25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

30/09/2000
25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 23 - 27 October 2000
Agenda item 16

DOC. SC25-12

Report from the 9th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to:
a) note the progress of Contracting Parties in designating National Focal Points for STRP and, as necessary, recommend follow-up actions (Annex I);
b) review, modify as necessary, and approve the STRP’s revised Work Plan for the triennium (Annex II); and
c) note the Report of the 9th meeting of the STRP (Annex III)

Background

1. As reported to the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee, Contracting Parties were formally invited in 1999 (through Diplomatic Note 1999/4, 28 June 1999) to nominate National STRP Focal Points by 31 October 1999. The Bureau has continued to remind Contracting Parties of this invitation in COP7 Resolution VII.2 on ‘Composition and modus operandi of the STRP’. As of 25 September, 50 Contracting Parties had nominated STRP National Focal Points (Annex I).

2. The Bureau will continue to urge those Contracting Parties who have yet to nominate their focal point, to do so as soon as possible. To assist with the contribution of STRP National Focal Points to the work of STRP, the 9th meeting of STRP determined that the STRP Focal Points should have access to e-mail and participate in an STRP list-serve, but recognised that there would be difficulty in coordinating the network of Focal Points due to the limitations of the Bureau’s resources.

3. So far, the STRP and the Bureau have not managed to involve National Focal Points in a meaningful way in the work of the Panel and/or other scientific and technical aspects of the Convention’s work. This matter should receive preferential attention in order to ensure that the Convention benefits from the contribution that this network should be in a position to make. The 9th meeting of STRP identified a number of its tasks for which input or comment from National Focal Points should be sought, and this will provide a focus for engaging this potentially important network. As indicated in the Bureau Work Plan 2001, the Bureau will attempt to animate as much as possible the STRP network, even though the implications for Bureau staff of this activity will have to be evaluated.

4. The second meeting of the STRP for this triennium (9th meeting of the STRP) was held at the Ramsar Bureau between 27-30 June 2000. STRP Chair Dr Jorge Jiménez (Costa Rica) is unable to attend the Standing Committee and it is expected that his nominated representative Mr David Pritchard (BirdLife International) will attend the Standing Committee to introduce proposed modifications to the STRP Work Plan for 1999-2002 (attached as Annex II).

5. The USA has generously made available a voluntary contribution of USD 40,000 to assist the work of the STRP in its preparation of materials for consideration by COP8. An allocation has been made from the 1999 surplus for this activity. It should be noted that additional resources are still required for STRP to fully complete its programme of work on some topics. These are identified in the revised Work Plan.

6. At its 9th meeting, the STRP further considered its structure and modus operandi, including resourcing, in the light of the very large workload it is undertaking under the tasks given it by COP7. The STRP requested the Bureau to develop terms of reference for the members and Chair of the STRP and to draft guidance for the COP on the workloads given to STRP. This will be reviewed by the 10th meeting of STRP for transmittal to the 26th meeting of the Standing Committee.

7. As reflected in the papers related to COP8, the STRP has recommended to include two additional items for Technical Session I of COP8. These concern "Restoration Challenges and Opportunities" and "Climate Change and Wetlands".

8. The STRP has set provisional dates for its 10th meeting as 26-29 June 2001.


Annex I

List of National Focal Points for the STRP

Annex II

Draft Revised Work Plan of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel for 1999-2002

Annex III

Minutes of the 9th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, June 2000

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