Resolution on the Framework for the implementation of the Convention and priorities for attention, 1991-1993

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

Annex to DOC. C.4.12 (Rev.)

RECOGNISING the desirability of adopting a "Framework for the implementation of the Convention" from which a general triennial programme of priority activities for the Contracting Parties, the Standing Committee and the Bureau would derive;

RECOGNISING that the implementation of the Convention is a partnership between the Contracting Parties, their Standing Committee and the Bureau;

RECALLING the function of the Standing Committee to supervise the conduct of the Bureau's programmes;

NOTING that the Standing Committee has hitherto implemented this function through an annual review and adoption of annual work plans by the Bureau;

CONSIDERING the Standing Committee's proposal that the Bureau's annual work plans should be based upon a permanent framework of action to implement the Convention;

EMPHASIZING the importance of linking specifically the triennial programme of activities of the Bureau to the triennial budget;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

1. TAKES NOTE of the "Framework for the Implementation of the Convention" annexed as Attachment 1 as the basis for determining Convention activities;

2. ACCEPTS the document "A Partnership Approach for the 1990s" annexed as Attachment 1, Addendum 1, as a useful guide to the way in which the business of wetland conserv1tion can be promoted and implemented;

3. ADOPTS the "Priorities for attention 1991-93" and the "Programme Overview for the Bureau 1991-1993" annexed as Attachment 2; and

4. DIRECTS the Bureau to prepare for each year of the triennium 1991-1993 for adoption by the Standing Committee a detailed annual work plan, based upon the approved general programme for the triennium.


DOC. C.4.l2 (Rev.)
Attachment 1

Framework for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention

1. INTRODUCTION

What is the Convention?

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971) is an intergovernmental agreement which provides for the conservation and wise use of wetlands within the territory of each Contracting Party. It is the principal instrument for intergovernmental cooperation on global conservation and wise use of wetlands. It provides a mechanism by which Parties who share a wetland resource can consult on its conservation, and so organize their planning and development processes that a use of the wetland by either party will not have an adverse effect on its character or be detrimental to the inhabitants, whether human, fauna or flora, of either side of the territorial boundary. Training of personnel in wetland management and conservation is one of its prime objectives.

The elements of the Convention

The Convention has three distinct elements. These are:

(a) The Conference of the Contracting Parties
These meetings of the governmental representatives take place every three years and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) accredited by the Contracting Parties are allowed to participate as non-voting observers. This is the policy-making organ of the Convention, and enables wide-ranging discussion on grass-roots implementation of the Convention and permits the Contracting Parties to adopt decisions, resolutions or recommendations to improve the way that the Convention works. The Budgetary arrangements for the three yearly programme of activities by the permanent Bureau is [are] also settled here.

(b) The Standing Committee
This Committee consists of representatives of the Contracting Parties from each of the seven regions of the world, plus the host countries of the present and next meetings of the Conference, and is responsible for the follow-up and the application of the Convention between Conferences and oversees the activities of the permanent Bureau.

(c) The Ramsar Bureau
This is the permanent secretariat for the Convention, which carries out the day-to-day coordination of the Convention's activities. It is staffed by a small team of professionals whose operations are designed to have a catalytic effect either by working through consultants, rather than being directly responsible for a large programme of projects, or by influencing the activities of other partner organizations.

Working with other organizations

Wherever possible, the Ramsar Convention works through other international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to achieve its objectives. Two of the founding organizations which provided the Bureau facilities for many years and still play a very large part in providing the administrative and scientific back-up to the Convention are the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB). They also provide the premises in which the two parts of the Bureau are located. in Gland, Switzerland and in Slimbridge, UK.

Who are the members of the Convention?

All members of the United Nations are welcome to become members of the Convention, but present membership is unevenly scattered throughout the seven regions. The main emphasis of Convention activities in the future will be to recruit membership from the developing countries of Africa, Asia and the Neotropics (which includes South and Central America and the Caribbean).

What does the Convention do for its Members?

By accepting the commitments inherent in the terms of ,he Convention, a Contracting Party indicates its wish to conserve its wetlands and to make "wise use" of them. The experience of existing members has been drawn together to produce a set of criteria by which the wetlands in any country can be assessed, not only to enable them to be added to the List of Wetlands of International Importance if this is merited, but also to allow the application of a set of complementary guidelines for the "wise use" of those wetlands and their resources in a sustainable way.

The accumulated experience of other members can be drawn upon to help solve those intractable problems which arise from the multiple use of wetlands by humans, as well as animals, birds, fish and plants. Where this involves a wetland serving more that one country there is an obligation to consult on any proposal which may change the character of the wetland, and in cases of difficulty, the Convention has mechanisms which can help to resolve these issues.

Training of personnel and exchange of information are also areas where the Convention can assist in finding sources of expertise or funds. This means that Ramsar can provide direct, concrete advantages for Contracting Parties by helping them to conserve biodiversity in wetlands and to plan the "wise use" of their wetland resources. By setting international standards for wetland conservation and providing an international forum for discussion of long term global issues, such as the effects of climatic change, Ramsar permits a continuous flow of information on wetland matters between Contracting Parties.

2. COMMITMENTS BY THE CONTRACTING PARTlES

The commitments of the Contracting Parties, as derived from the text of the Convention and from decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, are set out below under the appropriate headings:

(a) Conservation of wetlands

I. To designate wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Article 2.1), to formulate and implement planning so as to promote conservation of listed sites (Article 3.1) and to advise the Bureau of any change in their ecological character (Article 3.2), to compensate for any loss of wetland resources if a listed wetland is deleted or restricted (Article 4.2), to use criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance and to establish national scientific inventories of potential Ramsar sites (Recommendations Cagliari 1.4, Groningen 2.3, Regina 3.1, Montreux REC. C.4.2 andC.4.6).

II. To formulate and implement planning so as to promote the wise use of wetlands (Article 3.1), to make environmental impact assessments before transformations of wetlands (Recommendations Cagliari 1.6, Groningen 2.3, Regina 3.1, Montreux REC. C.4.10), and to make national wetland inventories (Recommendations Cagliari 1.5, Groningen 2.3, Regina 3.1, Montreux REC. C.4.10).

III. To establish nature reserves on wetlands and provide adequately for their wardening (Article 4.1), and through management to increase waterfowl populations on appropriate wetlands. (Article 4.4).

IV. To train personnel competent in wetland research, management and wardening (Art. 4.5).

(b) Promotion of international cooperation in wetland conservation

V. To promote conservation of wetlands by combining far-sighted national policies with coordinated international action (Preamble to Convention text), to consult with other Contracting Parties about implementing obligations arising from the Convention, especially about shared wetlands and water systems (Article 5).

VI. To promote wetland conservation concerns with development aid agencies (Recommendations Cagliari 1.6, Groningen 2.3, Regina 3.4 and 3.5, Montreux REC. C.4.l3).

(c) Fostering communications about wetland conservation

VII. To encourage research and exchange of data (Article 4.3).

VIII. To produce national reports for Conferences of the Parties (Recommendations Groningen 2.1, Montreux REC. C.4.3).

IX. To increase the number of Contracting Parties (Recommendations Cagliari 1.1, Groningen 2.3, Regina 3.6, 3.7 and 3.10).

(d) Supporting the work of the Convention

X To convene and attend Conferences of the Parties (Article 6.1).

XI. To adopt the Paris Protocol (Recommendations Cagliari 1.7, Groningen 2.2) and Regina amendments (Recommendation Cagliari 1.8, Regina Resolution).

XII. To make financial contributions (Recommendations Cagliari 1.10, Groningen 2.4, Regina Resolution).

3. THE STANDING COMMITTEE

The Standing Committee was established by the Regina Conference, following recommendations from the Task Force established at the Groningen Conference. Its tasks, as set out in the Regina Resolution on the establishment of a Standing Committee and confirmed in the corresponding Montreux Resolution, are:

- to carry out interim activity between Conferences on matters previously approved by Conference;
- to make recommendations for consideration at the next Conference;
- to supervise implementation of policy by the Bureau, execution of the Bureau's budget and conduct of the Bureau's programmes and personnel matters;
- to guide and advise the Bureau;
- to promote regional cooperation for the conservation of wetlands;
- to act as the Conference Steering Committee;
- to report on its activities to the Conference; and
- to perform any other functions entrusted to it.

The Standing Committee is made up of not more than nine Contracting Parties, nominated by the Conference. Seven represent regions [Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Neotropics (including Central America and the Caribbean region), Northern America, Oceania, and Western Europe]; the other two are the host countries of the present and next meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The Contracting Parties which host the Bureau are invited to participate as observers. Any other Contracting Party may, at its request, participate as an observer. The Director General of IUCN and the Director of IWRB (or their representatives) are invited to participate in an advisory capacity at meetings of the Standing Committee. Other observers may be invited to participate in all or part of the meeting.

The Standing Committee should at a minimum meet on an annual basis, normally at the seat of the Convention Bureau.

4. THE BUREAU

Article 8.1 provides that IUCN "shall perform the continuing bureau duties under this Convention until such time as another organization or government is appointed by a majority of two thirds of all Contracting Parties". The Regina Resolution on Secretariat matters, also acknowledging the services provided by IWRB, established a permanent Bureau. The functions of the Bureau, as articulated in Article 8 and the Regina Resolution, are as follows:

- to assist in convening and organizing Conferences;
- to maintain the List and be informed of any changes to the List;
- to inform Parties of any changes in the ecological character of listed sites;
- to make known the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of the Conference; and
- to provide administrative, scientific and technical support.

Several other resolutions and recommendations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties have assigned numerous specific duties for the Bureau in promoting the implementation of the Convention by the Contracting Parties.

The Conference of the Contracting Parties establishes a triennial budget linked to the programmes of the Bureau. The Standing Committee guides and advises the Bureau on the execution of its programmes and its formulation of three annual plans between Conferences.

5. FRAMEWORK FOR BUREAU ACTIVITIES

A detailed outline of the permanent work of the Bureau follows:

OBJECTIVE 1: TO ASSIST CONTRACTING PARTIES TO MEET THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO CONSERVE WETLANDS

Activities

I. List of Wetlands of International Importance:

(a) maintaining the List and the relevant information base;
(b) promotion of increased numbers of sites on the List;
(c) operation of the Monitoring Procedure, both to monitor change in ecological character of listed sites, and to provide Contracting Parties with assistance (notably through development aid) when needs are identified; and
(d) development of concepts and promotion of measures for the conservation and management of listed sites.

II. Wise use of wetlands:

(a) assisting in the formulation of the concept of wise use, notably by providing examples within the principles and recommendations of the Convention; and
(b) assisting in implementation of wise use in line with the Ramsar guidelines, incorporating improved institutional and organizational arrangements, review of legislation and existing policies, improved knowledge and awareness of wetland values, review of the status of all wetlands in a national context and action at particular wetlands.

III. Establishment of nature reserves:

(a) assisting in formulation of the concept of nature reserves for wetlands and promoting the establishment of such reserves; and
(b) promoting the provision of adequate wardening and management measures at wetland reserves, including action to increase waterfowl populations (not only in reserves but also at all appropriate wetlands).

IV. Training of land-use plannerst conservation personnel, wetland managers and staff:

(a) promotion of training through institutions and bodies which organize training courses and through fund-raising;
(b) participation in training courses and provision of documents and information; and
(c) encouraging the incorporation of training as an integral part of projects concerning wetlands.

OBJECTIVE 2: TO PROMOTE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN WETLAND CONSERVATION

Activities

I. Focal point:

(a) provision of a focal point for contacts between Contracting Parties on international wetland conservation;
(b) promotion of cooperation among Contracting Parties concerning shared wetlands, species dependent upon wetlands and flyway networks; and
(c) support for further training of selected individuals in countries other than their own.

II. Development assistance:

(a) initiation, in collaboration with other conservation organizations, of contacts with multilateral and bilateral development aid agencies, in order to sensitize them to the need for wetland conservation; and
(b) promotion of an enhanced contribution from international development assistance for the environmentally sound management of wetlands, by assisting in the elaboration and realization of requests (e.g. on wetland management or restoration, educational facilities, training, twinning opportunities or development aid).

III. International coordination:

(a) liaison with international Convention secretariats and other governmental and non-governmental bodies active in wetland conservation; and
(b) organization, between meetings of the Conference of the Parties, of regional meetings of Contracting Parties and their experts

OBJECTIVE 3: TO FOSTER COMMUNICATION ABOUT WETLAND CONSERVATION

Activities

I. Promotion of the Convention:

(a) production of Convention documents (notably Ramsar List, brochure, Newsletter and annual report), products (notably certificates and plaques) and publicity materials (notably slide shows, films and pins);
(b) preparation and delivery of lectures and articles; and
(c) contributions to literature of other wetland organizations.

II. Increasing the number of Contracting Parties:

(a) efforts, with the guidance of the Standing Committee, to gain more Contracting Parties, notably in Africa, Asia and the Neotropics, initially using opportunities (notably visits) arising from the Bureau's other work; and
(b) encouragement of efforts to recruit more Contracting Parties made by other wetland organizations (both governmental and non-governmental) which have specific regional programmes or operations in non-Party states.

III. Dissemination of information about wetland conservation:

(a) dissemination of documentation on wetland conservation (including research results) through Convention publications, and by publicizing documents provided by Parties and other bodies; and
(b) exchange of information with other Convention Secretariats and bodies involved in wetland conservation.

OBJECTIVE 4: TO ADMINISTER THE CONVENTION

Activities

I. Administration:

(a) communications with Contracting Parties, via Bureau notifications, and by visits to Contracting Parties;
(b) servicing the work of the Standing Committee;
(c) maintaining contacts with governments and organizations which host the Bureau, and with Unesco (Depositary);
(d) contacts with international Convention Secretariats and organizations involved in wetland conservation to coordinate programmes and to harmonize timing of, and participation in, meetings; and
(e) management of Convention funds.

II. Conference of the Contracting Parties:

(a) liaison with host country and development of logistic arrangements;
(b) development, with guidance of Standing Committee, of programme and structure, and preparation of documents;
(c) search for financial support;
(d) provision of secretariat services; and
(e) preparation of Proceedings.


DOC. C.4.12 (Rev.)
Attachment 1 Addendum 1

A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH FOR THE 1990'S

I. Reasons for proposing the Partnership Approach

In order to accelerate the pace of implementing wetland conservation globally, there is a need to:

- encourage a sense of family in Ramsar, particularly with respect to developed countries helping developing countries;

- encourage more Parties to take a leadership/proactive role in promoting more collective action with a variety of partners than has occurred in the past;

- encourage Parties to take a bigger role in promoting Ramsar because, while the Bureau is the "administrative centre" for the Convention, reality dictates that budgets will always constrain its ability to deliver on many fronts; and

- deliver more on-the-ground wetland projects, thereby demonstrating to non-Party States, particularly in Asia, South America and Africa, that it is to their benefit to join Ramsar.

Assumptions

1. The aims of the Convention are worthwhile achieving.

2. There is goodwill amongst Parties to help one another achieve wetland conservation.

3. If Parties move on wetland conservation at the same pace in the 1990's as was done in the 1970's and the 1980's. major wetland resources may be lost forever.

4. The Parties "own" the Convention and therefore must lead to achieve the vision.

II. The Vision

That by the year 2000:

- 75% of countries with wetlands of international importance are Parties to Ramsar;

- 90% of all wetlands of international importance are designated under Ramsar; and

- conservation (wise use) of wetlands is being practised extensively throughout the world.

III. Why The Vision?

The aims of Ramsar are consistent with sustainable development

The Ramsar Convention is one important mechanism to deliver Sustainable Development, in that the wise use of wetlands and associated resources safeguards essential ecological functions, and provides human benefits for both today and long into the future. Therefore, if the Parties are serious about Sustainable Development in a global sense, the Ramsar Convention must be useful in helping to deliver this goal.

IV. How to achieve The Vision?

A deliberate and proactive strategy to demonstrate the benefits of Ramsar and thereby increase the number of Parties

The Parties should take action to demonstrate clearly the usefulness of the Convention, particularly in terms of on-the-ground conservation benefits, thereby showing non-Parties that it is advantageous to become members of the Ramsar Family.

V. What can Parties do to achieve The Vision?

Practise what you preach

Each Party is to implement the obligations of the Convention in its own territory.

Help developing countries

Under the Ramsar umbrella and using a "twinning mechanism", Parties which are considered as developed countries should be proactive and show leadership by seeking partnerships with Parties and non-Parties which are developing, and which need help to develop and implement their own wetland conservation programmes. Developed countries are to promote the twinning mechanism with their own Aid Agencies and other multilateral Aid Agencies and draw them into the Partnership Strategy.

Draw NGOs (large and small) into the Ramsar family/ partnership

Parties should avail themselves of the tremendous amount of goodwill, enthusiasm and common ground in the NGO-community (international, national, regional, local) which are helping to make the objectives/ vision of Ramsar a reality. Parties should proactively seek partnerships with NGOs, where appropriate, to deliver results within an appropriate framework.

Develop and use local expertise

Parties must encourage the use of appropriate local expertise in delivering wetland conservation projects and where this expertise is not available, the partnership programmes must include components which develop such expertise over the short and medium term, in particular training programmes.

Use the Ramsar Bureau to help deliver The Vision

Where Parties need help, they should use the Ramsar Bureau in whatever way is appropriate, and within the capability of the Bureau to deliver (as set out in the Framework for Bureau Acitivities). Parties should keep the Bureau informed of all significant developments, partnerships and projects.

VI. Conclusion

That the Conference of the Parties accept this "Partnership Approach for the 1990's" as a useful guide to the way in which the business of wetland conservation can be promoted and implemented.


DOC. C.4.12 (Rev.)
Attachment 2

PRIORITIES FOR ATTENTION 1991-93

Membership of the "family" of Ramsar Contracting Parties brings with it an extensive range of commitments, as can be seen from the "Framework" document DOC. C.4.12 Attachment 1. It will be obvious from even a casual glance at the list of commitments that any attempt to tackle all of them in equal measure at the same time would require almost unlimited resources of finance and personnel. The Standing Committee recognises that each individual "family member" has the task of implementing the Convention by appropriate national means, but in addition, it is the collective task of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to set the programme of activities of the Bureau.

The Standing Committee therefore suggests that the Contracting Parties should agree upon a few items of top priority to be tackled within the next triennium. A reserve list of items, which although of importance have a lesser priority, should also be agreed so that if additional resources were to become available, the Bureau would have guidance as to how they should be used.

The proposed list of items to be treated as top priority includes the following three areas for attention by the Contracting Parties during 1991-93:

- conservation and management measures for wetland sites;
- development assistance and international cooperation for shared water resources and shared species; and
- formulation and implementation of the concept of "wise use of wetlands".

In all of these areas opportunities should actively be sought to include provision for research and training of wetland personnel as a matter of course rather than as an optional extra.

The Bureau's 1991-93 programme of activities, as proposed by the Standing Committee and approved by the Montreux Conference, is set out in the following Section II. It is based upon the three top priority areas identified above and the "Framework for Bureau Activities" at Section 5 of document DOC. C.4.12, Attachment 1. Since the Bureau's role is to act as a secretariat which carries out the day-to-day coordination of the Convention's activities, the Standing Committee has assembled the programme with a separation into two main categories:

"essential activities" without which the Convention would face serious difficulties in functioning as a collaborative international organization, and

"desirable activities" which include the various Bureau activities requested by the Conferences of the Contracting Parties.

The group of activities in the "desirable" category are quite extensive and, in order to establish priorities for undertaking them, the Standing Committee has subdivided the category into three priority levels: high, medium and low. This does not mean that the items in the "high" priority level are of any greater importance that those in the "medium" or "low" priority levels, only that there is a more pressing need for activity on them in the 1991-93 triennium.

Note: In reviewing this programme. the Standing Committee has determined that sufficient support in funding, or in kind, should be provided to allow the Bureau to at least undertake the "essential" and certain "highly desirable" categories of activity and has prepared the budget for the 1991-93 triennium accordingly. This approach was endorsed by the Montreux Conference. Contracting Parties are encouraged to make additional voluntary contributions to enable the remaining items of the "highly desirable" category to be undertaken in this triennium. If the full amount of extra funding should not be available, the Bureau staff will endeavour to cover these activities, as far as possible, in the course of other work.


PROGRAMME OVERVIEW FOR THE BUREAU 1991-93

A. Essential Activities
(References are to items in the full Framework document)

1.I (a) Maintaining the List

The Ramsar Bureau will work to maintain the formal List of Wetlands of International Importance, to prepare detailed information sheets on all Ramsar sites and to enter data on Ramsar sites onto the Ramsar database which will be used in the various conservation activities of the Bureau.

1.I (d) Development of concepts and promotion of measures for the conservation and management of listed sites

The Bureau, in cooperation with partner organizations such as IUCN and IWRB, will undertake studies to develop general guidelines on conservation and management of listed sites (as recommended in Annex II of the report of the Working Group on Criteria and Wise use). Thereafter, the Bureau will promote the application of these concepts in cooperation with Contracting Parties and with appropriate technical bodies, in particular in the context of Monitoring Procedure activities.

1.II (a) Assisting in formulation of the wise use concent

The Bureau will pursue the recommendations on Wise Use of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, by working with Contracting Parties to refine and develop the concept of wise use. The aim will be to promote sustainable activities for wetland conservation.

1.III (a) Assisting in the formulation of the concept of nature reserves for wetlands and promoting the establishment of such reserves

The Bureau will work with Contracting Parties and with IUCN's Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas in formulating the concept of nature reserves on wetlands, given the wide range of possible interpretations of the term. On the basis of the concepts formulated, the Bureau will work to promote the establishment of wetland reserves by Contracting Parties.

2.I (a) Providing a focal point for communication

One of the chief activities for the Bureau will be to serve as the focal point for the Contracting Parties and non-party States for communication about wetland conservation. Previous experience suggests that the Bureau will continually receive requests for information on subjects such as the status of listed wetlands, methodologies, publicity materials and documentation.

2.II (a) Sensitizing development agencies

The Bureau will maintain contact with multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank, the EEC, the OECD and regional development banks, in order to bring them to take full account of wetland conservation requirements in their lending policies. Similar contacts will be maintained with selected development agencies in order to persuade them to take account of wetland conservation obligations accepted under Ramsar by providing bilateral assistance for wetland conservation in developing countries.

2.III (a) Liaison with other convention secretariats/organizations

The Bureau will work in close cooperation with convention secretariats and partner organizations. This will include: at least annual meetings of all global conservation convention secretariats; bilateral consultations with individual secretariats (e.g. Migratory Species, CITES, World Heritage, Bern); cooperative activities with some intergovernmental bodies (e.g. Unesco, UNEP, FAD, EEC, DECD, Council of Europe); and regular programme consultations with non-governmental partner organizations (e.g. IUCN, IWRB, WWF, ICBP).

3.II (a) Promoting new Ramsar Parties

In line with the guidance of the Standing Committee, the Bureau will devote considerable attention to promoting the accession of additional States, especially in the African, Asian and Neotropical regions.

4.I (a) to 4.I (e) Administering the Convention

The major task of the Bureau is the administration of the Convention. This work entails formal communications and visits to Contracting Parties, servicing the work of the Standing Committee, maintaining contacts with host governments and the Depositary, and managing Convention funds.

4.II (a) to 4.II (e) Convening and organizing the Conference of the Parties

The Bureau has considerable responsibility for the preparation and servicing of the triennial Conference of the Contracting Parties. This work entails liaison with the host country and development of logistic arrangements, development of the programme and preparation of documents, organization of finances, servicing the meeting and production of proceedings.

Note: As indicated above, the proposed triennial budget has been based upon the Bureau having the capacity to undertake "Essential" and some "Highly Desirable" activities.

If the items listed below are to be carried out in full, then extra funding will be required. If the full amount of extra funding should not be available, Bureau staff will endeavour to cover these activities, as far as possible, in the course of other work.

B. Desirable Activities

Bl) High Priority:

1.I (c) Operating the Monitoring Procedure

The Monitoring Procedure adopted by the Standing Committee in 1988 has proved to be an effective mechanism for assisting Contracting Parties in the conservation of listed sites. The Bureau will work with 7 to 10 countries each year in identifying specific requirements for Ramsar sites in particular need of external support or assistance. Cooperation will also be sought with the relevant non-governmental organizations such as WWF, IWRB and IUCN for this work.

1.II (b) Assisting in implementation of the wise use concept

The Bureau, in cooperation with Parties and with partner organizations such as IUCN and IWRB, will assist Contracting Parties to promote implementation of the wise use concept. This will include organization of national workshops to prepare national strategies, support of pilot projects exemplifying wise use, scientific/management studies (e.g. on inventories) and legal/policy studies on legislative and institutional requirements.

1.IV (a) Promoting training

The Bureau will work in close cooperation with Contracting Parties (inter alia India and USA) and partner organizations (such as ICBP, lUCN and its regional offices, IWRB and the Asian Wetland Bureau) to promote the training of wetland managers.

2.I (b) Promoting cooperation on shared wetlands and species

The Bureau will promote cooperation among Contracting Parties which share a transborder wetland complex or an international river course. It will promote the conservation of wetland species, particularly waterfowl, which depend on wetlands in different countries, and will support the establishment of international flyway networks.

2.II (b) Assisting in submitting requests to development agencies

As a specific application of its work to sensitize development agencies, the Bureau will facilitate the elaboration of appropriate wetland conservation projects to be carried out in developing countries with financial support from multilateral and bilateral agencies. The Bureau will assist in submitting such applications to appropriate agencies, and in certain cases assist in implementation, though this latter task will normally be left to partner organizations.

3.I (a) Producing Ramsar documentation

The Bureau will produce the Ramsar List, other regular Convention documents including the quarterly Ramsar "Newsletter", Convention brochures and other promotional materials.

3.III (a) Disseminating information and research via Convention publications

The Bureau receives extensive documentation from Contracting Parties and other sources on important developments in wetland conservation and new research findings. Such documentation will be disseminated as widely as possible, either through Notifications to Parties, through the Newsletter or through the Proceedings of the meetings of the Conference of the Parties or of regional meetings.

B2) Medium Priority:

1.I (b) Promoting the designation of more sites on the Ramsar List

The Bureau will, as appropriate, assist Contracting Parties in identifying wetlands for the List (through application of the Ramsar Criteria), in extending the network of listed sites (through reference to national scientific inventories of potential Ramsar sites and regional inventories) and in carrying out the formalities for new designations

1.III (b) Promoting wardening and management measures at reserves

As an extension of its work on formulating the concept of wetland reserves and assisting Contracting Parties to establish them, the Bureau will help Contracting Parties to ensure such reserves have adequate wardening and management arrangements. This will include help with training [see I.IV (a)] and management measures [see 1.I (d)] as well as advice on action to increase waterfowl populations.

1.IV (b) Taking part in training projects

As well as cooperating in the planning and organizing of training courses, Bureau staff will, as far as possible, participate in courses, especially in developing countries, by delivering lectures, directing fieldwork and providing documentation.

2.III (b) Convening and organizing regional meetings

The Bureau will, when the opportunity arises, organize regional meetings where Contracting Parties can exchange experiences on application of the Convention, and where countries which are not yet Contracting Parties can learn about the benefits of membership.

3.I (b) Preparing lectures

As part of their work to promote the Convention, Bureau staff will prepare and deliver lectures to appropriate audiences, using slides and other audio-visual techniques. Such lectures will often focus on a specific Contracting Party, illustrating its implementation of the Convention against an international background. Where appropriate, such lectures may be published.

B3) Low Priority:

1.IV (c) Promoting training elements in projects

In addition to promoting and occasionally taking part in training courses, the Bureau will promote the concept that training should be an integral element in any wetland project. This would apply both to projects developed by the Bureau, and to wetland projects developed by others.

2.I (c) Promoting support for overseas training2

Organization of training courses (see 1.IV (a) and 1.IV (b)) will identify individuals who would benefit from further, possibly long-term instruction in another country. in a practical attachment or an academic course. The Bureau will use its contacts with other Contracting Parties to find suitable training opportunities for such individuals.

3.I (c) Contributing to external publications

As part of their promotional work, Bureau staff will prepare articles on the Ramsar Convention for publication in conservation journals published by other wetland organizations.

3.II (b) Helping other organizations to recruit new Contracting Parties

Many wetland organizations have programmes concentrating on specific countries or regions. Through their local contacts they may have increased opportunities to promote the Convention and recruit new Parties. The Bureau will provide background information and documentation to such organizations.

3.III (b) Exchanging information with other secretariats and organizations

As part of its liaison work [see 2.III (a)] the Bureau will ensure there is a full exchange of documentation with other conservation secretariats and wetland organizations.

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