Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) -- Work Plan for 2000
Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands
(Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Work Plan - 2000
Section 2: Global Policy and Technical Work Plan 2000
The actions described in this Section are to be undertaken mostly by the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General in consultation with the Regional Coordinators and other staff as appropriate. They will be supported as necessary by Mireille Katz, the Executive Assistant for both the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 1
TO PROGRESS TOWARDS UNIVERSAL MEMBERSHIP OF THE CONVENTION.
Operational Objective 1.1: To endeavour to secure at least 150 Contracting Parties to the Convention by 2002.
Actions Bureau 1.1.1 Recruit new Contracting Parties, especially in the less well represented regions (Africa, central Asia, the Middle East and the Small Island Developing States).
Target - 150 CPs by COP8
- The Bureau will continue its ongoing efforts to recruit new members. In particular, during 2000 this will include the distribution of the newly produced leaflet and technical paper on the wetlands of the west asian eco-region and appropriate followup. Further efforts will be made to encourage small island developing states and African non-Contracting Parties to join.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 2
TO ACHIEVE THE WISE USE OF WETLANDS BY IMPLEMENTING AND FURTHER DEVELOPING THE RAMSAR WISE USE GUIDELINES.
Operational Objective 2.2: To integrate conservation and wise use of wetlands in all Contracting Parties into national, provincial and local planning and decision-making on land use, groundwater management, catchment/river basin and coastal zone planning, and all other environmental planning and management.
Actions Bureau 2.2.1 Gather and make available to Contracting Parties information on land use planning related to wetlands, and catchment/river basin and coastal zone planning in particular. [Bureau]
Target COP7 adopted through Resolution VII.18 Guidelines for integrating wetlands conservation and wise use into river basin management. In the next triennium guidelines for integrating wetlands into coastal zone planning and management will be developed for consideration at COP8.
- The Bureau is working with the Global Environment Network to develop the so-called River Basin Initiative (see Appendix I). This aims to establish and promote demonstration river basin action plans that are applying the COP7 Guidelines. The Bureau has sought the endorsement of the CBD secretariat for this Initiative, and plans to seek donor support to implement the project;
- The task of preparing guidelines relating to the coastal zone has been drawn to the attention of the STRP seeking their involvement and support refer to the Report of STRP8. Without STRP involvement it is doubtful this work can proceed.
Operational Objective 2.3: To expand the Guidelines and Additional Guidance to provide advice to Contracting Parties on specific issues not hitherto covered, and examples of best current practice.
Actions Bureau 2.3.1 Expand the Additional Guidance on Wise Use to address specific issues such as oil spill prevention and clean-up, agricultural runoff, and urban/industrial discharges in cooperation with other bodies. [CPs, STRP, Bureau, Partners]
Target - Following COP7, the Bureau, with other appropriate collaborators, will produce a series of Wise Use handbooks, based on the outcomes of Technical Sessions at COP7.
- These Handbooks will be completed by the time of the Standing Committee meeting in late 1999.
- In addition to these Handbooks, the Bureau has been asked to support work relating to guidelines/assessments on:
- Invasive Species (Res VII.14 paragraph 15)
- Extent and loss of intertidal wetlands (Res VII.21, paragraph 12)
- Compensation for lost wetland areas (Res VII.24, paragraph, paragraph 13)
Of the above the Bureau considers the highest priority as the work relating to invasive species, followed by that on intertidal wetlands and then that on compensation.
Operational Objective 2.4: To provide economic evaluations of the benefits and functions of wetlands for environmental planning purposes.
Actions Bureau 2.4.3 Initiate specific activities which implement the findings on economic evaluations published under 2.4.2 [CPs]
Target - The Bureau has initiated a project, in collaboration with IUCN and supported by funds from the Swiss Government, in the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community on economic valuation of wetlands.
- Continue implementation of the project in the SADC countries as a high priority.
2.4.4 Review content and implementation of recommended best practice in economic evaluations of wetlands at a technical session of the 7th COP (1999). [STRP, Bureau, Partners]
- The Bureau has commenced discussion with the IUCNs Economic Services Unit regarding a suitable followup project on economic valuation and related issues. This area is seen as a high priority activity for the Bureau, although it is one that requires additional resources for significant new activities to be undertaken..
Operational Objective 2.5: To carry out environmental impact assessments (EIAs) at wetlands, particularly of proposed developments or changes in land/water use which have potential to affect them, notably at Ramsar sites, whose ecological character "is likely to change as the result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference" (Article 3.2 of the Convention).
Actions Bureau 2.5.1 Expand the Additional Guidance on Wise Use by preparing, for a technical session at the 7th COP (1999), the results of a review of environmental appraisal guidelines and examples of current best practice in EIA. [SC, STRP, Bureau, Partners]
Target - In the next triennium, the development of further guidance in this area will be done in collaboration with CBD, CMS, IUCN and the International Association for Impact Assessment.
- Resolution VII.16 requests the Bureau and STRP to further the agenda of the Convention in this area in collaboration with CBD, IAIA IUCN and others, as well as producing an Internet-based resource kit. This is considered a key part of the Joint Work Plan with CBD and will continue to pursued as a high priority by the Bureau.
Operational Objective 2.7: To encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Actions Bureau 2.7.1 Implement Recommendation 6.3 on involving local and indigenous people in the management of wetlands. [CPs, Bureau]
Target - In the next triennium, the implementation of the above Guidelines is to be one of the Conventions highest priorities. By COP8 all CPs to be promoting local stakeholder management of wetlands.
- See Regional Work Plans.
- In addition, the Bureau has developed, in partnership with IUCN and WWF, a project proposal to further assist the implementation of these Guidelines. This proposal seeks fund to establish a "Participatory Management Advisory Service" which will offer an expert focal point for lessons learned with participatory management approaches (see Appendix II).
2.7.4 Recognise and apply traditional knowledge and management practice of indigenous people and local communities in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. [CPs]
- Refer to 2.7.1 above.
Target - This will be addressed in the next triennium, possibly in partnership with the Convention on Biological Diversity and Convention to Combat Desertification, which have already initiated work in this area.
- The Bureau will seek input and assistance from CBD, CCD and others to review the current state of knowledge, and proposed activities in this area, with a view to developing a suitable programme of work for the Ramsar Convention to be undertaken in 2001, if resources allow.
Operational Objective 2.8: To encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Actions Bureau 2.8.1. Encourage the private sector to give increased recognition to wetland attributes, functions and values when carrying out projects affecting wetlands. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
- In this triennium the Bureau entered into the innovative "Evian Project" in partnership with the multinational Danone Group and several French government agencies through which projects on training and communications are being sponsored.
Target - In the next triennium the efforts to work in partnership with the private sector will be further escalated and the Bureau will seek to document and make available case studies on some of the more effective and innovative approaches. By COP8 the target is to have private sector support for wetlands conservation in more than 100 CPs.
- The Bureau will continue to implement the "Evian Project" during 2000 as a high priority action. This includes a training theme which in 2000 is expected to focus its actions on Africa.
- The Bureau also proposes to consider the formation of a small working group of suitable corporate sector and other representatives to examine ways to better engage and involve the private sector in the work of the Convention.
- Resolution VII. 19 (paragraph 14) requests the Bureau to gather and disseminate model Codes of Conduct for the business sector. The working group referred to above will be asked to consider this issue also.
2.8.2 Encourage the private sector to apply the Wise Use Guidelines when executing development projects affecting wetlands. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - In the next triennium the application of this tool for promoting Wise Use will be a priority under the Convention. By COP8 the target is to have more than 50 CPs which have completed reviews of their incentive measures.
- Resolution VII.15 includes several actions for the Bureau through paragraphs (14, 15 and 16). As indicated above - The Bureau has commenced discussions with the IUCNs Economic Services Unit regarding a suitable followup project on economic valuation and related issues. This will also consider this area of incentives. In addition, incentives is to be major theme of CBDs COP in May 2000, and forms part of the Joint Work Plan between the Conventions. As such the Bureau will continue to pursue these requested activities as a high priority, assuming additional resources can be secured.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 3
TO RAISE AWARENESS OF WETLAND VALUES AND FUNCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND AT ALL LEVELS.
Operational Objective 3.1: To support and assist in implementing, in cooperation with partners and other institutions, an international programme of Education and Public Awareness (EPA) on wetlands, their functions and values, designed to promote national EPA programmes.
Actions Bureau 3.1.1 Assist in identifying and establishing coordinating mechanisms and structures for the development and implementation of a concerted global programme of EPA on wetlands. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - By COP8 to see the global network of proposed CP focal points for Wetland Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) in place and functioning effectively in the promotion and execution of the global Outreach Programme. To secure the resources to increase the Bureaus capacity for implementing the Outreach Programme.
- As recognised at left, the Bureau will require further human and financial resources in order to implement its elements of the Outreach Programme in full. See the Communication, Education and Public Awareness Work Plan of the Bureau for specific details of those activities to be undertaken, and those which cannot.
3.1.6 Facilitate a review of international EPA initiatives for wetlands, in conjunction with the 7th COP. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Refer to 3.1.1 above.
- The Outreach Programme urges all CPs to undertake national reviews and to submit these to the Bureau. With additional human resources the Bureau proposes to review these and report to COP8 on the state of affairs.
Operational Objective 3.2: To develop and encourage national programmes of EPA on wetlands, Targeted at a wide range of people, including key decision-makers, people living in and around wetlands, other wetland users and the public at large.
Actions Bureau 3.2.1 Encourage partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations and other organizations capable of developing national EPA programmes on wetlands. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - By COP8 to see the global network of proposed CP and non-government focal points for Wetland Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) in place and functioning effectively in the promotion and execution of the national Outreach Programmes in all CPs. To secure the resources to increase the Bureaus capacity for implementing the Outreach Programme
- See 3.1.1 above. As recognised at left (under Target), the Bureau will require further human and financial resources in order to implement its elements of the Outreach Programme in full. See the Communication, Education and Public Awareness Work Plan of the Bureau for specific details of those activities to be undertaken, and those which cannot. In particular Bureau is concerned that it will not have the resources to support and energise this global network Focal Points once it is in place in early 2000.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 4
TO REINFORCE THE CAPACITY OF INSTITUTIONS IN EACH CONTRACTING PARTY TO ACHIEVE CONSERVATION AND WISE USE OF WETLANDS.
Operational Objective 4.2: To identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands, particularly in developing countries, and to implement follow-up actions.
Actions Bureau 4.2.3 Develop new training activities and general training modules, for application in all regions, concerning implementation of the Wise Use Guidelines, with specialized modules covering ......... [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - To launch a major wetland manager training initiative under the Convention, possibly in partnership with one or more of the Conventions International Organization Partners, which can promote and take advantage of these new training tools. Refer also to 4.2.4 below regarding the Wetlands for the Future Initiative.
- The Bureau has begun discussions with Wetlands International regarding the preparation of a funding proposal to advance the proposed wetland manager training initiative referred to at left. Once finalised this will be submitted for consideration to suitable donors. If no resources are forthcoming from this, or other external sources, the Bureaus capacities to promote training will remain severely constrained.
4.2.4 Provide opportunities for manager training by: personnel exchanges for on-the-job training; holding pilot training courses at specific Ramsar sites; siting wetland manager training facilities at Ramsar sites; obtaining and disseminating information about training courses for wetland managers around the world. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - Refer to 4.2.3 above. Also to seek the resources from donors or interested CPs to establish Wetlands for the Future Initiatives for the Asia-Pacific, Eastern European and African regions.
- The Bureau will continue its role as administrator of Wetlands for the Future, and should additional resources be provided, will act to see this successful concept expanded into other regions.
- As prescribed by Resolution VII.28 (paragraph 20) and Recommendation 7.2 the Bureau is to pursue the resources to continue, and possibly expand its internship programme, especially for a Small Island States position.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 5
TO ENSURE THE CONSERVATION OF ALL SITES INCLUDED IN THE LIST OF WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE (RAMSAR LlST).
Operational Objective 5.1: To maintain the ecological character of Ramsar sites.
Actions Bureau 5.1.4 Increase application of the Management Guidance Procedure - now Ramsar Advisory Missions - (Recommendation 4.7) to provide advice on future management of Ramsar sites. [CPs, SC, Bureau]
- The Bureau will continue to undertake RAMs as resources allow. In order to reduce the burden on Bureau staff that for some RAMs, external organisations, bodies or individuals be engaged to coordinate the missions and prepare the reports.
Operational Objective 5.2: To develop and implement management plans for all Ramsar sites, consistent with the Conventions Guidelines on Management Planning and emphasizing involvement of local communities and other stakeholders.
Actions Bureau 5.2.1 Review the Guidelines on Management Planning in the light of practical experience and Recommendation 6.13. [COP]
Target - The STRP to prepare for consideration at COP8 the additional guidance on management planning recommended by the review undertaken in this triennium.
- The Bureau will support the STRP in this work.
5.2.2 Publish for the guidance of Contracting Parties, before the 7th COP (1999), ten best practice case studies of management planning for Ramsar sites, at local, regional and catchment or coastal zone levels. [STRP, Bureau, Partners]
- This has in large part been achieved by the Handbooks published following COP8.
- Also, Resolution VII.12 (paragraph 34) directs the Bureau (with assistance from the STRP) to investigate and report on the feasibility of the proposed "San Jose" Record for sites which demonstrate the implementation of management plans. This issue has been included in the agenda of STRP8 see the Report from this meeting.
Operational Objective 5.3: To obtain regularly updated information on wetlands of international importance, in accordance with the approved standard format.
Actions Bureau 5.3.1 Ensure that the maps and descriptions of Ramsar sites submitted to the Ramsar Database by the Contracting Parties at the time of designation are complete, in the approved standard format of the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands, and provide sufficient detail to be used for management planning and monitoring of ecological character. [CPs, Bureau, Wetlands International]
- This is an ongoing function of the Bureau, assisted by Wetlands International under the contract for maintenance of the Ramsar sites database.
5.3.3 Ensure that data sheets on Ramsar Sites are regularly updated, at least for every second meeting of the COP, so that they can be used for reviewing the achievements of the Convention, for future strategic planning, for promotional purposes, and for site, regional and thematic analysis (Resolution VI.13). [CPs, STRP, Bureau, Wetlands International]
Target - By the end of 1999, for there to be no Ramsar sites designated before 31 December 1990 for which updated sites descriptions are required.
- Resolution VII.23 (paragraph 11) expects the Bureau to support the work of the Standing Committee and STRP in developing guidelines for the interpretation of Articles 2.5 and 4.2.
Operational Objective 5.4: To keep under review the content and structure, as well as the hardware and software, of the Ramsar Database, in order to ensure that it retains its relevance in light of evolving information and communication technology.
Actions Bureau 5.4.2 Upgrade and update the database to meet assessed needs and revise its structure accordingly, including the feasibility of developing a Geographical Information System (GIS). [Bureau, Wetlands International]
Target - By COP8, or sooner, to have the Ramsar sites Database on-line on the World Wide Web, complete with mapping GIS and facility for interactive interrogation of the database.
- This is to be pursued in 2000 as a collaborative action with Wetlands International as the contracted managers of the Ramsar sites database. The Bureau has been approached by the Columbia Universitys Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) offering to provide an interactive web site capacity for the Convention as part of a larger project they are undertaking with resources provided by NASA (see Appendix III). This offer is under discussion with CIESIN and Wetlands International at present.
5.4.4 Support the establishment of national wetland databases compatible with the Ramsar Database and develop a common protocol to facilitate exchange and interaction. [CPs, Partners]
- This is foreshadowed in the Conventions Outreach Programme (Resolution VII.9).
Target - By COP8 to have national wetland databases in over 50 CPs which are accessible globally.
- See 6.1.2 following.
- The establishment of national databases cannot be supported by the Bureau with its current human resources.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 6
TO DESIGNATE FOR THE RAMSAR LIST THOSE WETLANDS WHICH MEET THE CONVENTIONS CRITERIA, ESPECIALLY WETLAND TYPES STILL UNDER-REPRESENTED IN THE LIST AND TRANSFRONTIER WETLANDS.
Operational Objective 6.1: To identify those wetlands that meet the Ramsar criteria, and to give due consideration to their designation for the List.
Actions Bureau 6.1.2 Establish, update and disseminate national scientific inventories of wetlands which identify potential Ramsar sites and wetlands of provincial or local importance in the territory of each Contracting Party. [CPs, Partners]
Target - By COP8 to have national wetland inventories completed by over 50 CPs and the information housed in databases (Refer 5.4.4) which are accessible globally.
- Resolutions VII.20 & 22 request the STRP, with support from the Bureau, to develop models and protocols for wetland inventory and data management. This area is to be considered by STRP8 see the Report of this meeting.
- Also, the Bureau has begun discussing with Wetlands International regarding options for furthering the work in this area which will be reported on at the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee.
6.1.3 Utilise information from regional wetland directories, national scientific inventories of wetlands and other sources, to begin development of a quantification of global wetland resources, as baseline information for considering trends in wetland conservation or loss. [Bureau, Partners]
- The Report prepared by Wetlands International (Refer to 5.4.4 and 6.1.2 above) on the extent of the global wetland resource provides an estimate of area, but not with great confidence given the poor state of wetland inventory globally.
Target - By COP8 to have undertaken a more detailed follow-up study to the Wetlands International Report to ensure that the Convention has available the best possible information relating the extent of the worlds wetland resources. As national wetland inventories are completed (refer to 6.1.2), include the findings into the global dataset.
- See 6.1.2 above.
- Without additional resources this work cannot be advanced beyond that reported at COP7 by Wetlands International.
Operational Objective 6.2: To increase the area of wetland designated for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, particularly for wetland types that are under-represented either at global or national level.
Actions Bureau 6.2.3 Give priority attention to the designation of new sites from wetland types currently under-represented on the Ramsar List, and in particular, when appropriate, coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass beds and peatlands. [CPs]
Targets - The long-term targets are set by the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Resolution VII.11). Based on this, short-term targets for each wetland type will be derived.
- The short-term targets referred to are to be considered by the STRP at its 8th meeting. The Bureau will support this effort as required.
Operational Objective 6.3: To keep under review the Ramsar Criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance (Resolution VI.3).
Actions Bureau 6.3.1 Keep general criteria under review to ensure they reflect global wetland conservation priorities and values. [COP, STRP, Bureau]
Target STRP to prepare for consideration at COP8 draft additional guidance for the identification and designation of peatland, wet grassland, mangrove, and coral reef wetland types as Ramsar sites.
- This is STRP's responsibility, supported by the Bureau as required.
6.3.3 Provide further guidance on the application of existing criteria in different regions. [COP, STRP, Bureau]
This is provided by the Strategic Framework for the List document referred to above.
- STRP has been asked to prepare guidance for COP8 on the designation of coral, mangrove, wet grassland and peatland types. The Bureau will support this work as required.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 7
TO PROMOTE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND MOBILIZE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR WETLAND CONSERVATION AND WISE USE IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS AND AGENCIES, BOTH GOVERNMENTAL AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL.
Operational Objective 7.2: To strengthen and formalise linkages between Ramsar and other international and/or regional environmental conventions and agencies, so as to advance the achievement of shared goals and objectives relating to wetland species or issues.
Actions Bureau 7.2.1 Participate in, or initiate, consultations with related conventions to foster information exchange and cooperation, and develop an agenda for potential joint actions. [SC, Bureau]
Target - A Joint Work Plan between the Ramsar Convention on the Convention to Combat Desertification which sees cooperative implementation of both at the international, national and local levels.
- See 7.2.3 7.2.7 below.
- For the Convention to Combat Desertification, a Joint Work Plan is to be developed and implemented.
- Also, Resolution VII.4 (paragraph 16) and Recommendation 7.2, instructs the Bureau to continue its involvement in the implementation of actions designed to harmonise the information management of the Convention (WCMC Report from COP7), and to seek to involve other Conventions in this work. Pursuit of this will be determined by resources both financial and human. As foreshadowed in the WCMC Report the next phases of implementation require external funding.
7.2.2 Prepare project proposals together with other conventions and partner organizations, and submit them jointly to potential funding agencies. [CPs, SC, Bureau, Partners]
- This activity cannot escalate as needed unless a Development Assistance Officer is appointed.
7.2.3 Strengthen cooperation and synergy with the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular as regards inclusion of wetland concerns in national biodiversity strategies, and planning and execution of projects affecting wetlands. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - To see the Joint Work Plan implemented in full and resulting in cooperative implementation of both Conventions at the international, national and local levels
- The Bureau will have to prepare a new Joint Work Plan to take effect from 1 January 2000. This is considered a high priority action given the success of the first JWP.
7.2.4 Develop cooperation with the World Heritage Convention and UNESCOs Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), especially as regards wetlands designated as World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves and/or Ramsar sites. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
- A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ramsar Bureau and the World Heritage Centre was signed at COP7. Links with the Man and the Biosphere programme have yet to be established and this will be a priority over the next triennium.
Target - A Memorandum of Cooperation with the Man and the Biosphere Programme, leading to Joint Work Plans with the MAB Programme and with the World Heritage Convention which sees cooperative implementation of both at the international, national and local levels.
- The MoU with the World Heritage Centre will be implemented. Preliminary steps have been taken to establish a working partnership with the MAB programme. Further pursuit of this will depend on the human resource implications.
7.2.5 Enhance Ramsars contribution to international cooperation on shared wetland species, notably through cooperative arrangements with the Convention on Migratory Species, flyway agreements, networks and other mechanisms dealing with migratory species (Recommendation 6.4). [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
- The Ramsar Convention has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the Convention on Migratory Species (Resolution VII.4).
- The Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention propose an escalation of the joint efforts between Ramsar and CMS (Resolution VII.19)
Target - A Joint Work Plan between the Conventions which sees cooperative implementation of both at the international, regional and national and local levels.
- A Joint Work Plan with CMS will be developed during 2000.
7.2.6 Develop Ramsars contribution to wildlife trade issues affecting wetlands, through increased interaction with CITES. [Bureau]
- The Guidelines for international cooperation under the Ramsar Convention propose an escalation of the joint efforts between Ramsar and CITES (Resolution VII.19)
Target - A Memorandum of Cooperation with CITES, leading to a Joint Work Plan between the Conventions and which sees cooperative implementation of both at the international, national and local levels.
- It is proposed to defer this action until at least 2001 due to human resource limitations.
7.2.7 Initiate links with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in view of the potential impacts on wetlands of climate change. [CP, Bureau]
- These links have yet to be established and this will be a priority over the next triennium.
Target - A Memorandum of Cooperation with UNFCCC, leading to a Joint Work Plan between the Conventions and which sees cooperative implementation of both at the international, national and local levels.
- See 5.1.6 - In mid-1999 the Bureau engaged IUCN to prepare a position paper detailing the areas of potential cooperation, synergy and partnership with the UNFCCC. This was also considered by STRP8 in September 1999. This paper will form the basis of furthering discussions during 2000 toward a Memorandum of Cooperation and Joint Work Plan with UNFCCC
7.2.8 Extend cooperation with conventions and agencies concerned with conservation and wise use of wetlands at regional level, and in particular: with the European Community, as regards application of its Habitats Directive to wetlands, and adoption and application of measures like the Habitats Directive for wetlands outside the states of the European Union; with the Council of Europe (Bern) Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats as regards the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy; with the Barcelona Convention and Mediterranean Action Plan in relation to the MedWet initiative; with the Western Hemisphere Convention; with UNEP programmes, in particular the Regional Seas Conventions; and with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). [CPs, Bureau]
- These links are at differing stages in their evolution and each will be advanced as resources allow over the next triennium.
Target - With the European Commission and SPREP - develop and sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, prepare and implement a Joint Work Plan. For Medwet, secure the long-term funding base for this important initiative and continue to develop new programmes of regional action. For the others referred to, and others which are appropriate, develop an appropriate working relationship.
- For the European Commission further discussions will be held during 2000 to evaluate the best course of action for putting in place a more formal understanding regarding cooperation.
- For SPREP Recommendation 7.2 on SIDS requested the Standing Committee to review the Barbados Programme of Action with a view to establishing priority actions to be undertaken by the Bureau. For the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee the Bureau has recommended this review be undertaken before proceeding to pursue an MoC or similar with SPREP.
- For MedWet securing the funding and continuing to support its implementation is a continuing high priority of the Bureau.
- For PEBLDS the Bureau will continue to participate as appropriate.
- Other regional conventions and agreements engagement in the work of these will be constrained by lack of resources. In particular, Resolution VII.4 (paragraph) urges the Bureau to explore partnership with the Apia and Noumea Conventions in the South Pacific and the Cartagena Convention in the Caribbean. With respect to these note the comments above relating to the Barbados Programme of Action and SPREP.
- Further, Resolution VII.19 seeks the development of an MoC between the Bureau and the United Nations as well as with the INBO and GREEN.
7.2.9 Develop relationships with other specialized agencies that deal with wetland-related issues, such as the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and the World Water Council (Resolution VI.23). [Bureau]
Target - To progress to closer working relations with these and other relevant initiatives, as appropriate.
- For ICRI the Bureaus efforts to work more closely with ICRI have been escalated in late 1999 through attendance at a workshop in Guadaloupe. Following this a review of future collaboration will be undertaken.
- For the World Water Council, Global Water Partnership through the involvements of IUCN and WWF in the preparation for the World Water Forum in the Hague during 2000, the Bureau has continued to have inputs. This will continue to ensure wetland issues are not ignored by these global consultative processes.
- Millenium Assessment (World Resources Institute and others). The Secretary General has been invited to be a member of the Steering Committee to help guide the development of this project.
Operational Objective 7.3: To ensure that the development assistance community, and multinational corporations, follow improved wetland practices such as the Wise Use Guidelines in developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition.
Actions Bureau 7.3.1 Identify representative examples of best practice in wetland projects supported by development agencies and/or initiated by multinational corporations. [Bureau, Partners]
- See 7.3.2 below. - Without a Development Assistance Officer in place in the Bureau, it is unlikely this action will proceed.
7.3.2 Work with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and multinational corporations towards a full recognition of wetland values and functions (Recommendation 4.13), and assist them to improve their practices in favour of wetland conservation and wise use taking account of the Guidelines for Aid Agencies for Improved Conservation and Sustainable Use of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Wetlands, published by OECDs Development Assistance Committee (Recommendation 6.16). [Bureau, Partners]
Target - At the Bureau level, to consider ways and means to increase its ability to work more systematically in this area, so as to increase the level of donor agency support for wetland conservation and wise use activities, and to see an increasing number of multinational corporations adopting voluntary codes of conduct for protecting wetlands.
- Without a Development Assistance Officer in place in the Bureau, it is unlikely this action will proceed beyond the current ad hoc and occasional contact with donors.
7.3.3 Interact with multilateral development agencies and through bilateral development programmes, to assist developing countries in meeting their Ramsar obligations, and report on actions taken and results achieved (Recommendation 5.5). [CPs]
Refer to 7.4.2 to 7.4.6 below.
- See 7.3.2 above.
Operational Objective 7.4: To obtain funds to fulfil obligations contracted under the Convention, notably for developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition.
Actions Bureau 7.4.2 Include projects for conservation and wise use of wetlands in development plans funded by development assistance agencies, and ensure the latter consult the Ramsar administrative authority in each Contracting Party. [CPs]
Target - To see this trend escalate such that all eligible CPs are receiving donor support for a range of major wetland-related projects by the time of COP8.
- See 7.3.2 - Without a Development Assistance Officer in place in the Bureau, it is unlikely this action will proceed beyond the current ad hoc and occasional contact with recipient countries seeking assistance.
7.4.3 Maintain close working relations with multilateral agencies that provide development assistance in relation to project screening, development and evaluation, notably: ............[Bureau]
- See 7.3.2 above.
Target - By COP8 to have increased the Bureaus capacity in this area and to see these relationships mature to full and frequent dialogue and advice.
- See 7.3.2 above
7.4.4 Mobilize direct funding support from multilateral and bilateral development assistance agencies, to assist developing countries and countries whose economy is in transition, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands and in implementation of the present Strategic Plan. [CPs. Bureau]
Target - By COP8 to have all the bilateral donors from appropriate CPs with funds earmarked for wetlands projects, and for all of these CPs to have in place mechanisms for consultation between the development assistance agency and their Ramsar Administrative Authority.
- See 7.3.2 above
7.4.5 Assist developing countries and countries whose economies are in transition to prepare wetland projects for funding by other agencies. [Bureau, Partners]
Target - Refer to 7.4.4.
- See 7.3.2 above
7.4.6 Assist bilateral development assistance agencies in the screening, development and evaluation of wetland projects. [STRP, Bureau]
Target - Refer to 7.4.4.
- Assistance and advice will be given as resources allow.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE 8
TO PROVIDE THE CONVENTION WITH THE REQUIRED INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS AND RESOURCES.
Operational Objective 8.1: To maximize achievement of Ramsars mission and objectives by evaluating and, if necessary, modifying the Conventions institutions and management structures.
Actions Bureau 8.1.1 Reorganize, as of the 7th COP (1999), the meeting into a business session, focusing upon administrative matters, and a technical session, focusing upon wetland conservation and wise use priorities, with smaller working groups as required. [SC, Bureau]
Target The Standing Committee to review the structure and organization of the Conference of Contracting Parties and adopt changes to facilitate its implementation and effectiveness.
- The Bureau is expected to assist, support and advise the Standing Committee regarding these issues, and, as the event approaches, take responsibility for bringing together the programme.
8.1.2 Keep under review the regional representation in the Standing Committee as the number of Contracting Parties increases. [COP, SC]
Refer to Resolution VII.1 entitled Regional categorisation of countries under the Convention and composition, roles and responsibilities of the Standing Committee, including duties of Standing Committee members
- The Bureau will provide support to the Standing Committee and STRP as required on issues of regionalisation.
8.1.4 Review the working priorities of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) at each meeting of the COP. [COP, SC]
These priorities are determined by the Conventions Work Plan and the Resolutions and Recommendations adopted by COP7.
- The Bureau will provide ongoing support for the work of the STRP, including assistance for its annual meeting, and the work of any sub-groups etc it appoints.
- The Bureau will now be expected to support communication with the STRP Focal Points, an added role from 2000. The full impact of this on staff resources is yet to be established.
8.1.5 Review requirements for the Bureaus staff structure and size in line with decisions on programme, and review linkages between the Bureau, other convention secretariats and partner organizations. [COP, SC]
Resolution VII.4 reviews linkages between the Bureau and other Convention secretariats, and Resolution VII.3 between the Bureau and International Organization Partners.
- The Bureau has to provide the Standing Committee with advice on this for each meeting of its meetings.
- Resolution VII.28 (paragraph 24) requests the Bureau to identify and cost its priority activities not funded by the core budget in order that Standing Committee and COP (at their respective meeting) can seek to raise sponsorship and grants. The Bureau has done this in the cover page of this Work Plan.
8.1.6 Evaluate and report on the implementation of the Strategic Plan at each meeting of the COP and prepare for every other meeting a draft Strategic Plan for the forthcoming two triennia. [COP, SC, Bureau]
- At its 24th meeting it is expected the Standing Committee will activate a process to prepare the new Strategic Plan 2003-2008. The Bureau will support whatever process is determined.
8.1.7 Prepare annual Bureau Business Plans, based on the Strategic Plan and Triennial Programmes approved by the COP, for the consideration and approval of the Standing Committee. [SC, Bureau]
- This forms part of the annual Work Plan.
8.1.8 Develop liaison mechanisms based with Contracting Parties or partner organizations to enhance implementation of the Convention in the regions, in coordination with the Bureau. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - To see more of these types of arrangements being supported by CPs.
- This will be pursued on an opportunistic basis only.
8.1.11 Establish and ensure regular implementation of processes for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of all Ramsar Convention institutions, mechanisms, and programmes, including National Reports to the COP (Resolution VI.21); implement recommendations arising, and report to the COP and Standing Committee on the results obtained. [COP, SC, Bureau]
- The Standing Committee at its 24th meeting will review the National Report format from COP7 and adopt the format for COP8. This is to distributed to all CPs in early 2000.
- The Standing Committee at its 24th meeting also has to review the proposed regional targets for the Convention Work Plan 2000-2002, as prepared by the Bureau
- The Bureau has prepared the draft COP8 National Report format, and following the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee will prepare and distribute it to all CPs.
- The Bureau will distribute the regional targets under the Convention Work Plan 2000-2002, following the approval by Standing Committee.
Operational Objective 8.2: To provide the financial resources required to carry out Ramsar activities.
Actions Bureau 8.2.3 Ensure the Bureau has adequate staff to play a catalytic role in presenting projects to potential donors for funding. [COP]
Target The Bureau to consider establishing a post of Development Assistance Officer by 1 January 2000 (Resolution VII.28).
- See 7.3.2 - Without a Development Assistance Officer in place in the Bureau, it is unlikely this action will proceed beyond the current ad hoc and occasional activities.
8.2.4 Give priority to funding for training programmes, education and public awareness work, development of the Ramsar Database, and the Conventions Communications Strategy. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
Target - To secure the resources needed to establish regional training initiatives (like Wetlands of the Future) in other regions, to allow the Bureau to progress the implementation of the Outreach Programme and to support the proposed developments for the Ramsar Sites Database into a fully online and Web-based promotional and planning tool of the Convention.
- See 7.3.2 - Without a Development Assistance Officer in place in the Bureau, it is unlikely this action will proceed beyond the current ad hoc and occasional efforts to generate funds.
Operational Objective 8.3: To maximize the benefits of working with partner organizations.
Actions Bureau 8.3.1 Strengthen cooperative planning mechanisms with the partners and improve communications and information exchange, including exchange of staff. [CPs, Bureau, Partners]
- The Bureau understands some of the IOPs of the Convention will table at the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee, a work plan that mirrors that of the Convention/Bureau indicating those activities being done to support the Strategic Plan.
Operational Objective 8.4: To secure at least one million US dollars per annum for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetlands Conservation and Wise Use (Resolutions 5.8 and VI.6) and to allocate these funds effectively.
Actions Bureau 8.4.1 Develop a strategy for securing at least one million US dollars annually for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, to be approved by the first full meeting of the Standing Committee after the 6th COP (1996) and proceed immediately to its implementation. [Bureau, SC, CPs, Partners]
- Refer to Resolution VII.5.
- The contributions to the SGF remain unpredictable on a year by year basis.
Target - To establish a mechanism to ensure one million US dollars annually for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund (Resolution VII.28).
- Efforts to secure these funds will be greatly assisted if the Bureau can secure the resources for a Development Assistance Officer. See 7.3.2.
8.4.2 Evaluate critically, at the 7th COP (1999), the performance of the Small Grants Fund. [COP, SC, Bureau]
- Completed for COP7.
- The Bureau will continue to administer the SGF in 2000, and as human resources allow undertake followup to completed projects or those underway and provide appropriate feedback and reports to donors (Res. VII.5).
8.4.3 Encourage and assist the preparation of high quality applications to the Small Grants Fund. [SC, Bureau, Partners]
- This is an ongoing task of the Bureau.
Refer to the review of the SGF Resolution VII.5 - for suggested improvements to be made in this area in the next triennium.
- The Bureau will continue to offer advice regarding proposed SGF projects when requested (Res VII.5).