Resolution IX.22: Ramsar sites and systems of protected areas

"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. MINDFUL of the Ramsar Convention's vision for the List of Wetland of International Importance, namely, "To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the ecological and hydrological functions they perform," and the associated targets of reaching 250 million hectares and 2500 Ramsar sites by the end of 2010 (Operational Objective 10.1.1. of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008);

2. CONSCIOUS that globally there are now 1,524 Wetlands of International Importance found across 147 Parties with a total area of 129.2 million hectares, many of which have been declared as protected areas in accordance with national legislation;

3. ALSO AWARE that the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas is reviewing the outputs of the Vth World Parks Congress and its Durban Accord, and will produce a synthesis information paper for distribution to all Parties by November 2006 on the key outputs of direct relevance to the identification, consultative processes leading to site designation, management planning and other issues relating to Ramsar sites;

4. NOTING the adoption by the 7th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Malaysia in February 2004, of the programme of work on protected areas (Decision VII.28), and in particular its request that the Executive Secretary "strengthen collaboration with other organizations, institutions and conventions with a view to supporting implementation of the activities contained in the programme of work, promoting synergies and avoiding unnecessary duplications, and to establish a liaison group of relevant organizations including the World Heritage Convention, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Man and Biosphere programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, relevant regional conventions and other organizations";

5. ALSO NOTING the adoption by CBD's COP7 of a revised programme of work on inland waters (Decision VII/4) and its indication that in progressing toward comprehensive, adequate and representative systems of inland water protected areas, Parties should seek to harmonize their actions to operationalise CBD Annex 1 with the criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance, and FURTHER NOTING that they should, in line with Decision VII/4, annex, activity 1.2.6, "harmonize this work with the development of national networks of wetlands of international importance, which are comprehensive and coherent in line with the Ramsar strategic framework for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance and taking into account ecological connectivity and the concept, where appropriate, of ecological networks, in line with the programme of work on protected areas (Decision VII/28)";

6. ACKNOWLEDGING that the CBD's revised programme of work on inland waters referred to above also invites collaboration between the Ramsar Secretariat and STRP and their CBD counterparts, the Executive Secretary and the SBSTTA, in furthering the elaboration of guidelines on existing Criteria for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance, the development of additional, possibly quantitative criteria, and the articulation of guidance on interpretation and geographical scale of application of the Ramsar Criteria nationally and regionally; and

7. CONCERNED that the revised programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity adopted by CBD's COP7 fails to acknowledge the contribution being made to achieving the goals and objectives of this programme by the over 700 Wetlands of International Importance found in coastal, inshore and tidal systems, and how these sites offer important building blocks of protected area networks in these environments;


8. AGREES to include as extra data fields in the approved Ramsar Information Sheet for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance from COP9 onwards the following:

Protected area categories, if any, for the site, as established by each Contracting Party, and/or IUCN categories (1994), if appropriate, and any other relevant designations;

9. REQUESTS all Contracting Parties, where appropriate, to include information for these new data fields when they next update their Ramsar Information Sheets for existing Ramsar sites;

10. CALLS UPON Parties to 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;

11. REQUESTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to consider coordination of efforts in integrating Ramsar sites into other systems of protected areas;

12. INVITES those Contracting Parties which are also Contracting Parties to the CBD to review their 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; and

13. REQUESTS the Ramsar Secretariat to continue its strong partnership-building with the CBD, including participation, as appropriate, in the liaison group proposed through CBD Decision VII/28 establishing the programme of work on protected areas.

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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

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