37th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
1. At the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee (February 2008), a number of Parties expressed a strong need to have a draft Resolution for consideration by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties that would provide guidance for the Parties on dealing with the complex issues of wetlands and extractive industries.
2. The Chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) indicated that, in the few weeks remaining before the finalization of all draft Resolutions to be considered by the 37th meeting of the SC for transmittal to COP10, there would simply not be enough time for the volunteer STRP members to study the issues and prepare a thoughtful document, especially considering the large number of documents that they were trying to complete in time.
3. It was agreed by many participants that it would be unhelpful to present a hastily conceived document on the subject just to have something in hand.
4. It was pointed out, however, that the Rules of the Procedure for the COP do allow for the COP consideration of draft Resolutions that arise from discussions at the COP and that cover issues that were not foreseen sufficiently in advance of the COP to meet the deadlines for document distribution. A number of Parties recommended that the STRP should be asked to outline what such a draft Resolution might contain for the consideration of SC37, and that a rough text could then be tabled directly to the COP for discussion and final drafting at that time.
5. Accordingly, the Standing Committee agreed, in Decision SC36-25, the following:
The Standing Committee affirmed the need for a COP10 draft Resolution on wetlands and extractive industries but recognized that the STRP is not presently in a position to take on additional tasks. The Committee expressed its interest in employing the mechanism of bringing an "emerging issues DR" directly to the COP; it recognized the STRP and its Chair for their rapid response on this issue and invited the STRP Chair to prepare an outline of a DR for SC37 consideration.
6. The Secretariat has been informed by Heather MacKay, the Chair of the STRP, that she will be prepared to present to SC37 the elements that could be contained in a draft Resolution on wetlands and extractive industries, so that the Standing Committee can then give direction to the STRP for further work on the text of a possible DR to be discussed at COP10.
7. The STRP is preparing for COP10 an Information Paper on this subject, which will be based on the briefing paper on extractive industries that was presented at the Africa Regional Meeting in November 2007.