Recommendation 3.4: Responsibility of development agencies toward wetlands

The 3rd Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Regina, Canada
27 May - 5 June 1987

Note: For the purposes of this Recommendation the term "Development Agencies" will be taken to mean all banks, government institutions and international governmental agencies (such as the Development Fund of the European Economic Community) with a significant role in providing funds to countries for their development.

BEING CONVINCED that, as noted in the Preamble to the Convention, "wetlands constitute a resource of great economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value, the loss of which would be irreparable";

NOTING the rapid destruction and loss of wetlands around the world due to development that neglects or underestimates the natural values and functions of wetlands, and that this development continues without taking adequate account of past experiences and traditional lifestyles;

CONSCIOUS of the potential of wetlands to provide the basis for sustainable development founded on the husbanding of self-renewing natural resources;

AWARE that Development Agencies can play a crucial role in enhancing the capacity of wetlands to contribute to the well-being of the people;


URGES the Development Agencies

    a) to formulate and adopt coherent wetland development policies directed at sustainable utilization, wise management and conservation of wetlands;
    b) to create special regional wetland programmes in order to ensure the integration of this policy into all their activities;
    c) to coordinate their programmes at the international level to ensure that their independent activities do not in combination adversely affect wetlands;
    d) to strengthen the ecological expertise in all departments involved in development and implementation of projects affecting wetlands;
    e) to develop guidelines to ensure the integration of environmental aspects in all stages of the project cycle;
    f) to ensure that the funding of projects is preceded by an environmental impact assessment, and the implementation of the recommended measures;
    g) to take appropriate steps for an assessment of their policies at regular intervals; and
    h) to rehabilitate those wetlands which have become degraded through non-sustainable development;

URGES the Development Agencies to use their influence with borrowing or recipient governments

    a) to promote the formulation and adoption of national policies for wise use and conservation of wetlands;
    b) to strengthen the institutional arrangements and the ecological expertise both at the national level and among regional development authorities in the project regions, in order to implement these policies; and
    c) to train and educate personnel at project implementation level;

CALLS ON the Contracting Parties to the Convention to support conservation and wise use of wetlands by requiring their own appropriate agencies to adhere to the strategy recommended above.

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