Resolution IX.18: Establishment of an Oversight Panel for the CEPA activities of the Convention

"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

1. RECOGNIZING the comprehensive nature of the Convention's Communications, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) Programme established by Resolution VIII.31 for the period 2003-2008, but AWARE that financial restrictions have inhibited full implementation of the Programme;

2. ALSO AWARE of the CEPA resources available at national level from Contracting Parties and NGOs and the global interests of the Convention's International Organization Partners (IOPs) in CEPA activities;

3. COMMENDING the excellent work already undertaken with very scarce resources by all actors in the Convention's CEPA activities; but

4. WISHING to have a more coordinated approach to the Convention's Programme;


5. INSTRUCTS the Standing Committee at its 34th meeting to establish an Oversight Panel to monitor and report on the implementation of the CEPA Programme established under Resolution VIII.31 and to examine and set priorities for communication, education and capacity building in collaboration with the Wetlands International CEPA Specialist Group and the Ramsar Advisory Board on Capacity Building;

6. INSTRUCTS the Secretariat to prepare, for the 34th meeting of Standing Committee, a detailed proposal on the establishment and operations of such an Oversight Panel, using the attached Terms of Reference as general guidance in preparing such a proposal;

7. REQUESTS the Standing Committee to report to COP10 on the activities of the Panel and its value in advancing the Convention's CEPA Programme; and

8. REQUESTS the Secretary General to liaise with the Institut de l'energie et de l'environnement de la Francophonie in Montreal in order to share all relevant information on the Ramsar Convention.


Terms of Reference for the CEPA Oversight Panel

Functions of the CEPA Oversight Panel (hereafter referred to as the Panel):

The main function of the Panel is to monitor and inform on CEPA issues within the Convention and the progress of implementation of the CEPA Programme as established by Resolution VIII.31 The Convention's Programme on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) 2003-2008, especially with reference to the CEPA activities of the Secretariat, and to advise the Standing Committee and the Secretariat on the CEPA work priorities at the national and international level, including the CEPA priorities of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP). The Oversight Panel will also clarify the broad roles of the two government and non-governmental CEPA Focal Points nominated by each Party.

In examining and setting priorities, the Panel should take into account, in the first instance, the priorities set by Resolution VIII.31, the key CEPA issues identified by the STRP/Wetlands International CEPA Specialist Group, and those identified by the Specialist Group as key CEPA issues in the work of the STRP. The Standing Committee should include a CEPA specialist in the STRP to identify the areas where CEPA can contribute to the work of the STRP (see Resolution IX.11).

The Panel should also work with the Ramsar Advisory Board on Capacity Building to identify priorities in recognition of the gaps between capacity building opportunities and needs for the broad range of wetland professionals and stakeholders.

The Panel should report on these issues to each meeting of the Standing Committee. The two CEPA Focal Points on the Panel should ensure that they maintain links with their counterparts in other countries so that they are informed of these issues in the three official languages of the Convention through the Web and the CEPA elists.

The Panel will also have a key role in advising the Standing Committee on the form and function of the next CEPA Programme, for the period 2009- 2014, to be proposed to COP10.

Composition of the CEPA Panel

The Panel should include the Chair of Standing Committee, or at his or her request the Vice Chair, and the Chair of the Subgroup on Finance.

The CEPA Programme suggests a diversity of actions requiring a range of expertise. Similarly, the Ramsar Strategic Plan identifies a range of work areas which require expertise across the full spectrum of CEPA work, including Communication, Education, Public Awareness, Participation, Training, and Marketing. This diversity of expertise should be reflected in the composition of the Panel.

The Panel's membership could thus include:

i) The SC Chair (or Vice Chair);
ii) Chair of the SC Subgroup on Finance;
iii) Two national CEPA Focal Points;
iv) Chair of the STRP/WI CEPA Specialist Group;
v) Relevant experts in different aspects of CEPA not covered by the above, taking into consideration appropriate and balanced geographical representation;
vi) Ramsar Secretariat (ex officio).

Recommendations for the appointment of relevant experts under point v) above will be made by the Secretariat in consultation with the CEPA Specialist Group.

The Secretariat, with the advice of the Chair of Standing Committee, will develop a procedure for the identification and appointment of the two national CEPA Focal Points under point iii) above.

All members should be appointed for the period of the triennium 2006-2008.

Modus operandi of the Panel

The Panel should regard the CEPA Specialist Group as a reference group for recommendations and products identified through the work of the STRP. The Panel should also play a liaison role with other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to improve synergies across conventions, as called for in Resolutions VIII.5 and Resolution IX.5.

The Panel will operate as much as possible through electronic means (e-mail, teleconferences, etc.). If it is thought necessary, and if funding permits, the Panel may seek to meet during the triennium.

The CEPA Focal Point representatives should, as much as possible, and as necessary, consult with and seek input from all other government and NGO CEPA Focal Points in the Parties.

Due to financial limitations, the main working language of the Panel will be English, although regional centres as established under Resolution IX.7 will be involved in deliberations, and the results shall be translated into the official languages of the Convention and other languages and posted on the Ramsar Web site as well as the Ramsar CEPA electronic network.

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