25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 23 - 27 October 2000
Agenda item 9

DOC. SC25-5

The Joint Work Plan with the Convention on Biological Diversity and implications for Ramsar of the Decisions of CBD COP5

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to:
a) note the final text of the 2nd CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan, as endorsed by CBD COP5; and
b) note the Decisions of CBD COP5 as they relate to Ramsar and, as necessary, consider their implications for the work of the Bureau and the STRP, and recommend actions as appropriate.


1. The 24th meeting of the Standing Committee reviewed a draft text of the 2nd Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 of the Convention on Biological Diveristy and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and expressed strong support for it. With minor amendments by the CBD Secretariat this text was submitted to CBD’s 5th meeting of its Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA5) (Montreal, February 2000) and then unchanged to CBD’s COP5 (Nairobi, May 2000). The final text of the Joint Work Plan is appended as Annex I.

2. In Decision CBD V/21 on Cooperation, CBD COP5 welcomed and endorsed this second Joint Work Plan and commended it as a useful example of future cooperation between CBD and other environmental conventions. Importantly, this decision also noted that the Joint Work Plan covers cooperative actions in relation to several of CBD’s ecosystem themes and also cross-cutting issues. This is a welcome recognition by CBD’s Parties that Ramsar covers much more than just the inland waters that were the emphasis of the 1st Joint Work Plan.

3. In recognition of this, a number of the other CBD COP5 Decisions and their associated programmes of work make specific mention of collaborative work with Ramsar. This occurs in Decisions on both ecosystem themes (notably inland waters, marine and coastal, forests, and drylands) and cross-cutting areas (notably alien species, incentive measures, and impact assessment). In some instances, for example on alien species, the COP5 Decision text takes the collaboration between the two conventions, their scientific subsidiary bodies, and secretariats further than that identified in the Joint Work Plan. A digest of issues and Decisions of CBD COP5 as they relate to Ramsar is appended as Annex II (page 25 of this document).

4. The Bureau is now preparing the 2nd Joint Work Plan for publication in the three official languages of the Convention. This publication will include the summary of COP5 Decisions in relation to Ramsar, and will be circulated to both Ramsar and CBD national Administrative Authorities.

5. A number of actions in the 2nd Joint Work Plan involve cooperation between secretariats and between subsidiary bodies. The Bureau is now in discussion with the CBD secretariat as to how best to ensure communication and joint action on these matters. Concerning Ramsar’s STRP and CBD’s SBSTTA, cooperation is both at the level of representation in general at each others’ meetings by subsidiary body Chairs, and also under the specific areas of work, particularly concerning those of the various Expert Working Groups of STRP and CBD’s expert groups and liaison groups on these topics.

6. In response to the actions of the Joint Work Plan and CBD COP5 Decisions, so as to take forward its programmes of work CBD is establishing a number of informal liaison groups and consultation exercises to which Ramsar is invited to contribute. To date these cover: alien invasive species, forest biodiversity, coral reefs under the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity, and incentive measures.

7. Participation by Ramsar representatives in such liaison activities will be valuable in ensuring that guidance to Parties being prepared by CBD and by STRP for COP8 is as far as possible consistent and harmonised. In line with the request by STRP9 for the Bureau to establish a mechanism for preparing guidance for COP8 on alien invasive species, the Deputy Secretary General participated in the CBD liaison group on alien species held during the meeting of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) (Cape Town, September 2000), to assist in CBD’s preparations for SBSTTA6 (March 2001) which will give major attention to this topic.

8. In some cases, for example on incentives, Ramsar’s International Organization Partners are specifically identified in the CBD Decisions. As these organiszations are also members of STRP, their role under both Conventions will provide an effective mechanism for linkage. For other topics an appropriate mechanism may be for the Chair of STRP to nominate an STRP representative (either lead or member of the relevant Expert Working Group) to contribute to the Ramsar/CBD cooperation process.

9. The Standing Committee may wish to advise on the most appropriate and effective approach for Ramsar’s future involvement in the developing cooperation with CBD, noting that the success so far of the cooperation will lead to an increasing expectation of input from the Bureau, the STRP Chair, and other STRP members. The role of STRP and its members in particular should be considered in relation to the very heavy workload they are already undertaking during this triennium (see DOC. SC25-12) and in relation to its current modus operandi. For the next triennium an evaluation of this issue will be made by the Bureau in its review of the future STRP modus operandi being prepared for the 10th meeting of STRP. There may also be resource implications for increasing STRP members’ participation in the CBD cooperation process, and this will need further assessment. It should also be noted that as closer cooperation with other conventions develops, requirements for such collaborative work is bound to increase.

10. The current CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan runs to the end of 2001. The Standing Committee may wish to express its view on the process and importance of preparing a 3rd Joint Work Plan which would cover 2002-2003. For this, a draft would be developed by the Bureau and CBD secretariat during 2001 for consideration by the 26th meeting of the Standing Committee (late 2001) and CBD SBSTTA7 (early 2002).

Annex I: Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Annex II: CBD COP5, Digest of issues and Decisions of particular relevance to the Ramsar Convention

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