Ramsar intervention to CBD COP8 on Cooperation with other conventions

07/04/2006

Convention on Biological Diversity

Intervention made by IUCN on behalf of the Ramsar secretary general to CBD COP8's discussion on Cooperation with other conventions and international organizations and initiatives, and engagement of stakeholders in the implementation of the Convention

Mr Chairman,

On behalf of the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention I should like to make the following short observations.

The Ramsar Convention, at its 9th COP recently concluded in Kampala, Uganda, specifically reinforced the issue of synergies, and requested the Secretary General to continue to be fully involved in proceedings of the Biodiversity Liaison Group (BLG) established under the aegis of the CBD, and to report regularly to Standing Committee on progress achieved by this group; as well as to cooperate closely with relevant conventions, including through the Joint Liaison Group for the three Rio Conventions, and to seek to reduce duplicative activities.

In addition, COP requested the Secretary General to consider how best to simplify and reduce duplication in reporting required and/or requested in relevant Resolutions adopted by previous COPs, to make further recommendations on streamlining and simplifying reporting requirements, and to develop a simpler and less duplicative national reporting format.

So, Mr Chairman, we have strong echoes from the Ramsar COP to progress synergies with CBD, which the Secretariat will do energetically. We will specifically attempt to make as much progress as possible on the harmonization of reporting arrangements, taking into account the different time frames which operate between convention timetables. In that respect it is worth noting that COP urged Contracting Parties to develop ways and means, at national level, of improving liaison between Ramsar Convention Administrative Authorities and focal points for related MEAs with the aim of harmonizing information management and reporting for the biodiversity-related conventions.

Mr Chairman, this issue of report harmonization is not simple, but neither is it so complicated - it merely requires will between contracting parties and secretariats to move the issue forward. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat stands ready to work as effectively as possible with CBD and other secretariats to ensure that harmonization can and will occur.

It is my hope that by CBD COP9 and Ramsar COP10, both foreseen in 2008, that both governing bodies will be able to observe marked progress on this issue.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

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