Diplomatic notification 1998/6: Cooperation with the CBD
Cooperation between the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the Convention on Biological Diversity
The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) presents its compliments and has the honour to refer to the following:
Notification 10/1997 "Cooperation between the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the Convention on Biological Diversity" referred to Resolution VI.9, from the 6th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. This Resolution endorsed a range of actions to promote cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which were reinforced through Action 7.2.3 of the Strategic Plan as adopted by Resolution VI.14. At its 3rd Conference of Contracting Parties (COP3) the CBD adopted Decision III/21 which called on Ramsar to act as a "lead partner" of CBD on wetland biodiversity issues.
In accordance with these mandates, and the Memorandum of Cooperation between the two Convention secretariats, the Ramsar Bureau has been actively involved in an ongoing process to identify areas of common interest and potential cooperation. These actions were further endorsed by the Standing Committee which, at its 20th meeting, requested the Bureau to continue working with the CBD secretariat on preparation of relevant papers for CBD COP4, to be held in Bratislava, in May 1998 (Decision 20.18).
Based on its review of the areas of common interest and possible cooperation between the Conventions, the Ramsar Bureau has prepared the attached proposed Joint Work Plan as an Information Document for CBDs COP4. The Joint Work Plan summarises a wide range of actions which the Ramsar Bureau is undertaking, or proposes to undertake in the near future, that have direct relevance to activities which CBD is also proposing to pursue. Reference to the attached Joint Work Plan and the following CBD Conference Documents will indicate the areas where the greatest opportunities for immediate cooperation would appear to be:
- Report of the Third meeting of SBSTTA (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/2) and the associated programme of work on inland, freshwater ecosystems
- Status and trends of the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/4)
- Implementation of the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/5)
- Implementation of the pilot phase of the clearing house (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/8)
- Implementation of Article 8 (j) and related provisions (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/10)
- Cooperation with other agreements, institutions and processes relevant to in-situ conservation (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/13)
- Report on the activities of the Global Environment Facility (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/15)
- Design and implementation of incentive measures: implementation of Article 13 (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/18)
- Public education and awareness: implementation of Article 13 (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/19)
- Impact assessment and minimising adverse impacts: implementation of Article 14 (UNEP/CBD/COP/4/20)
The Administrative Authorities of the Convention on Wetlands are urged to consult with their counterparts responsible for the implementation of the CBD to encourage support for the proposed Joint Work Plan, and recognition of its relevant elements in the respective programmes of work which will come before the CBD COP for consideration through the above Conference Documents.
The Bureau draws particular attention to Section II.12 of the proposed Joint Work Plan relating to the Financial Mechanism. This section of the proposed Joint Work Plan has been prepared in direct response to CBD Decisions III/5 and III/21. It is intended to provide guidance to the CBD Contracting Parties on those areas of activity which appear to be priorities for better directing the resources of the Global Environment Facility toward the conservation of inland, freshwater and coastal/marine ecosystems. Ramsar focal points are urged to strongly endorse these suggestions and to seek support from their national delegations attending COP4 for having these areas of priority formally recognised under Agenda Item 14.5 of the meeting, and the Decision to be called "Further Guidance to the Financial Mechanism" which will be developed through this agenda item.
The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands respectfully requests that the content of the present Note be communicated to the competent national authorities and avails itself of this opportunity to renew the assurance of its highest consideration.
Gland, 20 March 1998