37th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

19/04/2008
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
37th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 2-6 June 2008
Agenda item 7.1
DOC. SC37-10

The Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2014

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to review and approve the attached draft Resolution and annexed Strategic Plan for consideration by COP10.

Note by the Ramsar Secretariat

1. Following the discussion of the draft Strategic Plan 2009-2014 during the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee, the Secretariat has undertaken the indicated revisions to the draft for SC37 consideration and has prepared the attached draft COP10 Resolution for its adoption.

2. In response to a request from the Subgroup on the Strategic Plan at SC36, for each Key Result Area in the Plan an indication is now provided of the main scale or scales at which implementation should take place and the key implementer(s) for each of these scales.

3. The Standing Committee should note that a factual text section providing a summary of national implementation achievements and progress and STRP's main products over the last two triennia will be prepared by the Secretariat subsequent to SC37, following analysis of COP10 National Reports.

4. This new Strategic Plan has been prepared to cover the next two triennia of the Convention. In relation to proposals raised at SC36, and to be further considered by SC37, for moving the Convention to a four-year cycle (a "quadriennium"), the Standing Committee may wish to advise as to whether, should this proposal be adopted by COP10, the time-period for this new Strategic Plan should be adjusted accordingly, to cover the eight-year period (2009-2016), perhaps with a mid-period review and update.


Draft Resolution X.00

The Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2014

1. RECALLING the adoption of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 by Resolution VI.14 and the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 by Resolution VIII.25 as the basis for the future implementation of the Convention;

2. RECOGNIZING that the implementation by Contracting Parties and others of these Strategic Plans has facilitated an increasingly coherent and effective delivery of the Convention, but ALSO RECOGNIZING that there remain many and increasing challenges to achieving globally consistent delivery of wetland conservation and wise use in a changing world;

3. AWARE that to achieve wetland conservation and wise use, a broader and multi-sectoral approach to wetland conservation and sustainable development is needed, especially in relation to poverty eradication and food and water security, integrated approaches to water management, climate change and its predicted impacts, increasing globalization of trade and reducing of trade barriers, the increasing role of the private sector, and the increasing influence of development banks and international development agencies;

4. FURTHER AWARE of the many challenges that still require urgent attention in order to achieve wetland wise use under the Convention, including inter alia inventory; assessment and monitoring; institutional frameworks, laws and policies; integration of wetland wise use into local, national and international planning and decision-making; the role of wetlands and their ecosystem services in supporting human well-being and alleviating poverty; climate change mitigation and adaptation; restoration and rehabilitation of wetlands; invasive alien species; agricultural influence and impact; management by local communities and indigenous people; cultural issues; involvement of the private sector; incentive measures; communication, education, participation and awareness, including training and capacity-building; strategic designation of Wetlands of International Importance; strengthening joint activities between multilateral environmental agreements; catalyzing funding for wetland work; collaboration with the Convention's partner organizations, scientific networks and other stakeholder groups; and universal membership of the Convention;

5. RECOGNIZING that each Contracting Party is free to choose the extent to which it will implement the Strategic Plan, the resources it will allocate to the implementation, and the timeframes to be used; and

6. NOTING that the Strategic Plan 2009-2014 has been prepared by the Standing Committee with the help of the Secretariat through a wide consultative process with Contracting Parties, the Convention's International Organization Partners and other partners, including intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

7. APPROVES the Strategic Plan 2009-2014 as annexed to this Resolution as the basis for the future implementation of the Convention, and INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Secretariat to finalize the text of the Plan to take into account the Resolutions adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties and to make the finalized text of the Plan available to Contracting Parties and all others concerned with its implementation;

8. URGES all Contracting Parties, the Standing Committee, the Scientific & Technical Review Panel, the Ramsar Secretariat, the Convention's International Organization Partners, and the regional initiatives to take on the renewed challenge of implementing the Strategic Plan 2009-2014 through its strategies and key result areas; and

9. INVITES other multilateral environmental agreements, non-governmental organizations, scientific academies and research institutions, professional scientific and technical bodies, the donor community, and the private sector to contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2009-2014.


Annex

The Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2014

The purpose of the Strategic Plan

1. The Strategic Plan 2009-2014 is intended to provide guidance, particularly to the Contracting Parties but also to the Standing Committee, the Secretariat, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the regional initiatives, and the International Organization Partners (IOPs), as well as the Convention's many other collaborators, on how they should focus their efforts for implementing the Convention on Wetlands over the next two triennia.

History of the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Planning

1st Strategic Plan (1997-2002)

2. The Ramsar Convention's first Strategic Plan, for the period 1997-2002, was negotiated by a wide array of stakeholders during 1995 and adopted by a Resolution of the Parties at the 6th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP6) in Brisbane in 1996. It was a groundbreaking document, the first plan of its kind for a global environmental convention, and it was seen at the time as a model for emulation by the other major environmental instruments.

3. Anchored by a clear Mission Statement - an earlier version of the Convention's present statement - the 26-page Plan articulated eight General Objectives that would contribute to fulfilling that mission; it then broke those eight down into 27 Operational Objectives and itemized 125 Actions for meeting them, and it identified the bodies within the Ramsar community that would be responsible for carrying them out, i.e., the Parties, the Standing Committee, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, the Secretariat, and the International Organization Partners.

3. In the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 it was explicitly acknowledged that each Contracting Party would be free to choose the extent to which it would implement the Plan, the level of resources that it would allocate to doing so, and the pace of its actions, but nonetheless it was agreed that the adoption of the Plan represented a strong commitment on the part of all of the Parties to achieve the Convention's mission across a broad array of concerns and activities. Strategically, a very wide net was cast, but the hierarchical construction of the Plan gave it a certain sense of prioritization amongst so many areas of concern.

2nd Strategic Plan (2003-2008)

4. The second Strategic Plan, for 2003-2008, adopted by a Resolution of COP8 (Valencia, 2002), organized the work and aspirations of the Convention under five broad General Objectives and specified 21 Operational Objectives that were intended to achieve them. Within these Operational Objectives there were 177 Actions to be undertaken, again with roles assigned to each of the Convention bodies. The list of actions was remarkably thorough.

5. Subsequently, however, many Parties expressed the feeling that the Plan was in fact too thorough, and that a more rigorous prioritization, as well as a tighter focus upon the most pressing issues, would serve the Convention better than an exhaustive list of desirable actions would.

3rd [draft] Strategic Plan (2009-2014)

6. Accordingly, with the advice of the Parties at COP9, subsequent Standing Committee meetings, and the SC Subgroup on the Strategic Plan, the draft Strategic Plan for 2009-2014 sets out five "Goals" - essentially the same five Operational Objectives as previously (wise use of wetlands, development of the Ramsar List, international cooperation, implementation capacity, and membership in the Convention) - but within those, it is now more tightly focused upon 26 "strategies" that represent a general consensus of the most important priorities for most Parties.

Use of the Strategic Plan

7. As before, the [draft] Strategic Plan 2009-2014 calls for actions to be undertaken by the Secretariat and the International Organization Partners, but it is to the Parties themselves that most of the strategies are chiefly addressed. It is understood that the Parties differ substantially in their situations - in their economic and personnel capacities to carry out activities; in the conservation status and trends of their different types of wetlands; in the public awareness and political will of their electorates; in the abilities of their national Ramsar focal points, the Administrative Authorities, to influence the national and local governments; and in their existing legal and institutional frameworks - and that therefore every Party will examine the Strategic Plan closely and determine its own responses.

8. It cannot be said of any such Plan that "one size fits all" at the global level; each Party will wish to establish its own priorities within the Plan's agreed priorities, develop its own work plan for implementing them, and consider its own use of its resources. And when later reporting upon its successes and, perhaps, its shortcomings, each Party will wish to explain its results in implementing the Convention in terms of its own decisions and circumstances.

9. As they tailor the Strategic Plan 2009-2014 to their own needs and capacities, Parties will also recall that, though this new Plan helps them by articulating a shorter and more focused list of priority actions agreed by the COP, there are many other goals and actions that the Parties have committed themselves to working towards in the previous Resolutions and guidelines adopted by the COP. Parties should feel free to continue working towards those additional commitments whenever appropriate and feasible.

Implementation of the Convention at national level

10. It has become increasingly clear in recent years that one of the greatest obstacles to improving the implementation of the Convention and achieving its mission is the fact that the people who are knowledgeable about wetlands and the Ramsar Convention and dedicated to the wise use of wetlands are not always in a position to ensure that national commitments will be carried out.

11. More than ever, it is essential that designated Ramsar authorities in national governments redouble their efforts to ensure that personnel in other sectors of government are made aware of the national commitments to wetland conservation and wise use and the rationales for them. Non-governmental organizations, and particularly the International Organization Partners, can also be instrumental in helping to spread that word amongst government officials at national, state, and local levels.

12. Similarly, it is increasingly important for Parties to broaden their representation in Ramsar implementation, and frequently to raise the level of that representation, to involve those other sectors of government more closely in working towards the Convention's mission. In some Parties, the Ramsar authorities may come from essentially a niche office in some larger agency, possibly an agency not directly involved with environmental policy-making. In those cases Parties should take steps to include higher-level decision-making officials in their wetland policy-making deliberations.

13. The importance of having active, broad-based National Ramsar Committees or National Wetland Committees for this purpose cannot be emphasized too strongly. Active NRCs composed of officials from all relevant sectors who are sufficiently highly placed to be able to implement the Committee's decisions, and ideally including representatives of academia and the NGOs where appropriate, can significantly widen the sense of commitment and ownership and multiply all of the factors for success.

14. It is also essential to share widely the knowledge about wetlands and encourage all relevant players to make the best use of the various tools developed by the Convention.

Convention implementation achievements and progress during the 2002-2008 period

[summary of achievements and progress and STRP products to be added following analysis of COP10 National Reports]

Key issues for the future of the Convention

15. What is the broad context for the problems and challenges we continue to face in striving to secure future sustainable use of wetland ecosystems (both inland and coastal) and their services to people?

16. In the 1960s the driving force behind the establishment of the Ramsar Convention was concern over the continuing destruction of wetlands and the impact of this destruction on populations of waterbirds. Yet, almost 35 years on, in 2005 the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) concluded that "degradation and loss of wetlands (both inland and coastal) is continuing more rapidly than for other ecosystems".

17. It is clear that the underlying problem remains - economic development and consequent land-use change often remain higher priorities than ecosystem maintenance, despite the fact that these are closely interlinked and that continuing to destroy ecosystems and their services is essentially "biting the hand that feeds us".

18. Amongst key issues that are driving continued change, deterioration and loss of wetlands and their services, are:

  • the inadequate availability of water to wetlands, in relation to wetlands' key roles in the global hydrological cycle;
  • increasing demands for water abstraction, particularly for irrigated agriculture;
  • the impacts of a changing and increasingly extreme and unpredictable climate, and the important role of wetlands in climate change mitigation and adaptation; and
  • the lack of a good understanding of the value of wetlands and their services (wetland valuation) to underpin sound decision-making and trade-offs.

19. There is, therefore, a key urgency for national environmental governance to shift from sectoral, demand-driven approaches to an ecosystem-based approach to policy and decision-making that affects the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character.

20. The future implementation of the Convention to address such drivers requires that Ramsar Contracting Parties and their appointed Administrative Authorities responsible for leading national implementation engage with and work in close partnership with other sectors of government, focal points of other MEAs, and civil society in order to ensure that the role and importance of wetlands to their businesses is fully recognized when there are hard choices to be made.

21. The Ramsar Convention works increasingly closely with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) through a joint work plan and acts as the CBD's lead implementation partner for wetlands. Yet much of this collaboration to date with CBD, and with other biodiversity and environment conventions and agreements, such as the Convention on Migratory Species and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), has been through global-scale mechanisms - secretariats, scientific subsidiary bodies, etc. - and there is an urgent need for closer communication and collaboration between convention national focal points to achieve joint on-the-ground implementation.

Ramsar Convention Strategic Plan 2009-2014

22. The Strategic Plan 2009-2014 contributes to:

  • a common understanding at global, national, and subnational levels of the Convention's purposes and principles;
  • improved implementation of the Resolutions of the Conference of the Contracting Parties through its focus on key elements for this triennium;
  • progress at all levels in the conservation and wise use of wetlands and the related benefits for biodiversity and human well-being;
  • international coordination of national and subnational efforts to achieve the objectives of the Convention; and
  • a raised profile among other sectors and bodies of the Convention and its objectives.

23. Externally, the Strategic Plan also contributes to, inter alia, achievement of Millennium Development Goals; the programme of the 5th World Water Forum in Turkey 2009; achievement of the 2010 Biodiversity targets; achievement of the 2012 target for Marine Protected Areas; providing responses to the key issues of climate change; and implementation of decisions from the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD13) policies on water and sanitation.

WHAT ARE WE ABOUT? - THE MISSION OF THE CONVENTION

"Wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world."

WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE? - OUR GOALS

Implementing the Convention

GOAL 1. Wise Use. To work towards achieving the wise use of all wetlands by ensuring that all Contracting Parties develop, adopt and use the necessary and appropriate instruments and measures.
Delivers Articles 3.1, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5 of the Convention.

OUTCOME SOUGHT:
The wise use principle being implemented in all Parties, including more participative management of wetlands, and conservation decisions being made with an awareness of the importance of the ecosystem services provided by wetlands.

GOAL 2. Wetlands of International Importance. To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands that are important for the conservation of global biological diversity, including waterbird flyways and fisheries, and for sustaining human life by ensuring that all Contracting Parties appropriately implement the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Delivers Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2 of the Convention.

OUTCOME SOUGHT:
Parties designating and managing Ramsar sites within their territories with a view to supporting an international network of Wetlands of International Importance, fully implementing their reporting commitments under Articles 3 and 8.2, and using the Montreux Record as part of the Convention's governance process, as appropriate.

GOAL 3. International cooperation. To achieve international cooperation in the conservation and wise use of wetlands through the active application of the Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention.
Delivers Article 5 of the Convention.

OUTCOME SOUGHT:
Parties developing their coherent national approaches to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in such a way as to benefit from developing effective partnerships with related conventions and international agencies and with other Parties to the Convention on Wetlands.

Managing the Convention

GOAL 4. Institutional capacity and effectiveness. To progress towards fulfillment of the Convention's mission by ensuring that it has the required mechanisms, resources, and capacity to do so.
Delivers Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Convention.

OUTCOME SOUGHT:
Increasing success of the Convention in achieving the conservation and wise use of wetlands, as measured by agreed effectiveness indicators, and increased recognition of the Convention's achievements by other sectors of governments and civil society.

GOAL 5. Membership. To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.
Delivers Articles 2.4 and 9 of the Convention.

OUTCOME SOUGHT:
All countries eligible for accession to have joined the Ramsar Convention by 2014.

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HOW DO WE ACHIEVE OUR GOALS? - STRATEGIES & KEY RESULT AREAS

GOAL 1. Wise Use
To work towards achieving the wise use of all wetlands by ensuring that all Contracting Parties develop, adopt and use the necessary and appropriate instruments and measures.

STRATEGY 1.1 Wetland inventory and assessment
Describe, assess and monitor the extent and condition of all types of wetlands as defined by the Ramsar Convention and wetland resources at relevant scales, in order to inform and underpin implementation of the Convention, in particular in the application of the wise use principle. (CPs, advised by STRP and assisted by IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have completed national wetland inventories in line with the Ramsar Framework for Wetland Inventory and as far as possible to have disseminated comprehensive national wetland inventories, including information on wetland importance, potential Ramsar sites, wetlands for restoration, location of under-represented wetland types, and the ecosystem services provided by wetlands. (National: CPs)
• An easily accessible Web-based metadatabase in place, managed by the Secretariat, populated with information on all national wetland inventories, and linked to national and other international relevant databases. (Global: Secretariat)

STRATEGY 1.2 Global wetland information
Develop a global wetland information system, through partnerships, to increase accessibility of data and information on wetlands including inter alia for research and assessment and further identification and designation of Ramsar sites. (CPs, Secretariat, advised by STRP and assisted by IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Global wetland distribution and status data and information available through Web-portal mechanisms. (Global: STRP)
• Global wetland observing system(s) reporting on changes in wetland status. (Global: STRP)

STRATEGY 1.3 Policy, legislation and institutions
Develop and implement policies, legislation, and practices, including growth and development of appropriate institutions, in all Contracting Parties to ensure that the wise use principle of the Convention is being effectively applied. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• National Wetland Policy or equivalent instruments fully in place alongside and integrated with other strategic and planning processes by all Parties, including poverty reduction strategies, water resources management and water efficiency plans, national forest programmes, and national strategies for sustainable development. (National: CPs)
• Parties to have Strategic Environmental Assessment in place for policies, programmes and plans impacting on wetlands. (National: CPs)

STRATEGY 1.4 Cross-sectoral recognition of wetland services
Increase recognition of and attention in decision-making to the significance of wetlands for reasons of biodiversity conservation, water supply, coastal protection, flood defense, climate change mitigation, food security, poverty reduction, tourism, cultural heritage, and scientific research, by developing and disseminating methodologies to achieve wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat, STRP, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Development and implementation of wetland programmes and projects that contribute to poverty reduction objectives and food and water security plans at local and national levels. (National: CPs)
• An analysis of the ecosystem services and their values of wetlands (especially Ramsar sites) achieved for all Parties. (National: CPs)
• The social and cultural heritage value of wetlands fully taken into account in wetland wise use and management. (National: CPs; Subnational: wetland managers)

Strategy 1.5 Recognition of role of the Convention
Raise the profile of the Convention by highlighting its capacity as a unique mechanism for wetland ecosystem management at all levels; promote the usefulness of the Convention as a possible implementation mechanism to meet the goals and targets of other global conventions and processes. (CPs, Secretariat, STRP, IOPs)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• Global environmental organizations and conventions aware of and applying the mechanisms developed by the Ramsar Convention for wetland ecosystem management, wise use, and conservation. (Global: Secretariat; National: CPs)

STRATEGY 1.6 Integrated Water Resources Management
Ensure that policies and implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), applying an ecosystem-based approach, are included in the planning activities in all Contracting Parties and in their decision-making processes, particularly concerning groundwater management, catchment/river basin management, coastal and nearshore marine zone planning, and adaptation/mitigation responses to climate change. (CPs, STRP, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have made available the Ramsar guidance on water allocation and management for ecosystems to support decision-making on water resource management, as a contribution to achieving the WSSD target on water resources management and water efficiency plans. (National: CPs)
• Plans for the role of wetlands in mitigation and adaptation to climate change in progress or completed. (National: CPs)
• The Convention's role in encouraging IWRM planning established as part of international environmental efforts. (Global: Secretariat, STRP)

STRATEGY 1.7 Wetland restoration
Identify priority wetlands and wetland systems where restoration or rehabilitation would be beneficial and yield long-term environmental, social, or economic benefits, and implement the necessary measures to recover these sites and systems. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have identified priority sites for restoration; restoration projects underway or completed in at least half the Parties. (National: CPs)
• New case studies and methods added to Ramsar wetland restoration pages on the Web site. (Global: STRP; National: CPs)

STRATEGY 1.8 Invasive alien species
Encourage Contracting Parties to develop a national inventory of invasive alien species that currently and/or potentially impact the ecological characters of wetlands, especially Ramsar sites, and ensure mutual supportiveness between the national inventory and IUCN's Global Register on Invasive Species (GRIS); develop guidance and promote procedures and actions to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species in wetland systems. (CPs, STRP, other agencies, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have a national inventory of invasive alien species that currently or potentially impact the ecological characters of wetlands, especially Ramsar sites. (National: CPs)
• Parties to have identified more comprehensively the problems posed by invasive species in wetland ecosystems within their territories. (National: CPs)
• Eradication or management policies in place in all wetlands affected by invasive species and their results measured and reported. (Subnational: wetland managers)
• Comprehensive and up-to-date global guidance on invasive species, in cooperation with GISP, available to all stakeholders. (Global: STRP)
• Increased collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity on actions to address gaps in international regulations relating to invasive alien species. (Global: Secretariat)

STRATEGY 1.9 Private sector
Promote the involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Significant progress in the private sector applying the wise use principle (Ramsar Handbooks 1 to 6) in their activities and investments affecting wetlands. (Global to Subnational: private sector)
• Increased private sector engagement in the wise use of wetlands and in the management of Ramsar sites. (Subnational: private sector)
• Awareness-raising material made available to the public to enable wetland-friendly consumer choices. (National: private sector & CPs)

STRATEGY 1.10 Incentive measures
Promote incentive measures that encourage the application of the wise use principle. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• Better design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of positive and negative incentive measures on wetlands in place in all Parties. (National: CPs)

GOAL 2. Wetlands of International Importance
To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands that are important for the conservation of global biological diversity, including waterbird flyways, and for sustaining human life by ensuring that all Contracting Parties appropriately implement the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

STRATEGY 2.1 Ramsar site designation
Apply the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Handbook 14). (CPs)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• All Parties to have prepared, using the Strategic Framework, a national plan and priorities for the designation and management of Ramsar sites, including where appropriate for transboundary wetlands in collaboration with neighboring Parties. (National: CPs)
• Completed, and as appropriate updated, Ramsar Information Sheets submitted for all Ramsar sites. (National: CPs)

STRATEGY 2.2 Ramsar site information
Ensure that the Ramsar Sites Information Service, including the Ramsar Sites Database, are available and enhanced as a tool for guiding the further designation of wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance and for research and assessment, and is effectively managed by the Secretariat. (CPs, STRP, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• Ramsar site data and information services reviewed, restructured and further developed for Web-accessibility to stakeholders, and linked to a global information and observing system for all wetlands. (Global: STRP, Secretariat, IOPs)
• The Ramsar Sites Information Service delivering a range of tools and support to Contracting Parties to aid their identification of gaps and priorities for further Ramsar site designation. (Global: Secretariat, IOPs)

STRATEGY 2.3 Management planning - new Ramsar sites
Encourage the philosophy that all new Ramsar sites should have effective management planning in place before designation, as well as resources for implementing such management. (CPs, IOPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• Adequate management planning processes established and submitted with all or most new site designations or a commitment made to work towards that goal, taking into account the possible lack of financial and human resources to fulfill this objective, and recognizing that the designation of a site can work as an incentive for the establishment of future management planning. (National: CPs; subnational: wetland managers)

STRATEGY 2.4 Ramsar site ecological character
Maintain the ecological character of all designated Ramsar sites, through planning and management. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Progress in developing effective management plans for all Ramsar sites within each Party's territory. (National: CPs; Subnational: wetland managers)
• Management objectives, as part of management planning, for ecological character maintenance established for all Ramsar sites. (Subnational: wetland managers)
• Zoning measures to be put in place for larger Ramsar sites, wetland reserves, and other wetlands (Recommendation 5.3 and Resolution VIII.14) and strict protection measures to be enacted for certain Ramsar sites and other wetlands of small size and/or particular sensitivity. (Subnational: wetland managers)
• Cross-sectoral site management committees in place for Ramsar sites, involving relevant government agencies, local community representatives, and other stakeholders, including the business sector as appropriate, in place. (Subnational: wetland managers)
• Statements of ecological character finalized for all Ramsar sites and used as a basis for implementing Article 3.2 of the Convention. (Subnational: wetland managers)

STRATEGY 2.5 Ramsar site management effectiveness
Review all existing Ramsar sites to determine the effectiveness of management arrangements, in line with the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance. (CPs, STRP)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• All Parties, using the Strategic Framework, to have reviewed all existing Ramsar sites and confirmed that all Ramsar sites fulfill the provisions of the Strategic Framework or to have identified those sites that do not do so for remedial actions. (National: CPs; Subnational: wetland managers)

STRATEGY 2.6 Ramsar site status
Monitor the condition of Ramsar sites and address negative changes in their ecological character, notify the Ramsar Secretariat of changes affecting Ramsar sites, and apply the Montreux Record, if appropriate, and Ramsar Advisory Mission as tools to address problems. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties with Ramsar sites whose ecological character has changed, is changing or is likely to change owing to human-induced actions to have reported this to the Ramsar Secretariat, in line with the requirements of Article 3.2 of the Convention. (National: CPs)
• For all sites on the Montreux Record that have not been the subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM), intended to provide advice on the steps needed to remove those sites from the Record, Parties to request such a Mission. (National: CPs)
• Implementation of relevant STRP ecological outcome-oriented indicators of effectiveness of the Convention. (Global: STRP; National: CPs)

GOAL 3. International cooperation
To achieve international cooperation in the conservation and wise use of wetlands through the active application of the Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention.

STRATEGY 3.1 Synergies and partnerships with MEAs and IGOs
Work as partners with international and regional multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other intergovernmental agencies (IGOs). (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan and CMS/AEWA Joint Work Plan being implemented and participation continued in the CBD Biodiversity Liaison Group. (Global: Secretariat, STRP; National: CPs)
• Joint activities developed with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as appropriate, including through participation in the Joint Liaison Group. (Global: Secretariat, STRP)
• The Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to have fully incorporated Ramsar issues and mechanisms and being implemented by relevant Parties. (Regional: Secretariat; National: CPs)
• Additional partnership approaches initiated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the UN Forum on Forests with its collaborative Partnerships on Forests, and other relevant United Nations agencies, as well as through UN Water. (Global: Secretariat, STRP and National Regional: CPs with IOPs support)
• Harmonized information management and reporting systems available and widely used at national level with the appropriate MEAs. (Global: Secretariat; National: CPs)

STRATEGY 3.2 Regional initiatives
Support existing regional arrangements under the Convention and promote additional arrangements. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Area
By 2014:
• Development of viable regional arrangements under the Convention, applying the Guidance for the development of regional initiatives in the framework of the Convention on Wetlands (Resolution VIII.30), resulting in the establishment of new regional initiatives and/or centres, where appropriate, and the strengthening of existing initiatives. (Global: Secretariat, Standing Committee; Regional: regional initiatives with IOPs support)

STRATEGY 3.3 International assistance
Promote international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands, while ensuring that environmental safeguards and assessments are an integral component of all development projects that affect wetlands, including foreign and domestic investments. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Parties with bilateral donor agencies to have encouraged those agencies to give priority for funding for wetland conservation and wise use projects in relation to poverty reduction and other relevant international targets and priorities. (National: CPs)
• Proposed grants, loans, and development projects from international development agencies, including banks, financial institutions and private investors and developers, to include environmental safeguards and environmental assessments of possible impacts. (Global: Secretarait, development agencies)

STRATEGY 3.4 Sharing information and expertise
Promote the sharing of expertise and information concerning the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Less time required from Parties on managing information for national reports, but better quality and more timely reports produced. (Global: Secretariat; National: CPs)
• Increased flow of information made available by the Parties (e.g., Ramsar-related policies, Ramsar site management plans, Ramsar site monitoring, etc.) to the Secretariat for dissemination via the Ramsar Web site and other means. (National/Regional : CPs with IOPs support)

STRATEGY 3.5 Transboundary wetlands, basins and species
Promote inventory and cooperation for the management of transboundary wetlands and hydrological basins, including cooperative monitoring and management of transboundary wetland-dependent species. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have identified their transboundary wetlands and, where appropriate, Parties to have identified collaborative management mechanisms with one another for those transboundary wetlands. (National: CPs)
• Where appropriate, Parties with transboundary basins and coastal systems to consider participation in joint management commissions or authorities. (National: CPs)
• Regional site networks and initiatives in place for additional wetland-dependent migratory species, as exemplified inter alia by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and the Central Asian Flyway Initiative. (Global: STRP, Secretariat, other MEAs; National: CPs)

GOAL 4. Institutional capacity and effectiveness
To progress towards fulfillment of the Convention's mission by ensuring that it has the required mechanisms, resources, and capacity to do so.

STRATEGY 4.1 CEPA
Support, and assist in implementing at all levels, the Convention's Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness Programme (Resolution X.xx) for promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands through communication, education, participation, and awareness (CEPA) and work towards wider awareness of the Convention's goals, mechanisms, and key findings. (CPs, Secretariat, training centres, IOPs, Advisory Board on Capacity Building)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Parties to have established national (or subnational, catchment or local level, as appropriate) Ramsar CEPA action plans. (National: CPs)
• All Parties to have established at least one wetland education centre at a Ramsar site. (National: CPs)
• All Parties to have established practices that ensure the participation in the development and implementation of wetland management plans of stakeholder groups with cultural or economic links to wetlands or those communities that depend on the wetlands for their livelihoods. (National: CPs)
• At least half of the Parties to have assessed their national and local training needs with respect to the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (National: CPs)
• The Advisory Board on Capacity Building to have provided practical advice to Parties to assist them in their training and broader capacity building planning and implementation activities. (Global: Advisory Board)
• Convention mechanisms for wetland management, wise use, and conservation applied by a wide range of stakeholders on global, regional, national, and subnational levels. (Global to Subnational: all implementers)
• The Convention's products reaching and adopted by a wide range of target groups, including such products as decision-making frameworks, networks, and technical documents. (Global: Secretariat; National/Regional: CPs with support from IOPs)
• A significant proportion of Parties to have assessed their capacity and training needs with respect to implementation of the policy, legislation, and institutional governance mechanisms noted in Strategy 1.3. (National: CPs)

STRATEGY 4.2 Convention financial capacity
Provide the financial resources required for the Convention's governance, mechanisms and programmes to achieve the expectations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties; explore and enable options and mechanisms for mobilization of new and additional resources for implementation of the Convention. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Adequate resources and supporting financial policies in place to enable the Convention to discharge its responsibilities and priorities, as determined by the Conference of the Parties, in an effective manner. (Global: Secretariat; National: CPs)
• Clear and unambiguous budgetary preparation and management for the Convention, with the Secretariat putting the budget allocated by the Conference of the Parties to practical use in the most effective manner possible. (Global: Secretariat)

STRATEGY 4.3 Convention bodies' effectiveness
Ensure that the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Standing Committee, Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and Secretariat are operating at a high level of effectiveness to support the implementation of the Convention. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• All Contracting Parties to have designated CEPA and STRP National Focal Points (by 2011), and to have kept the Secretariat updated in a timely manner on any changes in Administrative Authority focal points and daily contacts. (National: CPs)
• National Reports used to evaluate and report on the implementation of the Strategic Plan at each meeting of the COP. (Global & Regional: Secretariat)
• The bodies of the Convention to have adequate funding and logistic support to deliver their modi operandi and work plans, as adopted by the Conference of the Parties. (Global: Secretariat & CPs)
• The Secretariat, with the advice of the Standing Committee, fully managing its staffing priorities and capacities to respond to key issues of wetland conservation as they emerge. (Global: Secretariat)

STRATEGY 4.4 Working with IOPs and others
Maximize the benefits of working with the Convention's International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others. (Secretariat, IOPs)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• By COP11, each IOP and the Secretariat to have established a programme of joint work in support of the Convention and their own objectives, including, where relevant and appropriate, joint actions by several IOPs; and by 2014 to have reviewed and as necessary revised these programmes. (Global: Secretariat, IOPs)
• Support for the Convention's scientific, technical and policy work integrated into the ongoing programmes of the IOPs. (Global: IOPs)

GOAL 5. Membership
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

STRATEGY 5.1 Membership
Secure universal membership of the Convention and provide an appropriate level of service. (CPs, Secretariat)

Key Result Areas
By 2014:
• Achieve membership in the Convention of at least 170 Parties by COP11 and of all eligible nations by COP12. (Global: Secretariat, Standing Committee)
• Strive to make resources available to provide servicing for Parties, especially recently acceded Parties, to assist them in implementing this Strategic Plan. (Global: Secretariat, Standing Committee, donor CPs)

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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