Resolution IX.20: Integrated, cross-biome planning and management of wetlands, especially in small island developing states

"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 that wetlands occur within all biomes, take many forms, and are influenced by many-land based and other activities and therefore require integrated planning and management approaches to safeguard their many ecosystem benefits/services;

2. AWARE that the 7th and 8th meetings of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention adopted guidelines on the integrated management of wetlands within river basin and coastal zone management frameworks, respectively;

3. NOTING that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has developed thematic programmes of work relating to mountains, forests, inland waters, dry and sub-humid lands, agriculture lands and marine and coastal ecosystems, and is developing a programme of work for island biodiversity;

4. ALSO NOTING the ecosystem approach adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the associated guidance developed to assist Parties with its implementation in CBD decision VII/11 (including annexes);

5. RECALLING that Resolution VIII.42 drew attention to the need "to be mindful of the small size and limited human and financial resources available to Pacific island countries and territories, to seek ways of simplifying and harmonising the activities and requirements of the Ramsar Convention, and to continue actively to seek to harmonise the requirements of the Convention with all other environment-related international instruments";

6. MINDFUL that for developing countries, and small island developing states in particular, resource constraints, financial, technical and human, continue to restrict the capacity to implement multilateral environment agreements; and

7. NOTING that WWF International has, through its Global Freshwater Programme, developed a prototype cross-biome programme of work that seeks to integrate the programmes of work of the CBD, and ACKNOWLEDGING the related work of UNEP's 'Hilltops to the Oceans' (H2O) initiative and the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) initiative;


8. WELCOMES the initiatives of WWF International, UNEP and PABITRA as potential tools to assist Parties in taking an holistic, cross-biome approach to wetland management that recognizes the importance of ecological and hydrological connectivity in managing river systems, freshwater ecosystems, and the coastal environments into which they flow, and as additional guidance within the framework of existing guidelines on these and related subjects developed by the Ramsar Convention;

9. INVITES WWF International to make this information, tools, and approaches available to Contracting Parties for their information, and ENCOURAGES the further application and development of the tools and approaches and, in particular, the further evaluation of their utility in assisting Parties to more effectively implement the provisions and guidance of the Ramsar Convention and CBD;

10. INSTRUCTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel to consider the relevance and applicability of the tools and approaches within the context of its 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;

11. INVITES WWF International to prepare an information paper on the subject in question, in consultation with the Ramsar Secretariat and the CBD, taking into account relevant resolutions and decisions of the Ramsar Convention and CBD and existing guidance, and INVITES the Secretariat of the CBD, if appropriate, to submit the paper as an information document to the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD as a contribution to the development of tools and practical approaches for the implementation of the CBD, in particular in relation to the programme of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems and the ecosystem approach, and as a contribution towards achieving even greater harmony and synergy between the two conventions;

12. REITERATES the need to support the efforts and capacity building requirements of Parties, and small island developing states in particular, with the implementation of integrated management approaches, and REQUESTS Parties, non-Parties, and multilateral donor organizations to give priority to training and capacity building in this field, also taking into account related efforts through other conventions and international arrangements; and

13. ENCOURAGES Contracting Parties to include within their 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 and 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.

Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe