Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ramsar Conventin and the European Environment Agency, 27 February 2006

09/03/2006

Memorandum of Cooperation

between

The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

and the

European Environment Agency

Preamble

Since its inception in 1971, the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) has provided the single most important intergovernmental forum on wetland conservation issues. According to the Convention's mission statement, the Contracting Parties agree to "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".

The Convention is founded on three pillars of:

  • promoting wise use of wetlands,
  • developing international cooperation, and
  • developing a network of Wetland sites of International Importance.


The conservation and wise management of wetlands through the designation of wetlands for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, especially the obligation to maintain the ecological character of designated sites, deserves special recognition. This obligation recognizes the importance of wetlands for the maintenance of healthy and productive inland freshwater and coastal systems. In the context of water and wetlands, the Convention on Wetlands thus addresses issues which guide its Contracting Parties on ways to achieve sustainable development.

Within the general obligations set out by the treaty, Contracting Parties, meeting as the Conference of the Parties (COP), identify priorities for action through a Strategic Plan. Implementation of this Memorandum of Cooperation shall be through joint actions within the framework of the Strategic Plan, detailed in the attached annex.

The European Environment Agency's overall task is to produce objective, reliable and comparable information for the implementation and the further development of the European environment framing policy. The European Environment Agency has established and is coordinating, in cooperation with its member countries, a European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET). With regard to wetlands and water resources management, the European Environment Agency is in charge of maintaining data sets and developing assessments of European environment for its member countries. The EEA is acting as coordinator of the data centre for biodiversity and for water for its member countries.

The Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency recognize the fundamental role played by wetlands in regulating and providing water, in supporting maintenance of cultural and biological diversity, in ensuring high ecosystem productivity, and in providing services and benefits for people and the planet.

Therefore, the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency agree the following:

Article 1. Mechanisms for Programme Cooperation

A - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency will develop a collaborative programme for sustainable wetland and water resource conservation and management by increasing current consultation and cooperation between them.

B - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency will inform their focal points at regional and national levels of their cooperative activities. For general matters, the focal points, acting as contact points between institutions, for the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency, are respectively the Secretary General and the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, or their assigned delegates.

C - The focal points, or their assigned delegates, may meet from time to time to assess the implementation of this Memorandum, exchange documents and review on-going activities.

Article 2. Joint Activities

A - Common areas for joint conservation activities, as identified in the Annex to this Memorandum of Cooperation, relate clearly to the Ramsar Strategic Plan currently in force and will be reviewed annually or at the request of either party.

B - The European Environment Agency and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands will communicate agreement on common areas with their respective networks, and the European Environment Agency will endeavour to mobilise the expertise available on wetlands and water resources within its organisation in support of these activities.

C - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency will provide each other with details of their annual work programmes to ensure harmonisation of activities at global, regional and country levels.

D - The extent to which the collaborative programme and the joint conservation activities are implemented will be subject to the availability of resources.

Article 3. Obligation, Review and Termination

A - This Memorandum of Cooperation constitutes an expression of a shared objective and vision. However, each party's actions will be considered to be that party's sole and separate action, for all purposes, and neither party shall claim to be acting on behalf of, or as agent for the other party to this Memorandum of Cooperation.

B - The term for this Memorandum of Cooperation is six years. The agreement may be reviewed at the request of either party (usually annually) and may be terminated by either party subject to six months notice in writing.

Peter Bridgewater
Secretary General
Convention on Wetlands
(Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Prof. Jacqueline McGlade
Executive Director
European Environment Agency
Effective Date: 27 February 2006

ANNEX

Joint activities in the framework of the operational objectives of the strategic plan of the Secretariat of the Convention.

General Objective 4. Implementation capacity:

The Cooperation between the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and the European Environment Agency is focusing on sharing information collected by both organisations.

EEA will support The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands in getting better information from EEA member countries on their Ramsar site boundaries by:

  • Actively encouraging member countries and cooperating countries to provide Ramsar site boundaries in the agreed electronic format;
  • Providing the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands with the means to monitor, download and provide feedback on national deliveries through Reportnet CDR;
  • Providing the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands with the means to run automatic checks on GIS deliveries as soon as these become operational;
  • Extending the geographic range of countries participating in the data collection to include EEAC countries in the context of existing EEA cooperation projects in this area.


The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands will support EEA work programme by:

  • Making available to EEA Data Service on an annual basis, the latest quality checked data sets containing tabular and boundary information on Ramsar sites in pan Europe;
  • Granting EEA the permission to use both the tabular and spatial data on Ramsar sites in Europe for analytical purposes related to environmental assessments;
  • Granting EEA the permission to publish maps and graphics derived from the analytical work, on the EEA web site and in EEA reports with due reference to the Ramsar Convention.
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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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