Resolution VIII.5: Partnerships and synergies with Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other institutions

"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. RECALLING that Operational Objective 7.2 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 identified a range of actions to strengthen and formalize linkages with other international and/or regional environment conventions;

2. WELCOMING the progress made by the Convention in the past triennium in cementing and expanding its cooperation with other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and institutions;

3. ALSO WELCOMING the participation of the Convention in the MEA-related work of the Open-ended Group of Ministers or their Representatives on International Environmental Governance established by Decision 21/21 of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as in the Ecosystem Management Group (EMG) established by the United Nations General Assembly to coordinate the environmental work of the United Nations system and MEAs;

4. EXPRESSING APPRECIATION to UNEP and to the United Nations University (UNU), among others, for the work carried out to improve synergies among MEAs;

5. NOTING WITH PLEASURE Decision V/2 of COP5 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which "endorses the proposed joint work plan for the period 2000-2001 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, which includes, inter alia, a River Basin Initiative, encourages Parties, other Governments and relevant bodies to support and participate in the Initiative, and stresses that Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity that are not Parties to the Ramsar Convention shall not be disadvantaged in the workings and implementation of the joint work plan"; and Decision VI/20 of CBD COP6 which "welcomes and endorses the third joint work plan (2002-2006) between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands";

6. ALSO NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the approval by the Standing Committee of the Convention and by the Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) of a Programme of Joint Work between Ramsar and MAB;

7. WELCOMING the preparation of the Joint Work Plan with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African - Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) concerning joint actions to safeguard migratory waterbirds and their habitats;

8. FURTHER WELCOMING the Memorandum of Cooperation and Joint Work Plan with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme concerning cooperation and support for wetland conservation and wise use in Pacific Island countries;

9. RECOGNIZING the developing collaboration with regional seas conventions through the Memoranda of Cooperation with the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) and The Coordinating Unit of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the Secretariat of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention);

10. WELCOMING the establishment of the Joint Liaison Group between the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and the conclusion of the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at its 16th session concerning its potential synergies with the Ramsar Convention;

11. WELCOMING the invitation extended to the Ramsar Convention from the SBSTA of UNFCCC to share information and participate in the meetings of the Joint Liaison Group referred to in the previous paragraph;

12. HAVING ADOPTED at this meeting the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008, which includes in its Operational Objective 13 on 'Collaboration with other institutions' a series of Actions related to the partnerships and synergies with MEAs and other agencies;

13. WELCOMING the decision of the Second Global Environmental Facility Assembly (GEF), held in Beijing (China) from 16-18 October 2002, to approve the "land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation, and persistant organic pollutants" as new GEF focal areas; and

14. NOTING once more the benefits to be gained from synergy and integrated implementation, where appropriate, of MEAs, at all levels: global, regional, national and local;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

15. URGES Contracting Parties, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the Standing Committee, and the Bureau, in cooperation with the governing and subsidiary bodies and the secretariats of other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), the International Organization Partners, and other collaborators, to implement fully the actions contained in Operational Objective 13 of the Strategic Plan 2003-2008 on 'Collaboration with other institutions';

16. FURTHER URGES Contracting Parties to make renewed efforts to increase collaboration at the national level between the institutions and focal points responsible for the implementation of MEAs, including through ensuring their participation in National Ramsar Committees, so as to foster synergies and harmonisation;

17. REQUESTS the Bureau to continue to participate in and contribute to the work of the United Nations Environment Programme, in particular its Division of Environmental Conventions and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, in the area of promoting synergies among MEAs, as well as in the work of the Environmental Management Group (EMG);

18. WELCOMES AND ENDORSES the third Joint Work Plan (2002-2006) between the Convention on Biological Diversity and this Convention, the Programme of Joint Work between MAB and this Convention, the Joint Work Plan with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Migratory Species and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement and this Convention;

19. URGES Contracting Parties, the International Organization Partners, and other collaborators to contribute actively to the work of the joint Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative;

20. URGES AGAIN eligible Contracting Parties of both the Ramsar Convention and the CBD to develop projects suitable for consideration by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in accordance with paragraphs 6 and 7 of Decision IV/4 of CBD's COP4 relating to inland water ecosystems, and to communicate details of progress on these to the Ramsar Bureau;

21. REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau to further strengthen its working relations with the GEF Secretariat;

22. INVITES the GEF Council to consider affording to the Ramsar Convention, represented by the Ramsar Bureau, the status of observer at all Council and Assembly meetings of GEF, so that the Convention can be in a better position to provide advice on its areas of expertise to the Council and its member States, particularly in view of the Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and the CBD;

23. DIRECTS the STRP, in accordance with Resolutions VII.2 and VIII.28 on the Panel's modus operandi and subject to the availability of funds and human resources, to exchange information, cooperate and coordinate activities, where appropriate, with the equivalent subsidiary bodies of other MEAs and relevant regional fora, and to report, through the Standing Committee, to Ramsar COP9; and

24. FURTHER DIRECTS the Ramsar Bureau, in collaboration with the secretariats and other bodies of other MEAs and relevant regional fora, to keep under regular review the progress, successes and constraints in the implementation of joint work between these bodies and the Convention, and to report to Ramsar COP9.

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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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