the contribution being made to achieving the goals and objectives of this programme by the nearly 800 Wetlands of International Importance [figure to be updated] found in coastal, inshore and tidal systems, and how these sites offer important building blocks of protected area networks in these environments;


9. AGREES to include as extra data fields in the approved Ramsar Information Sheet for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance from COP9 onwards the following:

'Range of IUCN protected area categories found within the Ramsar site'
'Dominant protected area category found within the Ramsar site'

10. REQUESTS all Contracting Parties to include information for these new data fields when they next update their Ramsar Information Sheets for existing Ramsar sites;

11. CALLS UPON Parties to ensure that their internal processes for the development of protected area systems integrate efforts directed at broader protected area system development with Ramsar site network expansions, the declaration of World Heritage areas, and the identification of Man and Biosphere sites;

12. INSTRUCTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to support the efforts aimed at harmonising approaches with the CBD in relation to criteria for identifying Wetlands of Importance and operationalising CBD Annex 1 (as outlined above in preambular paragraph 6);

13. INVITES the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas to review the outputs from the Vth World Parks Congress and produce a synthesis information paper for distribution to all Parties by the November 2006 on the key outputs of direct relevance to the identification, consultative processes leading to site designation, management planning and other issues relating to Ramsar sites;

14. STRONGLY URGES each Contracting Party to review its national processes for implementation of CBD's Jakarta Mandate programme of work on coastal and marine biodiversity to ensure that this integrates fully the identification and designation of Ramsar sites as well; and

15. REQUESTS the Ramsar Secretariat to continue its strong partnership-building with the CBD, including full and active participation in the liaison group proposed through CBD Decision VII.28 establishing the programme of work on protected areas (refer to preambular paragraph 5).

For reasons of economy, this document is printed in a limited number, and will not be distributed at the meeting. Delegates are requested to bring their copies to the meeting and not to request additional copies.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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