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 21

Integrated, cross-biome planning and management of wetlands, especially in small island developing states

Submitted by: Samoa, with the endorsement of Oceania region Contracting Parties

Explanatory note by the Secretariat

1. This draft Resolution was submitted by the Government of Samoa under Rule 5 of the current COP Rules of Procedure, concerning the deadline for the submission of such proposals of 60 days before the opening of the COP, and it has subsequently been endorsed in this amended form by the Oceania Regional Preparatory meeting (Fiji, 29-30 September 2005).

2. Contracting Parties may wish to note, in relation to the implementation of Resolution VIII.45, that the draft Resolution contains operative paragraphs with matters of a technical nature which have not yet benefited from the advice of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.

Integrated, cross-biome planning and management of wetlands, especially in small island developing states

1. RECOGNIZING that wetlands occur within all biomes, take many forms, and therefore require integrated planning and management approaches to safeguard their many ecosystem services;

2. AWARE that at COP7 and COP8 the Ramsar Convention adopted guidelines pertaining to the integrated management of wetlands within river basin and coastal zone management frameworks, respectively;

3. NOTING that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has developed thematic programmes of work relating to mountains, forests, inland waters, dry and sub-humid lands, agricultural lands and marine and coastal systems, and is developing a programme of work for islands as well;

4. ALSO NOTING the ecosystem approach advocated by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the associated guidance developed to assist Parties with its implementation;

5. RECALLING that Resolution VIII.42 drew attention to the need "to be mindful of the small size and limited human and financial resources available to Pacific island countries and territories, to seek ways of simplifying and harmonising the activities and requirements of the Ramsar Convention, and to continue actively to seek to harmonise the requirements of the Convention with all other environment-related international instruments";

6. MINDFUL that for developing countries, and small island developing states in particular, resource constraints, financial, technical and human, continue to restrict the capacity to implement multilateral environment agreements; and

7. NOTING that WWF International has, through its Global Freshwater Programme, developed a prototype cross-biome programme of work that seeks to integrate CBD's current six thematic programmes and ACKNOWLEDGING the related work of UNEP's 'Hilltops to the Oceans' (H2O) initiative and the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) initiative;


8. URGES Parties to take an holistic, cross-biome approach to wetlands management that recognizes the importance of ecological and hydrological connectivity in managing river systems, freshwater ecosystems, and the coastal environments into which they flow;

9. REQUESTS the Ramsar Secretariat, through the Memorandum of Cooperation and Joint Work Plan with CBD, to assist further development of the prototype cross-biome programme of work developed by WWF International, as a mechanism to reduce resource needs and improve efficiency and effectiveness with the implementation of both CBD and the Ramsar Convention;

10. INSTRUCTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel to consider development, resources permitting, of guidance for Parties on how to implement cross-biome, 'mountains to the sea'-style planning and management approaches for wetlands, drawing as necessary upon the prototype cross-biome programme of work developed by WWF International, UNEP's 'Hilltops to the Ocean' initiative, and the PABITRA network project;

11. REITERATES the need to support the efforts and capacity building requirements of Parties, and small island developing states in particular, with the implementation of integrated management approaches, and REQUESTS developed countries and bilateral and multilateral donors to give priority to training and capacity building in this field; and

12. ENCOURAGES Contracting Parties to include within their 'mountains-to-sea' planning the development of site networks of protected areas, including Ramsar sites, to ensure that the ecosystem services delivered by the various biomes are recognized and incorporated into management regimes and land and water use activities.

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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