Recommendation 4.10: Guidelines for the implementation of the wise use concept

4th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Montreux, Switzerland
27 June-4 July 1990

RECALLING that the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties approved Recommendation 3.1 which called for the establishment of a Working Group "to examine the ways in which the criteria and guidelines for identifying wetlands of international importance might be elaborated, and the wise use provisions of the Convention applied, in order to improve the worldwide application of the Convention";

NOTING that a "Working Group on Criteria and Wise Use" was established by the Standing Committee at its Third Meeting on 5 June 1987, with the participation of seven Contracting Parties (Australia, Chile, Iran, Mauritania, Norway, Poland and USA - one from each of the Standing Committee's regions);

AWARE that the Working Group met on the occasion of the Fourth Meeting of the Standing Committee in Costa Rica in January 1988 and elected Norway as Chairman of the Working Group, and that observers from many other Contracting Parties took part in this meeting of the Working Group, as well as in subsequent deliberations;

TAKING NOTE of the Report of the Working Group, circulated to all Contracting Parties with Bureau Notification 1989/3 (31 March 1989), and revised according to comments received from Contracting Parties;

EXPRESSING ITS APPRECIATION to the Working Group and its Chairman for their work in clarifying the criteria and developing the guidelines on wise use;

RECONFIRMING that the concept of wise use extends to all phases of wetland conservation including policy development, planning, legal and educational activities, and site specific actions;

NOTING with pleasure the support being provided to the Convention Bureau by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for promoting application of the wise use concept in developing countries;

ACKNOWLEDGING the need for a Convention Working Group to provide guidance to the Bureau in promoting the wise use concept;


RECOMMENDS that the "Guidelines for implementation of the wise use concept of the Convention", contained in Annex III of the Working Group's report, discussed at the present Conference and appended as an Annex to the present document, be adopted and applied by Contracting Parties;

FURTHER RECOMMENDS that a Working Group on Wise Use be reconstituted under the supervision of the Standing Committee, with sufficient representation from each of the Convention's regions and assisted by invited experts from concerned organizations, to continue the wise use work of the Convention by:

    (a) overseeing the work of the Bureau in implementing the Netherlands Wise Use project;

    (b) fostering further development and refinement of the "Guidelines for implementation of the wise use concept" contained in the Annex, to apply to a diversity of wetland types, regions, resources and uses, concerning such areas as:

    1. organizational and institutional processes;
    2. inventory and classification;
    3. development of management plans, policies, and alternative conservation strategies;
    4. environmental education and outreach programmes;
    5. effective training programmes;
    6. ongoing monitoring and research programmes; and
    7. available partnerships for further assistance;

    (c) disseminating examples of site-specific wise use from regions throughout the world;

    (d) disseminating practical examples of the interrelation between human activities and wetlands; and

    (e) providing information about the process of developing national wetland inventories and policies; and

FINALLY RECOMMENDS that the Working Group report back to the next ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties.

Annex: "Guidelines for Implementation of the Wise Use Concept of the Convention"
(English, Français, Español)

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