Resolution VII.11: Strategic framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance

COP7's logo"People and Wetlands: The Vital Link"
7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971),
San José, Costa Rica, 10-18 May 1999

1. RECALLING that Article 2 of the Convention requires Contracting Parties to "designate suitable wetlands within their territory for inclusion in a List of Wetlands of International Importance";

2. FURTHER RECALLING that following consideration of the issue at the first three Conferences of the Contracting Parties, the 4th Conference, in Recommendation 4.2, adopted Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance;

3. ACKNOWLEDGING that Resolution VI.2 of the 6th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP6) adopted further specific criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance based on fish, which also included in its Annex detailed guidelines for the application of these criteria;

4. ALSO RECALLING Resolution VI.3 of Ramsar COP6, entitled Review of the Ramsar Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance and the accompanying Guidelines, which requested that the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) undertake further reviews of the Criteria and submit these for consideration by the Standing Committee and possibly by COP7;

5. AWARE that Action 6.2.3 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 urges Contracting Parties to give priority attention to the designation of new sites from "wetland types currently under-represented on the Ramsar List, and, in particular, when appropriate, coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass beds, and peatlands";

6. NOTING Action 6.3.1 of the Strategic Plan which establishes that the Criteria shall be kept "under review to ensure they reflect global wetland conservation priorities and values";

7. BELIEVING that the application of the Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance should be undertaken within a strategic framework at the global, supranational/regional and national levels, in order that the Convention can move more rapidly towards achieving a global network of sites representative of all wetland types, which also contributes to the conservation of biological diversity and to maintaining the ecological and hydrological functions of wetlands that sustain human populations;

8. RECOGNIZING that Technical Session II of this COP has reviewed in detail the draft Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance;

9. ALSO RECOGNIZING that Technical Session IV of this COP has reviewed the information available on the world’s wetland resources and identified a number of priorities for inventory to improve this essential information base, in order to form the foundation for planning and future priority-setting for Ramsar site designations (Resolution VII.20);

10. FURTHER NOTING Decision IV/4 from COP4 of the Convention on Biological Diversity relating to the status and trends of the biological diversity of inland waters, and especially Annex I, Part B, referring to collaboration between the respective technical bodies of the two Conventions to "achieve desirable convergence between the approaches on criteria and classification of inland water ecosystems";

11. MINDFUL ALSO of the Memoranda of Understanding with the Convention on Migratory Species and with the World Heritage Convention and the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Convention to Combat Desertification, and the cooperative site-based actions identified therein;

12. EXPRESSING ITS APPRECIATION to the members of the STRP and the others that have contributed to the review of the Criteria and development of the Strategic Framework, especially the Convention’s International Organization Partners and the officials within the following Ramsar Administrative Authorities who provided informal comment and advice: Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, Malawi, Slovenia, South Africa and the United Kingdom;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

13. ADOPTS the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance as annexed to this Resolution;

14. URGES all Contracting Parties to apply the Strategic Framework, and in particular, to develop at the national, and as appropriate at the regional level, a systematic approach to identifying wetlands for future Ramsar site designation in pursuit of the stated vision for the List of Wetlands International Importance;

15. INVITES Contracting Parties, the Convention’s International Organization Partners and local community stakeholders to work, within the long-term strategic framework, to achieve the short-term global target of 2000 Ramsar sites by COP9 in the year 2005;

16. CALLS UPON Contracting Parties (in accordance with Resolution VII.20) also to give priority, where indicated, to wetland inventory programmes in order to provide the necessary information base for applying the Strategic Framework to the maximum extent possible;

17. ENCOURAGES all Contracting Parties to be mindful, when identifying priority sites for designation, of their obligations under Article 5 of the Convention (and the related Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention, adopted by Resolution VII.19), and to ensure that suitable transboundary wetlands and those providing important habitat for migratory wetland-dependent species are given prominence in these considerations;

18. FURTHER CALLS UPON Contracting Parties, where possible and appropriate, to promote the Ramsar sites within their jurisdictions as models or demonstration sites for the implementation of the Guidelines for the implementation of the wise use concept (Recommendation 4.10);

19. INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Bureau, at the earliest opportunity, to draw to the attention of the expert scientific and technical bodies of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the World Heritage Convention and the Convention to Combat Desertification, the contents of this Resolution and its Annex, and to seek appropriate future collaboration with its implementation.

[Note: The Guidelines for identifying and designating karst and other subterranean hydrological systems as Wetlands of International Importance (annex to Resolution VII.13) have been added to the Strategic Framework, as instructed by Resolution VII.13.]


Annex

Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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