Resolution VI.4: Adoption of population estimates for operation of the specific Criteria based on waterfowl

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

1. REAFFIRMING the particular ecological values of waterfowl in the identification of internationally important wetlands, as expressed by both the Convention and subsequent resolutions and recommendations of the Conference of the Parties;

2. RECOGNIZING the many Ramsar sites which are of importance to waterfowl, and the continuing need for reliable information to underpin the application of Criterion 3(c);

3. RECALLING Resolution 5.9 which, inter alia, called for the regular updating of international population estimates for waterfowl as the basis of the application of Criterion 3(c), and which further requested IWRB (now Wetlands International) to bring revised estimates to each future meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

4. AWARE of Technical Workshops coordinated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in the UK, the National Environmental Research Institute in Denmark, and Wetlands International to agree timetables for the revision of waterfowl population estimates in the Western Palearctic and East Atlantic Flyway, the conclusions of which were submitted to Technical Session E of the present meeting, and in particular aware of the need to avoid short-term changes in standard 1% thresholds given their value as "bench-marks", against which sites of possible international importance can be assessed;

5. CONSCIOUS of the need for close technical coordination between the Ramsar Convention and the Bonn Convention's Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds, and also with other international treaties and agreements, to ensure consistency in the use of international waterfowl population estimates and 1% thresholds; and

6. NOTING Wetlands International's draft report summarizing revised population estimates and 1% thresholds prepared for the present meeting of the Conference of the Parties in response to Resolution 5.9;


7. URGES Wetlands International to continue to develop the International Waterfowl Census and to enhance its global coverage as an important basis for the application of Ramsar Criterion 3(c);

8. ENCOURAGES Wetlands International, using its network of Waterbird Specialist Groups, to work with the Ramsar Bureau, Contracting Parties, and other international treaties in order to review and keep up to date waterfowl population estimates and 1% thresholds, in particular giving priority to the assessment of the sizes of those populations for which no reliable population estimate or 1% threshold currently exists, and to report back the results of such activity to the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties;

9. AGREES that unless waterfowl populations are poorly known or are known to be rapidly changing, 1% threshold levels should be revised not more frequently than every third ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties; and

10. CALLS ON Contracting Parties to use these estimates and thresholds, upon their publication, as a basis for designation of sites for the List of Wetlands of International Importance in the succeeding three triennia.

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