34th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

10/03/2006
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 10-13 April 2006
DOC. SC34-4

Agenda item 6

Establishment of the Management Working Group (Resolution IX.24) and the Subgroup on COP10, and review of arrangements for other subgroups

Action requested: It is suggested that the Standing Committee formally appoint the Management Working Group and the Subgroup on VIII.45 (to include the additional task of reviewing the National Report and Strategic Plan formats) and constitute the Subgroup for COP10. Standing Committee members are urged to consult within their regions to ensure a smooth and timely appointment process.

Issues

1. In Resolution IX.24, the Conference of the Contracting Parties established an ad hoc Management Working Group to examine and review the various management structures and systems in place within the Convention and to report back to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2008 with their recommendations on:

a) improving the existing terms of reference and/or operating procedures of the Standing Committee, the Subgroup on Finance, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, Regional Meetings, and the Secretariat;
b) establishing any new management structures the Working Group concludes may be needed; and
c) strengthening linkages between the Contracting Parties and the International Organization Partners.

2. COP9 determined that the Management Working Group would comprise:

a) the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee established at COP8;
b) the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee established at COP9;
c) the COP8 and COP9 Chairs of the Subgroup on Finance;
d) the COP8 and COP9 Chairs of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel;
e) any other interested Contracting Parties, keeping in mind the desirability of equitable regional participation, or International Organization Partners;
f) the Secretary General ex officio; and
g) an appropriate expert on organizational review, to be determined by the Working Group, subject to there being no implications for the Convention's budget.

3. This membership means it would be helpful if Parties wishing to nominate for this group's work (which will be largely by electronic means, with a meeting foreseen in conjunction with SC35) could discuss this issue within their regions prior to the Standing Committee meeting. The Resolution was clearly not excluding Parties not currently members of Standing Committee.

4. The Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45 remains in existence. In the last triennium it had the following membership: Morocco (Africa), Iran and Japan (Asia), Austria and Romania (Europe), Argentina (Neotropics), the USA (North America) as Chair, Papua New Guinea (Oceania), and BirdLife International representing the International Organization Partners. It would seem sensible to ensure a core membership of Parties who are members of Standing Committee, with the addition of a limited number of additional interested Parties or observers.

5. While there remain some review tasks for this subgroup, it seems logical that it should also take on the primary review process for the development of the Strategic Plan for 2009-2014 and the revisions to the National Report format for COP10, as these issues are linked closely, and linked also to issues of reform and streamlining. The Secretariat's proposal therefore is to keep the Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45 intact for these functions.

6. The Subgroup on COP10 should be established and, following normal practice, would be chaired by the host country (Republic of Korea), with representatives from Standing Committee members for Africa, Europe, the Neotropics, North America, and Oceania, normally an additional representative from Asia, representative(s) of the International Organization Partners, and the Secretary General ex officio. Normally the last COP host (Uganda) would be a member of the Subgroup as well, but it may be appropriate in this case to have another representative from Africa, and draw separately on the wisdom of the Standing Committee Chair with respect to COP9 issues.

7. The CEPA Oversight Panel is established separately and dealt with under agenda item 9.1, DOC. SC34-12.

See also SC34-23, Report of the Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45.

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