Recommendation 6.15: Restoration of wetlands

6th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Brisbane, Australia
19-27 March 1996

1. NOTING that wetlands have been lost and degraded in many countries particularly during the last fifty years with area losses as high as 70 per cent;

2. RECOGNISING that such wetland loss is particularly high in developed countries;

3. RECALLING Operational Objective 2.6 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002: "To identify wetlands in need of restoration and rehabilitation, and to implement the necessary measures";

4. NOTING that in the European Union (EU) many countries have provided incentives for maintaining, restoring or improving wetland sites that are vital for biodiversity;

5. RECALLING the commitments in the Convention on Biological Diversity (para 8-F) and the EU Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EC of May 1992) for initiatives in the field of inter alia nature restoration;

6. FURTHER NOTING that, according to the conclusions of the seminar "Nature Restoration in the European Union" organized by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries of the Netherlands, held in May 1995 in Copenhagen (in particular point 2), nature restoration, in particular of wetlands, can be an important tool to solve or mitigate water management problems, improve the quality of surface or ground water, and reduce disastrous flooding of downstream areas; and

7. FURTHER NOTING point 4.2 of the same conclusions which states that there is a need to set targets and timetables for implementing nature restoration activities;


8. CALLS on Contracting Parties to integrate wetland restoration into their national nature conservation, land and water management policies;

9. URGES the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, in collaboration with the Bureau and concerned Contracting Parties and partners, to define guidelines on principles for wetland restoration and monitoring procedures, to produce a list, based on information from Contracting Parties, of key wetland sites in need of restoration, and to report its findings to the Standing Committee with a view to informing the Contracting Parties;

10. FURTHER URGES the Contracting Parties to give higher priority to restoration of wetlands and to take steps to restore, as far as possible, habitat quality in all key sites so identified; and

11. REQUESTS the Contracting Parties to include a section on restoration in their National Reports for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties.

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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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