Resolution VIII.31: The Convention's Programme on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) 2003-2008

"Wetlands: water, life, and culture"
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

1. AWARE of the importance of communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) as central and cross-cutting elements for implementing the Convention;

2. NOTING that the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 recognizes the critical importance of CEPA for pursuing its General Objectives, and in particular General Objective 1 relating to the wise use of all wetlands, as follows: "To stimulate and assist all Contracting Parties to develop, adopt and use the necessary and appropriate instruments and measures to ensure the wise use of all wetlands within their territories";

3. RECALLING that Resolution VII.9 adopted the first Convention's Outreach Programme 1999-2002 - Actions to promote communication, education and public awareness to support implementation of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971);

4. RECOGNIZING the importance ascribed to communication, education and public awareness in the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and that, therefore, CEPA for sustainable development, promoting the ecological, social, cultural and economic values of wetlands, should be a focus of Ramsar's future CEPA activities;

5. SEEING WITH SATISFACTION that, as requested by Resolution VII.9, as at 30 September 2002 86 Contracting Parties have designated their Government Focal Points for CEPA and 69 Parties their national non-governmental CEPA Focal Points;

6. NOTING WITH PLEASURE that the analysis of 119 National Reports submitted for COP8 has revealed that there are at least 480 wetland education centres found in 68 Contracting Parties, that in 18 Contracting Parties wetland issues are addressed at all levels in formal education curricula, and that in a further 58 Contracting Parties wetland issues are addressed at some levels in formal education curricula;

7. CONGRATULATING the 26 Contracting Parties that have formed national CEPA Task Forces and in particular Australia, Germany, and Hungary for having developed National Wetland CEPA Action Plans as urged by Resolution VII.9, but CONCERNED that so few Parties have done likewise;

8. COMMENDING those governments, non-governmental organizations, and local stakeholders in over 70 countries that have undertaken special events to promote World Wetlands Day on 2 February;

9. EXPRESSING THANKS to the Ramsar International Organization Partners (IOPs) for their ongoing support to CEPA activities globally and within many Contracting Parties;

10. CONGRATULATING the Governments of Spain and Switzerland for their financial support for the publication of "Our wetland heritage" on the occasion of COP8, and the Danone Group for its continuing sponsorship of the Convention's Evian Initiative, which has a significant communications component;

11. EXPRESSING SATISFACTION with the work done by the Ramsar Bureau in relation to CEPA in general and to communications in particular, in spite of the very limited financial and human resources at its disposal for this purpose, and REGRETTING that insufficient effort has been made so far to resource the Voluntary Fund for the Convention's Outreach Programme established by Resolution VII.28; and

12. THANKING those who participated in the workshop convened by the Ramsar Bureau in June 2002 to refine and further elaborate a second CEPA programme, and also those CEPA Focal Points, representatives from Ramsar's IOPs and other conventions, and other CEPA experts who contributed their views, as well as the participants in the CEPA Workshop organized as part of the Global Biodiversity Forum held immediately before this COP, and the Ministry of Environment of the Autonomous Government of Valencia, Spain, for the financial support provided for the Workshop;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

13. ADOPTS the Convention's Programme on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) 2003-2008, contained in Annex I to this Resolution, as an instrument to provide guidance to Contracting Parties, the Ramsar Bureau, the Convention's International Organization Partners (IOPs), other NGOs, local stakeholders and others in the development of appropriate actions to support the implementation of the Convention at the international, regional, national and local levels;

14. ENCOURAGES the Contracting Parties to adopt the concept Ramsar CEPA for Sustainable Development to effectively address the ecological, social, cultural and economic values of wetlands through this programme;

15. INSTRUCTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to establish, as appropriate, an Expert Working Group on CEPA with suitable members and a chair from the Panel as well as other invited CEPA experts;

16. REQUESTS the Standing Committee to recognize the critical role that CEPA plays by ensuring that all future triennial work programmes of the STRP integrate CEPA as a cross-cutting tool in all specific tasks requested of the panel, and set priorities for these tasks;

17. ENDORSES as immediate tasks of the STRP's CEPA Expert Working Group those activities outlined in Annex II to this Resolution;

18. REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau to undertake specific efforts to obtain resources for the Voluntary Fund for the Convention's Outreach Programme, noting that the tasks of the STRP CEPA Working Group should be conducted using financial resources from this Voluntary Fund or other such contributions;

19. REAFFIRMS the call made in Resolution VII.9 for all Contracting Parties to nominate as a matter of priority suitably qualified Government and Non-government Focal Points for wetland CEPA and to inform the Ramsar Bureau accordingly;

20. URGES all Contracting Parties, as suggested in Resolution VII.9 and in the CEPA Programme 2003-2008, to establish appropriately constituted Task Forces, where no mechanism exists for this purpose currently, to undertake a review of needs, capacities and opportunities in the field of wetland CEPA, and based upon this to formulate their Wetland CEPA Action Plans (at national, sub-national, catchment, or local levels) for priority activities which address international, regional, national, and local needs;

21. STRONGLY URGES all Contracting Parties to seek to develop and implement their Wetland CEPA Action Plans as integrated components of their broader environment, biodiversity, wetland and water management policy instruments and programmes, and to ensure that CEPA is recognized as underpinning the effective delivery of these activities;

22. CALLS UPON those Contracting Parties with wetland CEPA plans to evaluate the effectiveness of those plans on a regular basis, to amend their priority actions where necessary, and to provide feedback to the STRP CEPA Working Group on such reviews and revisions;

23. REQUESTS Contracting Parties and the Convention's IOPs to submit to the Ramsar Bureau, for consideration by the STRP CEPA Working Group, case studies outlining and demonstrating the lessons learned from CEPA-related efforts, including consideration of highly successful as well as less effective activities;

24. ENCOURAGES the Contracting Parties to review and improve, as necessary, the content of wetland-related components of education curricula, and to do so in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and other education authorities;

25. REITERATES the call to multilateral and bilateral donors and private sector sponsors to support appropriate actions as set out in the Ramsar CEPA Programme 2003-2008;

26. ALSO REITERATES ITS SUPPORT for the Wetland Link International programme of The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, UK (WWT) as a cornerstone of the CEPA Programme, and AGAIN EXPRESSES CONCERN about the lack of significant financial support for the global and national development of this programme;

27. URGES the Ramsar Bureau to strengthen the capacity of the CEPA Focal Points by clarifying their roles through the STRP CEPA Working Group, and by the provision of training through the Ramsar WetlandTraining Service, once established.;

28. FURTHER URGES Contracting Parties, multilateral and bilateral donors, and private sector sponsors to contribute to the Voluntary Fund for the Convention's Outreach Programme to enable improved international coordination of CEPA, including greater support in this area for the use of the three working languages of the Convention, financing of the Wetland Link International programme, facilitating the work of the STRP's CEPA Working Group, and supporting the production of resource materials for World Wetlands Day celebrations and events;

29. ENCOURAGES those Contracting Parties with established, or proposed, wetland education centres and related facilities to support their participation in the global network of such centres under the Wetland Link International programme of the WWT (UK), and for those centres to become key places of learning and training about wetlands and wetland-related CEPA;

30. DIRECTS the Secretary General to strengthen collaboration with the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, through the mechanism of the established Joint Work Plan, for harmonising the respective CEPA programmes of the two conventions, and to further investigate and pursue, as appropriate, opportunities to do likewise with other conventions and programmes;

31. INVITES the Ramsar IOPs and other organizations with which the Ramsar Bureau has collaborative agreements to support the implementation of the Ramsar CEPA Programme at the global, regional, national or local levels, as appropriate, with the expertise, networks, skills and resources they have at their disposal;

32. FURTHER URGES Contracting Parties to encourage their wetland site managers to participate in the Ramsar Forum, the CEPA e-lists, and other communications networks operating under the Convention, as a way to accelerate the sharing of information, experiences and expertise amongst all Contracting Parties and other stakeholders; and

33. URGES those Parties with other national and local languages different from the three official languages of the Convention to consider translating key Ramsar guidance and guidelines into those languages in order to make them more widely available.


Annex I

Programme on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) 2003-2008 of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

Background

1. At the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP7) in San Jóse, Costa Rica in 1999, Resolution VII.9 adopted the first programme of actions for promoting communication, education and public awareness (CEPA - see Appendix 1 for explanation of these terms) under the Convention. This programme was in direct response to the first Strategic Plan of the Convention, and in particular General Objective 3.

2. The adopted CEPA programme was for the period 1999-2002, and accordingly a review process was undertaken to further improve and elaborate the programme for adoption at COP8 in Valencia, Spain, in November 2002. National Reports submitted in advance of COP8 were used to inform this review process, and there was consultation with experts in the field, Ramsar International Organization Partners (IOPs), and national CEPA Government and Non-government Focal Points.

3. This CEPA Programme, as presented below, is intended to operate for a six-year period in conjunction with the second Strategic Plan of the Convention adopted at COP8, namely for the period 2003-2008.

Major achievements under the first CEPA programme

4. There is considerable evidence from the National Reports and other sources of a rising interest and increasing commitment to wetland CEPA within the Convention:

a) although only three Contracting Parties (Australia, Germany, and Hungary) have submitted their National CEPA Action Plans to the Ramsar Bureau, there are many other Parties currently working towards that goal. Twenty-four Parties have established CEPA Task Forces, for some countries an essential first step in developing an Action Plan, but many other countries have reported that implementation of the CEPA Programme is already an integral part of their National Ramsar Committee's work programme;

b) there is evidence of a great deal of relevant and effective wetland CEPA activity at local, national, regional and international levels;

c) there is already administrative and other support within the Ramsar Bureau dedicated to CEPA: i) since April 2001 a dedicated area on the Convention's Web site has been providing CEPA resource materials as well as basic information about the CEPA Programme; and ii) CEPA e-mail lists in English, French and Spanish were launched in May 2001 to encourage the exchange of wetland CEPA information, with membership including all CEPA Focal Points as well as many other interested parties;

d) with the identification of at least 480 wetland education centres located in 68 countries, 260 of them linked to Ramsar sites, there is a tremendous opportunity to develop an effective centre network through the Wetland Link International initiative being delivered by The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (UK) and, in the future, to develop wetland centres at Ramsar sites as key locations for promoting CEPA; and

e) there is an evolving approach within the Convention to wetland management planning that includes community participation and education, and much evidence of a rapidly growing knowledge of participatory techniques within the Convention.

Investing in CEPA - Opportunities and benefits

5. The following are some of the opportunities and benefits that may arise from investing in CEPA:

a) wetland issues can increasingly become part of the business of other sectors and not just that of the environment, thereby mainstreaming the conservation and wise use of wetlands into society and government;

b) communities use resources sustainably as a result of engagement and agreement to collaborative plans, thereby reducing conflict;

c) communities agree to invest in restoration and long-term stewardship of wetlands; and

d) there is a public constituency that speaks for and helps set the agenda for wetland conservation and wise use.

6. There is an emerging CEPA Work Programme for the Convention on Biological Diversity, and discussions are underway on a work programme on education, awareness and participation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These CEPA programmes can add value to each other, especially in sharing knowledge about how to undertake effective CEPA programmes. At the national level connecting work and experts in these areas presents an opportunity.

Vision and guiding principles

Vision

7. The vision of the Ramsar Convention's CEPA Programme is:

"People acting for the wise use of wetlands."

Guiding principles

8. The following are the guiding principles that underpin the Ramsar CEPA Programme:

a) Wetlands provide important goods and services which help sustain human life, conserve biological diversity, and combat the impacts of climate change and desertification. Communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) are the tools for placing people's social, political, economic and cultural realities within the context of the goods and services provided by wetland ecosystems.

b) The Ramsar Convention seeks to motivate people to appreciate the values of wetlands so that they become advocates for wetland conservation and wise use and may act to become involved in relevant policy formulation, planning and management.

c) The key actors in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention need effective CEPA tools and expertise to engage major stakeholders and to convey appropriate messages in order to mainstream the wise use principle throughout society.

d) Wise use issues and concepts need to be communicated effectively to ensure participation of major stakeholders from different sectors and mainstreaming of the issues in sector plans and actions. This communication needs to operate laterally, across and between relevant sectors, and also vertically from stakeholders to governments and back.

e) Support for the CEPA Programme should be recognized by Parties to the Convention as an investment which will reduce conflicts over wetland resources, increase the number of advocates, actors and networks involved in the issues, and build an informed decision-making and public constituency. CEPA mobilises actions directed at achieving the wise use of wetlands. CEPA should form a central part of implementing the Ramsar Convention by each Contracting Party.

General and Operational Objectives

9. The CEPA Programme has three General Objectives and under each a number of Operational Objectives.

10. General Objective 1 - To gain acceptance of the value and effectiveness of wetland-related communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) processes at all levels throughout the Convention.

Operational Objective 1.1 - Integrate CEPA processes into all levels of policy development, planning and implementation of the Convention.

Operational Objective 1.2 - Demonstrate that CEPA processes are effective in achieving Ramsar's wetland wise use objectives at the global, national and local levels.

11. General Objective 2 - To provide support and tools for the effective national and local implementation of wetland-related communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) activities.

Operational Objective 2.1 - Provide national leadership, networks and cohesive frameworks to support and catalyse CEPA for the wise use of wetlands.

Operational Objective 2.2 - Transfer, exchange and share CEPA information and expertise that promotes and results in the wise use of wetlands.

Operational Objective 2.3 - Improve the individual and collective capacity and opportunities of people to participate in and contribute to using wetlands wisely, through the recognition of the values of wetland resources.

12. General Objective 3 - To mainstream the wise use of wetlands within society and enable people to act.

Operational Objective 3.1 - Foster sustained national campaigns, programmes and projects to raise community awareness of the important ecosystem services provided by wetlands as well as their social, economic and cultural values.

Operational Objective 3.2 - Support and develop mechanisms to ensure that CEPA processes are incorporated into participatory, multi-stakeholder wetland management.

Operational Objective 3.3 - Promote and support the role of wetland and other education centres as focal points of global, national and local CEPA efforts.


Actions to pursue the Vision and Objectives

13. The Actions in this Programme are addressed to the following responsible bodies of the Convention:

CPs: The Contracting Parties to the Convention, in particular the Administrative Authority in each country and the Ramsar/Wetlands National Committees (or equivalent bodies) that should be in place in each Party
CEPA: The Convention's Communication, Education and Public Awareness National Focal Points
STRP: The Scientific and Technical Review Panel, its CEPA Working Group and its network of National Focal Points
Bureau: The Ramsar Bureau (the Convention's secretariat)

14. The Programme also identifies actions involving collaborating partners of the Convention:

IOPs: International Organization Partners, at present BirdLife International, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Wetlands International, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
OCs: Other collaborators, including those with which Ramsar has agreements in place, in particular UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB); Eurosite (the network of European natural heritage management bodies); The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, USA (CIESIN), The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), and Ducks Unlimited (Canada, Mexico and USA)

15. Those responsible for implementing, or who are urged to assist in implementing, each Action in the Programme are indicated in brackets {..}; for example: {CPs, STRP, Bureau}.

General Objective 1: To gain acceptance of the value and effectiveness of wetland-related communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) processes at all levels throughout the Convention.


Operational Objective 1.1
Integrate CEPA processes into all levels of policy development, planning and implementation of the Convention.

Actions:

1.1.1 Ensure that by the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, CEPA is integrated into all Convention work programmes, including joint work plans with other conventions and organizations, and is also considered in the development of all further Ramsar guidance for Parties. {COP, Bureau, STRP, IOPs}

1.1.2 Integrate wetland CEPA into all relevant regional (where applicable), national, catchment and local wetland and other appropriate sectoral policies, strategies, plans and programmes, such as those for biodiversity conservation, water management, fisheries, poverty reduction, etc. {CPs, CEPA}

1.1.3 Establish an STRP Expert Working Group on CEPA to undertake a programme of work as set out in Annex II of Resolution VIII.31. {STRP, Bureau, IOPs, OCs}

Operational Objective 1.2 Demonstrate that CEPA processes are effective in achieving Ramsar's wetland wise use objectives at the global, national and local levels.

Actions:

1.2.1 Develop pilot projects to evaluate a range of approaches for applying CEPA in promoting the wise use of wetlands, in particular involving those who make a direct use of wetland resources. {STRP, CPs, CEPA, IOPs}

1.2.2 Review existing CEPA programmes and case studies and document the lessons learned regarding effective approaches from these experiences. {STRP, CPs, CEPA, IOPs}

1.2.3 Make the findings and conclusions drawn from Actions 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 available to Parties and the broader community through appropriate mechanisms (see Operational Objectives 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3). {Bureau, CPs, CEPA, IOPs}

General Objective 2: To provide support and tools for the effective implementation of national and local wetland-related communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) activities.


Operational Objective 2.1
Provide national leadership, networks and cohesive frameworks to support and catalyse CEPA for the wise use of wetlands.

Actions:

2.1.1 Contracting Parties (as requested by Resolution VII.9) are urged as a matter of priority to appoint suitably qualified persons to fulfil the roles of national government and non-government Focal Points for wetland CEPA, and to advise the Ramsar Bureau of the persons fulfilling these roles and their contact details. {CPs}

2.1.2 Establish a national Wetland CEPA Task Force (if no other mechanisms exist for this purpose), ensuring suitable stakeholder and NGO representation, to undertake a review of needs, skills, expertise and options and to set priorities for the implementation of this programme of work. {CPs, CEPA, OCs}

2.1.3 Formulate, drawing upon the Additional Guidance on reviewing and action planning for wetland communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) developed for this purpose, a national (and, where appropriate, sub-national, catchment or local) action plan for wetland CEPA which incorporates the conclusions to emerge from Action 2.1.2 above, and provide a copy of this to the Ramsar Convention Bureau so that it can be made available to other Parties and interested organizations and individuals. (The Additional Guidance document is available in hard copy from the Bureau and in html at http://ramsar.org/outreach_ reviewsactionplansI.htm.) {CPs (national Wetland CEPA Task Force or similar body), IOPs, OCs}

2.1.4 Review and, where appropriate, integrate wetland CEPA into the business of national wetland, biodiversity, forestry, agriculture, irrigation, power generation, mining, tourism, and fisheries committees and other relevant policy and planning committees where they exist. {CPs}

2.1.5 As part of undertaking actions 2.1.2, 2.1.3 and 2.1.4, ensure that attention is given to the efficiency and effectiveness of communication and information-sharing systems between relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, and where necessary develop mechanisms to address any shortcomings. {CPs}

2.1.6 Collaborate globally and nationally to encourage synergy with the CEPA activities under other international conventions and programmes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. {Bureau, CPs, CEPA, IOPs}

2.1.7 Establish and maintain an on-line searchable listing of expertise in CEPA and of the CEPA Focal Points, one which can be accessed to assist CEPA at national and international levels, and promote this service to assist CEPA programmes and activities.{Bureau, CPs}

See also Action 1.1.2 above.

Operational Objective 2.2 Transfer, exchange and share CEPA information and expertise that promotes and results in the wise use of wetlands.

Actions:

2.2.1 Continue to develop the Convention's Web site and the CEPA mini-Web site within it, which has been designed specifically for the CEPA programme, and add resource materials to ensure that these remain a cornerstone of this CEPA programme globally. {Bureau}

2.2.2 Encourage Ramsar's International Organization Partners (IOPs), especially the IUCN's Commission on Education and Communication, and other organizations with which collaborative agreements are in place, also to make available suitable resource materials to assist the global CEPA programme and information on effective CEPA approaches.{Bureau, IOPs}

2.2.3 Continue to produce, distribute and share resource materials to support wetland CEPA actions. {Bureau, IOPs, CPs, CEPA, OCs}

2.2.4 Maintain, and seek to expand, the Ramsar global e-mail networks to include Ramsar Administrative Authorities, Ramsar national wetland CEPA Focal Points, CEPA professionals, Ramsar site managers, those facilities dedicated to environmental education and awareness raising, and local stakeholders. Establish and support similar national e-groups and the linking of these with the global network. {Bureau, CPs, CEPA, IOPs, OCs}

2.2.5 Promote and seek to resource the coordination of the Wetland Link International programme of the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, UK, in order to allow it to assist wetland education centres to create a global network and national centres of excellence for promoting CEPA, and to facilitate information exchange between centres in developed and developing countries and countries with economies in transition. {CPs, Bureau, IOPs}

2.2.6 Promote and seek to resource the twinning of wetland education centres to encourage the exchange and transfer of information and expertise between centres in developed countries and those in developing countries and countries in transition. {CPs, CEPA, IOPs}

2.2.7 Establish a Ramsar photolibrary to support global, national and local efforts to raise awareness and appreciation of wetland resources and how these can be used wisely. {Bureau}

Operational Objective 2.3 Improve the individual and collective capacity and opportunities of people to participate in and contribute to using wetlands wisely, through the recognition of the values of wetland resources.

Actions:

2.3.1 Review the current national needs and capacities in the areas of wetland CEPA, including in relation to the establishment and operations of wetland education centres (see Operational Objective 3.3) and use this to define capacity-building priorities within the national wetland CEPA action plan (see Action 2.1.3). {CPs, CEPA}

2.3.2 In collaboration with Ramsar's International Organization Partners, identify sources of expert information and training opportunities in wetland CEPA in order to facilitate the sharing of expertise and knowledge at the local, national, regional and global levels. {Bureau, CPs, CEPA}

2.3.3 Seek resources through appropriate mechanisms to support the capacity building identified as priorities through Action 2.3.1, ensuring that key groups such as women and indigenous and rural communities are not overlooked. {CPs}

2.3.4 Review formal educational curricula to ensure that they are incorporating information on the ecosystem services provided by wetlands, promoting the wise use principle, and recognizing the importance of CEPA in pursuing the objective of wise use. {CPs, IOPs, OCs}

General Objective 3: To mainstream the wise use of wetlands within society and enable people to act.


Note
: the foregoing Operational Objectives all contain actions which contribute toward achieving this General Objective as well.

Operational Objective 3.1 Foster sustained national campaigns, programmes and projects to raise community awareness of the important ecosystem services provided by wetlands as well as their social, economic and cultural values.

Actions:

3.1.1 Undertake national campaigns, programmes or projects to raise awareness, build community support, and promote stewardship approaches and attitudes towards wetlands. {CPs, CEPA, OCs}

3.1.2 Celebrate World Wetlands Day/Week with appropriate national and local events and promotions and the distribution of resource materials, in order to raise awareness of wetland values and functions. {CPs, CEPA, Bureau, IOPs, OCs}

3.1.3 Collaborate with the media to inform decision-makers and the broader society about the values and benefits of wetlands. {CPs, CEPA, Bureau, IOPs, OCs}

3.1.4 Promote appropriate Wetlands of International Importance as 'demonstration sites' for Ramsar's wise use principle and ensure that they are suitably equipped in terms of capacity, signage, and interpretive materials. {CPs, CEPA}

Operational Objective 3.2 Support and develop mechanisms to ensure that CEPA processes are incorporated into participatory, multi-stakeholder wetland management.

Actions:

3.2.1 Develop, for consideration at COP9, additional guidance based on practical experiences to enhance Ramsar's New Guidelines for management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands, the Guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities' and indigenous people's participation in the management of wetlands, and the Guiding principles for taking into account the cultural values of wetlands for the effective management of sites by showing the positive role of CEPA in local management action. {STRP, CPs, IOPs}

3.2.2 Once the above guidance has been adopted, seek to apply it fully within each jurisdiction.{CPs}

3.2.3 Ensure that multi-stakeholder bodies are in place to guide and inform catchment/river basin and local wetland-related planning and management, and that these bodies include appropriate expertise in CEPA. {CPs}

3.2.4 Ensure that catchment/river basin planning and management documents include communication, education and public awareness and capacity building as complementary processes in the delivery of overall water and wetland management objectives. {CPs}

3.2.5 Where they do not already exist, introduce into site management plans the appropriate strategies and actions for complementary communication, education and public awareness. {CPs}

Operational Objective 3.3 Promote and support the role of wetland and other education centres as focal points for global, national and local CEPA efforts.

Actions:

3.3.1 Seek to establish education centres at Ramsar and other wetland sites to provide focal points for local and national CEPA. activities. {CPs}

3.3.2 Where wetland education centres exist, review the information they present and ensure that it is serving to promote in suitable ways the Ramsar Convention and its wise use principle, and also that the centres are helping to foster communication and, where appropriate, participation, among the local wetland management 'actors' and stakeholders. {CPs, CEPA, IOPs, OCs}

3.3.3 For existing and future wetland education centres, encourage their participation in the Wetland Link International network of WWT, UK, as a mechanism for gaining access to global and national expertise in CEPA (see Action 2.2.5 also). {CPs, CEPA, IOPs, OCs}

3.3.4 Seek to involve suitable places of learning, education and training (museums, zoos, aquaria, botanic gardens and related institutions) in national CEPA efforts; encourage the development of wetland-related interpretative exhibits and programmes at such venues, and also facilitate linkages with wetland-based centres. (see Operational Objective 2.3){CPs, CEPA, IOPs, OCs}

3.3.5 Encourage National CEPA Focal Points to collaborate with wetland and other education centres and, as appropriate, include a representative of such centres on Wetland CEPA Task Forces or other planning bodies (see Actions 2.1.1 and 2.1.2). {CPs, CEPA, IOPs, OCs}


Appendix 1

Understanding what is meant by the terms "communication, education and public awareness" and "mainstreaming"

1. In applying this programme, it is important that Contracting Parties and other interest groups share a common understanding of what is meant by the term "Communication, education and public awareness". The advice presented below is based on the Mainstreaming Biological Diversity publication (produced by UNESCO, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the World Conservation Union - IUCN) and is intended to give a sense of what practitioners in this field commonly mean by these terms, as well as the perspectives which have been used in formulating this programme.

2. Communication is the two-way exchange of information leading to mutual and enhanced understanding. It can be used to gain the involvement of 'actors' and stakeholders and is a means to gain cooperation of groups in society by listening to them first and clarifying why and how decisions are made. In an instrumental approach, communication is used with other instruments to support wetland conservation, to address economic constraints, and to motivate action.

3. Education is a process that can inform, motivate and empower people to support wetland conservation, not only by inducing lifestyle changes, but also by fostering changes in the way that individuals, institutions, business and governments operate.

4. Awareness brings the issues relating to wetlands to the attention of individuals and key groups who have the power to influence outcomes. Awareness is an agenda setting and advocacy exercise which helps people to know what and why this is an important issue, the aspirations for the targets, and what is and can be done to achieve these.

5. Mainstreaming is another term used in this CEPA programme. While it has many definitions, in this context it has been used to mean the processes by which societies, businesses and governments can be brought to recognize the full functions, services, and benefits derived from ecosystems, and the natural environment, and then act to give these values appropriate effect in decision-making. Mainstreaming is therefore at the centre of achieving sustainable or wise use.


Appendix 2

Possible target groups and stakeholders of the CEPA Programme of the Convention on Wetlands

1. There are a large number of possible target groups for this CEPA Programme which fall within the broadest category of the general community or civil society. To assist Contracting Parties and others using this Programme to decide on the actions they will take, this Appendix describes 27 subgroups of civil society which have been identified as those people who can make a significant and immediate difference in the status and long-term sustainability of wetlands.

2. In developing national or local programmes of action based on this CEPA Programme, Contracting Parties and others are urged to take this Appendix into consideration for their own situations in determining those which are their highest priority target groups.

3. A fundamental assumption of the CEPA Programme is that, as a consequence of the actions taken in response to it, there will be an increasing number of "actors" who become agents, ambassadors or advocates for the Convention on Wetlands and the principles it seeks to encourage. Support for the CEPA Programme should therefore be seen as an investment which aims to help decision-makers and mobilise local-scale actions directed at achieving the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

A) PEOPLE IN GENERAL

Target Group/IndividualsRationale
Landowners (especially those who are responsible for managing wetlands)These are the people who are making decisions which impact directly upon wetlands. Parties and Ramsar must inform them and provide them with access to expert information and expertise.
Indigenous people and local communitiesMany indigenous people and local communities associated with wetlands have great knowledge of managing these ecosystems in a sustainable way, and in some instances have an ongoing cultural association with wetlands. Ramsar should aim to encourage the sharing of this experience with other wetland managers and acknowledge indigenous peoples’ stewardship of wetlands.
WomenEngaging more women in wetland management is a priority, as in many cultures they tend to be more entrepreneurial in the family unit and more amenable to changing lifestyle habits. They may also tend to communicate more often with the children within the family.
ChildrenChildren are the next generation of environmental managers and caretakers, and Ramsar must ensure that they are aware of the importance of wetlands and how to use them wisely. Children can also become teachers of their parents through their own education.
National and local non-government organizationsIn many countries local NGOs are vital for achieving action. They need to have expert information and expertise available to them.
Those responsible for electronic and print mediaConveying positive and informative messages about wetlands to the general community can be accelerated through news and other stories in the electronic and print media.
Community leaders and prominent people – athletes, sports people, religious leaders, artists, royalty, teachers, opinion leaders, etc.Community leaders can use their public profile to draw attention to issues, and those who have empathy for wetland conservation may be ideal ambassadors to promote the Ramsar message.


B) GOVERNMENTS AT ALL LEVELS

Target Group/IndividualsRationale
Environmental policy makers and planners within local administrations, provincial/ state and national government administrations.These officials are key decision-makers at the local level and subregional and national scales. Their actions can impact directly on wetlands, positively or negatively, either at the local level or catchment/river basin scale.
Wetland site managers (wardens, rangers, etc.) within local, provincial/state and national government administrations.These people have a special need to receive advice on the best practices in managing wetland ecosystems, and on gaining public support and participation for their work, especially where they are responsible for managing a Ramsar site. Site managers also have valuable first-hand experience with wetland management, and finding ways to allow these experiences to be shared between them and with others is a priority.
National Administrative Authorities of the Ramsar ConventionThey should have the best information at their disposal for efficient application and dissemination.
National Administrative Authorities and Focal Points for other environment-related conventionsIf there is to be a more integrated approach to managing land and water resources, including wetlands, there is a need to create greater understanding of and empathy for the Ramsar Convention among those implementing the other conventions.
National consultative and advisory committees for the Ramsar Convention and other environment-related conventions (such as National Ramsar Committees).Similarly, there is a need to create greater understanding of and empathy for the Ramsar Convention among those who are advising governments on implementation of Ramsar and the other conventions.
The Ministers responsible for all sustainable development and education portfolios and environment-related conventions as well as Members of Parliament - National, State/Provincial and local.Ramsar needs to gain the support of these Ministers and all government members, for they have direct input to policy setting, budget allocation, etc. Those Members of Parliament in the opposition parties may be in this position in the future.
National aid agencies, bilateral donorsThe Convention needs to ensure that there is a good general understanding about what it does within those organizations that are dealing with governments on a range of sustainable development issues. Ramsar must ensure that the relevant officials are well briefed and able to support Ramsar principles through on-ground projects in the Contracting Parties.
Ambassadors and the staff of overseas missions.It is important that these officials fully understand the Ramsar Convention and its modus operandi so that national governments can be better informed.


C) INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Target Group/IndividualsRationale
Global organizations – World Bank, Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, Global Water Partnership, etc.The Convention needs to ensure that there is a good general understanding about what it does within those organizations that are dealing with governments on range of sustainable development issues. Where the organizations have funding programmes, Ramsar must ensure that the relevant officials are well briefed and able to support Ramsar principles through on-ground projects in the Contracting Parties.
Regional organizations – South Pacific Regional Environment Program, European Commission, Southern Africa Development Community, Regional Development Banks, ASEAN Environmental Programme, etc.As above.
Global NGO partners and other international and regional NGOsRamsar’s four official NGO partners (IUCN, WWF, Wetlands International, and BirdLife) are all active and effective in promoting the Ramsar Convention. There is a need to involve more of these regional and international NGOs in communicating the Ramsar message.
The secretariats of other environment-related instruments (CBD, CCD, CMS, FCCC, CITES, World Heritage, MAB)This is essential if there is to be increasing synergy among the conventions at the global and national scales.


D) THE BUSINESS SECTOR

Target Group/IndividualsRationale
Potential sponsors, supportersRamsar promotes sustainable use of wetlands and must therefore engage with the business sectors to ensure that the activities being undertaken by them are not acting contrary to the objectives of the Convention.
Key business sectors
  • Water and sanitation
  • Irrigation and water supply
  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Forestry
  • Fishing
  • Environmental managers
  • Tourism
  • Waste disposal
  • Energy
Within the business sectors these, and some others, are the industries which have the potential for major negative impacts on wetlands. Ramsar must promote practices within these industries to ensure that their activities are not resulting in wetland loss.
Professional AssociationsRamsar should encourage the application of Ramsar wise use practices through these professional associations.


E) THE EDUCATION SECTOR AND LEARNING INSTITUTIONS

Target Group/IndividualsRationale
Education ministries, curriculum development authorities, examination boards and universities, in-service trainers, etc.All of these can assist in gaining the inclusion of wetland conservation and wise use issues in school and other formal curricula.
National and international teachers’ associationsThe incorporation of Ramsar principles into curricula and learning programmes generally can be accelerated through working collaboratively with teacher associations.
National and international networks, associations and councils of environmental educationWetlands and water issues can be incorporated into the curricula and other materials being developed by these organizations.
Wetland/ Environment Centres, Zoos, Aquaria, Botanic Gardens, etc.These are ideal venues for promoting the Ramsar message and efforts should be intensified, in order to have suitable information and materials and programmes available within them.
National and international networks of libraries.The library networks provide an excellent avenue for making information on Ramsar and wetlands more accessible to the general community.

Annex II

Priority tasks of the STRP's CEPA Working Group
in the triennium 2003-2005

1. For each task within the STRP's programme of work for the triennium, provide ongoing input to the various working groups to ensure CEPA issues are considered fully and reflected appropriately in the guidance developed for Parties' consideration at COP9.

2. Evaluate the CEPA-related information provided in the National Reports submitted for COP8 and identify the major impediments and constraints being experienced by Parties in this area. Provide summary advice on this to the STRP and Standing Committee, and use it to guide the actions of this Working Group.

3. Review existing Ramsar guidance, and develop additional guidance, as required, for Parties, STRP, Bureau and IOPs, on CEPA issues and on opportunities which exist in the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 to further the objectives of the CEPA Programme.

4. Develop for consideration at COP9 additional guidance based on practical experiences to enhance Ramsar's New Guidelines for management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands (Resolution VIII.14), Guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities' and indigenous people's participation in the management of wetlands (Resolution VII.8), and the Guiding principles for taking into account the cultural values of wetlands for the effective management of sites annexed to Resolution VIII.19, in order to show the role of CEPA in local management action (Action 3.2.1 from the CEPA programme).

5. Review Ramsar's other guidance for Parties (as contained in the Wise Use 'Toolkit') and, where appropriate, develop additional guidance to indicate how CEPA can be integrated into these policy and planning approaches.

6. Review the CEPA programmes and activities of other international conventions and programmes, including but not restricted to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), and provide advice to the Ramsar Bureau on how to advance more harmonised approaches. (Action 2.1.5 from the CEPA programme)

7. Develop the scope and Terms of Reference for pilot projects to evaluate a range of approaches for applying CEPA in promoting the wise use of wetlands (Action 1.2.1 from the CEPA programme)

8. Review existing models and case studies for undertaking wetland CEPA activities and document the lessons learned from these experiences. (Action 1.2.2 from the CEPA programme). Make these conclusions and case studies available to the Ramsar Bureau for distribution to Contracting Parties and other interested bodies. (Action 1.2.3 from the CEPA programme).

9. In coordination with the Ramsar Bureau, ensure that the conclusions from the reviews and revision of National Wetland CEPA Action Plans are available to all Contracting Parties, as working examples of CEPA Action Plans.

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