Resolution IX.8: Streamlining the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Convention 2003-2008

"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 that in Resolution VIII.25 the Contracting Parties adopted the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 as the basis for the implementation of the Convention during that period;

2. AWARE that the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, prior to its adoption by the COP, was prepared by the Standing Committee through a wide consultative process with Contracting Parties, the Convention's International Organization Partners and others, including intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;

3. RECOGNIZING that the implementation by Contracting Parties and others of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 permitted a more coherent and effective realization of the Convention, but AWARE that there remain many and increasing challenges to achieving a globally consistent delivery of wetland conservation and wise use, and that most of the 2003-2005 global targets agreed in the Convention's Work Plan 2003-2005 (Resolution VIII.26) have not been achieved by the time of COP9;

4. AWARE that to achieve the Convention's objectives in wetland conservation and wise use, a comprehensive but simple and easy-to-use document would be helpful to Contracting Parties for the promotion and implementation of the Convention, and RECOGNIZING the need for a clear document by which the Standing Committee can monitor the effectiveness of the Convention's implementation in terms of resources and staff time; and

5. ALSO RECOGNIZING that each Contracting Party is free to choose the extent to which it will implement the Strategic Plan, the resources it will allocate to the implementation, and the timeframes to be followed;


6. ACCEPTS the use of the attached Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period as a working tool for the Standing Committee to refine implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 adopted by Resolution VIII.25, recognizing that the document will undergo review, editing and change during the coming triennium;

7. INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Secretariat to revise the text of this Framework to take into account the Resolutions adopted by the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, and ALSO INSTRUCTS the Secretariat to attach to it the Annexes to Resolution IX.2 concerning future scientific and technical tasks and priorities, in order to form the Convention's Work Plan 2006-2008 for the implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the coming triennium and, following approval by the Standing Committee, to circulate this to Contracting Parties and other relevant organizations without delay;

8. RECOGNIZES that the Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period provides a basis for the Secretariat and the Standing Committee to trial a new approach to promoting, monitoring and measuring the implementation of the Convention in the 2006 -2008 triennium, and INSTRUCTS the Standing Committee to develop and implement a comprehensive and inclusive process for the development of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2009 -2014, for consideration by Ramsar COP10;

9. REQUESTS the Standing Committee to design a simplified COP10 National Report Format based on the Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period, taking into account reporting issues in Resolutions IX.1 Annex D and IX.5 and, in so doing, to ensure that the new format will reduce the overall reporting burden on Contracting Parties by:

i) reducing duplication required and/or requested in relevant Resolutions adopted by this and previous COPs;
ii) ensuring that any new reporting requirements are compensated for by removal of existing requirements, so as to ensure at least no net increase in reporting requirements;
iii) considering reporting requirements of other relevant conventions and agreements and ways to use the information collected for these purposes rather than requiring the collection of additional information; and
iv) also considering the contribution of Ramsar reporting to other conventions' equivalent processes including inter alia the 2010 biodiversity target; and

10. URGES all Contracting Parties, the Standing Committee, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, the Secretariat, and the Convention's International Organization Partners to use the Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and its appendices to take on the renewed challenge of promoting, implementing and monitoring the performance of the Convention, including through the application of the ecological "outcome-oriented" indicators of the effectiveness of the Convention's implementation (Resolution IX.1 Annex D) .


A Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006 -2008 period


1. The 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands, held in Spain on 18-26 November 2002, adopted a Strategic Plan for the application of the Convention during the period 2003-2008. That Strategic Plan recognized the adoption by the Convention of a broader approach to wetland conservation and sustainable use in achieving full application of the wise use principle and safeguarding wetland resources. Developing and simplifying this plan, the Conference of the Parties meeting in Kampala, Uganda, November 2005, has agreed this Framework to be used in conjunction with the Strategic Plan during the second triennium. COP9 agreed five Goals to be achieved through a series of strategies, each with key result areas and key performance measures to measure effectiveness. This framework will also interact with the developing STRP ecological "outcome-oriented" indicators for assessing the implementation effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention.

2. This Framework helps interpret the Strategic Plan 2003-2008 (Resolution VIII.25) and contributes to:

§ achievement of Millennium Development Goal 7 (Ensuring Environmental Sustainability);
§ the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico 2006;
§ achievement of the 2010 Biodiversity targets; and
§ implementation of decisions from the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD13) policies on water and sanitation.

What are we about? - The mission of the Convention

3. "Conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world." The Convention stresses that it is essential to integrate conservation of wetlands and sustainable use as a contribution to the health and well-being of people through sustainable development everywhere.

What do we want to achieve? - Our goals

Conservation and wise use of wetlands and water resources

GOAL 1. The wise use of wetlands: To stimulate and assist all Contracting Parties to develop, adopt and use the necessary and appropriate instruments and measures (including guidance on wise use of wetlands as modified by Resolution IX.1 Annex A) to ensure the wise use of wetlands within their borders, when necessary applying inter alia the ecosystem approach sensu CBD.
Delivers Articles 3.1, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5 of the Convention.

GOAL 2. Wetlands of International Importance: To stimulate and support all Contracting Parties in the appropriate implementation of the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance, including the monitoring and management of listed sites as contributions to implementing outcomes of the 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD13) and implementation of the 2010 targets for biodiversity.
Delivers Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2 of the Convention.

GOAL 3. International cooperation: To promote international cooperation through the active application of the Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention and in particular to mobilize additional financial and technical assistance for wetland conservation and wise use.
Delivers Article 5 of the Convention.

Managing the Convention

GOAL 4. Implementation capacity: To ensure that the Convention has the required implementation mechanisms, resources and capacity to achieve its mission.
Delivers Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Convention.

GOAL 5. Membership: To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.
Delivers Articles 2.4 and 9 of the Convention.

How are we going to do what we want? (Our strategies),
What are the results we want to achieve? (Our Key Results Areas - KRAs), and
How effective are we being? (Our Key Performance Measures - KPMs).

In this section each key strategy is linked numerically to one of the five goals. In addition to this linkage some strategies and Key Result Areas will, in the end, inevitably satisfy more than one goal. Measurement of Key Performance Measures will be undertaken by the Secretariat working with the Standing Committee. "Budget impact" gives specific costs where these are known and an indication of staff time targets needed from the Secretariat (presumed total of 19). Each strategy is cross-referenced to the operational objectives of the Strategic Plan. Where a strategy is formed from more than one Operational Objective, some slight re-wording of the objectives has been made to ensure clarity of the strategy.

(Operational objective 1.1)
Describe, assess and monitor the extent and condition of wetland resources at relevant scales, in order to inform and underpin implementation of the Convention, in particular in the application of the wise use principle. (CPs, advised by STRP and assisted by IOPs)

By COP10:
§ All Parties without completed inventories to have initiated action in line with the Ramsar Framework for Wetland Inventory, and as far as possible to have completed and disseminated comprehensive national wetland inventories, including information on wetland importance, potential Ramsar sites, wetlands for restoration, location of under-represented wetland types, and ecosystem benefits/services, in particular in relation to poverty eradication strategies.
§ A Web-based metadatabase in place and populated with information on all national wetland inventories, managed by the Secretariat.

All stakeholders to have access to wetland inventories.

Budget impact: STRP work programme; Web database development, 0.5stt.

STRATEGY 1.2 (Operational objective 2.1+2.2)
Develop, review, amend when necessary, and implement national or supranational policies, legislation, institutions and practices, including impact assessment and valuation, in all Contracting Parties, to ensure that the wise use principle of the Convention is being effectively applied, where possible specifying the appropriate policy instrument(s) in each CP which ensures wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

By COP10:
§ At least 50 CPs to have undertaken water quality and quantity assessments.
§ National Wetland Policy or equivalent instrument fully integrated into other strategic and planning processes by all Parties, including poverty reduction strategies, water resources management and water efficiency plans, and national strategies for sustainable development in line with WSSD targets. SC/Secretariat to identify at least 100 Parties to initiate and if possible complete comprehensive reviews of their laws and institutions.
§ SC/Secretariat to have identified at least 50 Parties to have in place Strategic Environmental Assessment for policies, programmes and plans impacting on wetlands.

Number of policies, strategies and programmes in place and being implemented by CPs.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.5stt.

STRATEGY 1.3 (Operational objective 3.1 -3.3 )
Increase recognition of the significance of wetlands for reasons of water supply, coastal protection, flood defense, climate change mitigation, food security, poverty reduction, cultural heritage, and scientific research, with a focus on under-represented ecosystem types, through developing and disseminating methodology to achieve wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ Development and implementation of wise use wetland programmes and projects that contribute to poverty reduction objectives and food and water security plans at local and national levels in place.
§ Full implementation of the Guidelines for global action on peatlands (VIII.17) through the activities of the Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatlands.
§ The social and cultural heritage of wetlands to be fully taken into account in their wise use and management.

§ An analysis of the ecosystem benefits/services of Ramsar sites achieved for all CPs.

Budget impact: Staff time for analysis, 0.2stt.

STRATEGY 1.4 (Operational objective 3.4)
Integrate policies on the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the planning activities in all Contracting Parties and in decision-making processes at national, regional, provincial and local levels, particularly concerning territorial management, groundwater management, catchment/river basin management, coastal and marine zone planning, and responses to climate change, all in the context of implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). (CPs, STRP, IOPs)

By COP10
§ All CPs to have made available the guidance on water allocation and management for ecosystems to support decision-making on water resource management, as a contribution to achieving the WSSD target on water resources management and water efficiency plans.
§ River Basin Initiative (RBI) fully operational.
§ Information on wetlands and their role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change completed.

§ The Convention's role in IWRM plans established as part of international environmental governance.

Budget impact: STRP work programme - and RBI management - some extra support from GEF funds if RBI is operational (1.5stt if RBI GEF funds allocated, 0.5 if not)

STRATEGY 1.5 (Operational objective 4.1)
Identify priority wetlands where restoration or rehabilitation would be beneficial and yield long-term environmental, social or economic benefits, and implement the necessary measures to recover these sites. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ All CPs with lost or degraded wetlands to have identified priority sites for restoration; restoration projects underway or completed in at least 100 CPs.
§ New case studies and methods added to Ramsar wetland restoration pages on the Web site.

Budget impact: Staff time for Web site management, 0.1stt.

STRATEGY 1.6 (Operational objective 5.1)
Develop guidance and promote protocols and actions to prevent, control or eradicate invasive alien species in wetland systems. (CPs, STRP, other agencies, IOPs)

§ By COP10 CPs to have identified problems posed by invasive species in wetland ecosystems documented in a decisive and holistic manner, making use, as appropriate, of the tools and guidance developed by various institutions and processes.

§ Comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on invasive species management in general use.

Budget impact: Staff time for interaction with institutions, 0.2stt.

STRATEGY 2.1 (Operational objective 10.1)
Apply the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Handbook 7). (CPs, STRP)

§ By COP10 all CPs implementing the Strategic Framework for Ramsar sites, adapted as required for the domestic situation in each Contracting Party.

§ Adequate management planning processes submitted with all new site nominations.

Budget impact: Staff time needed for additional inputs and management of the List, 4stt.

STRATEGY 2.2 (Operational objective 10.2)
Maintain the Ramsar Sites Information Service and constantly update it with the best available information, and use the Ramsar Sites Database as a tool for guiding the further designation of wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance. (CPs, STRP, Secretariat, IOPs, other agencies/organizations as appropriate)

By COP10:
§ The Secretariat to have received all necessary updated Ramsar Information Sheets, and all new designations to conform to the latest version of the RIS.
§ Ramsar Sites Database to have improved its functionality and accessibility to stakeholders, including through links between the Database, the Ramsar Sites Directory Web presentation, the Ramsar Web site, and other interactive systems, as well as the publication of special reports and other outputs.

§ The Ramsar Sites Database information used as a key resource by all Ramsar stakeholders.

Budget impact: Staff time for Web site management, funding for external data base management (CHF 200,000 pa), 1.0stt.

STRATEGY 2.3 (Operational objective 11.1)
Maintain the ecological character of all Ramsar sites. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ Zoning measures for larger Ramsar sites, wetland reserves, and other wetlands (Recommendation 5.3 and Resolution VIII.14) and strict protection measures for certain Ramsar sites and other wetlands of small size and/or particular sensitivity in place.
§ Cross-sectoral site management committees in place for Ramsar sites, involving relevant government agencies, local community representatives, and other stakeholders, including the business sector in place.

§ CPs in implementing their obligations under Articles 3 and 8.2 using the integrated package of Convention tools for site management, as presented in Ramsar Handbook 8, as well as the supplementary guidance adopted by COP9.

Budget impact: Core budget funding for Secretariat support to CPs, 0.4stt.

STRATEGY 2.4 (Operational objective 11.2)
Monitor the condition of Ramsar sites, notify the Ramsar Secretariat without delay of changes affecting Ramsar sites as required by Article 3.2, and apply the Montreux Record and Ramsar Advisory Mission as tools to address problems. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

§ All CPs with Ramsar sites whose ecological character has changed, is changing or is likely to change owing to human-induced actions to have reported this, without delay, to the Ramsar Secretariat, in line with Article 3.2.
§ For all sites on the Montreux Record which have not been subject to a Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM), CPs to request such a Mission prior to COP10.
§ Implementation of relevant STRP ecological outcome-oriented indicators.

§ The Montreux Record being used as part of the Convention's governance process, in parallel with nomination and management planning of sites.

Budget impact: Staff time and funding for RAMs, 0.2stt.

STRATEGY 2.5 (Operational objectives 12.1 + 12.2)
Promote inventory and integrated management of shared wetlands and hydrological basins, including cooperative monitoring and management of shared wetland-dependent species. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ All CPs to have identified their transboundary wetlands; where appropriate, CPs to have identified cooperative management mechanisms.
§ Where appropriate CPs with shared basins and coastal systems to be part of joint management commissions or authorities.

§ Regional site networks and initiatives in place for wetland-dependent migratory species, as exemplified inter alia by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and the Central Asian Flyway Initiative.

Budget impact: Some staff time to monitor progress and for visits, 0.2stt.

STRATEGY 2.6 (Operational objective 12.3)
Support existing regional arrangements under the Convention and promote additional arrangements. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

§ Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com) and its related action programme, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) and its Coordination Unit continuing to develop.
§ Development of regional arrangements under the Convention, applying the Guidance for the development of Regional Initiatives in the framework of the Convention on Wetlands (Resolution VIII.30), resulting in the establishment of new regional initiatives and/or centers.

§ Effectiveness of the Convention working in a regional way, within a global context.

Budget impact: New funding required in core budget to support additional initiatives start-ups, 0.6 stt.

STRATEGY 3.1 (Operational objective 13.1)
Collaboration with other institutions: Work as partners with international and regional multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other agencies. (CPs, Secretariat)

§ CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan and CMS/AEWA Joint Work Plan being implemented and full participation in the CBD Biodiversity Liaison Group. UNESCO-MAB Joint Work Plan being delivered. Joint activities developed with UNCCD and UNFCCC, including through participation in the Joint Liaison Group and the Biodiversity Liaison Group.
§ NEPAD's Action Plan to have fully incorporated Ramsar issues and mechanisms and being implemented by relevant CPs, in lines with WSSD targets.
§ Partnership approaches initiated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other relevant UN agencies, as well as through UN Water.

§ Effectiveness of partnerships with biodiversity-related conventions at national, regional and international level.

Budget impact: Funding required in core budget to support liaison activities, mainly travel for staff, 0.5stt.

STRATEGY 3.2 (Operational objective 14.1)
Sharing of expertise and information: Promote the sharing of expertise and information. (CPs, Secretariat)

§ Less time spent by CPs on managing information for national reports, but better quality and more timely reports produced.

§ Harmonized information management and reporting systems available and widely used with the appropriate MEAs.

Budget impact: staff time in secretariat, 0.5stt

STRATEGY 4.1 (Operational objective 6.1)
Local communities, indigenous people, and cultural values: Encourage active and informed participation of local communities and indigenous people, including women and youth, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands, including in relation to understanding the dynamics of cultural values. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

§ By COP10 further guidance developed on the application of the Guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities' and indigenous people's participation in the management of wetlands (Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 5).
§ By COP10 an approach developed to including cultural benefits/services of wetland ecosystems in aspects of the Convention's work.

§ More participative management of wetlands seen in all CPs, and an awareness of the importance of cultural ecosystem benefits/services in wetlands developed.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.25stt.

STRATEGY 4.2 (Operational objective 7.1)
Promote the involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

§ By COP10, private sector applying the wise use principle (Ramsar Handbooks 1 to 6) in their activities and investments affecting wetlands.

§ Increased private sector engagement in the wise use of wetlands, particularly at Ramsar sites.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.25stt.

STRATEGY 4.3 (Operational objective 8.1)
Promote measures which encourage the application of the wise use principle. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

§ By COP10, 50 CPs to have reviewed policy and legal and institutional frameworks to give effect to the promotion of the wise use of wetlands.

§ Better design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of positive and negative incentive measures.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.1stt.

STRATEGY 4.4 (Operational objective 9.1)
Support, and assist in implementing at all levels, the Convention's Communication, Education, and Public Awareness Programme (Resolution VIII.31) for promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands through public participation and communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA). (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ At least 50 CPs to have established national Ramsar-CEPA action plans.
§ At least 75 CPs to have established at least one wetland education centre at a Ramsar site.
§ Complete re-design of Secretariat's outreach strategy, including re-designed Web site, comprehensive media strategy, and novel approaches to promoting WWD.

§ Extent to which CEPA is used throughout all aspects of the Convention's activities.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, funding for design and delivery of global outreach products, 1.6stt.

STRATEGY 4.5 (Operational objective 15.1 + 15.2)
Promote international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands, while ensuring that environmental safeguards and assessments are an integral component of all development projects that affect wetlands, including foreign and domestic investments. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

§ Each CP with a bilateral donor agency to have encouraged it to give priority for funding for wetland conservation and wise use projects in relation to poverty reduction and other WSSD and MDG targets and priorities.

§ Proposed grants, loans, and development projects from international development agencies, including banks, financial institutions and private investors and developers, include environmental safeguards and environmental assessments of possible impacts.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.1stt.

STRATEGY 4.6 (Operational objective 16.1)
Provide the financial resources required for the Convention's governance, mechanisms and programmes to achieve the expectations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. (CPs, Secretariat)

§ Better governance of the Convention and more effective promulgation of decisions by COP10.

§ Adequate resources and supporting financial policies in place to enable the Convention to discharge its responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 1.4stt.

STRATEGY 4.7 (Operational objective 17.1)
Ensure that the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Standing Committee, Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and Ramsar Secretariat are operating at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness to support implementation of this Framework. (CPs, Secretariat)

By COP10:
§ A comprehensive and flexible staffing policy for the Secretariat in place allowing response to key issues as they emerge.
§ National Reports used to evaluate and report on the implementation of the Strategic Plan at each meeting of the COP, and to prepare an updated Framework for the forthcoming triennium within a rolling six-year plan.

§ The organs of the Convention have adequate funding and logistic support to deliver their agreed modus operandi and work plans, with full use of the staff time targets.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 4.2stt

STRATEGY 4.8 (Operational objective 18.1)
Develop the capacity within, and promote cooperation among, institutions in Contracting Parties to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs)

§ By COP10, existing national institutions responsible for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, reviewed and revised arrangements in place.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.2stt.

STRATEGY 4.9 (Operational objective 19.1)
Maximize the benefits of working with the Convention's International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others. (Secretariat, IOPs)

§ By COP10, each IOP and the Secretariat to have established a programme of joint work in support of the Convention, including, where relevant and appropriate, joint actions by several IOPs.

§ Support for the Convention's scientific, technical and policy work integrated into the ongoing programmes of IOPs.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.5stt.

STRATEGY 4.10 (Operational objective 20.1)
Identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands, particularly in developing countries and countries in transition, and implement appropriate responses. (CPs, Secretariat, training centres, IOPs)

By COP10:
§ The RIZA-Ramsar cooperative effort being fully implemented, linking existing and proposed training centres.
§ At least half of CPs to have assessed national and local training needs.
§ An appropriate capacity-building effort in place for all CPs.

§ Capacity-building accepted and understood as part of the Convention's activities.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.5stt.

STRATEGY 5 (Operational objective 21.1)
Membership of the Convention: Secure universal membership of the Convention. (CPs, Secretariat)

§ Achieve membership of at least 160 parties by COP10.

§ Rate of new parties joining the Convention increasing over the last triennium.

Budget impact: Staff time in Secretariat, 0.1stt.

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