The 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties

12/09/2005


"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 DOC. 21
Information paper
[chiefly in English]

Proposals for Regional Initiatives within the framework of the Convention (Resolution VIII.30)

(see also COP9 DR8)

Explanatory note by the Secretariat

1. This Information Paper provides the detailed information provided by those Parties proposing each regional initiative for consideration by COP9 for recognition within the framework of the Convention in line with Resolution VIII.30. It includes budget information where the initiative requested an allocation of funds from the Convention core budget 2006-2008.

2. All proposals are provided in English, as well as in French or Spanish when the proposal was submitted in one of those languages.

3. Only those proposed regional initiatives submitted in line with Diplomatic Notification 2005/3 (March 2005), and which have been considered and recommended to COP9 by the 31st meeting of the Standing Committee, are provided in this Paper.

4. The 31st meeting of the Standing Committee considered that one proposed regional initiative submitted to it ("Awareness raising campaign on conservation and wise use of wetlands for the sustainable management of natural resources and the fight against poverty in Central Africa") was not sufficiently clearly in line with the terms of Resolution VIII.30 as being within the framework of the Convention to warrant further consideration at this time.

5. The Secretariat has been advised of several other regional initiatives which are in various stages of development, and which may subsequently be brought forward for consideration within the framework of the Convention. The Secretariat has recommended to those countries developing such initiatives that their proposals should be brought forward for consideration by the Standing Committee subsequent to COP9, in line with the terms of paragraph 10 of COP9 DR8, and/or to COP10.

6. Regional initiative proposals are listed below in the following order:

A. Regional initiatives for wetland conservation and wise use proposed in COP9 DR8 for endorsement as operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention

i) Regional (and subregional) networks for capacity-building and cooperation:

o West African Coastal Zone Wetlands Network (WacoWet) - Africa [also in French]
o ChadWet - Africa
o NigerWet - Africa
o WSSD Type II Partnership for the conservation and sustainable use of sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds in East Asia, South East Asia and Australasia (The Partnership) - Asia/North America/Oceania
o Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands - Neotropics [also in Spanish]

ii) Regional (and subregional) centres for training and capacity-building:

o Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in Western and Central Asia in Iran (RRC-CWA) - Asia
o Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) - Neotropics/North America

B. Regional initiatives proposed in COP9 DR8 as being recognized as having potential for operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention, subject to further development and consideration by COP10

i) Regional (and subregional) networks for capacity-building and cooperation:

o Himalayan Initiative - Asia
o Carpathian Wetland Initiative (CWI) - Europe
o The Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet) - Europe
o Ramsar Oceania Support Initiative (Regional initiative for the protection and wise use of wetlands for the Pacific Islands) - Oceania

ii) Regional (and subregional) centres for training and capacity-building:

o Ramsar Centre for Eastern Africa (RAMCEA) - Africa

A. Regional initiatives for wetland conservation and wise use proposed in COP9 DR8 for endorsement as operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention

i) Regional (and subregional) networks for capacity-building and cooperation

West African Coastal Zone Wetlands network (WacoWet)

Countries involved: Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo

Proposal submitted by: Republic of Benin

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

WacoWet aims at 1) contributing to a best conservation and integrated wise use of the ECOLOGIC CONTINUUM which stretches from Liberia to Nigeria and comprises i) marines ecosystems, ii) lagoons and iii) mangroves, through 2) strengthening of the cooperation among administrative authorities in the view raising awareness at ECOWAS level

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

All the concerned Ramsar National Focal Points who attended the PreCOP9 meeting in Arusha (3-9 April 2005) have been approached and showed strong interests in the initiative. They all agree for the submission of the initiative to the standing committee and committed themselves to report positively to their national administrative authorities for high level political support.

Many efforts are ongoing currently for the conservation and wise use of mangroves and lagoons ecosystems at national levels in all the countries while some tentative transboundary management cooperation are underway between Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Togo and Benin, etc.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

The Ramsar national focal points involved with this initiative agreed on the fact that the network is built in the participatory approach and comprises :

o        Specific NGOs like Flora and Fauna International (Liberia), SOS-Forêt (Côte d’Ivoire), Green Earth Organization (Ghana), Homme pour la Nature et l’Environnement (Togo), Tropical Nature (Benin), Nigerian Conservation Foundation (Nigeria)

o        Private sector

o        National institutions in charge of the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) of Gulf of Guinea project;

o        The Centre for African Wetlands

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

The Ramsar National Focal Points of the involved countries are considered to be the backbone for the launching and the technical running of WacoWet.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

WacoWet will incorporate and work tightly with any important initiatives at regional level like :

o        Large Marine Ecosystem of Gulf of Guinea

o        Centre for African Wetlands

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Many scientific and research centers exist though they need capacity building :

o  Centre for African Wetlands

o  The University of Ouagadougou Master of Science on Wetlands studies

o  National universities and research centres

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

WacoWet will contribute directly to the following goals and operational objectives of Ramsar Convention:

o        Goal no.1 on wise use

o        Goal no.3 on international cooperation

o        Goal no.4 on implementation capacity

The following operational objectives are targeted directly by WacoWet :

o        Contribute to adequate management of wetlands for preventing the impacts of climate change and sea level rise at global level

o        Contribute to restore degradated and destroyed wetlands including their ecologic, economic and cultural values and functions

o        Contribute to eradicating threats from invasive species to wetlands

o        Leading regional cooperation on wetlands within ECOWAS region especially for the wise use and conservation of freshwater ecosystem, coastal zone, transboundary hydrographic basins, and common migratory species

o        Contribute to reinforcement of the coordination pertinent regional conventions

o        Improving liable information sharing and promoting the creation of networks (sites, experts)

o        Providing efficient mechanisms for training and capacity building to help contracting parties implementing the Convention.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The Benin Environmental Agency (BEA) is candidate for hosting the regional bureau and provides logistic facilities (bureau, communication) for the launching of the initiative.

Also, through the Community Based Coastal Biodiversity Management Project (CBCBMP) of Benin (2006-2010) co – funded by GEF and the Government of Benin, kick – of financial support is secured for the launching activities of WacoWet (as outreach objective).

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

Key basic activities for the launching of WacoWet will focus on :

o        Elaboration of agreement document, strategic plan, technical information, etc., (French and English)

o        Workshops

o        Plead

As mentioned above (see section 8) the costs of these basic activities will be met through financial support of the Benin CBCMP.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

There is not any initiative allowing the contracting parties of West Africa coastal region, which share very particular ecosystems of wetlands, to network and benefit from each other while implementing the Ramsar Convention.

A financial support from the central Budget of Convention, whatever its value, will constitute a substantial political and psychological support to this sub-region and a blow of hand to the national focal points vis-à-vis their governments.

The threats from coastal erosion, climatic changes and sea level rise, degradation of the ecosystems of mangrove, invading species, and degradation of the coastal lagoons are very alarming in this area. That thus deserves a support of the central level of Convention.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

WacoWet will functions based on principles and guidelines that are cost-effectiveness oriented :

o        clear and participatory approach mechanism for decision making

o        concrete and well – oriented Strategic Action plan (SAP) which declines the Global Ramsar Strategic Plan

o        easy reporting system for informing as wide as possible all the interested parties and actors especially the Ramsar Bureau

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

WacoWet is committed working for the definition of clear and effective mechanism which facilitates information sharing with the Ramsar Secretariat. MedWet experiences will be largely used and adapted in this field.

WacoWet Budget 2006-2008

Items

Total cost (CFA)

FY01 in $

FY02-03 in $

Support

Internet communication infrastructure

 

 

 

 

Setting up

700000

1400

 

Benin

Bandwidth allowance (64 Kbp) per month

6696000

13392

13392

Benin

WacoWet Website development and management

 

 

 

 

Basic website development

300000

600

 

Benin

Website management

200000

400

400

Benin

Bilingual secretary

 

 

 

 

Recruitment process (announcement and selection)

300000

600

 

Benin

Salary per month

4800000

9600

9600

Ramsar Core Budget
or ECOWAS

Material of bureau

 

 

 

 

Desktop (Pentium IV, DVD, Graver and Zip)

1500000

3000

 

Benin

Laptop (Pentium IV, DVD, Graver)

2000000

4000

 

CBCM* Project

Printer

400000

800

 

CBCM Project

Scanner

150000

300

 

CBCM Project

Video projector

1500000

3000

 

CBCM Project

Numeric camera

250000

500

 

CBCM Project

Table (bureau)

400000

800

 

Benin

Seat

120000

240

 

Benin

Document storage units

100000

200

 

Benin

Tel/Fax

200000

400

 

Benin

Office running costs and communication

 

 

 

 

Furnitures (paper, bubble for printer, etc.) per month

600000

1200

1200

Benin

Telephone / communication

600000

1200

1200

Benin

Stamps

10000

20

 

Benin

Acquiring of Bank account

500000

1000

 

Benin

Creation of the Network, Adoption and
Implementation of the Strategic Plan of Action

 

 

 

 

Preparation of fundamentals (MoU, Strategy Plan)

2000000

4000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Launching workshop (02 persons / 8 countries)
for adoption of the fundamentals

24000000

48000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Elaboration of the detail action plan

3000000

6000

 

Benin

Sensitization of decision makers at sub-regional level
(ECOWAS, States)

1000000

2000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Creation and updating of the Network’s Database

20000000

40000

2000

Ramsar Core Budget
CBCM Project

Adoption of a WacoWet Transboundary Guidelines
on Wetlands management (elaboration, adoption)

20000000

40000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Creating and updating a Professionals register

2500000

5000

5000

Ramsar Core Budget

 

93826000

187652

32792

 

Total FY1-3

253236 $

Note. CBCM project is a GEF-funded project on "Community Based Coastal Biodiversity Management" running from 2006-2010.

Contribution of Benin

Contribution of Benin

 

 

 

 

Items

Total cost (CFA)

FY01 in $

FY02-03 in $

Support

Internet communication infrastructure

 

 

 

 

Setting up

700000

1400

 

Benin

Bandwidth allowance (64 Kbp) per month

6696000

13392

13392

Benin

WacoWet Website development and management

 

 

 

 

Basic website development

300000

600

 

Benin

Website management

200000

400

400

Benin

Bilingual secretary

 

 

 

 

Recruitment process (announcement and selection)

300000

600

 

Benin

Material of bureau

 

 

 

 

Desktop (Pentium IV, DVD, Graver and Zip)

1500000

3000

 

Benin

Table (bureau)

400000

800

 

Benin

Seat

120000

240

 

Benin

Document storage units

100000

200

 

Benin

Tel/Fax

200000

400

 

Benin

Office running costs and communication

 

 

 

 

Furnitures (paper, bubble for printer, etc.) per month

600000

1200

1200

Benin

Telephone / communication

600000

1200

1200

Benin

Stamps

10000

20

 

Benin

Acquiring of Bank account

500000

1000

 

Benin

Creation of the Network, Adoption and
Implementation of the Strategic Plan of Action

 

 

 

 

Elaboration of the detail action plan

3000000

6000

 

Benin

 

15226000

30452

16192

 

Total: years 1-3

62836 $

Contribution requested from Ramsar Core Budget

Contribution requested from Ramsar Core Budget

 

 

 

 

Items

Total cost (CFA)

FY01 in $

FY02-04 in $

Support

Internet communication infrastructure

 

 

 

 

Material of bureau

 

 

 

 

Creation of the Network, Adoption and
Implementation of the Strategic Plan of Action

 

 

 

 

Preparation of fundamentals (MoU, Strategy Plan)

2000000

4000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Launching workshop (02 persons / 8 countries)
for adoption of the fundamentals

24000000

48000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Sensitization of decision makers at sub-regional level
(ECOWAS, States)

1000000

2000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Creation and updating of the Network’s Database

20000000

40000

2000

Ramsar Core Budget
CBCM Project

Adoption of a WacoWet Transboundary Guidelines
on Wetlands management (elaboration, adoption)

20000000

40000

 

Ramsar Core Budget

Creating and updating a Professionals register

2500000

5000

5000

Ramsar Core Budget

 

69500000

139000

7000

 

Total: years 1-3

153000 $

Contribution from CBCM Project

Contribution from CBCM Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Items

Total cost (CFA)

FY01 in $

FY02-03 in $

Support

Material of bureau

 

 

 

 

Laptop (Pentium IV, DVD, Graver)

2000000

4000

 

CBCM Project

Printer

400000

800

 

CBCM Project

Scanner

150000

300

 

CBCM Project

Video projector

1500000

3000

 

CBCM Project

Numeric camera

250000

500

 

CBCM Project

 

4300000

8600

0

 

Total: years 1-3

8600 $

 

Other contribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Items

Total cost (CFA)

FY01 in $

FY02-03 in $

Support

Bilingual secretary

 

 

 

 

Salary per month

4800000

9600

9600

ECOWAS

Material of bureau

 

 

 

 

 

4800000

9600

9600

 

Total: years 1-3

28800 $

West African Coastal Zone Wetlands network (WacoWet)

Pays participants: Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Bénin, Nigeria

Proposition soumise par : République du Bénin

Résolution VIII.30 de la COP8 Orientations

Initiative régionale proposée

BUT

 

1.  Le but général d’une initiative régionale doit être de promouvoir les objectifs de la Convention en général et de mettre en œuvre le Plan stratégique Ramsar en particulier, par la coopération régionale et sous-régionale sur des questions d’intérêt commun relatives aux zones humides.

Le WacoWet vise 1) une meilleure conservation et gestion intégrées du CONTINUUM ECOLOGIQUE constitué des zones humides i) marines, ii) lagunaires et iii) de mangroves, de la côte ouest africaine tout en 2) renforçant la coopération entre les autorités administratives et les structures techniques des pays concernés dans le sens d’une prise en compte globale au niveau de la CEDEAO.

POINTS FONDAMENTAUX

 

2.  Il importe que les initiatives régionales et sous-régionales adoptent une approche de la base vers le sommet. Dès le départ et de manière prioritaire, le plus grand nombre possible de Parties contractantes de la région ou des sous-régions concernées par l’initiative doit participer.

Tous les points focaux nationaux Ramsar concernés ont été approchés lors de la réunion préparatoire de la COP 9 à Arusha (3-9 avril 2005) et ont donné leurs accords de principe pour en informer de façon motivée les autorités administratives respectives en vue de leurs participations effectives. Des actions de conservation et de gestion rationnelle des mangroves et lagunes sont en cours au Bénin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Libéria, Togo et Nigéria ; des efforts de gestion transfrontière sont en cours entre Côte d’Ivoire et Ghana, Togo et Bénin, etc.

3.  Dès le début, chaque initiative doit viser la participation, non seulement des autorités administratives responsables de l’application de la Convention pour les Parties contractantes concernées, mais aussi de tous les autres acteurs pertinents qui sont concernés et directement ou indirectement responsables des questions relatives aux zones humides, notamment les ministères chargés de l’environnement et de l’eau, les organes intergouvernementaux, les ONG, les universités et les acteurs économiques.

Tous les points focaux nationaux Ramsar conviennent de faire de WacoWet un réseau qui inclut aussi :

  • ONG comme Flora and Fauna International (Liberia), SOS-Forêt (Côte d’Ivoire), Green Earth Organization (Ghana), Homme pour la Nature et l’Environnement (Togo), Tropical Nature (Benin), Nigerian Conservation Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Le secteur privé
  • Les institutions responsables du Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) of Gulf of Guinea ;
  • Le Centre Africain des Zones Humides d’Accra

4.  Le fonctionnement d’une initiative régionale doit reposer sur des réseaux de collaboration dotés de mandats clairement définis pour créer un environnement porteur qui permettra la participation de tous les acteurs, à tous les niveaux.

Le réseau des points focaux nationaux Ramsar constitue l’épine dorsale technique pour le lancement et l’animation de WacoWet.

5.  Le plus tôt possible, une initiative régionale doit chercher à collaborer avec d’autres partenaires intergouvernementaux ou internationaux actifs dans la même région, par la mise en place d’activités qui se complètent sans toutefois se chevaucher.

Le WacoWet travaillera de façon synergique avec deux importantes initiatives en cours :

  • Large Marine Ecosystem of Gulf of Guinea
  • Centre for African Wetlands

6.  Le fonctionnement d’une initiative régionale doit reposer sur une base scientifique et technique forte, fournie par des institutions compétentes reconnues comme partenaires de l’initiative.

Les opportunités scientifiques existent au niveau de :

  • Large Marine Ecosystem of Gulf of Guinea

o        Centre for African Wetlands

o        DESS de l’Université de Ouagadougou.

Les centres de recherché au niveau des pays possèdent également des capacités scientifiques valorisables.

7.  Les objectifs stratégiques et opérationnels d’une initiative régionale doivent correspondre exactement à ceux du Plan stratégique de la Convention au moyen de travaux politiques et d’activités techniques appliquées.

Le WacoWet participe directement aux objectifs stratégiques suivants :

  • Objectif général no.1 sur l’utilisation rationnelle
  • Objectif général no.3 sur la coopération internationale
  • Objectif général no.4 sur la capacité de mise en œuvre

Les objectifs opérationnels suivants seront directement ciblés :

  • Gérer les zones humides de manière adaptée afin d’atténuer les incidences des changements climatiques et l’élévation du niveau marin
  • Restaurer et remettre en état les nombreuses zones humides dégradées ou détruites ainsi que leurs valeurs et fonctions économiques, écologiques et culturelles
  • Lutter contre les graves menaces que les espèces exotiques envahissantes font peser sur l’avenir des zones humides
  • Intensifier les activités de coopération internationale, notamment celles qui concernent les zones humides d’eau douce et côtières et les bassins hydrographiques transfrontières, et les espèces migratrices partagées dépendant des zones humides
  • Renforcer la coordination des activités régionales avec d’autres conventions régionales pertinentes
  • Échange d’avis spécialisés et d’informations par le jumelage et la création de réseaux de sites
  • Fournir des mécanismes efficaces de formation et de renforcement des capacités pour aider les parties contractantes à appliquer la Convention

APPUI FINANCIER ET AUTRE

 

8.  une initiative régionale a besoin aussi bien d’un appui politique que financier de la part des Parties contractantes et d’autres partenaires de la région. Un appui substantiel du pays hôte est particulièrement important s’il est prévu d’établir un bureau régional.

L’Agence Béninoise pour l’Environnement (ABE) héberge le bureau régional et mettra donc la logistique (bureau, facilités serveur internet) de démarrage pour le WacoWet. Aussi à travers le Projet de Gestion Communautaire de la Biodiversité Marine et Côtière (PGCBMC) du Bénin (2006-2010) financé par le FEM et le Gouvernement du Bénin, des ressources minima de base pour les premières activités de lancement du WacoWet sont prévues.

9.  Le lancement d’une initiative régionale ou sous-régionale doit compter sur un financement de départ assuré pour les activités et projets prévus.


ChadWet

Countries involved: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

Proposal submitted by: Nigeria

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

ChadWet is a subregional initiative for the Lake Chad Basin.

Its aim is to promote, and to contribute to the implementation, in the Lake Chad Basin, of the three pillars of the Ramsar Convention, ie:

1) Wetlands of International Importance

2) Wise Use of Wetlands

3) International Cooperation

 

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

- in cooperation with the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), a bottom-up approach has been implemented (mainly since 1999/2000) by the 5 member States of the LCBC.

- 3 of the LCBC member States are Ramsar Contracting Parties (Chad, Niger, Nigeria) and 2 (Cameroon and Central Africa Republic) are in the process of joining the Convention on Wetlands

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 1, large-scale designation of Ramsar Sites have been achieved and/or under way since 1999/2000 in the 3 Ramsar Contracting Parties (Chad, Niger, Nigeria), and are currently under preparation (together with their accession to Ramsar) in the other two Countries concerned by ChadWet

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 2, field implementation of Wise Use of Wetlands measures have been under way and/or planned in all five member States of the LCBC, mainly - but not exclusively - as part of the GEF Project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Lake Chad Basin

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 3, basin-wide international cooperation has been developping, since 1999/2000, between all 5 Countries of the Lake Chad Basin, particularly in the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and with support from the Ramsar Secretariat, Ramsar IOPs (particularly WWF, Wetlands International, IUCN) and other NGOs (such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation) and institutions

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

In addition to Ramsar Administrative Authorities in the 3 Ramsar CPs of the Lake Chad Basin (usually under Ministries responsible for Environment) and Wetlands Administrative contact people in the 2 yet non-CPs, the ChadWet subregional initiative entails the participation of:

- Ministries/Authorities responsible for Water Resources

- the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC, representing 5 Countries sharing the Lake Chad Basin), and its regular Council of Ministers Sessions, and Summits of Heads of States and Governments

- the Steering Committee of the GEF-LCBC Project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Lake Chad Basin

- International NGOs including WWF, Wetlands International, IUCN, etc.

- National NGOs such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF)

- the Ramsar Secretariat

- etc.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

- One of the origins of the ChadWet subregional initiative comes from Decision Nr 3 of the 10th Summit of LCBC Heads of States and Governments held on 28th July 2000 in N’Djamena, Chad: “Within the framework of a strategy to save the Lake Chad, the Heads of States took note of the efforts being made by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the World Wide Fund for Nature on Conservation and Restoration of the Lake and declared the Lake Chad a Trans-boundary Ramsar Site. Consequently, they urged all the member States that are yet to ratify the Ramsar Convention to speed up action in doing so”

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.chad_summit_e.htm)

- At the 2nd GEF International Waters Conference held in Dalian, China, from 25th to 29th September 2002 (attended by 186 participants representing 55 different GEF-IW projects), the ongoing cooperation between the Ramsar Bureau, WWF and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was jointly highlighted by Representatives of these 3 institutions.

In his conclusions, Mr. Alfred Duda - Chair of the closing Plenary of the Dalian Conference - “noted that regional assessments of GEF-IW projects should be presented during the next GEF International Waters Conference. in this regard, he proposed the Lake Chad Basin project and another one - still to be identified - in South America”

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.gef_intl_waters2.htm)

- ChadWet is also based on the Memorandum of Cooperation established between the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Ramsar, signed on 23rd November 2002 at Ramsar COP8 in Valencia, Spain (http://www.ramsar.org/key_lcbc_moc2002.htm)

- the concept of the ChadWet subregional Ramsar Initiative was presented by the LCBC Executive Secretary at the 5th meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee held from 12th-15th June 2003 in Izmir, Turkey.

Paragraph Nr 21 of the MedWet/Com5 meeting highlighted: “The Medirettranean Wetlands Committee NOTES with great satisfaction the launching of the Lake Chad Basin Initiative (ChadWet) in the framework of the cooperation developed between the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Ramsar, WWF and the GEF and inspired by the MedWet model, WELCOMES the participation at this meeting of the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mr. Muhammad Sani Adamu, and REQUESTS the MedWet Coordination Unit in accordance with Resolution VIII.30 to assist the establishment of ChadWet to the best of its ability”

(http://www.ramsar.org/key_medcom5_report.htm)

- the 51th Session of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (Ministerial Council), held from 21st to 22nd June 2004 in Abuja, Nigeria, “expressed satisfaction with the take-off of the Lake Chad Basin Initiative. To this effect, they decided that the five pilot projects undertaken within the framework of the LCBC/GEF project (all of them coinciding with existing or planned Ramsar sites in the Lake Chad Basin) be considered as concrete contribution to the ChadWet Initiative launched in June 2003 at Izmir (Turkey). In addition, they directed that the ChadWet Initiative be presented as a Ramsar Regional Initiative at the next Conference of the Parties in Kampala (Uganda) in November 2005, in accordance with Resolution VIII.30 of Ramsar”

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.chad_lcbc51.htm)

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

Collaboration already exist, or is being sought by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (including in support to the ChadWet) with:

- the GEF (in the framework of the GEF-LCBC Project Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Lake Chad Basin

- ANBO (African Network of Basin Organisations)

- AMCOW (African Ministerial Conference on Water)

- AMCEN (African Ministerial Conference on Environment)

- ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), particularly under chapters on Water and on Environment of the NEPAD)

- etc.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

- The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) has already provided, and will continue to provide scientific and technical backing to the ChadWet subregional initiative.

- Additional scientific and techical backing is already available, and will be further developped through:

- CILSS (Comité Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse au Sahel), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

- Wetlands International Database on Water Birds

- etc.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

- ChadWet has already been contributing (since 1999/2000), and is going to further contribute to all five General Objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008:

- General Objective 1: the Wise Use of Wetlands

- General Objective 2: Wetlands of International Importance

- General Objective 3: International cooperation

- General Objective 4: Implementation capacity

- General Objective 5: Membership (for two more Lake Chad Basin Countries still to join the Convention on Wetlands: Cameroon and Central African Republic)

- ChadWet has already been contributing (since 1999/2000), and is going to further contribute to selected Actions listed under most of the Operational Objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, particularly:

- Operational Objective 1: Inventory and Assessment

- Operational Objective 2: Policies and Legislation, including Impact Assessment and Valuation

- Operational Objective 3: Integration of Wetland Wise Use into Sustainable Development

- Operational Objective 4: Restoration and Rehabilitation

- Operational Objective 5: Invasive Alien Species

- Operational Objective 6: Local Communities, Indigenous People, and Cultural Values

- Operational Objective 9: Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA)

- Operational Objective 10: Designation of Ramsar Sites

- Operational Objective 11: Management Planning and Monitoring of Ramsar Sites

- Operational Objective 12: Management of Shared Water Resources, Wetlands and Wetland Species

- Operational Objective 13: Collaboration with Other Institutions

- Operational Objective 14: Sharing of Expertise and Information

- Operational Objective 15: Financing the Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands

- Operational Objective 18: Institutional Capacity of Contracting Parties

- Operational Objective 19: International Organizations Partners and Others

- Operational Objective 21: Membership of the Convention

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The ChadWet subregional initiative benefits from strong basin-wide political support, eg.:

- Decision Nr 3 of the 10th Summit of LCBC Heads of States and Government held on 28th July 2000 in N’Djamena, Chad: “Within the framework of a strategy to save the Lake Chad, The Heads of States took note of the efforts being made by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the World Wide Fund for Nature on Conservation and Restoration of the Lake and declared the Lake Chad a Trans-boundary Ramsar Site. Consequently, they urged all the member States that are yet to ratify the Ramsar Convention to speed up action in doing so”

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.chad_summit_e.htm)... 

- the 51th Session of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (Ministerial Council), held from 21st to 22nd June 2004 in Abuja, Nigeria, “expressed satisfaction with the take-off of the Lake Chad Basin Initiative. To this effect, they decided that the five pilot projects undertaken within the framework of the LCBC/GEF project (all of them coinciding with existing or planned Ramsar sites in the Lake Chad Basin) be considered as concrete contribution to the ChadWet Initiative launched in June 2003 at Izmir (Turkey). In addition, they directed that the ChadWet Initiative be presented as a Ramsar Regional Initiative at the next Conference of the Parties in Kampala (Uganda) in November 2005, in accordance with Resolution VIII.8 of Ramsar”

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.chad_lcbc51.htm)

 - The “Arusha Call for African Wetlands”: “We, Heads and Members of Delegations from the Africa Region, meeting at the Ramsar Africa Regional Preparatory meeting for COP9 in Arusha, Tanzania, from 4th-8th April 2005, hereby declare our resolve to......(para 7) SUPPORT the sub-regional Ramsar Initiatives for the Lake Chad Basin (ChadWet) and for the Niger Basin (NigerWet) to be presented for endorsement by Ramsar COP9”

 The ChadWet subregional initiative also benefits from already available financial support, including originating from:

 - WWF, through technical + funding support to large-scale designation of Ramsar Sites by Lake Chad Basin Countries, and accession process to the Convention on Wetlands by Cameroon and Central African Republic (ca. CHF 280.000.-- so far)

 - the GEF Project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Lake Chad Basin (ca. CHF 4.000.000.-- so far, in support to 5 GEF pilot field projects undertaken in existing/planned Ramsar Sites within the Lake Chad Basin)

 - etc.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

The ChadWet subregional initiative can already rely upon secured start-up funding for ongoing, and for various planned activities and projects (as part of various projects already under way and/or planned in the Lake Chad Basin - see provisional list of these projects under Nr 8 above).

While COP9 endorsement of ChadWet will be sought in November 2005 in Kampala, Uganda, no funding will be sought from the Ramsar Secretariat to support this subregional initiative for the 2005-2008 triennium

 

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

Same as above (see point Nr 9):

The ChadWet subregional initiative can already rely upon secured start-up funding for ongoing, and for various planned activities and projects (as part of various projects already under way and/or planned in the Lake Chad Basin - see provisional list of these projects under Nr 8 above).

While COP9 endorsement of ChadWet will be sought in November 2005 in Kampala, Uganda, no funding will be sought from the Ramsar Secretariat to support this subregional initiative for the 2005-2008 triennium

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

- the Headquarters of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in N’Djamena, Chad, is the host of the ChadWet subregional initiative.

- the LCBC Executive Secretariat will play a key coordination role for the ChadWet initiative. It will offer in-kind contribution to ChadWet including office space and facilities (electricity, telephone, water, internet, etc.) as well as support staff (mainly as part of the GEF project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Lake Chad Basin)

- Progress and further developments of the ChadWet subregional initiative will be coordinated, monitored and planned in particular:

- in conjunction with regular, yearly meetings of the LCBC Council of Ministers

- in conjunction with (irregular) Summits of the Heads of States and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission/LCBC

- in conjunction with future Ramsar Africa Regional Preparatory meetings for Ramsar COPs - beyond COP9

- in conjunction with future Ramsar COPs

- at any other Workshop, Meeting or Conference which might be relevant for further progressing the ChadWet subregional initiative

- beyond the expected endorsement of ChadWet as a subregional Ramsar Initiative for the Lake Chad Basin, a mechanism will be explored and established, by which the Ramsar Standing Committee will be able to receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on the activities of ChadWet

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

Same as above (point 11):

beyond the expected endorsement of ChadWet as a subregional Ramsar Initiative for the Lake Chad Basin, a mechanism will be explored and established, by which the Ramsar Standing Committee will be able to receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on the activities of ChadWet


NigerWet

Countries involved: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria

Proposal submitted by: Nigeria

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

NigerWet is a subregional initiative for the Niger River Basin.

Its aim is to promote, and to contribute to the implementation in the Niger Basin, of the three pillars of the Ramsar Convention, ie:

1) Wetlands of International Importance

2) Wise Use of Wetlands

3) International Cooperation

 

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

- in cooperation with the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), a bottom-up approach has been implemented (mainly since 1999/2000) by the 9 member States of the NBA.

- 8 of the NBA member States are Ramsar Contracting Parties (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria) and 1 (Cameroon) is currently in the process of joining the Convention on Wetlands

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 1, large-scale designation of Ramsar Sites have been achieved and/or under way, since 1999/2000, in at least Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and are under way/planned in the other three Countries involved in NigerWet

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 2, field implementation of Wise Use of Wetlands measures have been achieved and/or under way, since 1999/2000, in at least Guinea, Mali, Niger, etc., and are under way/planned in the other 6 Countries

- under Ramsar Pillar Nr 3, basin-wide international cooperation has been developping, since 1999/2000, between all 9 Countries of the Niger River Basin, including in the framework of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and with support from the Ramsar Secretariat, Ramsar IOPs (particularly WWF and Wetlands International) and other NGOs (such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation) and institutions

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

In addition to Ramsar/Wetlands Administrative Authorities in the 9 Niger Basin Countries (usually under Ministries responsible for Environment), the NigerWet subregional initiative entails the participation of:

- Ministries/Authorities responsible for Water Resources

- the Niger Basin Authority (NBA, representing all 9 Countries sharing the Niger Basin), and its regular Council of Ministers Sessions, and Summits of Heads of States and Governments

- International NGOs including WWF, Wetlands International, etc.

- National NGOs such as the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF)

- the Ramsar Secretariat

- Academia/Research institutions such as the University of Bamako, the IRD (Institut pour la Recherche et le Développement), etc.

- the Civil Society, represented by Mayors of Communities

- etc.

 

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

- One of the origins of the NigerWet subregional initiative is Decision Nr 6 of the 7th Summit of NBA Heads of States and Governments held on 16th February 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria: “The 7th Summit..... DECIDES.... that the member countries should initiate the designation of an additional network of wetlands of international importance in the River Niger basin, including those with the highest value in terms of their biological diversity and importance for local communities

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.niger_basin_workshop%2Bletter2.htm)

- NigerWet partly results from the Ministerial meeting of NBA member States held in Niamey, Niger (as part of the GEF-Niger Basin Regional Workshop) on 18th April 2002

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.niger_basin_workshop%2Bletter4.htm),

the outcomes of which were conveyed to H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the U.N., by joint letter from WWF’s Director General, the NBA’s Executive Secretary and the Ramsar Secretary General dated 19th April 2002

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.niger_basin_workshop%2Bletter3.htm)

- NigerWet is also based on the Memorandum of Cooperation established between the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and Ramsar, signed on 23rd November 2002 at Ramsar COP8 in Valencia, Spain (http://www.ramsar.org/key_nigerba_moc2002.htm)

- With advice of Mr. Thymio Papayannis (Senior Adviser, MedWet) and support from WWF and the Danone Group, NigerWet was conceived and established in January 2004 in Mopti, Mali, at a Workshop organized under the joint auspices of Ramsar, WWF and the Niger Basin Authority/NBA.

(http://www.ramsar.org/mtg_mali_wwf_niger_reseau_recommendations_f.htm)

- NigerWet collaborates with/encompasses the Niger Basin Initiative (NBI): a cooperation framework between WWF, Wetlands International and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), in support to Wetlands Conservation and Sustainable Use in the Niger Basin. Supported in particular by funding from DGIS, the NBI’s aims to:

- establish and develop the scientific knowledge-base of wetlands and priority areas of high biodiversity in the Niger Basin

- promote and support the integrated river basin management (IRBM) of the Niger Basin

- support the implementation, in the Niger Basin, of Decisions made under relevant International Institutions/Treaties including Ramsar, CBD, etc.

- NigerWet also narrowly cooperates with/is associated to/includes components of:

- the GEF Project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Niger Basin

- the African Development Bank Project “Combat siltation of the Niger River” (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger)

- the ongoing development process of “Shared Vision for the Niger Basin” and of “Sustainable Developmen Action Plan” (coordinated by the Niger Basin Authority/NBA and supported in particular by the World Bank, the AFD, the CIDA, etc.)

- etc.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

Collaboration already exist, or is being sought by the Niger Basin Authority (including in support to the NigerWet) with:

- ANBO (African Network of Basin Organisations)

- AMCOW (African Ministerial Conference on Water)

- AMCEN (African Ministerial Conference on Environment)

- ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), particularly under chapters on Water and on Environment of the NEPAD)

- ALG (Autorité du Liptako-Gourma)

- etc.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

- The Niger Basin Authority (NBA) has already provided, and will continue to provide a strong scientific and technical backing to the NigerWet subregional initiative

- Additional scientific and techical backing is already available, and will be further developped through:

- CILSS/Agrhymet (Comité Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse au Sahel), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

- PIREM (Plateforme des Institutions Régionales

sur l’Environnement et la Météorologie), Niamey, Niger

- Wetlands International Database on Water Birds

- University of Bamako & University of Niamey (additional exploratory contacts under way with Universities in other NBA Countries

- GWP/Global Water Partnership for West Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

- etc.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

- NigerWet has already been contributing (since 1999/2000), and is going to further contribute to all five General Objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008:

- General Objective 1: the Wise Use of Wetlands

- General Objective 2: Wetlands of International Importance

- General Objective 3: International cooperation

- General Objective 4: Implementation capacity

- General Objective 5: Membership (for one more Niger Basin Authority still to join the Convention on Wetlands: Cameroon)

- NigerWet has already been contributing (since 1999/2000), and is going to further contribute to selected Actions listed under most of the Operational Objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, particularly:

- Operational Objective 1: Inventory and Assessment

- Operational Objective 2: Policies and Legislation, including Impact Assessment and Valuation

- Operational Objective 3: Integration of Wetland Wise Use into Sustainable Development

- Operational Objective 4: Restoration and Rehabilitation

- Operational Objective 5: Invasive Alien Species

- Operational Objective 6: Local Communities, Indigenous People, and Cultural Values

- Operational Objective 7: Private Sector Involvement

- Operational Objective 9: Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA)

- Operational Objective 10: Designation of Ramsar Sites

- Operational Objective 11: Management Planning and Monitoring of Ramsar Sites

- Operational Objective 12: Management of Shared Water Resources, Wetlands and Wetland Species

- Operational Objective 13: Collaboration with Other Institutions

- Operational Objective 14: Sharing of Expertise and Information

- Operational Objective 15: Financing the Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands

- Operational Objective 18: Institutional Capacity of Contracting Parties

- Operational Objective 19: International Organizations Partners and Others

- Operational Objective 20: Training

- Operational Objective 21: Membership of the Convention

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The NigerWet subregional initiative benefits from strong basin-wide political support, eg.:

- Decision Nr 6 of the 7th Summit of NBA Heads of States and Governments held on 16th February 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria: “The 7th Summit..... DECIDES.... that the member countries should initiate the designation of an additional network of wetlands of international importance in the River Niger basin, including those with the highest value in terms of their biological diversity and importance for local communities

(http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.niger_basin_workshop%2Bletter2.htm)

- Resolution Nr 3 of the 23rd NBA Ministerial Coucil Meeting held on 6th-10th September 2004 in Cotonou, Benin: “The 23rd Meeting of the NBA Council of Ministers.....:

....considering Ramsar Resolution VIII.30.....

....considering Recommendations of the Workshop held in Mopti, Mali...

DECIDE:

....establishment of a Ramsar Network for the Niger Basin “NigerWet” under auspices of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat

- The “Arusha Call for African Wetlands”: “We, Heads and Members of Delegations from the Africa Region, meeting at the Ramsar Africa Regional Preparatory meeting for COP9 in Arusha, Tanzania, from 4th-8th April 2005, hereby declare our resolve to......(para 7) SUPPORT the sub-regional Ramsar Initiatives for the Lake Chad Basin (ChadWet) and for the Niger Basin (NigerWet) to be presented for endorsement by Ramsar COP9”

The NigerWet subregional initiative also benefits from already available financial support, including originating from:

- WWF: technical + funding support to large-scale designation of Ramsar Sites by Niger Basin Countries, for the preparation of National Wetlands Policies/Strategies by NBA member States, for preparation and implementation of Sustainable management plans of various Niger Basin Ramsar Sites, etc.)

- Wetlands International: technical + funding support to field-based wetlands conservations projects in various Ramsar Contracting Parties of the Niger Basin, including the “Water for Food/Water for Ecosystems Project” in the Niger Inner Delta (funded by DGIS/LNV)

- the GEF Project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Niger Basin

- the African Development Bank Project “Combat siltation of the Niger River” (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger)

- the ongoing development process of “Shared Vision for the Niger Basin” and of “Sustainable Development Action Plan” (coordinated by the Niger Basin Authority/NBA and supported in particular by the World Bank, the AFD, the CIDA, etc.)

- etc.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

The NigerWet subregional initiative can already rely upon secured start-up funding for ongoing, and for various planned activities and projects (as part of various projects already under way and/or planned in the Niger River Basin - see provisional list of these projects under Nr 8 above).

While COP9 endorsement of NigerWet will be sought in November 2005 in Kampala, Uganda, no funding will be sought from the Ramsar Secretariat to support this subregional initiative for the 2005-2008 triennium

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

Same as above (see point Nr 9):

The NigerWet subregional initiative can already rely upon secured start-up funding for ongoing, and for various planned activities and projects (as part of various projects already under way and/or planned in the Niger River Basin - see provisional list of these projects under Nr 8 above).

While COP9 endorsement of NigerWet will be sought in November 2005 in Kampala, Uganda, no funding will be sought from the Ramsar Secretariat to support this subregional initiative for the 2005-2008 triennium

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

- the HeadQuarters of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) in Niamey, Niger, is the host of the NigerWet subregional initiative.

- the NBA Executive Secretariat will play a key coordination role for the NigerWet initiative. It will offer in-kind contribution to NigerWet including office space and facilities (electricity, telephone, water, internet, etc.) as well as support staff (mainly as part of the GEF project “Reversing Land and Water Degradation Trends” in the Niger Basin

(NB: the WWF Freswhater Programme Coordinator for the Niger Basin is also hosted at the HeadQuarters of the Niger Basin Authority, and will cooperate on a daily basis with the NBA to the coordination & further development of the NigerWet subregional initiative)

- Progress and further developments of the NigerWet subregional initiative will be coordinated, monitored and planned in particular:

- in conjunction with regular, yearly meetings of the NBA Council of Ministers

- in conjunction with (irregular) Summits of the Heads of States and Governments of the Niger Basin Authority/NBA

- in conjunction with future Ramsar Africa Regional Preparatory meetings for Ramsar COPs - beyond COP9

- in conjunction with future Ramsar COPs

- at any other Workshop, Meeting or Conference which might be relevant for further progressing the NigerWet subregional initiative

- beyond the expected endorsement of NigerWet as a subregional Ramsar Initiative for the Niger Basin, a mechanism will be explored and established, by which the Ramsar Standing Committee will be able to receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on the activities of NigerWet

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

Same as above (point 11):

beyond the expected endorsement of NigerWet as a subregional Ramsar Initiative for the Niger Basin, a mechanism will be explored and established, by which the Ramsar Standing Committee will be able to receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on the activities of NigerWet


WSSD Type II Partnership for the conservation and sustainable use of sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds in East Asia South East Asia and Australasia (The Partnership)

Countries involved: Japan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, United States of America, and Viet Nam.

Proposal submitted by: Japan & Australia

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg in September 2002, Japan, Australia and Wetlands International co-sponsored a Type II partnership initiative on migratory birds designed to build on the cooperative activities established under the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy.

·          The main purpose of the Partnership is to encourage international cooperation on the conservation and sustainable use of internationally important migratory bird sites; and to encourage the sharing of information, exchanging of data, cooperative research, and capacity building.

The objectives of the Partnership are to:

§         Promote the conservation and sustainable use of a network of sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway.

§         Promote exchange of information and data on migration research, population monitoring and site management activities for internationally important sites for migratory waterbirds in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway.

§         Enhance public awareness of the importance of conserving migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

§         Build capacity for network site managers and communities that share habitat with these species to harmonize conservation activities with sustainable use principles.

§         Provide an international framework to promote dialogue and cooperation between a range of stakeholders including national, state and local governments, site management agencies and owners, Conventions, technical institutions, development agencies, industrial and private sector, academe, non-government organisations, community groups and local people who share a responsibility in conserving a common international resource.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

The Partnership will encourage and assist Network site managers to engage local neighbouring communities in conservation and sustainable use activities, particularly where mutual benefits can be established. [ecotourism, employment opportunities, social and economic benefits] It will also encourage the development of Site and National level Partnerships that will promote the wise use of wetlands.

Throughout the East Asian – Australasian Flyway there are 22 countries. Sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds have been identified in almost all of these countries. As a matter of priority the Partnership is seeking to engage as many as possible of the Ramsar contracting Parties in the Flyway.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

The Partnership is open to Governments, Inter-Governmental Organisations, International non-Government organisations (including national non-Government organisations that coordinate waterbird conservation activities in more than one country in the Flyway) and the international business sector, which have committed to actions under this Partnership.

The first meeting to discuss the Partnership was held in November 2004 in the Republic of Korea. Potential Partners (22 Governments, 7 Inter-Governmental organisations, and 4 International non-Government organisations) were invited to attend.

A working group made up of 5 Governments, (Japan, Australia, Philippines, Bangladesh and America) 1 inter-Governmental organisation (Ramsar Bureau), 3 international non-Government organisations (Wetlands International, Birdlife International and WWF) and the 3 chairs of the existing technical working groups of the Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy was established to develop the Partnership.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

The effective conservation of migratory waterbirds across the East Asian-Australasian Flyway requires international cooperation between countries and communities that have responsibility for important habitat with these species.

It was recognized that a Partnership would enhance collaboration between a range of stakeholders including governments, site management agencies and owners, Conventions, technical institutions, development agencies, industrial and private sector, academe, non-government organisations, community groups and local people who share a responsibility in conserving a common international resource, and contribute towards achieving the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

The Partnership will be useful in building on existing initiatives, mainly on the ‘Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005’ (the Strategy) and its associated Action Plans.

Other Intergovernmental organizations invited to participate include, but are not limited to the following:

§         Convention on Migratory Species

§         United Nations Development Program

§         United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

§         Asian Development Bank

§         The World Conservation Union

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

An important element of the plan will be the promotion of the site network approach to conservation of internationally important habitat.

It is anticipated that the Partnership will provide for the development of a scientific consultative committee drawn from government and non-government organisations with scientific expertise in wetlands and migratory waterbirds across the Flyway. The Working Group will review nominations to the site network to ensure that the site meets the criteria for inclusion in the network and if applicable make recommendations to the Migratory Waterbird Partnership Committee to include the site in the network. The Working Group will prepare an annual workplan which identifies priority research and monitoring activities throughout the Flyway.

Relevant international institutions with scientific expertise in Wetlands and Migratory Waterbird issues, including, but not limited to, Wetlands International, Birdlife International and the World Wide Fund for Nature should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

The strategic and operational targets of the regional initiative are fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and technical work and activities.

 

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The Partnership will be useful in building on achievements of existing initiatives, including the ‘Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005’ (the Strategy) and its associated Action Plans.

The Strategy and its Action Plans are due to conclude at the end of 2005. The WSSD Type II partnership will be a way to continue the work that has been achieved through that process, by moving into a new phase. This new phase may help overcome some limitations of the Strategy, including a lack of commitment from governments, some difficulty in securing funds, and a general lack of profile in the region.

The Partnership offers a more formal framework for the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the region, including the ability for states to sign on to the Partnership in the form of a non-legally binding arrangement.

By linking the Partnership to broader Government objectives of sustainable development it is the aim of the Partners to increase commitment of governments to migratory bird conservation activities in the region.

No regional office is proposed at this stage, but a Partner or organization will be engaged to coordinate activities under the Partnership.

The main source of funding for the initiative is likely to initially be the Governments of Japan and Australia. As Governments sign on and commit to the objectives of the Partnership financial (assessed) contributions will be encouraged in line with level of development.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

The commitment of the Governments of Japan and Australia to this initiative ensures that adequate funding will be made available for start up activities and projects.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

It is expected that the initiative will generate its own funding and be self sufficient in the long term. However it would be encouraged that the Convention provide technical and scientific support for some activities and other in-kind support as well as fund a representative to attend meetings of the Partnership.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

Each Partner to the Partnership will be represented on the Committee (Migratory Waterbird Partnership Committee (MWPC)) that will be established to oversee implementation of the Partnership. The MWPC will report to the Standing Committee and the Conference of the Parties on the activities carried out under the Partnership that relate to the policies of the Convention.

Technical Working Groups will also be established to advise on priority actions of the Partnership.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

It is preferable that the Ramsar Secretariat will participate as a Partner in the WSSD Type II Partnership for the conservation and sustainable use of sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds.


Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands
[Estrategia Regional de Conservación y Uso Sostenible de los Humedales Altoandinos]

(see COP9 DOC.26 for the text of the Regional Strategy, in English and Spanish)

Countries involved: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica

Proposal submitted by: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica

 

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

The goal is the conservation and wise use of wetlands and wetland complexes in páramos, jalca, puna and other High Andean ecosystems.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

Involves those countries situated along the Andean mountain range (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), as well as Costa Rica as it hosts páramos with similar characteristics as those found in the Andes.

 

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

Constructive participatory process promoted by the Contact Group on High Andean Wetlands, composed of the Ramsar focal points of seven Andean countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela – and Costa Rica, the Ramsar Secretariat, the Ramsar International Organisation Partners (IUCN, WWF, Wetlands International, BirdLife International), the Ramsar Regional Centre in Panama (CREHO) and two specialised technical networks, and the International Working Group on Páramos (Grupo Páramo) and the High Andes Flamingos Conservation Group (GCFA), enriched, complemented and validated with the contribution of numerous governmental and non-governmental actors.

In the national arena, the Strategy has the intention of being linked from the moment of its inception to national/state/local development policies and plans of action, with emphasis on topics relating to biodiversity (National Biodiversity Strategy), water resources (National Water Action Plans), watersheds, agriculture, tourism and culture, among others.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

Suggests the participation of national and local governmental bodies, indigenous, peasant and black communities, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, academic and research institutions, in coordination with supranational agencies like the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), MERCOSUR, the international organisations associated to the Ramsar Convention, and the technical networks that work in páramos and punas, among other interested parties. Its development and implementation stages are directed toward local, rural and urban beneficiary communities, non-governmental organisations, the private sector (industry, trade, tourism, agriculture and mining, among others) and academic and research institutions related to the conservation and wise use of High Andean wetlands.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

The Contact Group on High Andean Wetlands includes, besides the Ramsar focal points and the Ramsar Secretariat, the Ramsar International Organisation Partners (IUCN, WWF, Wetlands International, BirdLife International), the Regional Ramsar Centre (CREHO) and two specialized technical networks, the International Working Group on Páramos (Grupo Páramo) and the High Andes Flamingos Conservation Group (GCFA).

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Technical networks have been developed dealing with High Andean wetlands, such as the International Working Group on Páramos (Grupo Páramo) and the High Andes Flamingos Conservation Group (GCFA). The Grupo Páramo involves governmental and non-governmental organisations, research centres and representatives from the private sector of the countries with páramos and other countries with similar ecosystems. The GCFA involves Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru, and is composed of governmental and non-governmental institutions and universities from the four countries.

Other academic and research institutions working for the conservation and wise use of High Andean wetlands also participate.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

The Strategy will contribute to compliance with General Objective 1 of the Strategic Plan of the Convention: The wise use of wetlands. Favours the implementation of Resolution VIII.39: “High Andean Wetlands as Strategic Ecosystems”, consistent and complementary to Resolutions VIII.5, VIII.11, VIII.12 (“Enhancing the Wise Use and Conservation of Mountain Wetlands”), and VIII.17, as well as compliance with Operational Objectives 1.2; 2.2; 3.1; 3.2; 3.4; 4.1; 6.1; 7.1; 8.1; 9.1;10.1 (specifically Action 10.1.2 which recommends paying special attention to the designation of under-represented wetland types in the Ramsar List, among others, mountain wetlands); 11.1; 11.2; 12.1; 12.2; 12.3; 13.1; 14.1; 15.1; 15.2; 18.1; 19.1; 20.1.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

Has the support of the focal points of all the involved Contracting Parties, the organisations associated to the Convention and the participation of various local and regional organizations.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

A financial strategy is being developed in which potential national and international sources of funds and national funding mechanisms are being identified.

As part of the financial strategy a portfolio of projects is being elaborated in order to guarantee that the initiative will be put into practice.

Different projects are currently being developed in the region that fall within the scope of the High Andean Regional Strategy objectives.

The private sector has communicated its interest in supporting this strategy.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

The Strategy will be submitted for consideration in the next Conference of the Parties (COP 9, Uganda, November 2005) for its adoption and eventual request for financial resources.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

The constitution of a Management and Follow-up Committee for the Strategy is being envisaged. Until now the Contact Group is in charge of the coordination tasks.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

The Ramsar Secretariat integrates the Contact Group through the Senior Advisor for the Americas.

Estrategia Regional de Conservación y Uso Sostenible de los Humedales Altoandinos
[Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands]

Países participantes: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica

Propuesta presentada por: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica

Resolución VIII.30 de la COP8 Orientaciones Iniciativa regional propuesta

Resolución VIII.30 de la COP8 Orientaciones

Iniciativa regional propuesta

 

PROPÓSITO

 

1.  El propósito general de las iniciativas regionales debería ser promover los objetivos de la Convención en general y la ejecución del Plan Estratégico de Ramsar en particular, mediante la cooperación regional y subregional respecto de las cuestiones de interés común relacionadas con los humedales.

Su propósito es la conservación y uso sostenible de los humedales y complejos de humedales en ecosistemas de páramo, jalca y puna, y otros ecosistemas altoandinos.

ELEMENTOS SUSTANTIVOS

 

2.  Las iniciativas regionales y subregionales deberían basarse en un enfoque de abajo hacia arriba. Como cuestión prioritaria, debería procurarse desde el principio la participación del máximo número posible de Partes Contratantes de la región o subregión comprendidas en la nueva iniciativa.

Involucra a los países que son atravesados por la Cordillera de los Andes (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú y Venezuela), además de Costa Rica en cuyo territorio existen páramos con las mismas características ecológicas de los páramos andinos.

 

3.  Cada iniciativa debería suponer la participación, desde el principio, no sólo de las Autoridades Administrativas responsables de la aplicación de la Convención en las Partes Contratantes interesadas, sino también de todos los demás interesados directos concernidos directa o indirectamente por las cuestiones concernientes a los humedales, comprendidos los ministerios responsables del medio ambiente y de las cuestiones hídricas, organismos intergubernamentales, organizaciones no gubernamentales, el mundo académico y los agentes económicos.

Proceso de construcción colectiva promovido por el Grupo de Contacto sobre Humedales Altoandinos, compuesto por los puntos focales Ramsar de siete países andinos – Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Perú y Venezuela-, y Costa Rica, la Oficina de Ramsar, las organizaciones internacionales asociadas a esta Convención (UICN, WWF, Wetlands International, BirdLife International), el Centro Regional Ramsar (CREHO) y dos redes técnicas especializadas, el Grupo Internacional de Trabajo en Páramo (Grupo Páramo) y el Grupo para la Conservación de Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA), Enriquecido, completado y validado con el aporte de los numerosos actores interesados gubernamentales y no gubernamentales.

En el plano nacional, la Estrategia esta enmarcada en la Política Nacional para Humedales Interiores de Colombia.

4.  Toda iniciativa regional debería basarse en la creación de redes de colaboración establecidas con mandatos claramente definidos, y crear y propiciar de esta manera un marco que favorezca la participación de todos los interesados directos a todos los niveles.

Propone la participación de los organismos gubernamentales nacionales y locales, las comunidades indígenas, campesinas y negras, el sector productivo, las organizaciones no gubernamentales e instituciones académicas y de investigación, en coordinación con instancias supranacionales como la Convención de Ramsar, el Convenio de la Diversidad Biológica (CDB), la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN), la Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), el MERCOSUR, las organizaciones internacionales asociadas a la Convención de Ramsar, y las redes técnicas que trabajan en páramos y punas, entre otros actores interesados. Para su desarrollo y ejecución, está dirigida a las comunidades locales, rurales y urbanas beneficiarias, a los entes gubernamentales locales y nacionales, a las organizaciones no gubernamentales, sector productivo (v.g. industria, comercio, turismo, agricultura, minería, otros) e instituciones académicas y de investigación relacionadas con la conservación y uso racional de los humedales altoandinos.

5.  En una primera etapa, toda iniciativa regional debería procurar colaborar con otros asociados intergubernamentales o internacionales que realicen actividades en la región, estableciendo actividades complementarias que no se dupliquen.

El Grupo de Contacto sobre Humedales Altoandinos, incluye además de los puntos focales Ramsar a la Oficina de Ramsar, las organizaciones internacionales asociadas a esta Convención (UICN, WWF, Wetlands International, BirdLife International), el Centro Regional Ramsar (CREHO) y dos redes técnicas especializadas, el Grupo Internacional de Trabajo en Páramo (Grupo Páramo) y el Grupo para la Conservación de Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA).

6.  La actividad de toda iniciativa regional debería basarse en un sólido respaldo científico y técnico, proporcionado por instituciones idóneas, a las que se debería reconocer la condición de asociadas a la iniciativa.

Se han desarrollado redes técnicas relativas a los ecosistemas altoandinos, como la del Grupo Internacional de Trabajo en Páramos (Grupo Páramo) y el Grupo para la Conservación de los Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA). El Grupo Páramo involucra a organizaciones gubernamentales, no gubernamentales, centros de investigación y representantes del sector privado de los países con páramos y de otros países con ecosistemas similares. El GCFA involucra a Argentina, Bolivia, Chile y Perú, está conformado por instituciones gubernamentales, organizaciones no gubernamentales, y universidades de los cuatro países.

Además participarán en el ámbito nacional otras instituciones como autoridades ambientales, la academia y de investigación relacionadas con la conservación y uso racional de los humedales altoandinos.

7.  Las metas estratégicas y operativas de toda iniciativa regional deberían ceñirse estrictamente a Plan Estratégico de la Convención por medio de políticas, actividades y trabajos técnicos en los sitios.

La Estrategia contribuirá al cumplimiento de

 Objetivo General 1 del Plan Estratégico de la Convención: El uso racional de los humedales. Propicia la implementación de la Resolución VIII.39: “Los humedales altoandinos como ecosistemas estratégicos”, afín y complementaria con la VIII.5, VIII.11, VIII.12 (“Mejorar el uso racional y la conservación de los humedales de montaña”), y VIII.17, así como el cumplimiento de los Objetivos Operativos 1.2; 2.2; 3.1; 3.2; 3.4; 4.1; 6.1; 7.1; 8.1; 9.1; 10.1 (específicamente la Acción 10.1.2 que recomienda prestar atención prioritaria a la designación de sitios de los tipos de humedales insuficientemente representados en la Lista de Ramsar, entre otros, humedales de montaña); 11.1; 11.2; 12.1; 12.2; 12.3; 13.1; 14.1; 15.1; 15.2; 18.1; 19.1; 20.1.

APOYO FINANCIERO Y DE OTRA CLASE

 

8.  Toda iniciativa regional requiere apoyo político y financiero de las Partes Contratantes y otros asociados de la región. Un apoyo sustancial del país anfitrión es especialmente importante para establecer una oficina regional.

Cuenta con el apoyo de los puntos focales de todas las Partes Contratantes involucradas, las organizaciones asociadas a la Convención y participan de la misma distintas organizaciones de orden local en la región.

9.  El lanzamiento de toda iniciativa regional o subregional debería descansar en una financiación inicial segura para las actividades y proyectos previstos.

Se está definiendo una estrategia financiera, en la cual se identifican posibles fuentes de financiamiento internacionales y mecanismos financieros nacionales.

Como parte de la estrategia financiera se encuentra en elaboración un portafolio de proyectos a fin de garantizar que la iniciativa sea puesta en práctica.

Se están desarrollando en la región diferentes proyectos que se encuentran en el marco de los objetivos de la ERHA

10. Si la Conferencia de las Partes así lo decidiera, se prestará asistencia financiera con cargo al presupuesto central de la Convención durante un período predeterminado – en principio, de no más de tres años. Dicho apoyo debería eliminarse al cabo de ese período –. Toda iniciativa regional debería generar sus propios recursos y desarrollar, en el largo plazo, la capacidad de valerse por sus propios medios financieros. Al decidirse qué apoyo financiero se prestará con cargo al presupuesto central de la Convención debería tomarse en consideración el principio de la distribución geográfica equitativa.

La Estrategia será puesta a consideración de la próxima Conferencia de las Partes de la Convención de Ramsar (COP 9, Uganda, Noviembre de 2005) para su adopción y eventual solicitud de asistencia financiera.

GOBERNANZA

 

11. Las iniciativas regionales deberían establecer sus propios mecanismos de asesoramiento, haciendo participar a todos los interesados directos, a fin de proporcionar orientación e ideas. La Conferencia de las Partes y el Comité Permanente recibirán, por conducto de la Oficina de Ramsar, informes sobre sus actividades y supervisarán sus políticas generales relacionadas con la aplicación de la Convención.

Está prevista la conformación de un Comité de Gestión y Seguimiento de la Estrategia, con todos los Puntos Focales Ramsar. Se propuso que Argentina como representante regional ante el Comité Permanente realice la tarea de retroalimentación entre todos los participantes.

12. La Oficina, bajo la dirección del Comité Permanente, debería establecer mecanismos específicos de coordinación entre toda iniciativa regional y la Convención y esos mecanismos deberían ser aprobados en última instancia por la Conferencia de las Partes.

La Oficina de Ramsar integra el Grupo de Contacto a través de la Consejera para las Américas.

ii) Regional (and subregional) centres for training and capacity-building:

Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in Western and Central Asia (RRC-CWA) in Iran

Countries involved: Western and Central Asian countries

Proposal submitted by: Islamic Republic of Iran

 COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

Overall Goal

The RRC-CWA will enhance the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the region through training, research, advocacy and public awareness programmes. It will:

o        Build human capacity and engage in outreach

o        Promote scientific and technical cooperation and exchange of knowledge,

o        including traditional knowledge,

o        Promote wise use of wetlands through research and sustainable management

o        Encourage accession of non contacting parties in the region.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

The 8th Conference of Parties to Ramsar Convention held in Valencia, Spain from 18 to 26 November 2002 agreed to the creation a Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in Western and Central Asia in Ramsar city, in Islamic Republic of Iran, by adopting Resolution VIII.41.

So this Center will try to involve Contracting and non-Contracting Parties through:

o        Coordinate and hold courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, meetings at national, regional and international levels in order to expand the knowledge of wetlands and about the Convention;

o        Promote and coordinate scientific research and study in the region in order to expand knowledge of wetland functions and values, their biodiversity and indicators of ecological characteristics, and also regarding the economic valuation and management of the ecosystems with the purpose of prompting their sustainability and conservation, including through nomination of wetlands of international importance.

o        Produce of information and bibliographical material where possible in a range of languages contributing to better knowledge of wetlands through printed and electronic means.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

For involving all stakeholders we have a plan to form Administrative bodies of the Center as below:

The Center will be made up of the following bodies:

A.      The Collaborative Management Board

B.      The Secretariat

The Collaborative Management Board formed initially of the

following members will administer the Center;

1.       A representative of the Iranian Government, who will act as the chair; The representative of the government on the Management Board will be the Head of the Department of the Environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or whoever he/she designates for the purpose;

2.       The West and Central Asia representative(s) on the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention.

3.       A representative of Ramsar Secretariat;

4.       One representative of the International Organisation Partners of the Ramsar Convention;

5.       One representative of Iranian NGOs, and two representatives of NGOs from other countries.

6.       One representative from UNESCO through the National Committee of UNESCO and one representative from UNDP.

7.       One representative of DoE Mazandaran.

8.       Executive Director as ex-officio member.

Donor countries and Institutions (such as Universities) interested in participating in the work of the Center will be invited to attend as appropriate. So in this administrative body all stakeholders are involved and each initiative will entail the participation, including local people through representative of NGOs and all representatives can discuss on wetlands issues that they are faced with.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

Promote and coordinate scientific research and study in the region in order to expand knowledge of wetland functions and values, their biodiversity and indicators of ecological characteristics, and also regarding the economic valuation and management of the ecosystems with the purpose of prompting their sustainability and conservation, including through nomination of wetlands of international importance

Coordinate the establishment of a network to collect and disseminate information;

Encourage the countries in the region to establish wetland education centers and establish a network between these centers

Produce of information and bibliographical material where possible in a range of languages contributing to better knowledge of wetlands through printed and electronic means

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

There is a lot of opportunity for collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners including CEP (Caspian environmental program) and ECO in region. There is also numbers of project with UNDP/GEF in Iran and other country in this region. For example Iranian wetlands conservation project, can support center for held workshops and making network among countries and sharing information and set up management plan for conservation of wetlands that have same ecological characteristic. We also have a plan to involve wetlands international with wetland projects in the region through the UNDP projects.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Enter into agreements for technical cooperation, technology transfer and research with universities, research centers, government and non-government agencies and other Wetland Centers at local, regional and global level.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

As the Center has just started its work, it does not yet have its own strategic and operation plan, yet but we have a plan to design it base on Ramsar Convention guidelines during this year. The Center will also:

Develop assistance and consultation activities aimed at the study and management of the wetlands;

Facilitate a harmonised approach to scientific monitoring on wetlands and their components in the region, for processing, studying and exchanging relevant information to assist decision-making processes

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The government assumes the obligation of carrying out the steps required to obtain premises appropriate to the Center’s activities;

Within the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Center will be granted the legal status required to carry out its functions;

The Center, its officials, technicians and experts will be granted the same privileges and immunities granted in the Islamic Republic of Iran to the officials of the international organizations;

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

The government shall commit itself to contribute as much as possible to the budget of the Center.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

The following financial mechanisms will be developed:

o        Request for financial support from the convention’s core budget for first three years.

o        The government will allocate budget for center annually.

o        A trust fund will be established to meet the expenditures of the Center. The Management Board decides about the budget lines and the expenditure biannually;

o        The Center may receive grants, donations, bequests and legacies made by interested persons or legal entities, national or foreign, public or private sectors and NGOs on voluntary basis.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

The advisory mechanism will be the Collaborative Management Board.

The functions of the Collaborative Management Board will be:

1.       Strategic Guidance for the Center, based on the ToR;

2.       Approval of the programs and activities of the Center;

3.       Approval of the Center’s budget;

4.       Review of the biannual reports submitted by the Executive Director of the Center and provision of any guidelines considered necessary;

5.       Approval of the financial regulations of the Center;

6.       Meeting in biannual regular sessions and in special sessions called by the Chair or at the request of at least half of the members of the Management Board;

7.       Establishment of its own Rules of procedures;

8.       Decide on policy related matters concerning human resources.

As the Ramsar Convention Secretariat representative and members of Standing Committee are involved in management board, the Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee will receive, through the Ramsar Secretariat, reports on Center activities and will oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

Cooperation with Ramsar Secretariat on technical activities;

Preparation and submission of a biannual report to the Ramsar Secretariat;

Informing the Administrative Authorities of relevant Parties of the Ramsar Convention in the Region about programs and activities carried out by the Center every year or at the request of the Administrative Authorities.

Provisional Budget

Estimated expenses for the period 2006-2008

Activity

Specification

Total budget (CHF)

2006

2007

2008

Total budget

From the Ramsar core budget

Other sources of funding

Staff costs

 

Interim secretariat salary

12000

-

12000

13800

16200

Assistant of Interim secretariat

5040

-

5040

5820

6720

External staff

Specialists/consultants

14000

-

14000

16100

18500

Travel

Travel expenses of the center staff

14000

4000

10000

15700

17600

Travel expenses of participants from some regional countries (4 countries) and invited speakers for meetings

9000

6000

3000

10100

11300

Conference expenses

Local, regional, international workshops, management board meetings (every two years), (space rental, hospitality, stationery, copying, technical services etc

42000

5000

37000

47000

52600

Office costs

General expense/utilities

8400

-

8400

9400

10500

 Communications

4200

-

4200

4700

5300

Purchase/maintenance of equipment

9800

5000

4800

11000

12300

Printing costs for publications and materials

Posters, leaflet, newsletter

5600

-

5600

6300

7100

Insurance

Insurance

560

-

560

650

750

Total

 

124600

20000

104600

140570

158870


Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO)

Countries involved: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republican Dominican, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Proposal submitted by: Panama, Argentina, Nicaragua, United States, Canada, Bahamas, representing the Western Hemisphere Contracting Parties.

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

The Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO) promotes the Convention objectives in general and specifically the execution of its Strategic Plan through regional and subregional cooperation, capacity building, knowledge and information exchange with respect to matters of common interest relating to wetlands and the principles of the Ramsar Convention, as outlined in the agreement between the Government of Panama and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat for the establishment of CREHO.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion (s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

At the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee held in Gland, Switzerland, in 1997, a proposal was submitted to create a Regional Ramsar Centre for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere, taking advantage of the benefits and facilities offered by Panama at the City of Knowledge. Subsequently the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), formed by the Ministers for the Environment of Central America, in its XXIV regular session held in Belize in 1998, also endorsed the creation of the Centre.

The governments of the region endorsed the proposal for establishing the centre at the first Pan-American meeting of the Ramsar Convention, held in Costa Rica in June 1998, and it was then endorsed by the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, held in San José, Costa Rica, from 10 to 18 May 1999, through Resolution VII.26.

The Government of Panama and the Ramsar Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding for establishing the Centre during the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee held in Gland, Switzerland, in February 2003. The Centre started activities in January 2004.

The first meeting of the Board of Directors, which is composed of government representatives of the all subregions in the Hemisphere, took place in Panama City on 27 May 2003, followed by a second meeting in November 2004.

The level of priority of this regional initiative was reiterated by the Western Hemisphere Parties to the Convention during the III Pan-American meeting, held in Mexico in November 2004.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

This initiative is focused on the full participation of all Ramsar Convention parties in the Western Hemisphere, as well as other key actors. The design of the plan of work for CREHO has been based on a needs assessment which was carried out consulting all parties as well as an extensive list of contacts working on wetland issues in the region. CREHO will generate and facilitate alliances with different key wetland actors in the region, as well as promote their close involvement in the development of multiple activities performed by the Center, directly or indirectly. To achieve this, CREHO is establishing technical and research cooperation agreements with universities, research centers, governmental and non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental institutions at local, regional and international levels.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

Activities carried out by CREHO include the procurement of space for establishing a network for knowledge and information exchange, such as: case studies, technology, and research, among others. In addition, CREHO is working to establish a wetland information and monitoring network for the region, which will first be built upon existing initiatives in an effort to join forces and prevent the duplication of actions, looking for an information exchange channel, and facilitating the use of information necessary in decision-making, whenever necessary contributing with the processing and analysis of information.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

In its constitutive agreement, CREHO recognizes the existence of other programs and actions in the region working on wetlands, as well as the need to create complementary activities, to join efforts and create added value through collaboration and generation of exchange to prevent duplication. To accomplish this, CREHO is identifying key actors and actions currently under way in order to prepare a database with information to generate these exchanges and collaboration.

IUCN is a member of CREHO’s Board of Directors representing the Ramsar IOPs, and this place will be rotated among other IOPs in the forthcoming years.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Since the beginning, CREHO has had the support of different entities participating in the Convention, including Contracting Parties of the Western Hemisphere, the Convention’s Partner Organizations, and others such as the Smithsonian Institute as member of their Board of Directors and as scientific and technical advisor. CREHO’s operative structure has identified two committees (scientific and development), which are currently being established as advisory committees at the local and regional levels.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

For the first triennium (2004-2006) CREHO has designed a strategic and operating plan based on guidelines of the Convention and its Strategic Plan. CREHO’s indicators of success can also be identified within the Convention Plan in order to monitor its progress on the different levels of policy and technical work.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

CREHO has had the political support of all Contracting Parties of the Western Hemisphere as well as other partners, such as the UICN and the Central American Commission of Environment and Development (CCAD). The financial support of Panama as host country has been the base for its operation since January 2004, the United States and Canada have also provided financial support for training activities, and in-kind support has also been provided by Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia through the provision of trainers from their countries.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

With the constitution of CREHO, Panama assumed a government commitment to support this initiative for its basic operation and provide the necessary conditions for its operation (US$500,000 for ten years), for which a law has been passed in Panama.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

It is proposed that for the 2006-2008 triennial, additional CREHO financial support will come from the core budget of the Convention as presented below, considering the principle of equitable geographic distribution established in Resolution VIII. 30.

 

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

According to CREHO’s operative structure, it has its own advisory structure based initially on the Board of Directors, in which it maintains a principle of equitable regional participation based on the regional representation adopted by the Contracting Parties of the region at every COP, and followed by a scientific advisory committee operating at international and local levels.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

CREHO’s establishment agreement has defined a mechanism for coordination with the Convention Secretariat. Based on it, the Convention Secretariat has a permanent seat on CREHO’s Board of Directors as well as communication and coordination mechanisms for operating and technical matters.

 

CREHO Provisional Budget 2006 - 2008 (in US $)

Budget Component

2006

2007

2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panama

Ramsar

Others

Panama

Ramsar

Others

Panama

Ramsar

Others

 TOTAL

1) Operation

71800

50000

205000

39800

60000

229400

39800

55000

317900

1068700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.1. Personnel

43200

30000

104000

13200

40000

163400

13200

42000

228900

677900

1.2. Subcontracts

10000

5000

5000

8000

5000

5000

8000

5000

10000

61000

1.3. Travel

11000

5000

20000

11000

5000

20000

11000

5000

25000

113000

1.4. Capital goods

0

5000

18000

0

0

0

0

0

0

23000

1.5. Perishable goods

7600

0

1000

7600

0

1000

7600

0

1000

25800

1.6. Other expenses and income in kind

0

0

50000

0

0

50000

0

0

50000

150000

1.7. Board of directors - follow up

0

5000

3000

0

5000

3000

0

3000

3000

22000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Training courses

0

30000

611550

0

25000

614550

0

25000

619550

1925650

2.1. Regional courses (2 -E & S- per year for 30 participants 2 weeks)

0

30000

439250

0

20000

447250

0

20000

447250

1403750

2.2.Courses per country (4 one week event per year for 30 participants)

0

0

172300

5000

167300

5000

172300

521900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Information and monitoring system for wetlands

0

0

219600

0

0

116800

0

0

124300

460700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Regional and subregional initiatives CREHO participation

0

0

35800

0

0

35800

0

0

35800

107400

 TOTAL

71800

80000

1067950

39800

80000

1009550

39800

80000

1097550

3566450


B. Regional initiatives proposed in COP9 DR8 as being recognized as having potential for operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention, subject to further development and consideration by COP10

i) Regional (and subregional) networks for capacity-building and cooperation:

Himalayan Initiative

Countries involved: China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan & Bangladesh

Proposal submitted by: China

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

Yes, it promote wetland conservation and wise use of high mountain wetlands, through sharing information and knowledge, development of wetland policies, promote designation of mountain wetlands, and accession of new parties to Ramsar Convention. This initiative encapsulate all crucial aspects of the Ramsar Convention, such as the wetland and biodiversity, wetland and water, culture livelihood, IRBM, adaptation of climate change, etc, etc.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

Yes, this initiative has been based on a bottom-up approach, so far all parties in the region have been involved, a series of workshops have been carried out, more than 10 Ramsar sites have been designated by China, India, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan since the initiative kicked off in 2002. China designated 9 Ramsar Sites in 2004, 8 of which are located in high attitude area.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

Yes, other stakeholders, such as international organization, WWF, IUCN, WI, and ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development); national institutions (Chinese Academy of Sciences), universities, and local NGOs, etc.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

A framework agreement under discussion

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

- Have close cooperation with ICIMOD, which is an intern-governmental organization covering the Great Asia Mountain ranges;

- Have been involve Mekong River Commission

 

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Yes, participation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the university from India and China, as well as the technical staff from the Ramsar AA, Ramsar IOPs provided strong technical backing

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

Yes, operational targets under discussion covers the following:

climate change impacts and adaptation responses; approaches to enforcement of legislation; engaging participatory involvement of all stakeholders; empowering high-altitude wetland custodian communities through incentives and education and awareness and capacity building; development of policy and management plans; inventory and assessment; cultural values of wetlands; traditional knowledge, including traditional medicine; hydrological aspects in management of wetlands, the role of wetlands in groundwater recharge and aquifers; the role of wetlands in poverty alleviation and wealth generation; engaging improved awareness of wetland values and services at local government level; promoting downstream and upstream linkages; and addressing common issues of ecological safety (wetlands-related disasters).

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

China is considering offer pre-service (secretariat?) for the starting of the initiative

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

Project proposal under development, among which one has been approved by EU (WI & ICIMOD on wetland inventory), one concept has been submitted to UNEP. Other resources from WWF and Evian Ramsar Fund have been supporting the initiative

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

For the first three years, it is important to be supported by Ramsar core budget. We estimate annual support from Ramsar core budget 100,000 CHF for international coordination, on the basis of secured project fund, such as EU Eco Programme, 400,000 Euros, Chinese Sanjiangyuan Wetland Conservation and Restoration Programme (ca. 900 million USD been approved for the next 5 years).

Since the Himalayan regional has becoming a global concern with its sensitive to global warming, its ecological function provided to more than 1.4 billions people at downstream, we believe after three year core budget support, this initiative will be able to generate fund for its continuation.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

Yes, in the past, three workshops, and Evian Encounter function like a Forum, under and consensus from the Evian Encounter, the framework agreement under discussion will define its advisory mechanism.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

This initiative has been supported by Ramsar Convention Secretariat, good coordination has been running so far. We are ready for a formal agreement on this.


Carpathian Wetland Initiative

Countries involved: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Ukraine

Proposal submitted by: Slovak Republic

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

Coordination and strengthening in implementation of the Ramsar Convention and its Strategic Plan and the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (its biodiversity and wetland/river basin conservation and management articles), establishment of coherent national and international network of important wetland sites, enhancing the wise use and conservation of mountain wetlands in the Carpathian region.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

The Initiative started after consultations with experts, Ramsar Administrative Authorities and Carpathian Network of Protected Areas Steering Committee members in all 7 Carpathian countries. The initial workshop was held on 28-30 April 2004 in Slovakia based on invitation of minister of environment of the Slovak Republic and the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic to all Ramsar and Carpathian Convention nominated institutions in the region, Ramsar Partner Organizations and MedWet Initiative.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

Ramsar and Carpathian Convention Administrative Authorities, Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA) Steering Committee, BirdLife International, IUCN Programme Office for Central Europe, WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme and Wetlands International are involved in the initiative from the beginning. DAPHNE Institute of Applied Ecology (Slovakia) as an expert NGO experienced in the Carpathian Ecoregion Initiative and previous regional activities is also participating. A working group (contact people) for the wetland issues within the CNPA Steering Committee includes specialists from relevant ministries, specialized institutions, agencies, nature conservation bodies, protected areas managers, universities. Other relevant stakeholders are to be identified by governments and all will be invited for future cooperation and meetings.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

The Initiative is based on activities of the Ramsar Convention specialists and the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas and its Steering Committee. Together with the Carpathian Convention Interim Secretariat will be established a Working Group on Wetland issues and terms of reference for such a Group will be prepared.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

Carpathian Convention Interim Secretariat, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA) Steering Committee, BirdLife International, IUCN Programme Office for Central Europe, WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme and Wetlands International are involved in the initiative from the beginning, together with DAPHNE Institute of Applied Ecology (Slovakia) as an expert NGO involved in the Carpathian Ecoregion Initiative and in expert work for the Carpathian Convention.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

The operation of the Initiative will be based upon work of relevant managers of Ramsar sites and protected areas and identified scientific and technical institutions in the Carpathian countries with supervision of the Ramsar Partner Organizations. Some of them cooperated already in development of the initial map and database of identified important wetlands in the region.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

The Initiative is developed under the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas, but the activities within this initiative are based on the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 with its three pillars of action (see enclosed journal Carpathi for more details). Drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ramsar and Carpathian Convention was included in work plans of secretariats of both Conventions.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

The Initiative was supported by all Carpathian countries (relevant ministries and agencies), Secretariats of the Ramsar and Carpathian Convention, and by invited Ramsar Partner Organizations (BirdLife, IUCN, Wetlands International, WWF International/DCP). The substantial support from the start was provided by the Slovak Government and the Norwegian Government through the project “Network of Carpathian Protected Areas and Ramsar Sites” funded in 2003-2004 in the framework of the Plan of Action for Candidate Countries to the EU of the Norwegian Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a framework of this project a provisional office was established and has been funded as a part of coordinating body – Velka Fatra National Park Administration.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

The activities of the Initiative and the office are funded recently from the core budget of the Slovak State Nature Conservancy (Velka Fatra NP Administration) and a new project proposal has been developed and consulted with all relevant stakeholders.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

The Carpathian Convention and the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas are proposed that will roof the activities and it is expected that this Initiative will be included in future Protocols of the framework Carpathian Convention. But the Carpathian Convention has not been ratified by sufficient number of Parties so far and it has not been in force yet. Support from the Ramsar Convention’s core budget for the first three years will help in bridge of the period of consolidation of Contracting Parties of both Conventions, which include European Union member states, candidate countries and countries in process of consultations with the European Community. Other funding sources are sought. Additional budgetary information for period 2006-2008 please find attached.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

The Working Group is in place consisting of nominated representatives of all Carpathian countries, this will be complemented with other identified (by Governments) stakeholders and will establish its own advisory mechanisms using the structures and mechanisms of the CNPA. The office agreed upon all Carpathian countries will provide coordination and reporting activities (existing provisional office is available).

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

Specific arrangements should be included in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention.

Carpathian Wetland Initiative: Budgetary information

Estimated expenses for the period 2003-2008

 

 

CHF

CHF

CHF

Activity

Specification

Total budget

(2006-2008)

Sought from the Ramsar core budget

Other sources of funding *

Staff costs

 

Coordinator salary and social charges

 

42,000

 

42,000

 

Assistant of coordinator

30,000

30,000

 

External staff

 

database, GIS and web site experts

accountant

specialists/consultants

30,000

 

4,000

5,000

 

35,000

 

 

4,000

Travel

 

travel expenses of the project staff

10,000

9,000

1,000

travel expenses of participants from 7 Carpathian countries and invited speakers for meetings

35 participants x 1,000

= 35,000

invited speakers

6 x 1,000 = 6,000

Total 41,000

 

 

 

40,000

 

 

1,000

Conference expenses

organizing of meetings and conference on wetlands (space rental, hospitality, stationery, copying, technical services etc.)

 

11,000

 

 

10,000

 

1,000

Translation/interpreting services

 

interpretation during meetings, translation of texts in publications

 

2,000

 

1,000

 

1,000

Purchase/rental/ maintenance of equipment

Office supplies

PC set and printer

A3 copy machine

furniture

other

8,000

3,000

3,000

2,000

 

6,000

4,000

3,000

2,000

1,000

Printing costs for publications and materials

bulletin, maps, leaflet, proceedings

 

 

13,000

 

12,000

 

1,000

Transport/insurance

 

 

transport of participants of the meetings,

insurance

2,000

 

1,000

 

 

2,000

 

 

1,000

Administrative expenses

Operating costs

 

 

office space rental

telecommunications

postage

stationery

copying

6,000

4,000

2,000

2,000

1,000

 

14,000

 

1,000

 

 

Other

miscellaneous

2,000

1,000

1,000

Total

 

224,000

202,000

22,000

* State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic; Other, not specified source of funding is expected from the core budget of the Carpathian Convention and from other Carpathian countries


The Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet)

Countries involved: Denmark/Greenland, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Sweden

Proposal submitted by: Norway

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

The overall aim of the regional initiative will be to promote the objectives of the Convention, thereby contributing to more effective conservation and wise use of wetlands and enhanced international wetlands co-operation in the region.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and subregional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or subregion(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

All the countries in the region will participate; Denmark/Greenland, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

Stakeholders, NGO’s etc will be invited to the Wetland Initiative’s first ordinary meeting. See also summary from the Working Group Meeting; Management and governance - para 1, 2

 

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

An initial approach of NorBalWet is to establish a communication network for exchange of information and experiences, thereby enhancing multilateral and transboundary co-operation by embracing a problem-oriented and practical approach to improve wise use and conservation of wetlands, in particular the network of Ramsar sites and other protected areas.

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

Based on the participation for seen as a result of para 1, 2 (page 3) further co-operation will be considered at the Wetland Initiatives first meeting.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Reference is made to “Priority areas and possible means and approaches - initial steps” - page 3 in the summary from the WG-Meeting. Relevant scientific institutions etc will be involved – e.g. the International Mire Conservation Group.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

Priority areas and possible means and approaches as outlined are in line with the Strategic Plan of the Convention. E. g. transboundary/regional co-operation, wetland restoration etc

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

Initial Meetings have been financed by The Nordic Council of Ministers and Norway. Further discussion is expected to take place at the Wetland Initiative’s first ordinary meeting.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

Relevant projects and possible financial support will be sorted out and presented at the Wetland Initiative’s first ordinary meeting. The Nordic Council of Ministers will be contacted specially.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

A discussion will have to take place regarding the feasibility of applying for Convention Core Budget support for selected activities.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

It has been agreed that in order to secure timely preparations and coordination of activities under the Wetland Initiative, a working group should be established. The chairmanship will be rotated among the member countries.

 

It was agreed, however, that management and governance related to the Wetland Initiative will have to be refined further as the initiative develops and matures. Norway will take on the initiative Chairmanship until October 2005 – followed by Sweden.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the COP.

The Ramsar Bureau and the MedWet participated in the Working Group Meeting were the Nordic-Baltic wetland Initiative was initiated. Both organizations have expressed their willingness to continue their roles as advisers.


Ramsar Oceania Support Initiative
(formerly entitled: Regional initiative for the protection and wise use of wetlands for the Pacific Islands)

Countries involved:
Current Oceania Contracting Parties
Australia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Palau, Papua-New Guinea, Samoa.
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in advanced stages of joining: Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga
Other Pacific Island Countries who have shown interest in joining the Ramsar Convention: Niue, Nauru, Tokelau, Federated States of Micronesia,
Kiribati, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Overseas Dependent Territories in Oceania: New Caledonia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas

Proposal submitted by: Australia, New Zealand, and Samoa

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and sub regional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

The aim of the Oceania Initiative is to:

“facilitate the protection, management, and wise use of wetlands of international and national significance across the Oceania region, especially in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)”

The Oceania Initiative’s main objectives are:

·        To enhance the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the Oceania region, particularly coral reefs, mangroves and the small, unique freshwater wetlands of the Pacific Islands;

·        To promote and facilitate accession to the Ramsar Convention, and the Ramsar listing of internationally significant wetlands in the Oceania region;

·        To facilitate and enhance the protection, management, and wise use of wetlands of international and national significance in SPREP member countries of the Oceania region; and

·        To engage with the national focal points of the region to build capacity and facilitate Communication, Education, and Public Awareness across the Oceania region, especially in SPREP member countries.

Key strategies for achieving the Initiative include:

Strategy 1 – resourcing the out-posted Ramsar regional support officer: To provide continued funding support, through the establishment of a core budget line for the 2006-2008 triennium, for a SPREP-based Ramsar regional officer position for Oceania, as per Resolution VIII.42, Ramsar Strategic Plan (Action 13.1.8), and the Ramsar-SPREP Memoranda of Cooperation and Joint Work Plan (2002).

Strategy 2 – implementing the Ramsar Convention in the Pacific: To progress the adoption of the Ramsar Convention in the Oceania region by:

·        Facilitating the accession of Pacific Island Countries and Territories, particularly signatory members of SPREP, to the Convention;

·        Seeking support for the development of management plans for Ramsar sites and identified wetlands of international, regional, and national significance through a range of bilateral and multilateral funding sources (eg UNDP small grants, Ramsar SGF, DGIS, Wetland NGOs, philanthropic organizations);

·        Facilitating government, NGO, and community partnerships for effective management of wetlands.

Strategy 3 – incorporating Ramsar principles into regional policy frameworks (policy and governance): To integrate the protection and wise use of wetlands principles into key regional and national strategies, including:

·        the SPREP Island Ecosystems Strategic Programme,

·        National Sustainable Development strategies,

·        The Review of Regional Wetlands Action Plan,

·        the Pacific Regional Action Plan Sustainable Water Management, and

·        the Action Strategy for Mainstreaming Nature Conservation.

Strategy 4 – facilitating a better enabling environment (policy and governance): To help develop sound policy and governance structures by:

·        Facilitating effective national legislative and policy frameworks for wetland protection and wise use;

·        Facilitating and / or coordinating PIC participation in regional fora, with the aim of progressing the integration of wetlands issues into regional and national strategies;

·        Supporting Oceania regional Parties in Ramsar COP and Standing Committee preparations; and

·        Supporting and / or coordinating training and capacity building activities for wetlands managers, policy makers, and community groups;

Strategy 5 – Pacific clearing house mechanism: To provide capacity for Pacific Island Countries and Territories to manage their wetlands data and information in an integrated, cost-effect, and transparent manner through:

·        Development of guidelines and information systems for establishing baseline Ramsar information, describing Ecological Character, rapid assessment techniques, indicators, and monitoring and evaluation plans, consistent with MDGs and regional indicators, for wetlands of international, regional, and national significance;

·        Updating the wetlands component of the SPREP information system;

·        Identification, review, and / or update of wetlands of regional significance and threats including climate change

Strategy 6 – CEPA: To raise awareness of the Ramsar Convention and its wise use principles with policy makers and wetlands resource users at the regional, national; and community levels by:

·         coordinating and supporting networks of wetlands sites and site managers in the Oceania region; and

·         Supporting and coordinating World Wetlands Day activities in the Pacific region.

Mandate: Resolution VIII.42 and Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003 – 2008:

The Oceania Initiative is the primary mechanism for implementing the COP 8 resolution on Small Island Developing States in the Oceania Region (Resolution VIII.42). Amongst other things, Resolution VIII.42:

“STRONGLY URGES the Ramsar Bureau to recognize the need for a Regional Coordinator to be assigned to the Oceania Region and to review its working arrangements in order to formally assign this role to an officer of the Bureau by the time of the COP9, and, as an interim arrangement, to identify the resources to support a position of intern for the Oceania Region”.

The Oceania Initiative is also structured to deliver a number of outcomes articulated in the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, as amended at COP 8, through:

·        Action 13.1.3 (under Operational Objective 13): to give priority to the implementation of MoUs with different MEAs, including that with SPREP;

·        Action 12.3.2 (under Operational Objective 12): to continue the development and implementation of joint work plans under the Memorandum of Cooperation between Ramsar Convention and the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP);

·        2002-2005 global resources identified to expand internship program, including an Oceania intern.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and sub regional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or sub region(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

The Oceania Initiative is a direct response to PIC and Oceania regional priorities articulated at COP 8 (in Resolution VIII.42). The Initiative has been developed in consultation with the current Contracting Parties of the region (that is, Australia, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea, Palau, Samoa, and Marshall Islands). Fiji and other potential contracting Parties were also consulted. As such, the Initiative addresses specific PIC priorities, and as such is endorsed by Australia and New Zealand who see the Initiative as a important mechanism for providing continued support to the Contracting Parties in the Pacific, and as a platform for engaging non-contracting Parties in the region.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

The Administrative Authorities of the Contracting Parties (Australia, Samoa, Papua-New Guinea, Palau, Marshall Islands, and New Zealand) have been consulted in the development of Oceania Initiative.

To facilitate the engagement of all relevant stakeholders with a direct or indirect interest in wetlands issues in the region, SPREP and the Ramsar regional support officer will work with the Parties to ensure interdepartmental representation in / or effective linkages with national committees in the Pacific, in particular for fisheries, natural resources management, and planning authorities. Engagement with non-government stakeholders, key environment organisations (such as WWF, Wetlands International, etc), academia, and industry will be encouraged, in order to actively promote the management and wise use of wetlands in the Pacific.

At the national level, SPREP and the Ramsar regional support officer will continue to assist and support national Ramsar Committees in contracting Parties across the Pacific, and will encourage broad stakeholder representation and help establish linkages to other related national committees (such as NBSAP and other intergovernmental committees).

At the regional level, SPREP and the Ramsar regional support officer will facilitate the engagement / representation / input from other regional organisations and bodies; and will continue engaging non-contracting parties in regional activities such as training and information sharing on Ramsar wise use principles and wetland management in order to facilitate accession to the Ramsar Convention.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

The Initiative builds on existing regional Agreements, networks, and fora involving the Administrative Authorities and relevant stakeholders across the Pacific, including:

·        Ramsar national focal points

·        SPREP focal points for wetland-related issues in the ODTs

·        The Regional Wetlands Action Plan (RWAP) 1999

·        The Roundtable on the Action Strategy for Mainstreaming nature conservation

·        The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network,

·        The Locally Managed Marine Area network,

·        The Council of the Regional Organization of the Pacific (CROP) (ie Marine Sector Working Group)

·        the International Waters Programme national focal points

·        The Pacific Island Regional Oceans Policy (PIROP)

·        The Action Strategy for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands Region 2003-2007

·        The SPREP Action Plan 2001-2005

·        The SPREP Strategic Programme 2004-2013

·        Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the International Waters of Pacific SIDS.

·        Pacific Regional Action Plan (RAP) on Sustainable Water Management (Sigatoka, 2002)

·        Caribbean and Pacific Joint Programme for Action on Water and Climate (Kyoto, 2003)

·        Pacific Wastewater Policy (Majuro, 2001)

A detailed work programme, supporting the aims and objectives of the proposed Oceania Initiative and with clearly defined terms of reference, will be developed and agreed by Parties in the region following endorsement of the proposal by Ramsar.

This Initiative aims to implement the Oceania SIDS Resolution agreed at COP 8 (VIII.42) by supporting PICs to develop National Wetland Policies and / or other appropriate policy instruments designed to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Activities to be progressed under this Initiative include:

·        Promoting accession to the Convention;

·        Designating additional sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”), and the development and implementation of management plans for these sites;

·        Building capacity in PICs for the protection, management, and wise use of Pacific Island wetlands;

·        Monitoring the ecological character of Sites of International Importance;

·        Assisting in the updating of Ramsar Information Sheets;

·        Assisting in the preparation of national reporting to forthcoming COPs;

·        Reviewing the Regional Wetlands Action Plan for the Pacific Islands; and

·        Facilitating the updating of the Oceania Directory of Wetlands (1993).

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

The Initiative will strengthen collaborative links with the Ramsar Convention’s international partner organisations and other international NGOs and networks operating in the Pacific region, to ensure delivery of targeted activities designed to progress implementation of the Convention and to avoid unnecessary overlap and duplication.

The Initiative will strengthen existing collaboration and synergies between the regional bodies represented in the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP), including PIFS, SPREP, SOPAC, SPC, SPTO, FFA, USP, and other regional IGOs at the policy and technical levels, with a view to better supporting PICs on wetlands issues. In addition, collaborations with regional and international NGOs, the private sector, and donors through the Roundtable for the Action Strategy on mainstreaming nature conservation will be used to minimise overlap and coordinate regional implementation of both Ramsar and CBD island biodiversity and inland waters work programmes.

The Initiative will also foster collaboration by promoting new cooperative implementation based on partnerships with Ramsar’s partner organizations (IUCN, Wetlands International, BirdLife International and WWF) and other international NGOs and networks (such as the Global Water Partnership).

Coordination will also be improved under the Initiative by maintaining contact with Contracting Parties and appropriate counterparts in the secretariats of regional and international Conventions to assist with harmonised implementation and joint actions, and in other international and regional intergovernmental bodies working in environmental and natural resources management issues.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions, which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

Scientific, technical and policy support for the initiative will be provided by:

·        Ramsar STRP;

·        Relevant CROP agencies (SPREP, SOPAC, SPC, PIFS, FFA, PIDP);

·        UNDOALOS, UNEP-GRID

·        Conservation International;

·        Wetlands International Oceania;

·        WWF South Pacific;

·        NIWA-NCCO;

·        The Australia Water Partnership; and

·        NTF.

Regional academic institutions will also contribute, including:

·        National Centre for Tropical Wetlands Research (NCTWR);

·        Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS);

·        The University of the South Pacific; and

·        other institutions based in Australia and New Zealand.

Where appropriate, support from national academic institutions will be solicited through their representation on national Ramsar Committees.

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

The Initiative supports the implementation of various actions specified in the Ramsar Strategic Plan, as amended at COP8:

·        Action 13.1.3 under Operational Objective 13 – to give priority to the implementation of Memoranda of Cooperation with different MEAs, including that with SPREP;

·        Action 12.3.2 under Operational Objective 12 – to continue the development and implementation of joint work plans under the Memorandum of Cooperation between Ramsar Convention and SPREP;

·        2002-2005 global – resource identified to expand internship program, including an Oceania intern.

The Ramsar-SPREP MoC and JWP (2002-2004) reflects the general objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and provides the basis for effectively implement the Strategic Plan objectives under this Initiative. Relevant actions under the Oceania Initiative (see attached draft work plan at Attachment B) provide direct support to outcomes identified in the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

This Initiative also implements the Oceania SIDS Resolution agreed at COP 8 (VIII.42) by providing funding for an Oceania regional Ramsar support officer, and by assisting PICs to develop National Wetland Policies and / or other appropriate policy instruments designed to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

Political support:

As a long-standing representative of the Oceania region, Australia has been actively promoting the adoption of the Ramsar Convention in the region.

In terms of demonstrated political support, Ramsar’s COP 6 adopted Recommendation VI.18: “Conservation and wise use of wetlands in the Pacific Islands region”, which urged actions ranging from accession by these countries to Ramsar working in partnership with other conventions to explore opportunities for cooperation.

Resolution VIII.42, adopted at COP8 in Valencia, Spain in 2002, called for increased assistance towards countries in Oceania for the wise use and conservation of wetlands. This resolution was sponsored by Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Financial support:

A total of AUD$88 190 for a SPREP-based Assistant Ramsar Officer position, for a period of 18 months starting from1 July 2004, was provided by Australia, WWF international, the Ramsar Secretariat, and the Swedish SIDA. Australia is also considering the provision of a further AUD$20 000 to support PIC participation at COP 9.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

See criterion 8.

The initiative, as an integral part of the Coastal and Marine programme of the SPREP’s Island Ecosystem Strategic programme, will complement proposed activities, in particular those under the AFD/UNF funded Coral Reef Initiative in the Pacific. In addition, the Initiative will build upon financial support previously provided under the UNEP-ICRAN to Ramsar activities in the region, notably the nomination of Jaluit Atoll as Marshall Island’s first Ramsar Site (2004), the SPREP based GEF International Waters Project, to be completed in 2006, and the GEF funded SPBCP programme (1992-2002).

Additional funding will be leveraged for targeted activities from a range of sources to complement funding received from Contracting Parties, the Ramsar Secretariat, and the UNF/AFD funds.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years. After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

It is proposed that the initiative been funded through the Convention’s core budget for the first three years. The continuation of the Initiative after this period will depend largely on the needs and priorities of the PICs and the Oceania region as a whole in relation to the Ramsar Convention and wetlands conservation.

To generate additional financial support for the initiative, SPREP will formulate and implement an investment strategy aimed at securing long term funding. This strategy will actively seeking such funding through mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), NGOs operating in the region, and philanthropic organisations.

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

The initiative will utilise existing regional and national advisory mechanisms developed by SPREP to engage a broad range of regional, national and international stakeholders (eg NGOs, GOs, Academic institutions, Donors, Industry). National NBSAPs and national Ramsar Committees (such as the joint Australia-New Zealand Wetlands and Waterbirds Task Force) will also play a key reporting role. New mechanisms may also be developed, such as a regional technical reference group, if required.

The Contracting Parties will provide an annual report of the activities and outcomes achieved under the Initiative. The report will be drafted by the Oceania Ramsar support officer based on input from all stakeholders in the Oceania region and coordinated by SPREP for clearance, for delivery to the Ramsar Secretariat and distribution as appropriate. Electronic progress reports will be circulated to Contracting Parties every month, detailing issues and progress against the objectives and key strategies of the Initiative.

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

SPREP will work with Papua-New Guinea – Oceania’s Standing Committee representative – to develop specific coordination arrangements with the Secretariat. This coordination will be informed by the SPREP-Ramsar MoC and JWP, and will be developed in consultation with the Contracting Parties of the region.

Attachment A

Table 1: Ramsar Oceania Support Initiative - Proposed Budget

Item

Year 2005-06 ($US)

Ramsar

2006-07($US)

Ramsar

2007-08($US)

Ramsar

2008-09($US)

Ramsar

Assistant Ramsar Officer

50,000
50,000
50,000
50,000

Travel (regional/international)

20,000
25,000
25,000
25,000

Printing, Email, Phone, Fax

5,000
5,000
5,000
5,000

Stationery

1,500
1,500
1,500
1,500

Sub-total

76,500
81,500
81,500
81,500

Admin. Fee (10%)

7,650
8,150
8,150
8,150

Total

84,150
89,650
89,650
89,650

(USD$)

 
 
 
USD$353,100

Approx. equivalent in Swiss CHF (based on exchange rate for 17 May 05)

 
 
 

CHF$534,488

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Cash Contributions from Parties

Year 2005-06 (AUD$)

2006-07 (AUD$)3

2007-08 (AUD$)3

2008-09 (AUD$)3

Funding support for Pacific Parties participation at COP 9

20 0001

 

 

 

Funding support for Oceania Regional Preparatory Meeting

15 0002

 

 

 

Total (as at 01 Jun 05)

35 000

 

 

 

(USD$)

USD$26 277

 

 

 

Approx. equivalent in Swiss CHF (based on exchange rate for 02 Jun 05)

CHF$33 000

 

 

 

NOTES:
1. Indicative amount subject to Ministerial approval, anticipate payment being made in 2005-05.
2. Indicative amount, anticipate payment being made in 2005-06.
3. Allocations in 2006-07 to 2008-09 are subject to parliamentary appropriations and ministerial approvals. When exact figures become available they will be provided to the Secretariat.

Attachment B
Ramsar Oceania Support Initiative

Draft Proposed Programme of Work: 2006 - 2008

SPREP will seek funding (through the Assistant Ramsar Officer position) for the activities below for the 2006-2008 period

 

Objective

Outcomes

Activity

Support and assistance for national level activities in Pacific Islands Countries

To assist Pacific Island Countries with planning and implementation of National level activities on wetlands conservation and wise use.

Wetlands conservation & wise use translated into sustainable programmes at the national level

Plan and conduct a case study on harmonizing legislative and policy frameworks related to wetlands in 3 contracting parties

Coordinate an update of the Directory of wetlands in Oceania (1993)

Assist in developing and reviewing management plans for Ramsar sites in Contracting parties as appropriate

Assist non-parties in the region with national accession activities

Communication, Education and Public Awareness & capacity building

To strengthen regional and national awareness and capacities to meet the objectives of the Convention and implement the conventions wise use principle

 

 

Awareness strengthened and enhanced regional and national capacities for wetlands conservation and wise use planning and informed decision making at all levels.

 

 

To develop and integrate a Wetlands component into SPREP Regional Communication strategies

 Develop, edit and print and widely disseminate awareness materials on wetlands wise use and the Ramsar Convention

 Plan and implement the Wetlands International-SPREP workshop on wetlands wise use and the Ramsar Convention

 Refine and implement an awareness raising component for the Ramsar convention to be integrated into the annual SPREP-USP Pacific Islands Community based Conservation Course

 Assist PICs and Territories to plan and implement suitable national activities for World Wetlands Day

 Develop and refine a project proposal for regional capacity building initiatives for PICs and seek to have it supported and resourced by bilateral donors or other sources.

Enhancing Policy Frameworks

To review national and regional policy frameworks to reflect existing and emerging issues and challenges facing wetlands conservation and wise use.

 

An enabling environment for wetlands conservation and wise use is facilitated at the international, regional and national levels.

 

Plan and coordinate a review of the Regional Wetlands Action Plan 1999.

 Plan and implement a case study on the Integration of wetlands issues into regional policies (Roundtable, PI Regional Oceans Policy, PI Climate change framework) and national agendas (NBSAPs, NDSDs) and institutions

 Develop and implement an Investment strategy engaging the private sector and to forge partnerships for wetlands conservation and wise use.

 Assist and support Oceania Contracting Parties with Ramsar COP preparations and the work of other related MEAs

 Facilitate international cooperation on related MEAs (eg CITES, CBD, UNFCCC)

 

 

ii) Regional (and subregional) centres for training and capacity-building:

Ramsar Centre for Eastern Africa (RAMCEA)

Countries involved: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania

Proposal submitted by: The Republic of Uganda

COP8 Resolution VIII.30 Guidance

Proposed regional initiative

AIM

 

1.  The overall aim of regional initiatives should be to promote the objectives of the Convention in general and to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in particular, through regional and subregional cooperation on wetland-related issues of common concern.

The overall aim is to support the African Countries to effectively implement the Convention through the training of Administrative Authorities, developing an a network of wetland professionals, practitioners and managers. This initiative will build on Uganda’s 15 years experience in wetland management. This will provide an opportunity to disseminate lessons learnt from Uganda’s experience to other country in the sub-region and ultimately to the whole of Africa.

SUBSTANTIVE ELEMENTS

 

2.  Regional and sub-regional initiatives should be based on a bottom-up approach. As a matter of priority, the involvement of as many as possible Contracting Parties of the region or sub-region(s) covered by the new initiative should be sought from the start.

This initiative was discussed at the African Regional Meeting in Arusha in April and endorsed for consideration by the SC31.

3.  Each initiative should entail the participation, from the start, not only of the Administrative Authorities responsible for the application of the Convention in the Contracting Parties involved, but also of all other relevant stakeholders with an interest in and directly or indirectly responsible for wetland issues, including the ministries responsible for the environment and water issues, intergovernmental bodies, NGOs, academia, and economic actors.

The initiative will build on the on-going eastern Regional Wetlands Task Force comprised of representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. This task is coordinated by IUCN-the World Conservation Union. The task force has developed in country networks comprised of representatives from line ministries, research and academic institutions and NGOs.

4.  A regional initiative should base its operation on the development of networks of collaboration established upon clearly defined terms of reference, thus creating an enabling environment for the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

Uganda has provided leadership in wetland management and the Regional Wetlands Task Force. Uganda is also a key player in the International Course on African Wetland Management and has been involved in establishing several wetland networks in collaboration with UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and RIZA of the Netherlands

5.  At an early stage, a regional initiative should seek collaboration with other intergovernmental or international partners operating in its region, by establishing complementary and non-duplicative activities.

It is proposed to continue the established links with IUCN Eastern Africa Regional Office, WWF, Birdlife International African Partnership which is currently chaired by a Ugandan NGO, Wetlands International, UNESCO-IHE training programmes. Uganda is also proposed to host the Pan African Ornithological Congress offices. In addition Uganda is host for the Nile Basin Initiative which a relevance to wetlands. NBI is in process of implementing a Wetlands Component which would provide an important link to the Centre.

6.  The operation of a regional initiative should be based upon strong scientific and technical backing, provided by relevant institutions which should be recognized as partners in the initiative.

The Centre will be initially based in the Wetlands Inspection Division which receives technical backstopping from IUCN and has links with UNESCO-IHE and Makerere Institute of Environment and Natural Resources

7.  The strategic and operational targets of a regional initiative should be fully aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Convention by means of policy and site technical work and activities.

A Ramsar centre for Eastern will focus on strategic objective of build capacity for implementation of the Convention in Africa. RACEA will focus on institutional structure to deal with the general implementation of the Convention in Africa.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT

 

8.  A regional initiative requires both political and financial support from Contracting Parties and other partners from the region. A substantial support from the host country is especially important if a regional office is to be established.

Uganda has a 10-year Wetland Sector Strategic Plan, which receives financial support from the Government of Uganda and development partners including the Belgium Government among others.

More importantly the Center will be legacy left behind by Uganda’s hosting of COP9. This is an important monument, which is supported by the Government of Uganda.

9.  The launching of a regional or subregional initiative should rely upon secured start-up funding for planned activities and projects.

Uganda is already implementing several regional wetland programmes including the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project, the Eastern Africa Regional Wetlands Programme coordinated by IUCN. These will be scaled up and transformed to support the Centre as the long term framework.

10. Financial support from the Convention’s core budget, should the Conference of the Parties so decide, will be provided for a pre-determined period of time – in principle not more than three years? After such a period, the support should be phased out. A regional initiative should generate its own resources and should become financially self-sufficient in the long term. When deciding financial support from the Convention’s core budget, geographically equitable distribution should be taken into account.

It is proposed to seek seed funding to the tune of $ 100,000 from the Ramsar Convention budget support to regional initiatives. In the long run it is proposed to set up a trust fund for wetland conservation or such similar financial mechanism.

 

GOVERNANCE

 

11. Regional initiatives should establish their own advisory mechanisms, involving all the stakeholders, in order to provide guidance and insight. The Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee shall receive, through the Ramsar Bureau, reports on their activities and shall oversee their general policies relating to the implementation of the Convention.

The Ramsar Centre for Eastern Africa will be managed by an Advisory Board comprised of representatives from Each of the participating countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), IOPs based in the region, NGOs and representatives of development partners and the private sector. Each country will strengthen/establish a National Ramsar Committee

12. Specific arrangements as to the coordination between a regional initiative and the Convention should be worked out by the Ramsar Bureau under the guidance of the Standing Committee, and such arrangements should ultimately be approved by the Conference of the Parties.

This initiative as discussed at the African Regional meeting in Arusha in April 2005. The initiative was endorsed in principles and recommended for consideration by the Standing Committee in June 2005. Depending on the outcome of the SC this will be presented for approval by COP9 in November 2005. It is expected that the Centre will be established by mid 2006.

 

 

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
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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