Work Plan 1999-2002 of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (revised)

30/09/2000

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

Adopted by Standing Committee Decision SC25-10

Background

1. The 8th meeting of the STRP, held in September 1999, reviewed the tasks allocated to it by COP7 and previous COPs and reached a common understanding among the members and observers on the nature of each task. It then established ten Working Groups to undertake the major activities and proposed actions with respect to 12 other areas of activities, several of which are classified as "ongoing" or "as required" in nature. In the course of the meeting (and in some cases subsequently), each Expert Working Group developed Terms of Reference and time frames for the actions they would pursue. This STRP Work Plan was approved, with some amendments, by the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee.

2. At its 9th meeting (June 2000), the STRP reviewed the progress of each of its Working Groups and its other areas of activity. In the light of this review the STRP agreed revised procedures and timeframes for completion of a number of its major activities, developed more detailed structures and contents for the substantive guidance it has been requested to prepare for COP8, and modified its approach on some other areas of work.

3. The STRP also established two further Working Groups (on Ecological Character and on Climate Change).

4. The revised Terms of Reference incorporate the materials from each Working Group that were accepted by the 9th Meeting of STRP and provided in detail as Annexes to the Report of that Meeting.

5. In each Section of this Revised Work Plan a brief summary is provided that highlights progress and any changes proposed to the Terms of Reference established by STRP8 and approved by the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee.

6. The revised STRP Work Plan that follows present:

A) PROPOSED ACTIONS FOR THE WORKING GROUPS (including the two new Working Groups recommended by the Panel):

1. Working Group on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
2. Working Group on the World Commission on Dams
3. Working Group on Impact Assessment
4. Working Group on Incentive Measures
5. Working Group on Invasive Species
6. Working Group on Wetland Inventory
7. Working Group on Peatlands
8. Working Group on Wetland Restoration
9. Working Group on Site Management
9a. Management Planning case studies and the San José Record
10. Working Group on Allocations and Management of Water for Maintaining Ecological Functions
11. Working Group on Ecological Character
12. Working Group on Climate Change and the Ramsar Convention

B) OTHER ONGOING AND "AS REQUIRED" ACTIONS:

13. Guidelines for Ramsar site designation
14. Strategic Plan 2003-2008
15. Interpretation of Articles 2.5 and 4.2 and compensation for wetland habitats
16. Guidelines for regional application of Criteria
17. Short-term targets of the Ramsar List
18. Regional categorization
19. Monitoring of SGF projects
20. Assistance to donors
21. Review of Ramsar sites database
22. Operations of the Montreux Record


WORKING GROUP 1. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Convention Work Plan 2000-2002, Action 2.2.1:

Target - In the next triennium guidelines for integrating wetlands into coastal zone planning and management will be developed for consideration at COP8.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

By STRP9 the Expert Working Group had reviewed available information and had made the list of information sources available through the Ramsar Wise Use Resource Centre. The STRP supported the Working Group’s proposal to restructure this information into global and sectoral items and to assess each for suitability from the wetlands perspective. Decision STRP 9.3 also supported the Working Group’s proposal for the preparation for COP8 of Principles (including guidelines) for integrating wetlands into ICZM, which will incorporate links to existing Ramsar tools and those being prepared by STRP. The proposed content of this document is attached. The Working Group’s capacity has been strengthened by the participation of invited expert Ivica Trumbic (PAP-RAC).

The Working Group’s modified proposal for its task of preparing guidelines for the identification and designation of under-represented coastal/marine wetland types is covered under Work Plan item 13.1.

Task

Product

Target date(s)

1. Review of available information on ICZM. Bibliography By end December 1999. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done
2. Make available the list of information sources through the internet-based Ramsar Wise Use Resource Centre Web page on ICZM Ongoing.

Initial listing: dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

3. Analyse existing guidelines to determine if these adequately address wetland concerns.

Lead: Yara Scheaffer-Novelli

Revised Web page By December 2000
4. Define a set of principles for integrating wetlands into coastal zone planning and management Principles for integrating wetlands into coastal zone planning and management Preliminary draft available by the 9th meeting of the STRP. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done
5. Draft principles, including guidelines, for integrating wetlands into ICZM, taking into account existing Ramsar toolkit and further guidelines being prepared by STRP for COP8.

Lead: Ivica Trumbic

Principles and guidelines for wetlands and integrated coastal zone management under the Convention First draft: mid-December 2000; revised consultation draft: February 2001. Revised final draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

6. Draft additional guidance for the identification and designation of mangroves and coral reefs wetland types as Ramsar sites.

Lead: Gilberto Cintron (STRP USA National Focal Point)

Guidance for selection and designation criteria for Ramsar Sites (see Section 13.) First draft: December 2000. Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Members:

Angel Alcala (Lead), Jorge Cortes, Max Finlayson, Toomas Saat, Ivica Trumbic (PAP-RAC), Yara Schaeffer-Novelli, SIL, WWF

Proposed contents of principles and guidelines for integrating wetlands into Integrated Coastal Zone Management, for COP8

1. RATIONALE/BACKGROUND

  • Existing guidelines on ICZM produced elsewhere: positive experience to be utilised
  • Ramsar principles: wise use of coastal wetlands
  • Environmental assessment: the basic principle
  • Local values: crucial input in environmental management
  • Sustainable management of resources: prevailing principle
  • Participation of local communities
  • Ramsar resolutions

2. TARGET AUDIENCE

  • Implementors
  • Major users
  • Major actors
  • Local coastal and wetland managers

3. IMPORTANCE OF COASTAL WETLANDS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF COASTS

  • What are coastal wetlands?
  • Why coastal wetlands are important ?
  • How coastal wetlands can increase the value of coastal zone?
  • Mutual benefits between coastal wetlands and coastal zone
  • Definition of wetlands (Ramsar)
  • Major characteristics of coastal wetlands: uniqueness, major habitats, types, boundaries, etc.
  • Value categories of the coastal wetlands

4. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

  • Status and trends: major issues related to the position of coastal wetlands in coastal areas (pressures on coastal areas, size of the coastal area, loss of wetland areas, pollution, conflict situations in coastal wetlands) briefly described with relevant figures; an approximation of the future trends
  • Lack of understanding of the problem: why coastal wetlands are not always considered as an integral part of the coastal zone? By whom?
  • Lack of integration: coastal wetlands are not always adequately treated in an ICZM process; different stakeholders involved; resulting conflicts
  • Jurisdiction overlap: many institutions involved with overlapping jurisdictions; lack of horizontal and vertical integration
  • Source of threats (land-based and sea-based): pollution, waste dumping, destruction due to other activities, eradication of wetlands
  • Sectorial management: why it is not efficient enough?

5. DEFINITION/PRINCIPLES OF ICZM

  • Reasons for integrated management
  • When to apply the ecosystem approach?
  • When to apply the management approach?
  • Precautionary principle
  • Adaptive management
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Equity
  • Need for environmental and socio-economic assessment of management actions
  • Definitions of ICZM: relevance and adaptation for wetlands integration

6. GUIDELINES FOR MANAGEMENT

  • Major steps in the process: how coastal wetlands are to be adequately treated
  • Outputs in the process
  • Benefits of ICZM: major attraction for local stakeholders
  • Who participate in the process, and how?
  • What are the prerequisites to be met if the process is going to be attractive for major stakeholders
  • Coordination among stakeholders: identification of players and mechanisms to get them together
  • Decisions-making
  • Spatial level of the interventions
  • Institutional issues: how to make coastal wetland management as effective as other types of resource management
  • Case studies to accompany steps in the process: regional/threats/habitat specific

7. TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS

  • Information management: GIS, remote sensing, web-sites
  • Policy management
  • Legislative instruments
  • Participatory and conflict resolution techniques
  • Education and awareness raising
  • Capacity building
  • Resource valuation
  • Economic instruments
  • EIA and SEA
  • Risk assessment
  • Public private partnership
  • Financing
  • Benefit/cost analysis
  • Carrying capacity assessment studies, etc.

WORKING GROUP 2. World Commission on Dams

Tasks given to the STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.18:

15. FURTHER DIRECTS the Ramsar Bureau and Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), subject to the availability of budgetary resources, to follow and participate actively in the programme of the World Commission on Dams (WCD), providing input on themes of relevance to Contracting Parties, and to report back to Ramsar COP8 concerning the findings of WCD and their implications for the future.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

Timeframes identified by STRP8 for assessing WCD Guidelines were premature, and the Guidelines will now be released in November 2000. STRP9 deferred the issue until the IUCN thematic report and the World Commission on Dams reports become available, in July and November 2000 respectively, and requested that the Chairperson determine the STRP’s next steps at that time.

Activities:

1. Provide input to WWF/IUCN assessment of large dams as part of the WCD process to develop guidelines (October 1999) dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

2. Assess information from the Ramsar Sites Database on reservoir/dams listed as internationally important, and other internationally important sites affected by reservoir/dams (October 1999) dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

3. Assess World Commission on Dams (WCD) guidelines when they become (November 2000)

4. Assess and complement existing guidelines on the effects of releases from dams on wetlands (late 2000)

5. Assist the STRP Restoration Working Group in any assessment they undertake on the usefulness of dams or barrages (discuss with the Working Group)

6. Assist the STRP Environmental Impact Expert Working Group in any assessment they undertake on the assessment of dams (discuss with the Working Group)

Members:

Max Finlayson (Lead), Harry Chabwela, Peter Maitland, Jan Pokorný, Mohammad Shatanawi (invited), CIESIN (Antoinette Wannebo), IUCN (Ger Bergkamp), SIL (Jean-Bernard Lachavanne), SWS (Bill Streever), Wetlands International (Scott Frazier), WWF (Biksham Gujja)


WORKING GROUP 3. Impact Assessment

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.16; see also Action 2.4.4 of the Work Plan 2000-2002

16. FURTHER REQUESTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel and the Ramsar Bureau to work in cooperation with their counterparts from the CBD and other relevant conventions and expert organizations, to review existing guidelines and available information on environmental impact assessment and economic valuation of wetlands, in accordance with the high priority given during the last triennium (Recommendations 6.2 and 6.10). This could be reported as an Internet-based resource kit that examines the use of environmental impact assessment and economic valuation as tools for identifying opportunities to apply the wise use principle. [See also Action 2.4.4 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002]

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The representative of the International Association for Impact Assessment (Joanna Treweek) participated in STRP9 (Activity 5. below), and the STRP recommended establishing an MoU between Ramsar and IAIA. IUCN is undertaking further development of its Internet-based Resource Kit, linking EIA material with that for economic valuation, incentives and financing mechanisms as a "Biodiversity Economics Web site".

The proposed programme of work is modified to include a review of EIA guidelines with the assistance of IAIA and National STRP Focal Points, leading to further guidance on EIA in general and, additionally, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in particular. The STRP endorsed this revised work plan, noting the desirability of guidelines, if resources can be found. To undertake fully this programme of work requires additional resources.

Activities:

1. Continue development of the existing IUCN Internet-based Resource Kit on Impact Assessment. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done – plus ongoing

2. With the assistance of the Bureau and the National Focal Points, seek additional resources and resource materials, case studies and guidelines on impact assessment from Contracting Parties and others to further develop and diversify the IUCN Resource Kit.

3. The Bureau will promote the Internet Resource Kit through the Wise Use Resources Centre of its Web site.dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes)done

4. The Working Group will have input as appropriate to the work of the CBD and other conventions relating to impact assessment.

5. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) will be invited to attend the next meeting of the STRP to provide input to the development of future activities in this area.dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done The Bureau will invite STRP National Focal Points (NFPs) to liaise with IAIA representatives to pursue investigation of guidelines and provide case study materials.

6. When it is felt that the Internet Resource Kit is suitably developed, the Working Group will consider ways to ‘ground truth’ the approach, and will modify it as necessary in order to make it more effective.

7. Prepare EIA Guidelines Review from Ramsar and wetland ecosystem perspective, if resources permit.

8. Initiate review of Strategic Environmental Assessment application, if resources permit.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Establish MoU between Ramsar and IAIA November 2000 Ramsar Bureau
2. Identify and contact IAIA representatives December 2000 IAIA
3. Invite STRP National Focal Points (NFPs) to liaise with IAIA representatives to pursue investigation of guidelines and case study materials. Jan 2001 Ramsar Bureau
4. Continue development of IUCN internet Resource kit, to include review of other relevant resource kits and opportunities for linkages, and link with other IUCN economics resource kits. Ongoing (Progress Report at COP8) IUCN
5. Establish with CBD opportunities for linking, through Joint Work Plan, Ramsar STRP outputs with CBD Clearing House Mechanism, and seek to harmonise CBD and Ramsar wetland-related guidance. Dec 2000 Ramsar Bureau
6. Prepare EIA Guidelines Review from Ramsar and wetland ecosystem perspective, for consideration by COP8. Establish steering group and develop ToRs for review: Jan 2001;

Undertake preliminary review (with input from STRP NFPs and IAIA country reps.): May 2001.

Draft review available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by August 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Progress report to COP 8 and recommendations for further action.

Ramsar Bureau, IAIA, IUCN
7. Initiate review of Strategic Environmental Assessment application. Progress report to COP 8 and recommendations for further action. STRP EIA Working Group

Members:

IUCN (Andrea Bagri, Frank Vorhies), Lead; Geoff Cowan, Yara Schaeffer-Novelli, Mohammad Shatanawi (invited), BirdLife International (David Pritchard), Joanna Treweek (IAIA), SIL, GWEN (available to advise)


WORKING GROUP 4. Incentives

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.15 (See also Action 2.5.1 of the Work Plan 2000-2002):

15. REQUESTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) and the Ramsar Bureau . . . to work in cooperation with the relevant bodies of the CBD and the Convention on Migratory Species, OECD, the International Association for Impact Assessment, and IUCN, and with the Contracting Parties and other relevant organizations, to a) review existing guidelines and available information on incentive measures in order to prepare an Internet-based resource kit, including a catalogue of incentives and case studies, and b) explore the use of impact assessments as tools for identifying opportunities for implementing incentive measures;

16. DIRECTS the STRP and the Ramsar Bureau to prepare a report for Ramsar COP8 on progress in the design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of incentive measures and the identification and removal of perverse incentives, containing recommendations for specific actions to be taken by the Contracting Parties, governments, and other relevant organizations, as human and financial resources allow.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

IUCN is undertaking further development of its Internet-based Resource Kit, linking incentives material with that for EIA, economic valuation and financing mechanisms as a "Biodiversity Economics Web site". To assist in capturing new information, the Expert Working Group has developed a Web-based data deposit.

In an addition to its previous ToRs the Expert Working Group on Incentives proposes a mechanism to prepare wetland-specific guidance on incentives as requested by Res. VII.15. It proposed to develop this report drawing on new guidelines being prepared by IUCN during late 2000 as part of a revision of their book Economics of Biological Diversity: developing and using incentives, with inclusion of wetland case-studies. The Working Group also proposed adding to its ToRs the development of a full project proposal for a wetland-focused programme of work to assist Ramsar on incentive measures, the programme including developing networks, establishing a knowledge base, advising on appropriate policy development, and empowering key stakeholders.

Decision STRP 9.1 endorsed this revised work plan, noting the desirability of guidelines, if resources can be found, especially in the light of the CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan and CBD COP5 decisions on incentives.

Activities:

1. Continue development of the existing IUCN Internet-based Resource Kit on Incentives and seek to diversify it to suit different target groups, in particular through the inclusion of resource materials such as the OECD and WWF Handbooks on incentives for biodiversity conservation, and inclusion of the IUCN/Ramsar annotated bibliography. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done – plus ongoing.

2. With the assistance of the Ramsar Bureau and STRP National Focal Points, use the Web-based data deposit produced by CIESIN and Tex Hawkins to acquire new information on incentive measures related to wetland management. seek additional resource materials, including existing national guidelines and existing specific case studies, describing locations, measures and costs, so as to further develop and diversify the IUCN Resource Kit. This information will then be used to populate and update the IUCN resource kit.

3. The Bureau will promote the Internet Resource Kit through the Wise Use Resource Centre of its Web site.dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

4. The Working Group will have input as appropriate to CBD’s various processes which are currently reviewing the area of incentives in preparation for a detailed consideration of this at CBD’s COP5 in May 2000. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

5. Following CBD’s COP5, the Working Group will review both its progress in developing and diversifying the Resource Kit and CBD’s progress, in order to establish those further actions needed to meet the expectation of Resolution VII.15, and assist the Bureau in the implementation of the CBD/Ramsar 2nd Joint Work Plan.

6. Prepare wetland-specific guidance on incentives for COP8, as requested by Resolution VII.15, drawing on new guidelines being prepared by IUCN during late 2000 as part of a revision of their book Economics of Biological Diversity: developing and using incentives, and with inclusion of wetland case-studies, as resources permit.

7. Develop a full project proposal for a wetland-focused programme of work to assist Ramsar on incentive measures, the programme including developing networks, establishing a knowledge base, advising on appropriate policy development, and empowering key stakeholders.

Tasks/Products Target date(s) Lead
1. Knowledge    
1.1 Incorporate annotated incentives bibliography to IUCN Internet resource kit Sept 2000 IUCN
1.2 Revise/maintain incentives Web-based data deposit: establish mechanism for data transfer and update appearance and links Ongoing CIESIN
1.3 Solicit information from data deposit, through Ramsar Forum & STRP National Focal Points December 2000 CIESIN/IUCN
1.4 Establish editorial process and team to select and prepare entries for inclusion in resource kit Nov 2000, ongoing IUCN/editorial team
1.5 Populate IUCN site with new information Ongoing IUCN
1.6 Prepare demonstration on the Internet resource kit for STRP10, SC26 and COP8 STRP: June 2001; SC26: late 2001; COP8 late 2002 IUCN
2. Guidelines    
2.1 Complete revision of the guidelines under update of the Economics of Biodiversity book Sept 2000 IUCN
2.2 Review guidelines from a wetlands perspective, identify wetland-specific issues relating to incentives, identify case studies, and draft guidelines. Draft guidelines circulated for consultation to STRP National Focal Points. First draft guidelines: Feb 2001.

Consultation draft: March 2001.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

IUCN
2.3 Compile case study examples To March 2002 IUCN/STRP
3. Wetlands Incentives Programme    
3.1 Develop a project proposal for the programme of work and fundraise Dec 2000 IUCN-Bureau

Members:

Arthur Tex Hawkins (Lead), IUCN (Andrea Bagri, Frank Vorhies), Jan Pokorný, CIESIN (Antoinette Wannebo), GWEN (available to advise)

Proposed contents of guidelines on incentive measures for wetlands, for COP8

1. BACKGROUND

  • Existing guidelines on Incentive Measures produced elsewhere: positive experience to be utilised
  • Ramsar principles: wise use of coastal wetlands
  • Environmental assessment: the basic principle
  • Local values: crucial input in environmental management
  • Sustainable management of resources: prevailing principle
  • Participation of local communities
  • Ramsar resolutions

2. RATIONALE/CONTEXT

  • Incentives within the context of other planning tools
  • Ecological economic zoning and integrated environmental management
  • Linkages to other guidance from Ramsar

3. TARGET AUDIENCE

  • Implementers
  • Major users
  • Major actors
  • Local coastal and wetland managers

4. IMPORTANCE OF INCENTIVE MEASURES FOR THE WISE USE OF WETLANDS
5. DEFINITION/EXAMPLES OF INCENTIVE MEASURES
6. GUIDELINES FOR DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INCENTIVES
7. TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS
8. CASE EXAMPLES


WORKING GROUP 5. Invasive Species

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.14:

16. DIRECTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to:

a) prepare wetland-specific guidelines for identifying, establishing priorities for action, and managing alien species which potentially pose a threat to wetlands and wetland species, in cooperation with the SBSTTA of CBD, SCOPE’s GISP, and other programmes established under international conventions, and taking account of IUCN’s draft Guidelines for the Prevention of Biological Diversity Loss due to Biological Invasion; and

b) consult with relevant parties to prepare, for the benefit of the Contracting Parties, guidance on legislation or other best practice management approaches that incorporate ‘risk assessment’, in order to minimise the introduction of new and environmentally dangerous alien species into a jurisdiction, and the movement or trade of such species within a jurisdiction;

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The Expert Working Group considered that the IUCN Guidelines and CBD’s Interim Guiding Principles were appropriate as generic guidance on invasive alien species. In an addition to the Working Group’s ToR, STRP9 considered that wetland-specific guidance on invasive alien species should be prepared for COP8 and urged the Bureau to find a mechanism for adapting emerging guidelines.

Substantive guidance (legislative frameworks, good practice toolkit including risk assessment, global strategy) is being produced by Phase 1 of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), and CBD SBSTTA6 (March 2001) will be considering invasives as its major issue, drawing on the GISP products. To progress establishing a mechanism for preparing wetland-specific guidance for COP8, the Bureau is contributing to the GISP process and CBD’s Liaison Group on invasive species. The STRP’s Expert Working Group is preparing two case studies on invasives risk assessment to contribute to the guidance for Ramsar, and these will be made available to GISP and CBD as well.

Activities:

1. Review and provide comments on the IUCN draft "Guidelines for the Prevention of Biological Diversity Loss due to Biological Invasions" by the conclusion of this meeting. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes)done

2. Review and provide comment on the CBD SBSTTA document "Alien Species: Guiding Principles for the Prevention, Introduction and Mitigation of Impacts" by the conclusion of this meeting. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

3. Determine whether or not the IUCN and CBD documents satisfy the STRP task of preparing "wetland-specific guidelines for identifying, establishing priorities for action, and managing alien species" and make appropriate recommendations to STRP by the time of its next meeting. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

4. Contribute to the preparation of "wetland-specific guidelines for identifying, establishing priorities for action, and managing alien species" for consideration by COP8 through a mechanism established by the Bureau.

5. Provide input to the preparation of guidance on risk assessment approaches in conjunction with the preparation of case studies on Wetland Risk Assessment (Resolution VII.10).

6. Contribute, through STRP’s Chairperson, to CBD’s further development of invasive alien species guidance.

Members:

Max Finlayson (Lead), Angel Alcala, Aboubacar Awaïss, Harry Chabwela, Geoff Cowan, Peter Maitland, Jan Pokorný, Toomas Saat, IUCN, WWF.


WORKING GROUP 6. Wetland Inventory

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.20:

15. REQUESTS the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, in collaboration with Wetlands International, the Ramsar Bureau, and other interested organizations, to review and further develop existing models for wetland inventory and data management, including the use of remote sensing and low-cost and user-friendly geographic information systems, and to report their findings to COP8 with a view to promoting international common standards.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

ToRs for this Expert Working Group are largely unchanged from STRP8, but STRP9 endorsed the scope of guidance on wetland inventory for COP8 – provided below. The Expert Working Group indicated that different methodologies were appropriate for different purposes and different scales and that the MedWet methodology would be appropriate for some but not all purposes. Evaluation of imagery and GIS and comparison of wetland classification systems have yet to be undertaken and could form technical annexes to the COP8 guidance.

STRP9 also endorsed a ToR for the Global Review of Wetland Resources, Part 2, which is intended to take forward parts of Resolution VII.20 for reporting to COP8, and would incorporate STRP Working Group activity 2.4. The ToR is provided below. Additional resources will be needed to complete the work proposed.

Note. A workshop on Wetland Inventory, in support of Activity 1. and involving members of the Expert Working Group on wetland inventory and the MedWet Team, was held on 1 July 2000. The workshop reviewed the MedWet methodology and determined an approach to developing global tools. The workshop’s outcomes will be incorporated, as appropriate, into the preparation of wetland inventory guidelines for COP8.

Activities:

1. Develop globally-applicable protocols for wetland inventory, to include recommended approaches for different purposes and uses, including, where possible, inter alia spatial scale selection, wetland classification, and status and trends reporting.

2. To support this, undertake the following activities:

2.1. Assess the MedWet inventory tools as a global tool for wetland inventory, to include:

a) evaluate existing uses of MedWet tools in other geographic regions,
b) identify which MedWet elements are and are not globally applicable,
c) recommend developments to existing MedWet tools to achieve global utility;

2.2. Review and develop cross-links between different wetland classifications to facilitate flexible use of existing inventory data;

2.3. Review and assess usefulness and application of imagery and GIS, including existing low-cost systems and anticipated developments;

2.4. Assist the development by Wetlands International/CIESIN of a standard wetland inventory metadatabase;

2.5. Assist in developing the procedure for identification and review of existing peatland inventory (in collaboration with the Working Group on Peatlands).

3. Prepare ToRs for a Global Review of Wetland Resources, Part 2, and assist in undertaking the review if resources permit.

Note: The Bureau will promote application of MedWet inventory tools as an interim measure.

Task Products/Outcomes Target date(s) Subgroup
1. Globally applicable inventory protocols a. Draft guidance framework

b. Prepare wetland inventory guidelines for consideration by COP8

a. By STRP9 June 2000 dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

b. First draft guidelines December 2000;

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Finlayson, Zalidis, Cowan

(Lead: Finlayson)

2.1 MedWet global applicability a. Advise Ramsar Bureau on MedWet as interim protocol to recommend to CPs

b. Evaluation of elements and developments needed for global use

a. By end of STRP8 meetingdotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

b. By 9th STRP meeting dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done (1 July 2000 workshop)

Frazier, Zalidis
2.2. Wetland classification cross-links Cross-link tabulation, as possible technical annex to COP8 guidance Draft by 10th STRP meeting Finlayson, Zalidis, Frazier
2.3. Imagery and GIS review Evaluation of available tools Feb 2001: site case studies contributed by STRP members and National Focal Points. Draft guidance by 10th STRP meeting Zalidis, Cowan, Wannebo, Finlayson
2.4. Wetland inventory metadatabase-development assistance Web-based metadatabase(*) During 2001, if resources permit Wannebo, Taylor, Frazier
2.5. Peatland inventory review process a. Draft procedure

b. Review of existing inventory

(See 7. Peatlands) Stoneman, Rieley, Frazier
3. Global Review of Wetland Resources, Part 2 a. Draft ToR

b. assist in undertaking review

a. by 9th meeting of STRP

b. if resources permit, draft by June 2001 for consideration by 10th meeting of STRP and 26th meeting of Standing Committee.

Finlayson, Frazier, Taylor

(*) Note: This product is planned for development under Wetlands International/CIESIN implementation of Resolution VII.20. STRP’s role will be to assist in guiding this development, which is included in the draft ToR for the Global Review of Wetland Resources, Part 2 (Activity 3).

Members:

Max Finlayson, Lead, Wetlands International (Doug Taylor, Scott Frazier), Geoff Cowan, Jorge Jiménez, Randy Milton, George Zalidis, CIESIN (Antoinette Wannebo), IMCG (Andreas Gruenig), IPS (Jack Rieley), Luis Costa (ICN Portugal)

 Proposed contents of guidelines on wetland inventory, for COP8

1. The Ramsar Context (Summary of background)

  • role of inventory in wetland planning and management
  • recommendation from global review of wetland inventory
  • specific resolution (Re.VII.20) on inventory

2. Critical review of inventory

  • extent of inventory and inventory effort
  • types of inventory and inventory approaches

3. Principles to consider when undertaking wetland inventory

  • purpose of inventory
  • extent of existing data and data sources
  • compatibility with existing/planned data resources
  • scale and resolution
  • time period for implementation and updating
  • data management (including metadata and accessibility)
  • core and minimum data sets
  • habitat classification
  • available tools and methods
  • training requirements
  • personal and technical resources
  • procedures for reporting information to users
  • long-term depository and archiving of sources and derived data

4. Available methods (key features, purpose, information sources)

  • Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet)
  • USA (National Wetland Inventory)
  • Uganda approach
  • Asian Wetland Inventory

5. Global standardization and depository

  • Ramsar approaches to wetland inventory
  • recommended approaches to data management, archiving, and accessibility

Annexes

  • comparison of wetland classification systems
  • existing tools for imagery and GIS

Draft Terms of Reference: Global Review of Wetland Resources, part 2

Following presentation of the report on Global Review of Wetland Resources and Priorities for Wetland Inventory (GRoWI) project, Resolution VII.20 Priorities for wetland inventory called for further work to complete assessment of wetland inventory information and to establish procedures for regularly updating and reporting this information. This ToR, prepared as part of the work of STRP’s Expert Working Group on wetland inventory, is designed to prepare an update report on the state of wetland inventory for COP8 and includes the development of a global meta-data standard for wetland inventory, designed to faciliatate further regular updating.

Terms of reference:

In support of Resolution VII.20, paragraph 15, the following further wetland inventory tasks are required:

1. Where necessary, review each of the regional chapters in GRoWI and update the information on wetland inventories and the current estimates of wetland area, sub-divided, where possible, into wetland habitats as considered by the Ramsar Convention.

2. Confirm core data fields for wetland inventory meta-database taking into account international standards for meta-data recording.

3. Construct a framework for a meta-database for wetland inventory and make this available on the World Wide Web through agreement with the Ramsar Bureau and appropriate other partners.

4. Provide a written report to the Ramsar Bureau by June 2001 to enable the Standing Committee of the Convention to consider any draft resolutions that could be submitted to COP8 in 2002. With agreement of the Ramsar Bureau, the report or part of the report may be published in the scientific literature or by a further party.

5. Participate in the drafting of any resolutions to COP8 and provide advice on the possible future incorporation of the meta-database as a component of the Ramsar site database tools as presently covered by the MOU between the Bureau, Wetlands International and CIESIN.


WORKING GROUP 7. Peatlands

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Recommendation 7.1 and annex:

11. INVITES the Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel and Ramsar International Organization Partners to assist Contracting Parties in evaluating this Action Plan, once completed, with regard to development of:

i) additional guidelines for designation of peatlands as Ramsar sites;
ii) further national and regional sustainable development, wise use and management guidelines for peatlands;
iii) initiatives to transfer peatland development and restoration technology to developing nations and countries with economies in transition; and
iv) standardized and globally applicable classification of peatland types and their ecological characteristics.

[Annex to Recommendation 7.1]

2.2 Ramsar Contracting Parties, the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the Ramsar Bureau, IPS and IMCG and other interested Partners should review the extent and quality of peatland survey around the world and identify those areas in need of further inventory.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

Overall Terms of Reference are not modified. STRP9 approved a revised Global Action Plan for Peatlands (GAPP) and requested the Bureau to circulate it for comment to Contracting Parties and STRP National Focal Points. This has been done, with a response date of 31 December 2000. Further reporting on headway with the GAPP under its eight themes will be made to STRP10, including progress with drafting (by IPS and IMCG) of Wise use guidelines for peatlands as called for in GAPP. Progress with preparing draft selection and designation guidelines for peatlands is covered under Work Plan item 13.2.

Note. The activities listed below have been modified slightly from those approved by 24th meeting of Standing Committee to take into account endorsed changes in GAPP terminology.

Activities:

1. Coordinate comments from STRP, International Organization Partners, and any interested Contracting Parties into the further development of draft Global Action Plan for Peatlands (see Recommendation 7.1) by end October 1999. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

2. Finalize the Global Action Plan for Peatlands (GAPP) at the GAPP Discussion Group meeting in Freising, Germany (30 November – 1 December 1999) prior to urgent transmission to the 24th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee for endorsement (alterations to the present draft version will be highlighted in bold). Refer to Decision SC24-8 of the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee.dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

3. Use the Freising meeting to review progress and set out requirements to make substantive headway within each of the eight ‘themes’ outlined in the GAPP and report findings to the 9th STRP meeting (June 2000).dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done in part

And in particular:

4. With the support of interested Contracting Parties, develop guidelines for the designation of peatlands as Ramsar sites drawing on workshop discussions at Freising (November 1999) and Québec (August 2000) and comments from the STRP. Guidelines should be developed by June 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee later that year, and adoption by COP8 in 2002.

5. Work with the Inventory Working Group to develop procedures for the identification and review of peatland inventory. In close conjunction with the Wetlands International ‘GRoWI – 2’ project, a project concept will be devised for consideration and endorsement at the 10th STRP meeting (June 2001).

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1.& 2. Finalise the Global Action Plan for Peatlands (GAPP) Draft reviewed by STRP9: June 2000.

Consulation with Ramsar CPs and STRP National Focal Points: December 2000.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

IPS
3. Establish requirements for progress under the 8 GAPP themes. Report to STRP9; further report to STRP10, June 2001, for possible inclusion as annex to GAPP for consideration by 26th meeting of Standing Committee, late 2001. IPS/IMCG
4.Draft guidelines for the selection and designation of peatlands as Ramsar sites. (see Work Plan item 13.2) Wetlands International
5. Develop procedures for identification and review of peatland inventory (with Expert Working Group on wetland inventory. Project concept, linked to the GRoWI-2 project (see Work Plan item 6, activity 3), reported to 10th meeting of STRP (June 2001) IMCG/IPS with Max Finlayson (Inventory Working Group)

Members:

IMCG (Andreas Gruenig), Co-Lead, IPS (Jack Rieley), Co-Lead, Wetlands International (Doug Taylor, Scott Frazier), Co-Lead, WWF (Chris Tydeman), Randy Milton, GWEN to be available for advice (Toré Söderqvist)


WORKING GROUP 8. Wetland Restoration

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.17 (See also Actions 2.6.2 and 2.6.4 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002):

16. REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau, in consultation with the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, to identify sources of expertise on specific aspects of wetland restoration and rehabilitation (drawing on established networks such as IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management, DIVERSITAS, Wetlands International’s Wetland Restoration Specialist Group and others), to further develop tools and guidelines, and make this available to the Contracting Parties.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

Overall Terms of Reference are not modified. To deliver its activities the Expert Working Group has developed a Web site to provide Internet-based resources on wetland restoration, which will include glossary, bibliography, illustrated restoration case studies (indexed by approach to restoration), register of experts, links to other sites and invited background papers. Background papers in preparation by the Working Group cover: incentives, identification of sites with restoration potential, socio-economic aspects of restoration and (possibly) small dams and restoration. STRP9 approved the proposal by the Expert Working Group on wetland restoration to prepare, for consideration at COP8, a review of existing restoration guidelines and a statement of basic guiding principles, which would be accompanied by a draft Resolution. The STRP also accepted the Working Group’s proposal that the Standing Committee Subgroup on COP8 be urged to add restoration as a theme and presentation in proposed Technical Session 1 (see proposed contents given below).

Activities:

1. For Contracting Parties and field managers

1.1 Develop glossary of wetland restoration terms.

1.2 Enlarge existing wetland restoration bibliography maintained by USGS to include Wetlands International’s (Kevin Erwin’s) bibliography as well as gray literature.

1.3 Attempt to prepare an overview of approaches to wetland restoration, indexed by

a) approach to restoration,
b) wetland type and
c) ‘success’ versus ‘failures’.

1.4 Identify sources of expertise in various categories (e.g., economic valuation, engineering, ecology, etc.)

1.5 Identify sources of training.

2. For Contracting Parties

2.1 Identify and describe existing policies and legislation that incorporate restoration as an element of planning at the national level.

2.2 Prepare general guidelines to evaluate wetland functions to be restored.

2.3 Identify future steps based on gap/needs analysis.

3. For field managers

3.1 Identify existing restoration tools that field people can use.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Develop Ramsar wetland restoration Web-site Presentation of Web-site toSTRP9: June 2000.

Solicit case-studies, links and citations from STRP members and national Focal Points: Sept 2000.

Web site updates: October 2000.

Consulation with Ramsar CPs and STRP National Focal Points: December 2000.

Draft background papers: December 2000

Web-site for approval by 10th meeting of STRP (June 2001) and 26th meeting of Standing Committee (late 2001).

Web-site improvements & bibliography merger: Streever.

Register of experts: Streever/Wannebo.

Background papers:

Incentives: Roy Gardner Identification of sites with restoration potential: Zalidis

Socio-economic aspects of restoration: Zalidis

Small dams: Streever, Finlayson

2. Draft Resolution with background papers on Guidelines review and guiding principles Draft resolution and background papers: December 2000;

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Background papers on Guidelines review and guiding principles: Chabwela, Pokorny, Zalidis, Streever.

Members:

George Zalidis (Co-Lead), SWS (Bill Streever) (Co-Lead), Aboubacar Awaïss, Harry Chabwela, Geoff Cowan, Max Finlayson, Jan Pokorný, Yara Schaeffer-Novelli, IPS, IUCN, SIL, Wetlands International, WWF, GWEN (available for advice)

Proposed Wetland Restoration presentation for COP8 Technical Session I

Proposed title: "Restoration Challenges and Opportunities: Strength through Diversity".

The presentation would complement (and therefore should be scheduled to follow) the proposed presentation on "Wetlands and Management of Surface and Ground Water: Ramsar and the Water Management Agencies".

The presentation would describe the implementation of Resolution VII.17 and cover the following topics:

1) examples of diverse restoration techniques

2) incentives for wetland restoration

3) socioeconomic issues and community involvement in restoration

4) identification of potential restoration projects, and

5) guiding principles in restoration that recognize the wide range of approaches needed in different circumstances.


WORKING GROUP 9. Site Management Planning Guidelines

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.12 (See also Action 5.2.1 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002)

21. EXPRESSES ITS APPRECIATION to those Contracting Parties and others which provided their advice and experience during the STRP’s review of the Ramsar Guidelines on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands (Resolution 5.7); REAFFIRMS the continuing value of these Guidelines, as reported by the STRP in document Ramsar COP7 DOC. 13.3, Annex 5; ACCEPTS the Panel’s recommendations for areas where the Guidelines can be further elaborated; and INSTRUCTS the STRP, with support from the Ramsar Bureau, to prepare for consideration at COP8 further guidance with respect to management planning, which reviews the latest approaches to environmental, social and economic impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis, zonation, multiple use, design and maintenance of buffer zones, and the application of the precautionary principle.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The 9th meeting of STRP endorsed (Decision 9.7) a revised workplan of the Expert Working Group on Management Planning which, rather than providing expanded guidance, will produce additional guidance updating several parts of the exisiting Guidelines for Management Planning, including the themes identified by Resolution VII.12 and in the light of recent experience, relating to less than 25% of the existing guidelines. STRP9 also endorsed the proposal from the Working Group to develop a thematically organised selective bibliography which will draw upon the existing Web-based data deposit on management planning created by CIESIN to assist the process.

Activities:

1. Expand the Guidelines on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands to include further guidance on environmental, social and economic impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis, zonation, multiple use, design and maintenance of buffer zones, and the application of the precautionary principle, including definitions, concept applications, and sources of more detailed information.

2. Prepare a thematically organised selective bibliography on wetland management planning, integrated with the CIESIN Web-based data deposit on the topic.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Prepare additional wetland management planning guidelines (see below for proposed content and structure). Draft guidelines: Sept 2000.

2nd draft for STRP consultation: December 2000.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Alexander
2. Prepare thematically-organised wetland management planning bibliography a. Modify existing Web-based tool: September 2000.

b. Create bibliography: March 2001

c. Present bibliography to 9th meeting of STRP for consideration and endorsement.

a. Wannebo

b. Alberts

Members:

Tex Hawkins (Lead), Aboubacar Awaïss, Harry Chabwela, IPS (Jack Rieley), WWF (Chris Tydeman), Frank Alberts, Mike Alexander.

Proposed contents of additional guidelines on wetland management planning, for COP8

The additional guidelines will enhance the existing management planning guidelines so as better to meet Ramsar site planning requirements, through the provision of supplementary guidance on each theme in the structure of the management planning processes currently outlined in the Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8.

The draft guidelines will cover the following section headings:

1. Integrating precautionary principle into the planning process

2. Incorporating guidance on zonation and buffer zones

3. Linking EIA with the planning process

4. Ensuring the planning process is able to provide effective cost benefit analysis

5. Emphasizing that we are concerned with a planning process and not the creation of a plan

6. Involving stakeholders to ensure the planning process is fully interactive

7. Incorporating good management planning practices, such as adaptive management, focus on outcomes, quantified objectives and integrated monitoring

Proposed modifications to management planning processes as currently outlined in Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8.

Current Structure                 Proposed amendments (shown in italics)

 alexander1.gif (13587 bytes)

Related activity:

9a. Management planning case studies and San José Record

Tasks:

Strategic Plan 1997-2002 Action 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]

34. DIRECTS the Ramsar Bureau, with assistance from the STRP, to investigate and report to COP8 on the feasibility of the Convention establishing a record (the "San José Record") of sites where management plans are being implemented which are models for demonstrating application of the Wise Use Guidelines. (Resolution VII.12)

Decision STRP 8.20: The Panel asked the Bureau to take the lead on the issues of management planning case studies and Terms of Reference for the establishment of the San José Record and report to the next STRP meeting.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The 9th meeting of STRP considered a paper from the Bureau outlining "Proposals for the Operation of a "San José Record" (available as Annex XIII of the Meeting Report), and approved (Decision STRP 9.8) the direction in which the proposal was being developed. A revised version of the paper will be prepared for the 10th meeting of STRP (June 2001), for possible consideration by the 26th meeting of the Standing Committee (late 2001).


WORKING GROUP 10. Water Allocation and Management

Tasks given to STRP by COP7. Resolution VII.18:

19. INSTRUCTS the STRP, as funds and human resources allow, to review the current state of knowledge in the area of allocation and management of water to maintain wetland ecosystem functions, and to report to Ramsar COP8 on the findings, and if possible to provide guidance for the Contracting Parties on this subject.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

STRP9 endorsed the elaboration of the Expert Working Group’s existing Work Plan activities, which will involve preparation of guidelines for the allocation and management of water for maintaining ecological functions, accompanied by short case studies and supported by a draft Resolution for consideration by COP8. Case studies concerning wetland restoration for water management will be linked with the work of STRP’s Expert Working Group on wetland restoration. The work will be based upon a review of international agreements, as well as upon a review of knowledge on water demand management, existing tools for allocation of water, and decision-making for allocations.

Activities:

1. Complete a review of international agreements such as the Dublin Principles, further reflected at UNCED 1992, and now furthered through the CSD process as well as regional agreements such as the Helsinki Convention, and recommend actions to Contracting Parties.

2. Complete a review of the state of knowledge and applications of:

a) Water demand management
b) Existing tools in the use of determining such allocations
c) Decision-making processes (regulatory and policy) for setting flows/allocating water.

3. Present a series of case studies of the implications of inadequate allocations (especially large-scale ones including changes in rainfall patterns and economic implications).

4. Develop a Resolution for consideration at COP8.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Prepare guidelines for the allocation and management of water for maintaining ecological functions, including case studies (see below for proposed content and structure). Draft case studies: September 2000.

Draft guidelines: November 2000.

2nd draft for STRP consultation: February 2001.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Acreman
2. Develop Resolution Draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP (June 2001).

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Cowan/Acreman

Members:

Geoff Cowan (Lead), Mike Acreman, Tex Hawkins, Jan Pokorný, Mohammad Shatanawi (invited), George Zalidis, BirdLife International (David Pritchard), IPS, IUCN, SIL (Jean Bernard Lachavanne), WWF (Chris Tydeman), GWEN (available for advice),

Proposed contents of guidelines on of allocation and management of water to maintain wetland ecosystem functions, for COP8

Guidelines will concentrate on the management of water, both surface and groundwater, within the catchment draining to a wetland, and trade-offs with alternative water uses. Internal wetlands water management and the management of driving forces (e.g., population, climate change) will be outside the scope of the guidelines.

1. Introduction

1.1 Mandate (Resolution VII.18)

1.2 Definition of ecosystem functions

1.3 Focus on catchment scale, not driving forces

2. Principles

2.1 Review of selected existing documents, e.g., Dublin Principles, World Water Forum (The Hague), River Basin Commissions (Murray-Darling, Senegal), World Commission on Dams

2.2 Distillation of principles

3. Management systems to operationalize the principles

3.1 Water demand management (land use, technology, socio-economics)

  • Catchment management (e.g., land use, drainage)
  • Technology (e.g., drip irrigation, artificial recharge)
  • Socio-economics (e.g., education, pricing, incentives, virtual water)

3.2 Tools to determine allocation

Five step process (based on South Africa’s experience)

1. Delineate wetland boundary, eco-region type, and reference status
2. Determine current status
3. Determine desired status
4. Quantify wetland water allocation
5. Define operational procedure

3.3 Decision-making processes for water allocation

  • Legal framework (e.g., South African water law)
  • Valuation framework (e.g., UK economic valuation)

4. Case studies

Inadequate allocation, wetland degradation, restoration, reduced abstraction, managed flood releases from dams, conservation of natural system, development plans halted

Examples of inadequate allocation

Indus Delta, Pakistan

Las Tablas de Daimiel, Spain

Examples of wetland restoration

Floodplain restoration, Waza-Logone, Cameroon

Community participation, Phongolo, South Africa

Groundwater support, Azraq Oasis, Jordan, Birma/Millewa forest, Australia

Dam decommissioning, Columbia River, USA

Conservation of natural system

Okavango Delta, Botswana; Dam project in Norway

Restoration not feasible

Mahaweli, Sri Lanka


WORKING GROUP 11. Ecological Character

Tasks given to STRP by COP7:

7. AUTHORIZES the STRP, in collaboration with appropriate international bodies, to compile and spread reliable criteria and methods for the evaluation of the ecological quality of wetlands through the establishment of indicative biological, physical and chemical parameters; (Resolution VII.25)

14. ENCOURAGES the STRP to compile, with information submitted by Contracting Parties and from other relevant sources, a report outlining cases where early warning systems for wetlands are in place or are being established, and of the experience gained in maintaining these systems. (Resolution VII.10)

E1. (From paragraph 27 of the Annex to Resolution VII.18) Information on functional and biodiversity assessment methodologies and the means for their integration for wetland management should be compiled by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) of the Convention and disseminated to Contracting Parties, for their adaptation to local situations.

Decision STRP 8.17: The Panel determined to wait for the CBD’s document on biological indicators to be produced; the Bureau will distribute that to the STRP members, who will provide feedback to Dr Finlayson.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The 9th meeting of STRP endorsed the establishment of an Expert Working Group on Ecological Character (Decision STRP 9.20).

The Working Group will critically appraise the existing tools and mechanisms associated with ecological character (as summarized in volumes 7 and 8 of the Ramsar toolkit), taking note of processes and recommendations developed by other bodies (e.g., CBD, World Heritage, Natura 2000), identify any gaps and/or inconsistencies, and report to COP8 on how these could be addressed. It is anticipated that this report will provide the basis for starting a comprehensive discussion of issues of ecological character in the implementation of the Convention.

CBD COP5 (May 2000) decided that the indicators paper presented to it did not fully address the requirements of the CBD COP4 decision and requested that two indicators papers be prepared for SBSTTA and COP6 (2002): consideration by STRP of CBD’s papers will now await this further progress.

Activities:

1. Review the existing tools and mechanisms associated with ecological character (as summarized in volumes 7 and 8 of the Ramsar toolkit), taking note of processes and recommendations developed by other bodies (e.g., CBD, World Heritage, Natura 2000), identify any gaps and /or inconsistencies and report to COP8 on how these could be addressed.

2. Prepare a report on the use of risk assessment in ecological character in relation to climate change, for inclusion in the guidance for COP8 being prepared by the STRP’s Expert Working Group on Climate Change.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Review the existing tools and mechanisms associated with ecological character (see below for proposed content). Draft report: December 2000.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Finlayson
2. Report on the use of risk assessment in ecological character in relation to climate change. Draft report: December 2000, for inclusion in guidance on wetlands and climate change (see Work Plan item 12). Finlayson

Members:

Max Finlayson (lead), Geoff Cowan, George Zalidis, and Wetlands International (Scott Frazier

Proposed contents of report on tools and mechanisms for addressing ecological character of wetlands, for COP8

1. Rationale and background for understanding the task.

2. Summary of the generic toolbox (as per page 7 of Ramsar Wise Use Handbook 8): intent and purpose.

3. Implications of existing tools for implementation of the Convention.

4. Outline of key elements of the toolkit, noting any limits and need for further development.

5. Identification of any further tools.

6. Recommendations.


WORKING GROUP 12. Climate Change and the Ramsar Convention

Tasks given to STRP by COP7:

Action 5.1.6 (Convention Work Plan annexed to Resolution VII.27). Target: the STRP will prepare for consideration at COP8 a comprehensive review of the potential impacts of climate change on wetlands and the roles that wetlands can potentially play in mitigating the effects of climate change and sea level rise.

Decision STRP 8.13: The Panel invited its members to comment on IUCN’s draft paper on Climate Change and the Ramsar Convention before 15 October and determined that no further action would be undertaken at this time. Max Finlayson was appointed as STRP’s Focal Point for further discussions on climate change, and the issue will be revisited following the UNFCCC’s next Conference of the Parties in November 1999.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

The 9th meeting of STRP established (Decision STRP 9.20) an Expert Working Group on Climate Change and the Ramsar Convention, so as to address action 5.1.6 of the Convention’s Work Plan.

In Decision STRP 9.20 the STRP requested the Bureau to work with IUCN and other members of the Working Group to develop a project to provide guidance to COP8 on climate change and wetlands. The STRP also requested the Standing Committee Subgroup on COP8 to add "Climate Change and Wetlands" as a sub-theme in the proposed COP8 Technical Session 1, and urged that a joint UNFCCC/Ramsar workshop be planned so as to address how Ramsar can assist UNFCCC Parties and move towards greater collaboration between the secretariats. The project to provide guidance to COP8 is under initiation and aims to prepare a review of the impacts of climate change on wetlands (drawing on the IPCC Third Assessment Report and other materials) and the role of adaptive management of wetland in mitigating climate change impacts, as part of a wider activity including development of increased collaboration with UNFCCC. The project will require additional resources for full implementation.

Activities:

1. Review regional and other chapters of the IPCC Third Assessment Report and provide a digest of STRP’s comments for transmittal to IPCC. dotbluedark.gif (919 bytes) done

2. Prepare a review of the potential impacts of climate change on wetlands and the roles that wetlands can potentially play in mitigating the effects of climate change and sea level rise.

3. Incorporate in the reports of 1. above, the use of risk assessment in ecological character in relation to climate change, prepared by the STRP Expert Working Group on Ecological Character.

4. Contribute, as appropriate, to a joint UNFCCC/Ramsar workshop to address how Ramsar can assist UNFCCC Parties and develop greater collaboration between secretariats.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Review regional and other chapters of the IPCC Third Assessment Report. 10 July 2000 Working Group
2. Review of the potential impacts of climate change on wetlands and the roles that wetlands can potentially play in mitigating the effects of climate change and sea level rise. First draft report: January 2001.

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Finlayson
3. Report of use of risk assessment in ecological character in relation to climate change Draft by December 2000, for incorporation into 2. Above. STRP Working Group on ecological character (Finlayson)
4. Contribute to UNFCCC/Ramsar workshop Early-mid 2001 Working Group

Members:

Max Finlayson (lead), Randy Milton, IPS (Jack Rieley), IUCN, WWF.


Other tasks of the STRP

13. Guidelines for Ramsar site designation of under-represented wetland types

Task:

Action 6.3.1 (Convention Work Plan annexed to Resolution VII.27) 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.

Decision STRP 8.14: The STRP delegated the Expert Working Groups on Coastal Zones and Peatlands to work on guidance for identifying and designating mangroves/coral reefs and peatlands respectively. Wetlands International will assist with wet grasslands and the Administrative Authority of Belgium (which specifically requested this inclusion in Resolution VII.27) will be invited to assist. Bureau staff will help to facilitate the process, as was the case with karsts: Tobias Salathé with grasslands, Rebecca D’Cruz with peatlands, and Margarita Astrálaga with coastal zones.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

STRP9 agreed that all guidelines for identifying and designating under-represented wetland types should be structured in accordance with the Bureau’s outline in the paper "Structure and Content of Additional Guidelines" (outline contents listed below; provided in full in Annex VIII of the Report of the Meeting).

Coastal/marine wetland types. At STRP8 the Working Group on ICZM determined to prepare also guidelines on salt marshes, intertidal zones, seagrass beds and soft-bottom community wetland types, in addition to those requested for coral reefs and mangroves. After further consideration at STRP9 the Working Group concluded that it should concentrate on guidelines for coral reefs and mangroves and that its resources would not permit preparation of guidelines on other coastal marine habitat types at this time: this was accepted by STRP 9. Further drafting of guidelines for coral reefs and mangroves will be led by Gilberto Cintron (USA STRP National Focal Point) with Bureau support from Margarita Astralaga.

Peatlands. Wetlands International agreed to take the lead in preparation of guidelines for peatland designation, with Tobias Salathé providing Bureau support. STRP9 endorsed the approach proposed by the Expert Working Group on Peatlands, and guidelines will be further developed at a November 2000 workshop hosted by Wetlands International.

Wet Grasslands. STRP9 endorsed the approach to guidelines preparation proposed by Wetlands International, who agreed to take the lead, assisted by BirdLife International and the Administrative Authority for Belgium, with Tobias Salathé providing Bureau support. Guidelines will be further developed at a November 2000 workshop hosted by Wetlands International.

Tasks/products Target date(s) Lead
1. Draft guidelines for identification and designation of coral reefs and mangroves as Ramsar sites First draft guidelines: July 2000

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Gilberto Cintron
2. Draft guidelines for identification and designation of peatlands as Ramsar sites First draft guidelines: July 2000

Workshop: November 2000

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Wetlands International
3. Draft guidelines for identification and designation of wet grasslands as Ramsar sites First draft guidelines: July 2000

Workshop: November 2000

Revised draft available for consideration by the 10th meeting of the STRP.

Final output available by July 2001 for consideration by the Standing Committee in late 2001.

Wetlands International

Outline content of additional guidelines for the identification and designation of under-represented wetland types as Ramsar sites

a) Definition of the wetland type

b) Link with the Ramsar Wetland Classification

c) Values and functions

d) Threats

e) Application of the Criteria

f) Particular issues to take into account

14. Strategic Plan, 2003-2008. (refer to Resolution VII.27, paragraph 22).

Decision STRP 8.3: The 24th meeting of the Standing Committee established through Decision 24-13 a drafting subgroup which includes the chair of STRP.

15. Interpretation of Articles 2.5 and 4.2 and compensation of wetland habitats. Resolution VII.23, paragraph 11; Resolution VII.24, paragraph 13.

Tasks:

11. REQUESTS the Standing Committee, with support from the Bureau, and in consultation with the STRP, experts familiar with the Habitats Directive of the European Union, appropriate legal and other experts, and interested Contracting Parties, to develop for consideration and possible adoption at COP8 guidance for the Contracting Parties in interpreting Articles 2.5 and 4.2, if resources allow; (Resolution VII.23)

13. INVITES the Standing Committee to define, in cooperation with the Scientific and Technical Review Panel and the Ramsar Bureau, and in consultation with the Partner Organizations, criteria and guidelines for the compensation of wetland habitats in the case of unavoidable losses and to submit these for the approval of COP8. (Resolution VII.24)

Decision STRP 8.21: The STRP determined to defer the discussion of these matters until after the Standing Committee has received input and considered the issue further. BirdLife International volunteered to maintain a ‘watching brief’ on this matter on behalf of the STRP.

The 25th meeting of Standing Committee will consider an analysis by IUCN’s Environmental Law Centre on this matter. The Standing Committee’s decisions will be reported to the 10th meeting of the STRP.

16. Guidelines for regional application of the Criteria. Strategic Plan 1997-2002, Action 6.3.3.

Task:

Convention Work Plan Action 6.3.3 Provide further guidance on the application of existing criteria in different regions. [COP, STRP, Bureau]

Decision STRP 8.15: The Panel recommended that this item not be included in its Work Plan at this time.

17. Short-term targets for designation of wetland types.

Task:

Action 6.2.3 (Convention Work Plan annexed to Resolution VII.27) 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.

Proposed activities: The STRP members noted that the STRP can advise on reaching targets but has no direct role in this target-setting process, which it is proposed by undertaken by Wetlands International in their capacity as managers of the Ramsar sites database.

Progress and modifications to Terms of Reference

Under its Technical Support Contract for Ramsar Site Information and Database, Wetlands International is, through a consortium of IOPs, working on guidelines for targeting Ramsar site designations based on species, in the first instance waterbirds. The 9th meeting of STRP endorsed (Decision 9.12) this development as part of further guidance on under-represented types and in accordance with Resolution VI.12 on identification of candidate sites. The guidance will be further developed at a November 2000 workshop hosted by Wetlands International, and reported to the 10th meeting of STRP (June 2001).

18. Regional categorization. (refer to Resolution VII.1, paragraph 5).

Proposed activities: As specified in Resolution VII.1, an ongoing task of the STRP is to respond if any Contracting Party should indicate its intention during the triennium to notify the COP that it wishes to participate in another region.

19. Monitoring of SGF projects. (refer to Resolution VII.5, paragraph 14).

Proposed activities: As specified by Resolution VII.5, an ongoing activity of STRP members and national STRP Focal Points is to assist with monitoring SGF projects, when requested to do so by the Ramsar Administrative Authority..

20. Assistance to bilateral development assistance agencies in the screening, development and evaluation of wetlands projects. Strategic Plan 1997-2002, Action 7.4.6.

Proposed activities: Ongoing, as required, activity.

21. Review of the Ramsar Database. Strategic Plan 1997-2002, Action 5.4.1.

Proposed activities: Ongoing at the time of each meeting.

22. Operations of the Montreux Record. Resolution VII.1, paragraph 10.

Decision STRP 8.18: The Panel determined that the STRP should be notified of each request for removal from the Montreux Record (as prescribed by Resolution VI.1), at which time it would select a subgroup, including the appropriate subregional representative and other STRP members and National STRP Focal Points as appropriate, to review each removal process.

23. STRP Expert Working Group Assignments

Members Coasts

Dams

Impacts

Incentives

Invasives

Inventory

Peatlands

Restoration

Site Mgt

Water

Ecological Character

Climate Change

Alacala

Lead

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Chabwela .

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Finlayson

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Hawkins . . .

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Pokorny .

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Saat

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IUCN .

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Wetlands International .

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GWEN*

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Cortes

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*= GWEN have indicated that they will invite all of their members to provide on aspects of all themes appropriate the expertise of their individual members.


DOC. SC25-12: Report of the 9th meeting of the STRP

List of National Focal Points for the STRP

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

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,342

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