35th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

35th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 14-16 February 2007
Agenda item 15
DOC. SC35-17,
Rev. 1

Secretariat Work Plan 2007

Note: This revised version of DOC. SC35-17 contains a subsequent version of the draft Joint Work Plan between the CBD and the Ramsar Convention, following discussions at the CBD Secretariat in early January between the Ramsar Secretary General and the Executive Secretary and other staff of the CBD. There are no other changes in the document.

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested

  • to review, comment on and endorse any revisions to the draft Secretariat Work Plan for 2007, and
  • to endorse the Joint Work Programme with the CBD.

1. The Secretariat's draft Work Plan for 2007 is provided in Annex 1. This has been developed by all Secretariat staff through an interactive and integrative process. The basic format used for 2006 has been retained, but our experience with this format has meant we have been able to refine our approach to provide more realistic time allocations for the 2007 plan.

2. Annex 2 provides a replacement draft Joint Work Programme (JWP) with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This is the fourth CBD/Ramsar JWP, covering the three-year period 2007-2009, but it employs a more simplified format than was used for previous CBD/Ramsar JWPs. The draft will be discussed further between the secretariats in early January 2007, and any fine tuning will be circulated subsequently to SC members. If Standing Committee endorses the 2007-2009 JWP, then it can go for approval at CBD SBSTTA in July 2007, and thus become fully operational from that time. In the intervening period initial implementation of the programme will begin by at least the two secretariats.

Annex 1

Secretariat Work Plan 2007: Key tasks and indicators

Note. The staff time allocation is based on each staff full-time equivalent (FTE) working 46 weeks in the year, using a base figure of 18 FTE staff. This figure takes into account staff who work for less than full-time, and staff posts whose recruitment is anticipated part way through 2007. Interns are counted as FTE staff.


Staff weeks 2007


Organise and hold Standing Committee 35, Feb 2007


SC35 held

Organise and hold STRP mid-term workshops, March 2007


Workshops held; work plan progress facilitated

Develop and maintain an electronic system for communication amongst STRP members & with its National Focal Points


STRP NFPs assisted to have improved involvement in STRP’s work

Support STRP in its elaboration and delivery of priority tasks in its Work Plan


Immediate & High Priority STRP tasks progressed according to Work Plan

Work with IOPs to ensure a common framework for assistance in delivering the Convention’s implementation


Framework and collaborative activities agreed

Develop a new approach to improving the financial base for the Convention’s implementation


SC36 has a new format for budget framework

Arrange occasional briefings of Missions in Geneva on activities taking place between Standing Committee meetings


At least one briefing held

Provide briefings to Standing Committee members between SC meetings, as required during the year


At least two briefings (July & October) sent to SC

Implement the CEPA Programme, and further develop a comprehensive plan for CEPA internally, including the activities undertaken with Danone Group and other private sector actors, through CEPA Oversight Panel


Comprehensive Secretariat CEPA plan, with input of CEPA Oversight Panel, developed

Publish Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks and Ramsar Technical Reports


Publication of 3rd edition Handbooks completed; RTRs published in a timely manner

Maintain Ramsar Web site, listserves and other electronic information provision


Topical information on the Convention available to all stakeholders

Seek to enhance the development of capacity building through the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention and developing regional centres


Advisory Board contributing to capacity-building for Parties

Prepare materials and advice for WWD 2008 (and follow up on 2007)


WWD 2008 materials prepared and despatched; 2007 activities reported on Web site

Agree and begin to implement, with the Convention on Biological Diversity, a 4th Joint Work Plan 2007-2009


4th JWP being implemented

Use proactively the Biodiversity Liaison Group, and the Joint Liaison Group for the Rio Conventions, to improve synergies


BLG meetings attended, JLG meetings attended as observer, both at SG/DSG level

Promote the work of the Convention at important international meetings


SRA level or above represented Convention at key global and regional meetings

Prepare paper for CSD on Ramsar and water in 2008


Paper prepared & distributed

With the SC Subgroup, begin preparation of the Strategic Plan for 2009-2014


First Draft Strategic Plan circulated to SC during 2007

With the SC Subgroup and interested Parties, develop and issue a new National Report Format for COP10


COP10 National Report Format issued in 2007

With the Management Working Group (MWG), review the existing management structures of the Secretariat and Convention


Any changes to management structures advised by MWG implemented by Secretariat

Further develop the review of COP decisions called for in Resolution IX.17, as instructed by SC35


Recommendations resulting from the review prepared for SC36 consideration

With the Host Government and other relevant bodies and agencies, continue to develop options for the change of status of the Secretariat (Resolution IX.10)


Further advice on options prepared for SC36 and potential COP10 consideration

Manage the core funding support for, and monitor the implementation of, regional initiatives approved by Resolution IX.7


Approved funds transferred to regional initiatives; advice on implementation progress & issues provided to SC

Undertake project evaluations and reviews (SGF, WFF, SFA, etc.)


All project proposals and reports evaluated

Monitor implementation of COP9 Resolutions


Implementation progress by Parties and IOPs tracked, as required

With the Republic of Korea, implement the Memorandum of Understanding for COP10


COP10 planning documents prepared; Republic of Korea advised on COP preparations

Support organization of COP10 regional preparatory meetings by host countries


All regional meetings prepared or held

Continue to review the effectiveness of Memoranda of Understanding with other organisations


All Memoranda and annexed plans either updated, replaced or annulled

Advise countries in the process of accession on any issues of clarification, and on preparing their first RIS, as necessary


Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, UAE, Yemen and others further assisted for accession

Assist Parties with implementation of the Convention


Advice and support on national implementation issues provided, in regional and global contexts

Manage and process Ramsar site designations and RIS updates


All RISs received from Parties fully processed

Advise Parties on Article 3.2, Montreux Record and Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM) issues


Article 3.2 issues raised with relevant Parties; RAMs prepared when requested by Parties

Undertake general administration of the Secretariat and Convention


Parties, and other stakeholders, provided with a timely and efficient service

Make representations to Parties in arrears with contributions


Meetings with missions made

Organise SC36 and COP10 Subgroup meetings


Meetings prepared in timely manner

Organise Secretariat meetings with partners and other stakeholders, as needed


Meetings prepared in timely manner

Annex 2


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and
the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)

Joint Work Programme (JWP)
2007 - 2010


The global environment is rapidly changing and this impacts on the capacity of ecosystems to deliver the services needed to sustain and improve human well-being. Policy development, planning and management based upon the Ecosystem Approach is essential to promote the continued delivery of ecosystem services. Among these services, water is the most valuable and the wise management of biodiversity and wetlands is thus critical in this context. Furthermore, while climate change is increasingly on the public and political agenda, the importance of the biodiversity of wetlands in moderating global change and its impacts remain under recognized.


The goal of this Joint Work Plan is the conservation, sustainable and wise use of biodiversity especially in wetlands, helping to assure the full achievement of the 2010 Biodiversity Target.


The convention secretariats recognize that:

i) the ongoing collaboration between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is setting a good example in building synergies between conventions to deliver effectively the objectives of both conventions (CBD Decision VIII/20; Ramsar Resolution IX.5) and that we must build upon this success;

ii) the Ramsar Convention acts as the lead partner for wetlands in implementing the CBD;

iii) the two conventions do not have the same composition of Parties but that the objectives and principles of the CBD are embodied in the Ramsar Convention, and vice versa, in a mutually supportive way;

iv) Article 1.1 of the Ramsar Convention states that "for the purpose of this Convention wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres";

v) wetlands therefore occur in all biomes and are potentially influenced by all sector activities, and that appropriate management of land and water, using the Ecosystem Approach of the CBD, is required to achieve the goal - consequently, the JWP will work through all relevant thematic programmes and cross-cutting issues of the CBD and cover all relevant resolutions made under the Ramsar Convention;

vi) the biological diversity of wetlands is under the most severe threat and that threats are rapidly escalating - particularly through competing human demands for water;

vii) continued biodiversity loss from wetlands will seriously undermine the delivery of important services provided by these ecosystems and will be a significant constraint to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and biodiversity targets;

viii) considerable technical knowledge has already been developed by the CBD, Ramsar, and many partners to manage land and water better in order to sustain their benefits for people; and

ix) whilst the further development of technical tools is required in some areas, the key requirements for the achievement of the objectives of this JWP centre on public and political awareness, institutional weaknesses and capacity related issues.

Specific activities

The primary responsibility for implementation of this JWP rests with Parties and the Convention Bodies. The Secretariats play a supporting and facilitating role.

The following is an indicative list of activities. The flexible and innovative nature of this JWP is designed to lead to other key targeted actions aimed to maximise its contribution to the achievement of the goal of the JWP.

Parties may identify specific national actions, depending on the circumstances of each country. The national focal points of the two conventions should cooperate in a proactive and flexible way to implement this work programme.

In order to ensure the wise use of wetlands as well as the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in all ecosystems, and promote the contribution of biodiversity and wetlands to human well-being, key activities include:

i) making use of the Ecosystem Approach in planning processes at national, regional and local levels by taking into account the ecosystem goods and services provided by wetlands and other ecosystems;

ii) developing and implementing National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and National Wetland Policies in a consistent and mutually supportive way;

iii) identifying and implementing joint activities to promote the integration of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the wise use of wetlands into relevant sectoral and cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies, including poverty reduction strategies; and

iv) promoting the synergistic implementation of both conventions - including the CBD programme of work on protected areas and the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Convention bodies. For the scientific bodies of the conventions, with the possible assistance of liaison groups, expert groups, specialist organizations or individual experts, key actions to support this JWP include, inter alia:

i) prioritising key activities to implement both conventions in a mutually supportive manner;

ii) further harmonising the Ecosystem Approach and Ramsar "wise use of wetlands";

iii) developing tools to measure the achievement of the 2010 target by elaborating and using wetlands and water-related indicators;

iv) improving representativeness of wetland protected areas, including using Ramsar sites as catalysts for networks of protected areas between countries to conserve wetlands;

v) promoting sustainable use of wetland biodiversity in the framework of wise use;

vi) ensuring harmonised national reporting, including the role of national reports in measuring the implementation of this JWP;

vii) collaborating to meet the goals of both conventions' strategic plans, to best monitor and assess the respective achievements in the context of biodiversity and wetlands;

ix) integrating wetland and water considerations into environmental impact assessments and procedures;

x) facilitating data accessibility and interoperability among the Ramsar databases and the CBD Clearing-house Mechanism, including its national nodes;

xi) identifying strategic opportunities, and formulating plans, for coordinated action on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA); and

xii) further identifying and promoting the importance of cultural diversity in understanding and managing biodiversity and wetlands.

The Secretariats will promote or assist implementation of the joint work programme through, inter alia:

i) any activities requested by their governing bodies relevant to the goals and objectives of this JWP, recognising the differing resources available to, and the comparative advantage of, each Secretariat; and

ii) innovative approaches, within available resources, to implement this JWP, focusing in particular on:

a) engaging with major groups and partners in the full implementation of the provisions of both conventions as related to priority issues for the conservation, wise use and international cooperation around wetlands;

b) awareness raising through strengthened and more effective CEPA activities which target major stakeholders that influence policy and management outcomes for biodiversity, wetlands and water; and

c) promoting, where necessary, capacity of Parties - including through enhanced south-south cooperation.


This JWP shall be used as the basis of reporting to their respective bodies on activities and progress by each secretariat at the end of each calendar year.

This JWP shall be evaluated and revised at the end of 2010 in the context of its contribution to the 2010 target and subsequent strategies identified by the Parties.

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