Standing Committee Subgroup on COP8 -- DOC. COP8 SG-20



Meeting of the Standing Committee Subgroup on COP8
Gland, Switzerland, 15 - 17 May 2002

Agenda item 20


Proposed workshop on education, communication and public awareness (CEPA) related to wetlands, and preparations by an Ad Hoc Group on the Ramsar Outreach Programme

Actions requested: The Standing Committee Subgroup is requested to review the proposal and provide advice, including on possible sources of funding.

1. When it was indicated that the Global Biodiversity Forum would not retain the workshop on CEPA as part of its programme associated with Ramsar COP8 (the GBF only accepts a maximum of 4-5 workshops under its umbrella), the Bureau went ahead with preparations for the workshop outside of the GBF, with the support of an Ad Hoc Group (see attachment), endeavoring to obtain separate funding, in the understanding that there is a keen interest within the CEPA network to have such workshop. After discussions with the Municipality of Valencia the attached proposal was submitted to them.

2. More recent developments indicate that some of the workshops retained for the GBF may not take place due to the fact that there are no clear offers for lead organizers. In this case, the CEPA workshop may be taken back under the GBF umbrella. In any case, the Bureau would keep its role as lead organizer, with the assistance of the Ad Hoc Group that is working on this.

3. In a related development, at the current CBD COP6 there was a GBF workshop and a side event on CEPA, since the COP is expected to adopt a Global Initiative on Biodiversity Education and Public Awareness. The Ramsar Secretary General participated in both events and made presentations on the Ramsar experience with its Outreach Programme. Cooperation on CEPA issues is included in the 3rd Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and CBD endorsed by the Ramsar Standing Committee and by CBD COP6 (the JWP received full support at Working Group 1 and has been recommended for adoption without changes by the plenary).

4. Concerning funding for the workshop, it is hoped that by the time of the Subgroup meeting there will be a more clear picture. In the meantime, Subgroup members and other recipients of this document are invited to communicate to the Bureau other possible sources of funding.

Workshop on Wetland Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA)

Valencia, Spain, 16-17 November 2002

In preparation for the
8th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP8)
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

Sponsored by the
Municipality de Valencia
[to be confirmed]

1. Background

In May 1999, Ramsar COP7 adopted Resolution VII.9 approving the Convention's Outreach Programme 1999-2002 - Actions to promote communication, education and public awareness in support of implementation of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) (see Ramsar Handbook 6).

Information is provided on the Convention's Web site ( about some of the progress made by the Ramsar Bureau and the Contracting Parties in implementing the programme.

One of the most important aspects of Resolution VII.9 is the request that countries undertake a review of their current activities related to CEPA and establish priorities for the future as a basis for preparation of an action plan that should cover the local, regional and national levels.

Another important aspect of that Resolution is the request that countries nominate suitable government and non-government focal points for activities related to the Convention's Outreach Programme. Up until now, 71 countries have nominated their government focal points and 56 have nominated their non-government focal points. In addition, countries such as Australia and Germany have prepared national CEPA action plans, and several others have informed the Ramsar Bureau about activities that lead in this direction.

For the Ramsar Bureau, it is clear that the national CEPA focal points are having difficulties launching the activities required by the Resolution of the Conference of the Parties. This was evident at the meeting of CEPA focal points that took place during the 4th European regional meeting on the Ramsar Convention held in Slovenia in October 2001.

2. Objectives of the Workshop

There is a need to provide guidance to these focal points in order to maintain their level of commitment and to orient implementation of the Outreach Programme during the next triennium, 2003-2005. Ramsar COP8 should review experience gained during the current triennium, study difficulties encountered and renew the Outreach Programme for the triennium 2003-2005 with clear goals.

It will also be important to discuss with the CEPA focal points the new approaches that are being developed in the field of education regarding education for sustainable development (ESD) /education for sustainability (ES). Although the concept of sustainability is implied in all the work of the Convention, based on the "wise use" principle inscribed in the text of the treaty, it is now necessary to define a clear focus based on ESD/ES for all work related to the Convention's Outreach Programme.

The proposed workshop will provide an opportunity for the CEPA focal points in the member States and other interested parties to deal with these questions directly.

The objectives of the workshop can be summarized as follows:

Objective 1

The workshop will review the main obstacles encountered in order to review activities at the national level and make plans for the future, and will help the focal points for communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) in the field of wetlands to identify practical solutions with the assistance of experts in this field, distribution of materials with case studies and the exchange of experiences.

Objective 2

The workshop will introduce the notion of education for sustainable development (ESD) / education for sustainability /ES) and will study how to insert CEPA activities in the field of wetlands within this conceptual framework.

Objective 3

The workshop will study in detail a draft resolution that should have been introduced to COP8 renewing the Outreach Programme for the triennium 2003-2005 and establishing specific goals.

3. Organizers

The workshop will be organized by the Ramsar Bureau with the support and advice of:

Dr Jane Claricoates, consultant on education and adviser to the Ramsar Bureau, for which she prepared the "Additional orientations for the study and planning of activities of communication, education and public awareness about wetlands (CEPA)" (see

Ms Susana Calvo, Vice Chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and specialist in issues of education and conservation in the Spanish Ministry of the Environment, designated by the government as responsible for CEPA issues related to wetlands.

Ms Christine Prietto, Head of Education of the Wetlands Centre, Australia, and designated by the government as the non-government focal point for CEPA issues related to wetlands.

N.B. A fourth member of the team from a developing country is being identified.

4. Participants

The government and non-government CEPA focal points nominated by governments (up until now a total of 127 persons) will be invited to participate. In addition, countries that still have not designated their focal points will be invited to send one or more representatives. CEPA officers in the other convention secretariats, the International Organization Partners and other collaborators, such as the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme will also be invited.

The expected number of actual participants is estimated to be between 80 and 100 persons.

5. Tentative programme

Day One


Plenary: Introduction to the workshop
Review of implementation of the Convention's Outreach Programme based on a study of the national reports that the Contracting Parties will have submitted
Identification of the challenges for the next three years


Plenary: Introduction to new conceptual frameworks: education, communication and public awareness for sustainable development / sustainability
Case studies
Groups: How to apply these conceptual frameworks to everyday activities?


Informal groups for discussion and exchange of experiences

Day Two


Plenary: Conclusions of the work of Day One
Case studies and discussion
Introduction of a draft resolution on the Outreach Programme for the triennium 2003-2005


Groups Discussion of the draft resolution
Plenary Discussion and adoption of the recommendations of the workshop for submission to COP8

6. Facilities required

The facilities needed are:

1. A room for the plenary with a capacity for 100 persons seated at tables (school style), with equipment for simultaneous interpretation in three languages (English, Spanish and French) and audiovisual equipment (slide and overhead projectors, PowerPoint, video cassette player);

2. Between four and six rooms (or adequate space) for meetings of groups of up to 15 persons, with whiteboards or flip charts in each and two overhead projectors and two PowerPoint projectors to be shared by the groups;

3. A room for the secretariat of the workshop, equipped with two computers, a printer and a photocopy machine;

4. Coffee service during the breaks

7. Budget

Unit cost (Euros)
Number and duration
Subtotal (Euros)
6 x 2
Per diem
6 x 2
1 x 15
Participants (30)
Air fares
Per diem
30 x 4
Contingency funds
€ 98,839


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