36th Meeting of the Ramsar

07/01/2008
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
36th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 25-29 February 2008
Agenda item 15.5
DOC. SC36-25

Follow-up on Resolution IX.15 paragraph 27 on the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to take note of this report requested for this meeting, to consider the issues listed below, to advise on activities to be undertaken by regional members of the Standing Committee and those Contracting Parties directly concerned, and to instruct the Secretariat on specific measures to be taken.

1. In the opening operational paragraph 20 of Resolution IX.15, the Contracting Parties reaffirmed their commitment "to fully implement the terms of Article 3.2 [of the Convention] on reporting change and to maintain or restore the ecological character of their Ramsar sites, including utilizing all appropriate mechanisms to address and resolve as soon as practicable the matters for which a site may have been the subject of a report pursuant to Article 3.2; and, once those matters have been resolved, to submit a further report, so that both positive influences at sites and changes in ecological character may be fully reflected in reporting under Article 3.2 and in the reporting to meetings of the COP in order to establish a clear picture of the status and trends of the Ramsar site network at three-year intervals."

2. At COP9, the Conference of the Parties made specific recommendations to a number of Contracting Parties in paragraph 27 of Resolution IX.15, pursuant to Article 8.2 (e) of the Convention, with respect to alterations to the List or changes in the ecological character of specific Ramsar sites and other wetlands included in the Report of the Secretary General to the Conference of the Parties (COP9 DOC.6) or otherwise brought to the attention of COP9.

3. After COP9, the Standing Committee reiterated the above commitment by the Parties and took Decision SC34-1, requesting "the Secretary General to follow up on Resolution IX.15, para 27, with requests that the Parties concerned report on their actions in response to those recommendations, and that he report on their responses to SC35."

4. Having taken note of his report to SC35 (DOC. SC35-14), the Standing Committee took Decision SC35-28, instructing "the Secretariat to note the information supplied in the interventions [as summarized in paragraphs 161-171 of the Report of the 35th meeting of the Standing Committee] and to follow up on them as requested to, and to report back to SC36 on the results. The Committee agreed that the reporting on the status of Ramsar sites should be an agenda item for every Standing Committee meeting."

Changes in the ecological character of specific Ramsar sites (Resolution IX.15, paragraph 27 i-xi)

5. The Secretariat contacted the governments listed below during 2006 and 2007 and made formal requests, as spelt out in Resolution IX.15 paragraph 27, i-xi. The current situation concerning these eleven cases can be summarized as follows:

i) Australia informed the Secretariat that the Senate called for a review of the management of Ramsar sites in November 2006. This should be seen as a first step to resolving and restoring damage to the ecological character of part of the Gwydir Wetlands: Gingham and Lower Gwydir (Big Leather) Watercourses, the Macquarie Marshes, The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert, and other Ramsar sites. The Secretariat awaits an update on progress with this review.

ii) Germany indicated to the Secretariat that it is preparing an updated Ramsar Information Sheet and map for the Mühlenberger Loch Ramsar site, showing the reduced boundaries of the site, and a consolidated report on the compensation measures taken under Article 4.2 and their effectiveness in line with Resolution VIII.20.

iii) Georgia advised the Secretariat in April 2006 that it will submit an updated Ramsar Information Sheet and map for the Wetlands of Central Kolkheti Ramsar site, showing reduced boundaries of the site, and a consolidated report on the compensation measures taken under Article 4.2 and their effectiveness in line with Resolution VIII.20, after having implemented the compensation measures proposed in an expert report requested by the Ministry of Environment. Since then, no new information was provided.

iv) Ukraine has not provided any information to the Secretariat regarding the development of the deep water Bystroe navigation channel in the Danube Delta and the specific points listed in Resolution IX.15 paragraph 27:

"a) suspend further works pending a full environmental impact assessment being conducted and its findings acted upon;
b) make available full documentation including the findings of the environmental impact assessment for Phase II of the project to all stakeholders, including the government of Romania as a potentially affected state;
c) ensure that compensatory provision is made for any damage to the ecological character of designated Ramsar sites and other wetlands caused by the works which have already been carried out;
d) establish, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and the government of Romania, a programme of international monitoring of the ecological character of the Ramsar sites and Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, in line with the Convention's guidance on wetland monitoring (Annex to Resolution VI.1; Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8); and
e) in line with Article 5 of the Convention, apply international norms in the provision of information, consultation and involvement in decision-making processes of all stakeholders concerning Phase II of the process."

v) Despite several reminders to the Ramsar Authority in Peru to advise the Secretariat of steps taken to maintain the ecological character of the Paracas Ramsar site in relation to the construction of the port facility in Lobería beach within the buffer zone of the Ramsar site, the Secretariat has not received a response to date.

vi) The Secretariat reiterated in October 2007 its request to Colombia to submit up-to-date information about the measures taken for the conservation of the Sistema Delta Estuarino del Río Magdalena, Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta Ramsar site during the development of a multi-purpose port facility in Palermo. So far, the Secretariat has not yet received a response.

vii) Kenya reported that they successfully held national consultations on the threats to Kenya's Ramsar sites and are preparing a workshop report. The consultations focused on two sites: Lakes Naivasha and Baringo. Local stakeholders are looking forward to a Ramsar Advisory Mission visit after December 2007. Kenya has started the process of listing the Tana Delta as a Ramsar site.

viii) Chile included the Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary Ramsar site in the Montreux Record on 6 October 2006. Further information about its status is included in the report of the Secretary General to this meeting (DOC. SC36-2). Some measures were taken by CONAF, the national forest management authority.

ix) Reminders were sent by the Secretariat to the Ramsar Authority in the Dominican Republic to provide information on the current situation concerning the enactment of legislation weakening the status of protected areas, including Ramsar sites.

x) The Republic of Korea has not yet advised the Secretariat of the current situation concerning the sea-wall construction and reclamation of the Saemangeum coastal wetlands and the impact of the construction works undertaken to date on the internationally important migratory waterbird populations dependent upon these wetlands.

xi) Greece has not yet advised the Secretariat on steps being taken to restore the ecological character of the seven Greek Ramsar sites included in the Montreux Record with a view to removing these sites from the Record, and the steps taken to maintain the ecological character of the three sites removed from the Montreux Record in 1999.

Administrative Authority responses concerning third-party reports of negative changes at Ramsar sites (Resolution IX.15, paragraph 27 xii)

6. The last subparagraph of Resolution IX.15 paragraph 27 (xii) requested "that the governments listed in Annex 3b of COP9 DOC.6, and which have not already done so, make a report to the Ramsar Secretariat without delay under Article 3.2 concerning reports of change or likely change to the ecological character of those Ramsar sites listed in this Annex". A number of such reports have been received by the Secretariat since COP9, but for a number of cases a response from the Administrative Authority is still outstanding.

7. The table below shows Ramsar sites for which, since COP8, first reports of human-induced negative changes having occurred, occurring or likely to occur (Article 3.2) were received by the Secretariat from third parties before COP9. The list is based on the table in Annex 3b of COP9 DOC.6 and is an update of the list submitted to Standing Committee 35 in DOC.35-14. It does, however, no longer contain sites where the danger of negative change no longer exists, i.e. those sites marked with "OK" in the Status column of the table submitted to Standing Committee 35. On the other hand, in the table below, some new sites have been added, where the Secretariat received reports about new dangers since the 35th meeting of Standing Committee.

8. Information provided by the national Ramsar Authorities to the Secretariat since COP9, under Article 3.2, is summarized in the right-hand column. Where reports were sent, they were asked to indicate either that it was possible to find a solution avoiding negative changes or that negative changes were unavoidable, in which case the country therefore evoked "urgent national interest" under Article 2.5 and is preparing compensation measures in compliance with the requirements of Article 4.2.

9. If the Status column shows "Change", this indicates that the Administrative Authority has reported ongoing work to find lasting solutions or a remaining need to define or implement mitigation or compensation measures. If it shows "Status unknown", this indicates that the Administrative Authority has not yet provided a conclusive report to the Secretariat.

Country

Sites

Status

Negative Changes

Australia

Moreton Bay

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Austria

Untere Lobau

Change

compensation need for planned road constructions remains

Belgium

Marais d’Harchies

Change

potential impacts of the reopening of a canal are monitored

Bulgaria

Belene Islands Complex

Change

wetland restoration project is under way

Chile

Santuario Carlos Anwandter

Change

was put on Montreux Record since 6 October 2006

Croatia

Delta Neretve

Kopacki Rit

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Hungary

Lake Balaton

Change

potential of water quality deterioration

India

East Calcutta Wetlands

KeoladeoNationalPark

Sasthamkotta Lake

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Iceland

Myvatn-Laca region Thjörsarver

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Ireland

Killala Bay/Moy Estuary

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Italy

Stagno di Cagliari

Stagno di Molentargius

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Kenya

LakeNaivasha

Status unknown

no reaction from AA

KyrgyzRepublic

Isyk-KulState Reserve with the Lake Isyk-Kul

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Malaysia

Pulau Kukup

Sungai Pulai

Tanjung Piai

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Moldova

Lower Prut Lakes

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Netherlands

Bargerveen

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Norway

Froan Nature Reserve & Landscape Protection Area

Ilene & Pesterödkilen

Kurefjorden

Status unknown


Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA


no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Poland

Biebrza National Park

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Portugal

Ria Formosa

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Romania

Small Island of Braila

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Russian Federation

Kurgalsky Peninsula

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Serbia and Montenegro

Skadarsko Jezero

Change

Ramsar Advisory Mission in October 2006, no final report by AA

Spain

Albufera de Valencia

Delta del Ebro

Mar Menor

Pantano de El Hondo

S’Albufera de Mallorca

Txingudi

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

RAM in December 2006

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Sweden

Umeälv delta

Status unknown

no final report by AA

Turkey

Gediz Delta

Göksu Deltasi

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

Ukraine

Kartal Lake; Kugurlui Lake; Kyliiske Mouth

Change

potential impacts by the Bystroe navigation channel (cf. above)

United Kingdom

Chesil Beach& The Fleet

Dengie (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 1)

Lewis Peatlands

The Swale

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

Status unknown

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

 

no final report by AA

no final report by AA

USA

Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Status unknown

no final report by AA

New sites with third-party reports received since Standing Committee 35

Honduras

Parque Nacional Jeanette Kawas

Status unknown

no report by AA

Russian Federation

Moroshechnaya River

Status unknown

no report by AA

Serbia

Stari Begej/Carska Bara

Status unknown

no report by AA

Slovenia

Skocjan Caves

Change

potential impacts from a reservoir project

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Prespa Lake

Status unknown

no reply by AA


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