Diplomatic notification 2001/4: The Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative

06/05/2001

Notification 2001/4

The Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative
National Needs and Contributions Questionnaire

The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) presents its compliments and has the honour to refer to the following:

The River Basin Initiative on integrating biological diversity, wetland and river basin management (RBI) is a joint initiative by the Ramsar Bureau and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being developed under the framework of the 2nd CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan. The Initiative aims to help Parties to the Conventions implement both the Ramsar Guidelines for integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management (Resolution VII.18, Wise Use Handbook 4) and the CBD programme of work on inland waters biological diversity.

The River Basin Initiative is being developed on behalf of the two Conventions by the Global Environment Centre, Malaysia, which has established a River Basin Initiative Secretariat to support the development and implementation of the Initiative.

The River Basin Initiative will establish a global information network on wetlands, biodiversity and river basin management. This network will share information and will provide links to projects and other activities that demonstrate the principles and practice of incorporating wetland and biodiversity conservation in integrated water resources management. It will showcase good practice and lessons learnt from basin management projects and programmes throughout the world. The Initiative will also provide analyses of the relationships between wetlands, river basins and their management in support of national, regional and global priority-setting and decision-making. The Initiative will operate through links with a wide variety of partner organisations from national to international scales.

A short summary of the River Basin Initiative and its objectives and planned outputs is enclosed. A more detailed project description is available from the RBI secretariat (fparish@genet.po.my) or from the Ramsar Bureau (ramsar@ramsar.org).

To progress the development of this important effort, the River Basin Initiative has recently been awarded a UNDP-GEF project development fund grant. As a key part of this work, a "country needs and contributions assessment" is being undertaken through a brief questionnaire survey of the views of Ramsar Adminstrative Authorities and CBD National Focal Points. This will be followed by a similar survey of the wide range of other organisations and projects that have expressed interest in the Initiative.

In order to ensure that the design of the River Basin Initiative will fully meet the needs and priorities of countries, the Bureau invites Contracting Parties to complete and return the enclosed short questionnaire, by 31 May 2001. The questionnaire should be returned to: the River Basin Initiative Secretariat, 7A, Jalan 19/29, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, MALAYSIA. (Fax: + 60 3 7957 7003).

If Contracting Parties prefer to complete an electronic copy of the questionnaire, this may be downloaded in Word 6/95 format from the Ramsar Convention Web-site (http://ramsar.org/key_rbi_index.htm). The completed electronic questionnaire should be returned by e-mail to the River Basin Initiative Secretariat (yenyap@genet.po.my).

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, Switzerland, 27 April 2001

Enclosures: National Needs and Contributions Assessment Questionnaire [Microsoft Word 6/95]
River Basin Initiative Brochure (Web reprint)

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