39th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

26/11/2008

CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
39th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Changwon, Republic of Korea, 4 November 2008

Report of the 39th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC39)

SC members present: Cameroon, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Republic of Korea, Tanzania, Thailand

Permanent Observers present: Netherlands, Switzerland; IUCN, Wetlands International, WWF International

Agenda item 1: Opening remarks

1.    The Secretary General welcomed the newly elected regional members of the Standing Committee. These are:

    Africa: Cameroon, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania (Tunisia was provisionally chosen as well in the event that the African region should reach 49 Contracting Parties before COP11.)
    Asia: China, Lebanon, Thailand
    Europe: Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia
    Neotropics: Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay
    North America: Mexico
    Oceania: Marshall Islands
    The Republic of Korea and Romania are also SC members as previous and next hosts of the COP.

Agenda item 2: Election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee

2.    The Czech Republic nominated the Republic of Korea as Chair. Dr Kim Chan-woo of Korea was approved by acclamation and he promised to do his best to lead the Standing Committee effectively in the next triennium.

3.    Panama nominated Paraguay as Vice Chair, seconded by Jamaica. An African Party nominated Tanzania as Vice Chair, seconded by Mozambique and China. Following consultations, Paraguay was approved by acclamation.

Decision SC39-1: The Standing Committee elected the Republic of Korea (Dr Kim Chan-woo) as Chair and Paraguay as Vice Chair for the 2009-2012 triennium.

4.    Dr Kim took the Chair of the meeting.

Agenda item 3: Election of the Subgroup on Finance

Decision SC39-2: The Standing Committee elected China, Finland, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Mexico, and Nigeria as members of the Subgroup on Finance.

5.    Croatia nominated and Switzerland seconded Finland as Chair of the Subgroup.

Decision SC39-3: The Standing Committee elected Finland as Chair of the Subgroup on Finance.

Agenda item 4: Date and venue of the next Standing Committee meeting

6.    The Secretary General proposed 11-15 May 2009 as tentatively the best date for the next meeting.

7.    Georgia offered to host the 40th meeting of the SC in the city of Batumi.

Decision SC39-4: The Standing Committee chose 11-15 May 2009 as the tentative dates of the next meeting and welcomed Georgia’s offer to host the meeting.

Agenda item 5: Any other business

8.    The Deputy Secretary General indicated that the Transition Committee would meet just prior to the next full Standing Committee meeting, in order to brief the new officers on Standing Committee practices, and explained that the Transition Committee consists of the outgoing and incoming Chairs and Vice Chairs of the SC and Chairs of the Subgroup on Finance, chaired by the new SC Chair and with the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General participating ex officio.

9.    The outgoing Chair, Paul Mafabi of Uganda, congratulated the new Chair of the Committee and reminded about the Management Working Group.

Agenda item 6: Closing remarks

10.    The Secretary General thanked everyone for their support and help and especially thanked the interpreters for their hard work and flexibility. He thanked the outgoing SC members and particularly the Chair, Vice Chair, and Chair of the Subgroup on Finance.

11.    The new Chair, Dr Kim Chan-woo,  thanked everyone for his election and promised to do his best in enhancing the recognition of the Ramsar Convention in the international community. He vowed to work very closely with the SC members and the International Organization Partners.

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