Resolution IX.2: Future implementation of scientific and technical aspects 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. RECALLING Resolution VIII.45, in which the Contracting Parties recognized the need to make more effective and efficient the process of drafting, considering, adopting and implementing Resolutions and Recommendations;

2. RECOGNIZING that with an increasingly large suite of technical and scientific guidance and other materials available to Parties, the provision of a number of overarching frameworks for different major aspects of Convention implementation -- including a Framework for the implementation of the Convention (Resolution IX.8), the Conceptual Framework for the wise use concept (Resolution IX.1 Annex A), a revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the further development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Resolution IX.1 Annex B), a Framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C), and an Integrated Framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring (Resolution IX.1 Annex E) -- represents a helpful step in better equipping Parties to implement the Convention and also in identifying gaps in existing guidance;

3. WELCOMING the preparation of a Ramsar Technical Report Series with the purpose of publishing detailed technical methodologies, reviews and reports on wetland ecology, conservation, wise use and management, as an enhanced information support service to Contracting Parties and the wider wetland community in support of implementation of the Ramsar Convention;

4. ALSO RECOGNIZING that some scientific and technical implementation actions are specified in a number of other Resolutions of the present meeting of the Conference of Parties and that such Resolutions have the purpose of focusing on specific priority areas of evolving policy under the Convention, whilst the purpose of this Resolution is to provide an overall picture of key scientific and technical implementation actions for the Convention for 2006-2011;

5. RECALLING that Resolution VIII.28 established a mechanism for the prioritisation of the work of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP); and

6. AWARE that it has not been possible to progress significant elements of STRP's priority work in the 2003-2005 triennium, and that full delivery of the Panel's programme remains subject to resources, in particular to voluntary contributions from Parties and others;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

7. APPROVES the immediate and high priority actions for the STRP for the 2006-2008 triennium in Annex 1 to this Resolution and ALSO APPROVES the schedule of actions in Annex 2 as a scientific and technical implementation programme for the Convention for the period 2006-2011;

8. INSTRUCTS the Secretariat to consolidate into Annex 2 to this Resolution, as appropriate, any additional scientific and technical implementation actions arising from other Resolutions adopted by the present meeting of the Conference of Parties;

9. REQUESTS the Secretariat to consolidate Annexes 1 and 2 to this Resolution with the Annex to Resolution Resolution IX.8 to form the Convention's Work Plan 2006-2008, and to make this available to Contracting Parties and others without delay; and

10. URGES Parties, donors, intergovernmental agencies, International Organization Partners, national NGOs, and others to use this programme, including the costed programme for immediate and high priority STRP actions in Annex 1 to this Resolution, in deciding priorities for their financial and other material support towards the future scientific and technical implementation of the Ramsar Convention.


Annex 1

Immediate priority and high priority tasks and the estimated costs for their delivery, for the STRP's programme of work 2006-2008

The following 26 tasks and their estimated costs have been recommended by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) and COP9 as priority activities for its work plan for the 2006-2008 triennium. These are divided into two categories:

i. Immediate Priority tasks: those which should be initiated by the STRP as early as possible in the 2006-2008 triennium using available resources; and

ii. High Priority tasks: those which should be initiated during the 2006-2008 triennium as and when the resources available to the STRP permit. Some of these High Priority tasks are also dependent on the prior delivery of Immediate Priority tasks.

Twelve tasks are identified as Immediate Priorities for the STRP. These cover the following topics:

  • Performing an ongoing strategic scientific and technical "review" function and a "response" function for preparing guidance on emerging issues;
  • Reviewing implementation of scientific and technical COP Resolutions;
  • Reviewing existing Ramsar guidance, to identify gaps and to repackage/retire guidance as appropriate;
  • Reviewing data and information needs for Ramsar sites and other wetlands, and developing guidance on inter alia describing wetland ecological character and Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS) amendments;
  • Establishing mechanisms for the implementation and assessment of the indicators of effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention (Resolution IX.1 Annex D);
  • Developing an adaptation to the Ramsar context of the "Critical Path" approach for river basin management (Resolution IX.1 Annex C i) and preparing operational guidance to include the application of CEPA tools;
  • Preparing guidelines for Parties on the implementation of environmental water requirements for wetlands;
  • Undertaking a strategic review of water quality and wetland issues;
  • Elaborating and updating the list of appropriate population estimates and 1% thresholds for the application of Criterion 9 (Resolution IX.1 Annex B);
  • Preparing guidelines on good agricultural practices and policies for different wetland types;
  • Seeking opportunities to prepare materials for outreach purposes, including on mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector; and
  • Reviewing the relationships and issues concerning the wise use of wetland ecosystems and human health.


Provisional estimated costs are based on each task requiring the engagement by the STRP of an expert (or experts) to undertake the work required. Estimated costs have been provided by the STRP and its expert Working Groups - more precise costings and ways and means for the delivery of these tasks, not all of which may prove to need such funded expert consultancies, will be developed at the onset of the 2006-2008 triennium through the mechanisms established under the revised STRP modus operandi (Resolution IX.11) and reported to the Standing Committee.

Provisional estimated costs for the twelve Immediate Priority tasks are CHF 250,000, and for the other fourteen 2006-2008 High Priority tasks are CHF 190,000.

Abbreviated titles of some tasks are given in this Annex. Reference should be made to the relevant numbered task in Annex 2 for the full description of each task

I. Issues arising from Resolution VIII.45 and the "ongoing" functions of the STRP

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

2.  Perform a true “review” function of addressing issues of strategic scientific and technical direction for the Convention, acting as a response mechanism to give scientific and technical advice to the Convention on emerging issues, with an overall aim of achieving a balance between these proactive guidance and reactive advice functions.

Immediate priority

Minimal

 

(will be covered within the modus operandi for STRP meetings and processes)

 

 

3.  Maintain an overview of progress with scientific and technical aspects of the implementation of COP Resolutions.

Immediate priority

20,000

(if, once scoped, the task requires consultation with site managers, Contracting Parties and others)

5. Review the range of existing Ramsar guidance (in conjunction with actions requested in Resolution IX.17), with a view to:

-       identifying gaps,

-       repackaging older guidance into updated documents, and

-       proposing retiring or withdrawing outdated documents.

Immediate priority

5,000

 

 

Subtotal:

25,000


II. Issues relating to the Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character (Resolution IX.1 Annex A)

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

14. Review the case studies in Towards the Wise Use of Wetlands (Ramsar, 1993) and other relevant case studies, review subsequent implementation progress with these cases, and provide updated studies.

High priority

30,000

 

15. Further review the harmonization of definitions and terms related to ecosystem benefits/services (with reference to Resolution VIII.7 paragraph 15 and COP9 DOC. 16, and taking into account the usage of such terms in other international fora).

High priority

To be costed

Subtotal:

30,000


III. Issues relating to the Integrated Framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring (Resolution IX.1 Annex E) and indicators of Convention effectiveness (Resolution IX.1 Annex D)

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

52. 

i.     Conduct a review of data and information needs for Ramsar sites and of the implications for official reporting, the further development of the Ramsar Sites Information Service, and the scope for harmonizing such reporting with the needs of other multilateral environmental agreements.

ii.    In light of the conclusions of this review, conduct a fundamental review of the structure of the Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS), having regard to Resolution VIII.6 on a Framework for wetland inventory, Resolution IX.1 Annex A on a Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character, including its revised definition of the term “ecological character”, and other relevant COP9 decisions. Priority issues to address include:

·            preparation of guidance for the description of the ecological character of wetlands;

·            development of protocols for the electronic submission of Ramsar Information Sheets;

·            harmonization of the layout and information fields of the RIS with the core data fields of the Framework for wetland inventory and the description of ecological character;

·            approaches to handling transboundary sites; and

·            investigation of the possible inclusion of a core data field in the RIS to allow for the insertion of a precise site boundary description.

iii.   In conjunction with these reviews, develop a scheme of data needs for wetlands more generally, addressing separately both the global level and the site level.

Immediate priority

 

i. (data needs review): 30,000

 

 

 

 

ii. RIS review and ecological character guidance etc.): 15,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

iii. (wetland data needs review): 15,000

 

 

53.  Prepare advice on delineating and mapping wetlands, in conjunction with the description of their ecological character, including issues concerning digital mapping.

High priority

15,000

54.  Prepare further consolidated guidance on the overall process of detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character.

High priority

20,000

 

59.  Establish and implement mechanisms for the collection, collation, analysis, assessment, reporting, publishing and disseminating of the results and conclusions of the indicators of effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention.

Immediate priority

25,000

(Note. This task will include identification of any additional costs concerning analysis, assessment, reporting and dissemination of each indicator, depending on the mechanisms established.)

 

60. Develop, test and put forward for use by Parties further indicators of effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention.

High priority

15,000

 

Subtotal:

135,000


IV. Issues relating to the Integrated Framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

81. Develop in more detail an adaptation to the Ramsar context of the “Critical Path” approach for river basin management and (as appropriate) coastal zone management, including case study analysis, and prepare operational guidance, including for the application of CEPA tools.

Immediate priority

30,000

 

 

 

85. Develop guidance on good practice in the integration of wetlands into Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), based on case studies to be sought from Parties.

High priority

15,000

89.     Prepare guidelines for Parties on the implementation of environmental water requirements for wetlands.

Immediate priority

15,000

 

 

90.  Prepare technical review reports on: i. groundwater-wetland interactions; and ii. the use and management of groundwater to maintain ecosystem functions. Once these reports are complete, review the present Integrated Framework for Ramsar’s water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C) and prepare detailed technical guidance on developing groundwater management strategies which aim at maintenance of wetland ecosystems and minimizing or mitigating the impacts of groundwater abstraction, and make other updating amendments as necessary.

High priority

20,000 for review reports

10,000 for further guidance on strategies etc. 5,000 for reviewing and updating framework

 

91. Undertake a strategic review of water quality and wetland issues; develop a medium-term plan and terms of reference for addressing water quality issues in Ramsar guidance; and subsequently prepare guidance for Parties on including water quality in environmental water requirement determination and implementation.

Immediate priority

25,000

 

 

 

Subtotal:

120,000


V. Issues relating to the revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

104.   Develop an interpretation of the term ‘under-represented’ wetland type and investigate methods for defining targets for representation of wetland types in the Ramsar List.

High priority

15,000

107.   Review existing guidance on designation of specific wetland types, assess the need for additional guidance, and as necessary develop such guidance.

High priority

25,000

109.   Elaborate and update the list of appropriate population estimates and 1% thresholds for non-avian animal species for the application of Criterion 9 (Resolution IX.1Annex B).

Immediate priority

10,000

 

 

112.   Keep the Ramsar Criteria and guidelines as a whole under review to ensure that they reflect global wetland conservation and wise use priorities.

High priority

5,000

Subtotal:

55,000


VI. Issues relating to wetland management (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8)

No immediate or high priority STRP tasks for 2006-2008.

VII. Issues relating to wetlands and agriculture

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

150.           Prepare guidelines on good agricultural practices and policies for different wetland types, drawing on information provided by the Comprehensive Assessment on water management in agriculture (CA) and other initiatives, and in line with existing legal frameworks.

Immediate priority

20,000

 

 

Subtotal:

20,000


VIII. Technical aspects of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA)

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

152.   Ensure that CEPA issues are fully covered in each of the substantive guidance documents prepared by the STRP through input to the Panel’s work from CEPA experts.

High priority

15,000

 

153.   Seek opportunities to prepare materials for outreach purposes, particularly for decision-makers and those in other sectors, on topics which are the subject of substantive guidance prepared by the STRP, including on mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector.

Immediate priority

15,000 for water issues materials

 

(other costings will depend on identification of other specific opportunities)

 

 

Subtotal:

30,000


IX. Development of further sectoral guidance by STRP

Task and product

Provisional estimated cost (Swiss francs)

163.   Review the relationships and issues concerning the wise use of wetland ecosystems and human health.

Immediate priority

25,000

 

Subtotal:

25,000


TOTAL PROVISIONAL ESTIMATED COSTS for 2006-2008: CHF 440,000


Annex 2

Schedule of actions for scientific and technical implementation of the Ramsar Convention, 2006-2011

Important note: the actions in the sections below on "Actions by others" cover only those actions of a scientific and technical nature: other actions for Contracting Parties and other bodies and organizations in the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and other decisions adopted by the Conferences of the Contracting Parties concerning policy, procedural and administrative issues are not addressed in this Annex (see Resolution IX.8).

List of sections in this Annex

I. Issues arising from Resolution VIII.45 and the "ongoing" functions of the STRP
II. Issues relating to the Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character (Resolution IX.1 Annex A)
III. Issues relating to the Integrated Framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring (Resolution IX.1 Annex E) and indicators of Convention effectiveness (Resolution IX.1 Annex D)
IV. Issues relating to the Integrated framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)
V. Issues relating to the revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)
VI. Issues relating to wetland management (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8)
VII. Issues relating to wetlands and agriculture
VIII. Technical aspects of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA)
IX. Development of further sectoral guidance by STRP

I. Issues arising from Resolution VIII.45 and the "ongoing" functions of the STRP

I(a) Actions by the STRP

1. Review and comment on proposals from Parties for COP Resolutions with technical content, and provide this advice to the Standing Committee and COP. (Standing Committee Subgroup on COP9)

2. Give increased emphasis, alongside specific mandated guidance drafting tasks, to performing a true "review" function of addressing issues of strategic scientific and technical direction for the Convention, acting as a response mechanism to give scientific and technical advice to the Convention on emerging issues, with an overall aim of achieving a balance between these proactive guidance and reactive advice functions. (STRP 12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

3. Maintain an overview of progress with scientific and technical aspects of the implementation of COP Resolutions, both in relation to indicators of effectiveness (see section III below) and more widely. (STRP 12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

4. Continue to provide advice under the following ongoing functions:

i) advising, when requested, on Ramsar site designation and management issues, including on Article 3.2 reports concerning change in ecological character;

ii) advising the Secretariat on requests from Contracting Parties for removing Ramsar sites from the Montreux Record of sites facing damaging change in ecological character;

iii) establishing and maintaining contact with STRP National Focal Points so as to ensure that their advice and expertise are fully contributing to the work of the Panel;

iv) advising on any request from a Contracting Party to participate in the activities of a different Ramsar region to that which it is assigned under the regional categorization of the Convention;

v) at the request of the relevant Administrative Authority, ensuring the involvement of the STRP National Focal Point in monitoring and evaluating an SGF project;

vi) upon request, assisting Contracting Parties and bilateral development agencies in screening, developing and evaluating wetland projects;

vii) receiving progress reports and advising on future needs and developments of the Ramsar Sites Information Service, maintained for the Convention by Wetlands International; and

viii) ensuring cooperation, exchange of information, and coordination of activities, where appropriate, with other MEAs' scientific and technical subsidiary bodies (and their related processes), including through actions in Joint Work Plans.

(Resolution VIII.28; Resolution IX.11)

5. Review the range of existing Ramsar guidance (in conjunction with actions requested in Resolution IX.17), with a view inter alia to identifying gaps (including by reference to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Conceptual Framework), repackaging older guidance into updated documents, retiring or withdrawing outdated documents (including Recommendation 4.10 and Resolution 5.6), and make recommendations in this regard to COP10. (STRP12, Resolution IX.1 Annex A, COP9 DOC 16) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

I(b) Action by others

6. In general give a higher priority, as far as appropriate, to full implementation of existing Resolutions and Recommendations than to putting forward proposals for new and additional Resolutions. [CPs] (SC Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45)

7. Develop an index of current Resolutions and Recommendations by subject matter and geographic relevance, to assist Parties in concentrating on the implementation of Resolutions and Recommendations that are most relevant to their situations. [Secretariat] (SC Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45)

8. Promote outreach mechanisms to disseminate Resolutions and Recommendations to stakeholders beyond the Convention's national Administrative Authorities. [Parties, Secretariat, and others] (SC Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45)

9. When drawing up proposals for new or additional Resolutions, endeavour to make them as concise and user-friendly as possible, with a view to their ease of use by site managers and other stakeholders, including through the use of summaries and case studies. [CPs, STRP] (SC Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45)

10. Provide to each COP at its outset, and to a meeting of the Standing Committee in advance of the COP, as complete an outline as possible of the potential scientific and technical tasks which appear from proposals and draft Resolutions tabled by that stage to be likely to be allocated to the STRP, the Secretariat and the Parties in the succeeding triennium, so that the COP will be able to make decisions informed by the overall scale of such tasks and the financial and other implications of undertaking them. [Secretariat; STRP] (Resolution IX.2)

11. Provide case studies of implementation of Resolutions and Recommendations where there is relevant experience to share, including wherever possible the identification of lessons learned, identifying the specific locations of site-based experiences. [CPs, IGOs, IOPs, other NGOs]

12. Support the budget for the work of the STRP with voluntary contributions, upon which the work of the Panel relies. [Parties, donors and others] (Resolution IX.2)

II. Issues relating to the Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character (Resolution IX.1 Annex A)

II(a) Action by the STRP

13. Elaborate ways in which to utilize to best effect the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, especially those concerning response options, including in relation to the Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character. (STRP 12, Resolution IX.1 Annex A)

14. Review the case studies in Towards the Wise Use of Wetlands (Ramsar, 1993) and other relevant case studies (including those requested in actions 66, 69 and 72), review subsequent implementation progress with these cases, and provide updated studies, including advice on the application of the ecosystem approach. (Strategic Plan action 3.1.2; STRP 2003-2005 work plan; STRP12 report) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

15. Further review the harmonization of definitions and terms related to ecosystem benefits/services (with reference to Resolution VIII.7 paragraph 15 and COP9 DOC. 16, and taking into account the usage of such terms in other international fora), and report to COP10. (Resolution IX.1 Annex A). STRP 2006-2008 high priority

16. Having regard to such progress as may be achieved with the Convention's indicators of implementation effectiveness, to the review of gaps in guidance described in action 5 above, and to the implementation of Resolution VIII.45, develop such new tools as may be necessary to assist Parties with the implementation of the wise use concept. (Strategic Plan action 17.1.5; STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

17. Assess the contribution of Ramsar sites and other wetlands to the maintenance of fisheries and recommend sustainable management practices which can contribute to the WSSD target of maintaining or restoring depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield. (Strategic Plan action 1.2.6)

18. Consider ways and means of elaborating the Annex to Resolution IX.4, taking into account the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture (CA), and other relevant assessments, in order to provide further guidance for Contracting Parties on wetlands and their relation to sustainable fisheries. (Resolution IX.4)

19. Develop guidelines for the implementation of Resolution IX.14 on "Wetlands and poverty reduction". (Resolution IX.14)

20. Consider the relevance and applicability of the tools and approaches for cross-biome planning and management of wetlands within the context of ongoing work and priorities, namely the following priority tasks in Resolution IX.2 Annex 1: task 5 - review of existing Ramsar guidance; task 81 - further development of river basin and coastal zone management approach(es); and task 112 - review of Ramsar site Criteria and guidelines to reflect global wetland conservation and wise use priorities. (Resolution IX.20)

II(b) Action by others

21. Review the use of terms covered by the guidance in Resolution IX.1 Annex A in policy documents and other contexts, and adapt such usages where necessary in order to remain consistent with those now advised in the guidance. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex A)

22. In undertaking interventions which make use of Ramsar guidance Handbooks, address choices about the focus for such interventions by reference where appropriate to the Conceptual Framework deriving from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and as adapted in the guidance in Resolution IX.1 Annex A. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex A)

23. Establish multi-hazard analyses that define areas suitable for development and for appropriate contingency planning that recognizes pre-disaster measures for impact prevention and minimization involving wise wetland management. [CPs] (Resolution IX.9)

24. Work together urgently to promote and to actively support the recovery of coastal wetlands and associated community livelihoods in countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 as well as the reduction of the vulnerabilities of coastal communities and wetlands through:

  • assistance with reduction of the impact of natural disasters, ensuring the implementation of ecologically sustainable management and redevelopment approaches and enhanced integrated coastal zone management throughout the region, in order to assist with the mitigation of impacts of any future tsunami and storm damage;
  • establishment or maintenance of coastal greenbelts of mangroves and other appropriate species;
  • mitigation of impacts of future tsunami and storm damage;
  • strengthening of regional initiatives and other existing regional fora to share experience and expertise and support collective efforts in natural disaster prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation of coastal wetland ecosystems; and
  • assistance with monitoring of long-term ecological impacts of disasters on Ramsar sites and other wetlands.

    [CPs, others] (Resolution IX.9)

25. In relation to attention to fisheries as one example area of the application of the wise use concept, use the habitat and species conservation provisions of the Convention to support the introduction and/or continuance of management measures that mitigate the environmental impacts of fishing, including the use of spatial management approaches as appropriate. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

26. Review, and where necessary enhance, national and regional programmes for the systematic collection of ecological and socio-economic data on fisheries, including artisanal fisheries, and data on aquaculture, of relevance to Ramsar sites and associated areas, and undertake inventories, assessments and monitoring of fisheries resources which depend on wetlands. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

27. Carefully control aquaculture (e.g., pond and cage culture) practices in Ramsar sites and in areas that are liable to impact on Ramsar sites and other wetlands so as to prevent adverse changes to the ecological character of wetlands, applying the provisions of the 1997 FAO Code of Conduct and its associated Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries - Aquaculture Development and the 2000 Bangkok Declaration and Strategy for Aquaculture Development (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)/FAO)). [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

28. Review policies, laws and programmes for regulating the introduction of aquatic biota for aquaculture and the aquarium industry, so as to control the accidental movement of species for example through ballast water and to avoid introduction of invasive and/or alien species, and undertake the necessary measures to prevent the introduction or spread of known alien and/or invasive aquatic biota (including invasive alien genes), in order to maintain the ecological character of wetlands, in line with Resolution VIII.18. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

29. Assist fishers in gaining access to environmentally friendly technologies for fisheries and related activities. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

30. Work with other conventions, instruments and organizations concerned with the conservation of biodiversity and the management of natural resources (including FAO at an international and regional level), in order to promote the synergy and alignment of planning and management approaches that benefit the conservation and sustainable management of fisheries resources and that foster recognition of the contribution this makes towards meeting CBD targets, WSSD goals, and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.4)

31. Pursue appropriate partnerships with expert bodies or organizations such as The WorldFish Center and FAO that are concerned with fisheries resources/resource conservation and sustainable use, in order for the Ramsar Convention to gain further advice and to fulfill its mandate. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.4)

32. Promote and disseminate research into the population dynamics and sustainable harvesting of wetland-dependent species, especially migratory waterbirds, and ensure that national hunting legislation is consistent with the wise use principle for migratory waterbird and other wetland-dependent species, taking into account geographical range, life-history characteristics of species, and research on sustainable harvesting. [CPs; others] (Strategic Plan actions 12.2.4, 12.2.5)

33. Promote and secure the wise use of peatland ecosystems and their benefits/services, as a demonstration of the application of the Convention's wise use concept, including through the work of the Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatlands (GGAP) as a multi-sectoral mechanism and the delivery of the Implementation Plan and priorities it has developed under Resolution VIII.17 for Global Action on Peatlands (to be made available as a Ramsar Technical Report), emphasizing the dissemination of information, monitoring implementation of GGAP by Parties and others, identification of gaps, and assistance in fundraising for further GGAP implementation. [GGAP Coordinating Committee; CPs; Secretariat] (STRP12)

34. Develop and implement a survival plan for tropical peat swamp forests. [CPs, GGAP Coordinating Committee, donors] (STRP12)

35. Contribute to initiatives concerning the development and transfer of environmentally sound technologies for the sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems. [CPs; others] (Resolution VIII.32)

36. Continue to review existing or evolving policy, legal and institutional frameworks to identify and promote those measures which encourage conservation and wise use of wetlands, identify and remove measures which discourage conservation and wise use, and investigate linkages between incentives and related topics including financial mechanisms, trade, impact assessment, and valuation. [CPs] (Strategic Plan action 8.1.1 & Resolutions VIII.23, VIII.34 and VIII.40)

37. In consultation with and with the support of indigenous people, document and encourage the application of appropriate traditional knowledge and management practices of indigenous people and local communities in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. [CPs] (Strategic Plan action 6.1.2; Resolution VIII.39)

38. When reviewing land tenure policies, consider, where appropriate, wetland tenure systems and user rights in a manner that promotes fair, transparent and sustainable management of wetlands and their resources. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.34)

39. Working with others as appropriate, undertake, where possible, studies of the role of wetlands in carbon storage and sequestration and in mitigating the impacts of sea level rise. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.3)

40. Review, in cooperation with the private sector, domestic and international trade in wetland-derived plant and animal products, both exports and imports, and as appropriate implement the necessary legal, institutional and administrative measures to ensure that harvesting is sustainable and in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). [CPs] (Strategic Plan action 7.1.5)

41. Take action to contribute to poverty reduction, especially in the following areas:

  • human life and safety: measures to protect against impacts such as cyclones, storm surges, saline intrusions, droughts and floods through the sustainable use and restoration of wetlands;
  • access to resources: measures to improve access to and develop capacity to use, on a sustainable basis, land, water and wetland resources such as fish, in full respect of international and national legislation, respecting the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples consistent with national law and applicable international obligations;
  • ecological sustainability: measures to enhance the priority given to sustainability in all relevant mainstream policy sectors, including ecosystem restoration measures;
  • governance: measures to improve the empowerment of the poor in decision-making processes and management institutions;
  • economies: measures to maintain or improve, on an ecologically sustainable basis, the ecosystem benefits/services that wetlands provide.

[CPs] (Resolution IX.14)

42. Implement the wetland component (Programme Area 2) of the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), building upon the decisions contained in Resolution VIII.44 (New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Africa) and drawing links between implementation of NEPAD and poverty reduction. [African CPs] (Resolution IX.14)

43. Make available to Contracting Parties the information, tools, and approaches on integrated cross-biome planning and management of wetlands, and further apply and develop the tools and approaches and, in particular, further evaluate their utility in assisting Parties to more effectively implement the provisions and guidance of the Ramsar Convention and CBD. [WWF] (Resolution IX.20)

44. Include within integrated planning the development of site networks of protected areas, including Ramsar sites, to ensure that the ecosystem benefits/services delivered by the various biomes are recognized and incorporated into management regimes and land and water use activities, also taking into account, inter alia, the provisions of CBD decision VII/28 on protected areas, in particular Programme Element 1 of the annex to that decision which refers to direct actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening, and managing protected area systems and sites. [CPs] (Resolution IX.20)

45. Identify and analyze further case studies of wetlands with significant cultural values and make them widely known, thus increasing the knowledge and understanding of the relationship between cultural processes and wetland conservation and wise use. [CPs] (Resolution IX.21)

46. Incorporate cultural values in wetland policies and strategies, as well as in wetland management plans, and communicate the results, thus contributing to the development of comprehensive and integrated approaches. [CPs] (Resolution IX.21)

47. Complete, through a broad participatory process, the work prescribed in paragraph 17 of Resolution VIII.19 concerning the guidance to be provided on cultural values, and establish a multi-disciplinary working group on the cultural values of wetlands, with a balanced geographic representation, under the supervision of Standing Committee, with appropriate input from the STRP, to coordinate the activities. [Secretariat, Standing Committee, STRP] (Resolution IX.21)

48. Analyse the activities carried out to incorporate cultural values in the work of the Convention during the triennium 2006-2008 and the experience gained, and report to the Standing Committee and COP10. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.21)

III. Issues relating to the Integrated Framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring (Resolution IX.1 Annex E) and indicators of Convention effectiveness (Resolution IX. 1 Annex D)

III(a) Action by the STRP

49. Develop, test and publish a hydro-geomorphically-based system of classification of wetland type, including an evaluation of how this might relate to other possible systems and to the current Ramsar classification system, having regard inter alia to groundwater issues and to relevant outputs of the European Space Agency GlobWetland remote sensing project, and prepare a report with advice for Parties at COP10. (STRP12)

50. Make available a Web-based wetland inventory meta-database, populated with information on all national wetland inventories and updatable by Contracting Parties. (Strategic Plan action 1.1.4)

51. As and when the update of the Global Review of Wetland Resources and Priorities for Wetland Inventory (GroWI-2) can be progressed, ensure that appropriate input to it is made, drawing upon inventory meta-data information. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

52. i) Conduct a review of data and information needs for Ramsar sites and of the implications for official reporting, the further development of the Ramsar Sites Information Service, and the scope for harmonizing such reporting with the needs of other multilateral environmental agreements.

ii) In light of the conclusions of this review, conduct a fundamental review of the structure of the Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS), having regard to Resolution VIII.6 on a Framework for wetland inventory, Resolution IX.1 Annex A on a Conceptual Framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character, including its revised definition of the term "ecological character", and other relevant COP9 decisions.

Priority issues to address include:

  • preparation of guidance for the description of the ecological character of wetlands;
  • development of protocols for the electronic submission of Ramsar Information Sheets;
  • harmonization of the layout and information fields of the RIS with the core data fields of the Framework for wetland inventory and the description of ecological character;
  • approaches to handling transboundary sites; and
  • investigation of the possible inclusion of a core data field in the RIS to allow for the insertion of a precise site boundary description.

iii) In conjunction with these reviews, develop a scheme of data needs for wetlands more generally, addressing separately both the global level and the site level.

STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

53. Prepare advice on delineating and mapping wetlands, in conjunction with the description of their ecological character, including issues concerning digital mapping identified in Resolution VIII.13. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

54. Prepare further consolidated guidance on the overall process of detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character, including guidelines for determining when such a change is too trivial to require reporting, having regard to the reasons why a given site is important and the conservation objectives set for it. (Resolution VIII.8, STRP 2003-2005 work plan) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

55. Review and evaluate the Man and the Biosphere Programme's procedure for Biosphere Reserve Integrated Monitoring (BRIM), once developed, and advise on its application to the monitoring of the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands. (Resolution VIII.7)

56. Prepare advice on redesigning the Montreux Record questionnaire, inter alia to ensure consistency with the Article 3.2 reporting format. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

57. Prepare an analysis of the status and trends in the ecological character of sites in the Ramsar List, set as far as possible in the context of the status and trends of wetlands more generally and drawing as appropriate on the Ramsar Sites Database, the Convention's indicators of implementation effectiveness, and the results of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and other assessment initiatives. (Resolution VIII.8, STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

58. Linked to task 57 above, prepare synthesis reports on aspects of the status and trends of wetlands and their biological diversity, as an input to assessments of progress in relation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development/Convention on Biological Diversity 2010 target for significant biodiversity loss-rate reduction, and in particular to the CBD's indicators on "trends in selected biomes" and "water quality", aiming to publish one such report in 2008 (having regard also to contributions to the Global Biodiversity Outlook, and the UNEP Global Environment Outlook - GEO-4), and one in 2011. [STRP, Secretariat, IOPs] (STRP12)

59. Establish and implement mechanisms for the collection, collation, analysis, assessment, reporting, publishing and disseminating of the results and conclusions of the indicators of effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention. [Secretariat; CPs; IOPs; STRP] (STRP12; Resolution IX.1 Annex D) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

60. Develop, test and put forward for use by Parties further indicators of effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention, including indicators addressing wise use policy issues and benefits/services provided by wetlands to humans. (Resolution IX.1 Annex D) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

61. In addition to the mechanisms described in preceding paragraphs, assist in monitoring the performance of the Convention by utilizing the Key Result Areas and associated indicators in the "Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period" annexed to Resolution IX.8. [STRP; CPs; Secretariat] (Resolution IX.8)

62. Continue participation in the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza as resources and competencies permit; provide relevant input on practical measures to reduce the risk of disease transmission between wild, captive and domesticated birds, to those agencies developing contingency and wetland management plans related to HPAI; and assist, with relevant international agencies and the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza, in sharing information, including practical advice that will assist countries to respond to this serious and rapidly developing situation, reporting back on progress to the Standing Committee and to COP10. [STRP; Secretariat] (Resolution IX.23)

III(b) Action by others

63. Make use of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment experience and methods for subglobal ecosystem assessments in the assessment of wetland ecosystems at the local, national and supranational scale, including through international cooperation on the assessment of transboundary aquatic ecosystems. [CPs, others] (Resolution VIII.7)

64. When designing and undertaking monitoring of wetlands or wetland biodiversity according to the Ramsar Framework, consider also the possibility in appropriate circumstances of using relevant rapid assessment tools/methodologies according to the guidance in Resolution IX.1 Annex Ei for longer term hypothesis-driven monitoring by repeated surveys using such methods.] [CPs, others] (Resolution IX.1 Annex Ei)

65. When undertaking national inventories of wetlands, identify those wetlands where restoration or rehabilitation would be appropriate because of their present and/or former ecosystem benefits/services, on the basis of the guidelines adopted by Resolutions VII.16 and VIII.6. [CPs, others] (Resolutions VII.16, VIII.6)

66. Finalise development of a simple form for Parties to use in recording change or potential change in ecological character of Ramsar sites under Article 3.2. [Secretariat; Wetlands International] (STRP12)

67. Establish contact with the relevant national contact points from within the networks of the International Association for Impact Assessment with a view to identifying sources of expertise and advice for assisting with wetland-related impact assessment. [CPs; IAIA] (Resolution VIII.9)

68. Monitor and assess the impacts of natural disasters on the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands and on the livelihoods of affected people dependent upon these wetlands and, for designated Ramsar sites, report this information to the Ramsar Secretariat so that it can be made available to the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to assist in its reporting to subsequent COPs on the status and trends in the ecological character of sites in the Ramsar List and other wetlands, as called for in Resolution VIII.8. [affected CPs] (Resolution IX.9)

69. Undertake assessments of the economic, social, cultural and livelihood values of individual wetlands and wetlands in general and the benefits/services they deliver, with a view to enhancing sustainable livelihoods utilizing a wise use approach. [CPs, with UNEP, UNDP, the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs, IOPs, national and international NGOs and others] (Resolution IX.14)

70. Continue monitoring and assessing the status and trends of specific wetland issues as determined in previous COP Resolutions, for example, the extent and conservation status of coastal wetlands (Resolution VIII.4); extent, conservation status and levels of use of mangroves (Resolution VIII.32); impacts of dams (Resolution VIII.2); threats to temporary pools (Resolution VIII.33); risks from alien invasive species (Resolution VIII.18); and impacts of drought and other natural disasters (Resolution VIII.35), where applicable in conjunction with activities related to Ramsar's indicators of implementation effectiveness. [CPs; IOPs; others] (COP8 Resolutions VIII.4, VIII.32, VIII.2, VIII.33, VIII.18 and VIII.35)

71. Those responsible for protecting and managing Ramsar sites: establish for each site an effective monitoring programme, ideally as part of the site management plan, which is designed to detect and provide early warning of changes in ecological character, using the Convention's Framework for designing an effective monitoring programme and its Wetland Risk Assessment Framework, and additionally, linked to this, use Ramsar sites as baseline and reference areas for national, supranational/regional, and international environmental monitoring to detect trends in the loss of biological diversity, climate change, and the processes of desertification. [CPs] (Strategic Plan actions 11.2.1 and 11.2.2; Resolution IX.15).

72. Explore possibilities for establishing partnerships so as to support the development of long-term funding for monitoring schemes that are relevant to the Convention's interests, and as soon as possible. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.23)

73. Apply waterbird monitoring data, and analyses drawn from them, when appropriate, as a means of providing objective information for site management planning and the evaluation of national or regional wetland policies. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.38)

74. Update and submit revised Ramsar Information Sheets as frequently as necessary to record changes in the status of sites, at least at intervals of not more than six years, so that they can be used for reviewing progress in achieving the Vision and Objectives of the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Handbook 7) at each meeting of the COP. [CPs] (Strategic Plan action 10.2.4)

75. Establish a repository for the contribution by Parties of summarized national (or, where appropriate, provincial) assessments of changes in the status of wetland resources, as the basis for regular analysis and improved reporting on the status of wetland resources, as a mechanism linked to the inventory meta-database (see action 50). [Secretariat] (Strategic Plan action 1.2.2)

76. Consider how best to simplify and reduce duplication in the reporting required and/or requested in relevant Resolutions adopted by previous COPs, make further recommendations on streamlining and simplifying reporting requirements, and develop a simpler and less duplicative reporting format (taking into account the implementation of COP9 Resolutions IX.1 Annex D and IX.8); and continue working with UNEP's Division of Environmental Conventions and the secretariats of other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements concerning more effective convention implementation. Topics could include, inter alia, and as appropriate, the development and implementation of issue-based modules and harmonization of national reporting requirements subject to the mandate of each individual convention bearing in mind their Contracting Parties. [Secretariat; Standing Committee; MEAs] (Resolutions IX.5 and IX.8)

77. Develop ways and means at national level of improving liaison between Ramsar Convention Administrative Authorities and focal points for related conventions and agreements, and communicate with the Secretariat on their progress with respect to harmonizing information management and reporting for the biodiversity-related conventions. [CPs] (Resolution IX.5)

78. Continue to be fully involved in proceedings of the Biodiversity Liaison Group (BLG) established under the aegis of the CBD and report regularly to Standing Committee on progress achieved by this group; and cooperate closely with relevant conventions, including through the Joint Liaison Group for the three Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD), with UN agencies such as UNEP, UNESCO and FAO, and with other relevant intergovernmental organizations such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), UNEP-WCMC, and the CGIAR networks, and seek to reduce duplicative activities. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.5)

79. Monitor the performance of the Convention by utilizing the Key Result Areas and associated indicators in the Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period annexed to Resolution IX.8. [CPs, SC, Secretariat, IOPs] (Resolution IX.8)

IV. Issues relating to the Integrated framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

IV(a) Action by the STRP

General

80. Prepare guidance on issues of a largely CEPA nature concerning mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector. (STRP12)

Concerning River Basin Management/Coastal Zone Management

81. Develop in more detail an adaptation to the Ramsar context of the "Critical Path" approach for river basin management and (as appropriate) coastal zone management, and prepare operational guidance, including for the application of CEPA tools. (STRP 12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

82. Compile, collate and analyze case studies of river basin management using the Critical Path approach, including good practice examples of water allocation and management and case studies of environmental flows, including examples involving dams. (STRP 12)

83. Prepare i) a consolidation of Ramsar guidance on river basin management, to bring together Wise Use Handbook 4 and the COP9 guidance in Resolution IX1 Annex Ci, and ii) additional guidance on those aspects of river basin management identified in Resolution IX.1 Annex Ci as gaps and priorities. (STRP12)

84. Prepare an annotated bibliography identifying inter alia available guidance for considering impacts of dams on wetland and river systems. (STRP12; relates also to Strategic Plan action 3.4.4)

85. Develop guidance on good practice in the integration of wetlands into Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), based on case studies to be sought from Parties, including in relation to coastal/upstream interactions, and lessons learned in responding to the impacts of the Indian Ocean tsunami. (Resolution VIII.4; Asia COP9 regional meeting) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

86. Develop guidelines on water resources management in dry and sub-humid lands, including in relation to climate change and desertification. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan; 3rd CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan)

87. Conduct an international review of water and environmental law to identify practical approaches for policy, law and regulation to support determination and implementation of environmental flows and other water-related aspects of wetland management; review Ramsar guidance related to law and policy and identify scope for strengthening in relation to these water-related issues, based on the international review. (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

Concerning environmental water requirements

88. Prepare a report for COP10 on successes achieved and lessons learnt from demonstrating good practice in water allocation and management for maintaining ecological functions of wetlands. (Resolution VIII.1, STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

89. Prepare guidelines for Parties on the implementation of environmental water requirements for wetlands, drawing upon the material and case studies contained in the Ramsar Technical Reports on this topic prepared by the STRP during the 2003-2005 triennium. (STRP WG3). STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

Concerning groundwater issues

90. Prepare technical review reports on: i) groundwater-wetland interactions; and ii) the use and management of groundwater to maintain ecosystem functions. Once these reports are complete, review the present Integrated Framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance (Resolution IX.1 Annex C) and prepare detailed technical guidance on developing groundwater management strategies which aim at maintenance of wetland ecosystems and at minimizing or mitigating the impacts of groundwater abstraction, and make other updating amendments as necessary. (STRP12; STRP 2003-2005 work plan, (Resolution IX.1 Annex C iii) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

Concerning water quality

91. Undertake a strategic review of water quality and wetland issues; develop a medium-term plan and terms of reference for addressing water quality issues in Ramsar guidance; and subsequently prepare guidance for Parties on including water quality in environmental water requirement determination and implementation. (STRP12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

IV(b) Action by others

General

92. Relevant ministries, agencies and departments within Parties: engage in cooperative planning and management processes in ways that ensure that those responsible for wetland management and those responsible for water resources management operate to a coordinated agenda, especially in relation to decision-making on water allocations. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

93. Ensure that institutional and governance structures relating to water resources enable the voice of civil society to be integrated into planning and decision-making on water issues. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

94. Bring Resolutions VI.23, VII.18, VIII.1, and COP9 Resolution IX.1 Annex C and its appendices and the Guidelines for the allocation and management of water for maintaining the ecological functions of wetlands (Ramsar Handbook 12) to the attention of national, regional and local authorities in charge of water management for their integration into, and their multisectoral implementation through, national Integrated Water Resources Management plans so as to include an ecosystem approach consistent with the Ramsar Convention. [CPs] (Resolution IX.3)

95. Ensure that the maintenance of wetlands and their functions is fully taken into account in the design, planning and implementation of water-related projects, poverty reduction strategy papers, and coastal zone planning. [CPs; institutions] (Resolution IX.3)

96. Cooperate with the Secretariat of the Fourth World Water Forum (Mexico, 2006) and other relevant global and regional water initiatives in the future in order to ensure that the importance of wetland ecosystem benefits/services is recognized in the Forum outputs as a key element to effectively managing water resources whilst maintaining the ecosystem functioning of wetlands. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.3)

97. Update the Integrated Framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance and relevant Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks as and when relevant additional Resolutions and guidance are adopted. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

Concerning River Basin Management/Coastal Zone Management

98. Those responsible for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): ensure that such management is closely connected to approaches and initiatives for planning and management in the terrestrial, marine and atmospheric realms, and to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) at the freshwater-marine interface. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

99. Water resources management authorities: ensure, given that many of the values people derive from water depend on that water being a component of healthily functioning ecosystems, that better operational linkages are made between the management of water supply and management of the water resources which are the origin of that supply. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

100. Promote and implement, with Contracting Parties, relevant and key elements of the decision taken at CSD13 on Integrated Water Resources Management, including inter alia enhancing the sustainability of ecosystems that provide essential resources and benefits/services for human well-being and economic activity and developing innovative means of financing their protection; protecting and rehabilitating catchment areas for regulating water flows and improving water quality, taking into account the critical role of ecosystems; and supporting more effective water demand and water resource management across all sectors, especially in the agricultural sector. [Secretariat; CPs] (Resolution IX.3)

101. Report to the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee on an action plan for the Convention in promoting the themes in paragraph 100 above in order for the Standing Committee through the Secretary General to provide input to the CSD report-back session in 2008; and prepare a report for COP10 on the Convention's activities in promoting these themes. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.3)

Concerning environmental water requirements

102. Those responsible for drawing up and implementing plans for abstraction of water from river basins or discharge of water or waste into river basins: take into account the water requirements of all types of wetlands (including peatlands and other inland and coastal wetlands), including both requirements to be met from surface runoff and those to be met from groundwater. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C)

Concerning groundwater issues

103. Wetland managers and groundwater managers: undertake screening studies at a river basin or regional aquifer scale to assess the potential for interaction between wetlands and groundwater; undertake more detailed studies of water balance, etc., as appropriate; develop a conceptual model of groundwater-wetland interactions for each wetland that may be impacted by current or future groundwater exploitation; and undertake a wider situation assessment of combined impacts, status and trends. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex C iii)

V. Issues relating to the revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance [Resolution IX.1 Annex B]

V(a) Action by the STRP (See also tasks on Ramsar site data needs and the Ramsar Information Sheet, covered in section III above)

104. Develop an interpretation of the term 'under-represented' wetland type and investigate methods for defining targets for representation of wetland types in the Ramsar List, including in relation to relevant indicators of Convention effectiveness. (Resolution VIII.11, STRP 2003-2005 work plan, Resolution IX.1 Annex D) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

105. Conduct a study of different available biogeographical regionalization schemes in the context of the application of Criteria 1 and 3, and make recommendations on a small number of preferred options for use in the selection of Ramsar sites, for consideration and possible adoption by COP10. (Resolution VIII.7; STRP12)

106. Prepare a revised RIS and additional guidance as appropriate from the actions in paragraph 52 above for inclusion in the accompanying RIS Explanatory Notes and Guidelines. (Resolutions VIII7, VIII.13, and VIII.21, STRP 2003-2005 work plan)

107. Review the suite of existing guidance for selection of Ramsar sites of specific wetland types and examine its usefulness to Parties in the light of their experience of its application; assess the need for additional guidance on these or other wetland types, in the context inter alia of a response to the request of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Decision VII/4) to elaborate additional site selection guidelines and related issues. (STRP12) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

108. Review the ecological roles played by reservoirs and other human-made wetlands, including their use by aquatic and other water-dependent biota, and prepare guidance for Contracting Parties concerning the identification and designation of such wetlands for the Ramsar List, taking into account the experience gained by Parties that have already done so. (Resolution VIII.2; STRP 2003-2005 work plan).

109. Work with appropriate Specialist Groups of IUCN-the World Conservation Union to further elaborate and update the list of appropriate population estimates and 1% thresholds for the application of Criterion 9, for availability by COP10 and subsequent COPs. (STRP12; Resolution IX.1 Annex B) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

110. Review the application and utility of the Ramsar site Criteria relating to fish and their associated guidance, and make any revisions needed. (STRP12)

111. Consider coordination of efforts in integrating Ramsar sites into other systems of protected areas. (Resolution IX.22)

112. In addition to specific actions listed above concerning reviews of aspects of the Ramsar Criteria, keep the Criteria and guidelines as a whole under review to ensure that they reflect global wetland conservation and wise use priorities, including their relationship to other relevant schemes such as Annex I of the Convention on Biological Diversity, including for 2006-2008 paying particular attention to the development of further guidance on designation of human-made wetlands in relation to wetlands whose conversion has damaged their ecological character. (Strategic Plan 17.1.5, STRP 2003-2005 work plan; COP9 Report) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

V(b) Action by others

113. Make such editorial amendments to the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List regarding terminology and time-limited references and contexts, etc., as are consequent on the amendments adopted at COP9. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)

114. Use the revised format of the Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS) prepared by the Secretariat to incorporate the amendments introduced by Resolution IX.1 Annex B in the designations of new sites, extensions to existing sites, and updated information on existing sites. [CPs] (Resolution IX.15)

115. Assist Wetlands International and BirdLife International through the continued collection and supply of population data on waterbirds, inter alia, to assist with Ramsar site designation. [CPs, Wetlands International, BirdLife International] (Resolution VIII.38)

116. Continue to prepare updated editions of Waterbird Population Estimates to be available at each COP, having first undertaken international scientific consultation on its contents and in line with Resolution VI.4 that 1% thresholds should not be revised more frequently than every third COP (unless populations are previously poorly known or are known to be changing rapidly), so that the population estimates and 1% thresholds it contains may be used as the basis for the application of Criterion 6 in the succeeding triennia. [Wetlands International] (Resolution VIII.38)

117. Make available to Parties and others information from the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) programme, including regional analyses of IBAs and potential Ramsar sites, and consider the preparation of such analyses for regions not covered so far. [BirdLife International] (Resolution VIII.38)

118. Accelerate efforts to designate further Ramsar sites that are internationally important for conserving fish biodiversity and/or supporting sustainable fisheries, and consider the designation of such sites in such a way as to encompass the entire life cycle of fish species, especially threatened, long distance migrant species moving between freshwater and marine environments. [CPs] (STRP12)

119. When assessing potential for Ramsar site designation, in addition to considering potentially qualifying fish interests as above, carefully and systematically review other "less visible" potentially qualifying aquatic flora and fauna. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)

120. Identify and assess sites potentially qualifying under new Criterion 9 adopted at COP9 and add suitable sites to the List as a contribution to the long-term target for such sites agreed at COP9. [CPs] (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)

121. When assessing human-made wetlands for consideration for Ramsar site designation, take into account the additional guidance on these matters provided in Resolution IX.1 Annex B. [CPs; Secretariat] (Resolution IX.1 Annex B)

122. Apply the guidance and procedures set out in the Annex to Resolution IX.6 when contemplating the deletion of a site from the List of Wetlands of International Importance or a restriction to the boundaries of such a site, and provide to the Ramsar Secretariat information on experiences and lessons learned in the application of this Resolution. [CPs] (Resolution IX.6)

123. Take into account the guidance in the Annex to Resolution IX.6 when advising Contracting Parties on issues concerning reduction or deletion of a site from the List of Wetlands of International Importance, including on the provision by Contracting Parties of updated Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.6)

124. Consider, wherever possible, developing processes which integrate efforts aimed at broader protected areas system development with Ramsar site network expansion, the nomination of World Heritage sites, and the identification of Biosphere Reserves. [CPs] (Resolution IX.22)

125. Review national processes for implementation of CBD's Jakarta Mandate programme of work on coastal and marine biodiversity to ensure that such reviews integrate fully the identification and designation of Ramsar sites. [CPs who are also CBD CPs] (Resolution IX.22)

VI. Issues relating to wetland management (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8)

VI(a) Action by the STRP

126. Develop for Contracting Parties a set of restoration guidelines that may be implemented following natural disasters in general, including drawing on existing and new guidance relating to the role of wetlands in ICZM in implementing responses to ecosystem rehabilitation and vulnerability, and updating existing guidelines which emphasize the role of wetland ecosystems in mitigating the effects of natural disasters, as appropriate. [STRP, with IOPs and other relevant agencies] (Resolution IX.9)

127. Compile and disseminate information on new research and methodologies for the restoration and rehabilitation of lost or degraded wetlands, and further develop tools and guidance on wetland restoration. (Strategic Plan action 4.1.3; Resolution VIII.16)

128. Prepare guidance on compensation for wetland losses, in response to Resolution VII.24. (Resolution VIII.16)

VI(b) Action by others

129. Monitor and assess the outcomes and the effectiveness of management measures undertaken in relation to Ramsar sites, and synthesise the results into relevant reports. [CPs, STRP National Focal Points] [Resolution IX.1 Annex E]

130. Monitor and review experiences of implementing the Ramsar Field Guide on wetland management planning, and feed results through STRP National Focal Points to the STRP in the context of the implementation of paragraph 3 of the Annex of Resolution VIII.14. [CPs, STRP National Focal Points] (STRP 12)

131. Implement wetland management in ways which increase the resilience of the sites to climate change and extreme climatic events and which reduce the risk of flooding and drought in vulnerable countries. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.3)

132. Compile and disseminate information on new research and methodologies for the restoration and rehabilitation of lost or degraded wetlands. [CPs, IOPs, others] (Strategic Plan action 4.1.3)

133. Establish wetland restoration/rehabilitation programmes, where feasible, at destroyed or degraded wetlands, especially those associated with major river systems or areas of high nature conservation value. [CPs, wetland managers] (Resolution VII.17)

134. Link wetland restoration to poverty reduction by incorporating the provision of work, skills and opportunities into restoration projects and by focusing on the restoration of ecosystem benefits/services upon which communities depend. [CPs] (Resolution IX.14)

135. Fully implement the terms of Article 3.2 on reporting change and on maintaining or restoring the ecological character of Ramsar sites, including utilizing all appropriate mechanisms to address and resolve as soon as practicable the matters for which a site may have been the subject of a report pursuant to Article 3.2; and, once those matters have been resolved, to submit a further report, so that both positive influences at sites and changes in ecological character may be fully reflected in reporting under Article 3.2 and in the reporting to meetings of the COP in order to establish a clear picture of the status and trends of the Ramsar site network at three-year intervals (see also section III) [CPs] (Resolution IX.15)

136. Consider options for assisting and encouraging Parties in their actions in response to change or likely change in ecological character within the context of paragraph 20 of Resolution VIII.8. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.15)

137. Provide developing countries with assistance, including capacity building, in order to help reverse, where possible, the factors leading to consideration of deletion or restriction of a designated Ramsar site. [CPs] (Resolution IX.6)

138. Maintain or restore Ramsar sites, other wetlands, and associated ecosystems to reduce their vulnerability to natural disasters in accordance with their natural hydrological regimes, bearing in mind the Convention's guidance to assist with restoration of ecological systems affected by natural disasters, in order to ensure that they can continue to deliver their full range of ecosystem benefits/services for people and for biological diversity, as called for in Resolution VIII.1. [CPs] (Resolution IX.9)

139. Ensure that wetland ecosystems are managed and restored, as part of contingency planning, in order to mitigate the impacts of natural phenomena such as floods, provide resilience against drought in arid and semi-arid areas, and contribute to wider strategies aimed at mitigating climate change and desertification and thus reduce the incidence or magnitude of natural phenomena induced or enhanced by such change. [CPs; River Basin Authorities] (Resolution IX.9)

140. Develop and act on decision-support tools for all affected ecological zones, so as to ensure integrated and socially equitable management of wetland ecosystems to prevent, mitigate and adapt to flooding and tidal surges, drought, invasive alien species, and other forms of natural disasters. [Secretariat, with CPs, other partners] (Resolution IX.9)

141. Develop guidance on a set of responses which can be initiated by governments and others immediately following the onset of a natural disaster affecting or likely to affect wetlands, especially sites in the Ramsar List. [Secretariat, working with relevant international organizations and agencies, especially the joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit and including inter alia ISDR, WMO and UNEP, as well as, where appropriate, the IOPs] (Resolution IX.9)

142. Ensure that national policy responses to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, including revegetation and management, afforestation and reforestation, do not lead to damage to the ecological character of wetlands. [CPs] (Strategic Plan action 3.4.9)

143. Ensure that those responsible for the management of Ramsar sites incorporate into their management planning processes, in line with Resolution VIII.14 on management planning, measures to maintain the ecological benefits/services of wetlands, including sustainable fisheries. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

144. Ensure that the activities of fisheries authorities responsible for managing fisheries within, adjacent to, or associated with Ramsar sites support the maintenance of the ecological character of the Ramsar site (or sites). [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

145. Take necessary steps within policies and national systems of protected areas for establishment and recognition of inland, coastal and marine protected areas as a tool for biodiversity conservation and fisheries resources management. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

146. Take into account the provisions of Resolution VII.36. which highlights the importance of participatory management to be considered in policies, actions and programs, for the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

147. Take the necessary steps within frameworks for integrated river basin and coastal zone management to maintain or reinstate aquatic biota migration pathways, to reduce the impacts of point source and diffuse pollution in all its forms, to establish and implement environmental flow allocations supporting the conservation of aquatic biota, to protect critical spawning and nursery grounds, and to restore relevant habitats where these have become degraded, taking into account the guidance adopted in Resolutions VIII.1 on water allocation, VIII.4 on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and VIII.32 on mangrove ecosystems. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

VII. Issues relating to wetlands and agriculture

VII(a) Action by the STRP

148. Provide input as appropriate to the "Comprehensive Assessment on water management in agriculture" (CA) and "Water for food and ecosystems" initiatives, in the context of Resolution VIII.34 and Resolution IX.4. (STRP12)

149. Once the "Comprehensive Assessment" (including its preparation of a report on agriculture, water and wetlands for the Ramsar Convention) and "Water for food and ecosystems" initiatives have concluded, review which elements of Resolution VIII.34 and Resolution IX.4 may, in the light of the conclusions of those initiatives, remain outstanding needs, and address them as appropriate. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan; STRP12)

150. Prepare guidelines on good agricultural practices and policies for different wetland types, drawing on information provided by the CA and other initiatives, and in line with existing legal frameworks. (STRP 2003-2005 work plan). STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

VII(b) Action by others

151. Review and document the significance for fisheries of rice cultivation within Ramsar sites and promote more efficient combination "rice-fish" management practices. [CPs] (Resolution IX.4)

VIII. Technical aspects of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA)

VIII(a) Action by the STRP

152. Ensure that CEPA issues are fully covered in each of the substantive guidance documents prepared by the STRP through input to the Panel's work from CEPA experts. (Annex to Resolution IX.11) STRP 2006-2008 high priority

153. Seek opportunities to prepare materials for outreach purposes, particularly for decision-makers and those in other sectors, on topics which are the subject of substantive guidance prepared by the STRP. (STRP12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

VIII(b) Action by others

154. 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, and report to COP10 on the activities of the Panel and its value in advancing the Convention's CEPA Programme. [Standing Committee] (Resolution IX.18)

155. Review national needs and capacities in the areas of wetland CEPA and use this review to define capacity-building priorities within national wetland CEPA action plans. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.31)

156. Review formal educational curricula to ensure that they are incorporating information on the ecosystem benefits/services provided by wetlands, promoting the wise use principle, and recognizing the importance of CEPA in pursuing the objective of wise use. [CPs] (Resolution VIII.31)

157. Draw attention to the important role of wetlands in fisheries resources conservation and sustainable use through ongoing CEPA activities, in particular through future World Wetlands Day celebrations and events. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.4)

158. Through the Convention's CEPA Programme, develop materials, resources permitting, that highlight lessons learned from around the globe with regard to appropriate pre-disaster measures for impact prevention and minimization through contingency planning involving wise wetland management. These materials should exemplify successful approaches to disaster impact abatement and serve to raise societal awareness and capacity with regard to the role of wetlands as buffers. [Secretariat] (Resolution IX.9)

159. Consider the usefulness of establishing periodic regional scientific and technical fora where they do not already exist, drawing on the experiences of the Asian Wetland Symposia, as a means of increasing scientific and technical support for the implementation of the Convention including, inter alia, any regional initiatives established under the Convention. [CPs, international NGOs, and other relevant scientific and technical organizations] (Resolution IX.19)

160. Encourage and develop linkages between Ramsar Regional Meetings, including subregional meetings, and such regional wetland fora, so as to ensure that the outcomes of the fora are made fully available to Contracting Parties and governments in support of their implementation of the Convention through exchange of experiences and innovative practices discussed at such fora. [Secretariat; Standing Committee] (Resolution IX.19)

IX. Development of further sectoral guidance by STRP

IX(a) Issues/sectors identified by STRP as a potential focus for attention

161. Review and as necessary develop an overall strategy and framework for sector-based guidance under the Convention. (STRP12)

162. Develop further guidance on fisheries, including fin fisheries, shell fisheries and aquaculture, in relation to issues raised in Resolution IX.4. (STRP12)

163. Review and map out the relationships and issues concerning the wise use of wetland ecosystems and human health, including from information in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and its synthesis reports, and explore possible links between the Ramsar Convention and the World Health Organization. (STRP12) STRP 2006-2008 immediate priority

164. Consider opportunities for development of sectoral guidance on the tourism/eco-tourism sector. (STRP12)

165. Identify relevant initiatives underway concerning forest ecosystems and forestry and explore adequate representation in these of wetland issues. (STRP12)

166. Develop guidance on wetland mitigation issues. (Resolution VII.24; STRP12)

IX(b) Issues/sectors for which the need for future work should be further assessed

167. Consider what priority, if any, might need to be given to work or further work in relation to the following additional sectors/topic areas:

  • flood alleviation;
  • mining and other extractive industries;
  • energy generation and distribution;
  • other industrial sectors;
  • transport infrastructure;
  • urban development and housing;
  • spatial planning/regional policy;
  • finance, banking and insurance;
  • trade;
  • wildlife conservation and management;
  • subsistence hunting;
  • recreational hunting;
  • other recreation;
  • education, including formal education.
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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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