Follow-up questionnaire on management planning


This questionnaire, as the covering letter indicates, has been sent to the administrative authorities in all of the Convention's Contracting Parties, seeking input to the process of revising and improving the Convention's Management Planning Guidelines ("Guidelines on Management Planning for Ramsar Sites and Other Wetlands").  But in addition to their responses, the Bureau would very much welcome completed questionnaires from any and all readers of this page who have firsthand knowledge and experience of the preparation of management plans for Ramsar or other wetland sites. 

Please, if you are such a person, take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire and return it directly to the Bureau, or if you should know of any other such persons, please prevail upon them to fill it out.

To all Ramsar Administrative Authorities and Partners

Gland, 5 February 1998

Guidelines on Management Planning for Ramsar Sites and other Wetlands

In January 1997 the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) wrote to the Administrative Authorities in all signatory countries requesting that they complete a questionnaire which was designed to give feedback on the value of the Management Planning Guidelines which were adopted at the 5th Conference of the Contracting Parties, held in Kushiro, Japan, in 1993 (Resolution 5.7).

This action was taken in response to Recommendation 6.13 from the 6th Conference of the Contracting Parties, held in Brisbane, Australia, in 1996 which, among other things, requested that the Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel should "review the most recent advances in the total or integrated management approach to management planning, and to report its conclusions, as well as the ten case studies of the best practice of management planning, to the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties."

The results from the first questionnaire have now been examined by the relevant members of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel and it was felt necessary to prepare a second follow-up questionnaire to guide the indicated revisions and improvements to the Guidelines.  It is for this reason that the Bureau is seeking your response to the attached questionnaire, which endeavours to identify the current best practice being applied in this area, so that this can be reflected in any redrafting of the Management Planning Guidelines. It would be appreciated if you, or someone you know with relevant experience in the preparation of management plans for wetlands sites, could complete the attached questionnaire and return it to us here at the Bureau by 6 March 1998.

Your assistance with this matter is greatly appreciated. Should you wish to discuss this request with a member of our staff, please contact the Regional Coordinators at the address, fax or e-mail coordinates given below.

The Ramsar Convention Bureau

 Follow-up questionnaire on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands

NOTE: This questionnaire has been designed to provide detailed information to assist with introducing improvements to the "Management Planning Guidelines" of the Convention on Wetlands. As such it should be completed by those people who have first-hand knowledge and understanding of the preparation of management plans for Ramsar or other wetland sites.

The Ramsar Bureau would prefer to receive responses to this questionnaire in both electronic and hard copy form if possible. To assist with the preparation of the report, a proforma of it will be placed in the Ramsar World Wide Web site and in the Ramsar Exchange (e-mail mailing list). Floppy disks with the questionnaire provided can also be obtained upon request from the Bureau; please specify the wordprocessor programme format required.

Respondents are kindly requested to complete and return the form to the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands by no later than 6 March 1998.

1. Name of Contracting Party:

2. Name, address and title of respondent (including fax and e-mail):

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3. Name of Ramsar site or other wetland to which this response applies. It is assumed that if this questionnaire is being completed, then a management plan has been finalised and is being implemented for the site:

3.1 On what date was the management plan adopted for application at the site?

4. The processes for developing (and updating) the management plan

4.1 In the development of the Plan which processes were used to survey the views and seek the involvement of the key non-government and government stakeholders?

4.2 Did the planning process involve technical experts from a range of disciplines? Yes/No

If Yes, which disciplines were these?

4.3 Did the planning process have available to it the necessary information base to make informed decisions and recommendations (refer also to 5.2 below)? Yes/No

If not, does the plan indicate what these information needs are and suggest priorities for the gathering of these data?

4.4 In the preparation of the Plan was an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken for any of the activities proposed for the site? Yes/No.

If yes, please give details.

4.5 Did the planning process address the financial and human resources needed to implement the plan fully? Yes/No.

a. What were these resources and have they been provided?

b. In terms of human resources, how was the issue of staff training considered? (refer also to 6.4 below)

4.6 Which processes are described in the plan for subsequent revisions, amendments or improvements, and what are the timeframes indicated for such modifications?

5. The principles considered in the production of the plan

5.1 Zonation and multiple-use

Does the plan regulate human uses of the area through a zoning approach? Yes/No.

If yes, does this include actions to control or limit human access to very sensitive or unique areas?

5.2 Buffer zones

Have buffer zones been included in the management plan? Yes/No.

If yes, describe how these were designed and how they are managed.

5.3 Precautionary Principle

Was the "precautionary principle" used to guide the planning process so that where adequate data was not available or doubts over possible impacts were expressed, the plan was appropriately modified? Yes/No.

If yes, please give details.

5.4 Cost-benefit analysis/economic valuation methodologies

Was cost-benefit analysis (or some other similar economic valuation method) used in the planning process? Yes/No.

If yes, which aspects of the plan were based on the conclusions from such analyses?

5.5 Objectives

Does the plan have clearly stated and measurable objectives (refer 7.2 and 7.3 below)? Yes/No.

5.6 Maintenance of "ecological character"

Where the plan is for a Ramsar site, do the objectives include reference to maintaining the "ecological character" of the site, as required under the Convention? Yes/No.

If yes, please provide details.

6. The implementation of the plan

6.1 Was the plan prepared under specific legislation or a policy instrument? Yes/No

If yes, is this local, provincial or federal legislation/policy and what is the name of the Act or Policy?

6.2 Who is responsible for the implementation of the plan?

If this is a government ministry, is it the national Ramsar Administrative Authority in your country? Yes/No

6.3 Is there any form of committee or body which oversees the implementation of the plan? Yes/No.

If yes, please give details of the membership in terms of which organisations each member represents.

6.4 How has staff training been addressed in the implementation of the management plan?  Has there been a skills audit conducted? Yes/No

If Yes, has this been used to guide the training programs of the staff? (see also 4.5 above).

6.5 Does the plan include any actions to encourage the involvement in management (or monitoring - see 7.1 below) of the local people? Yes/No

If yes, please describe these actions and give your views on how successful and valuable these have been.

6.6 Does the plan include any activities, such as tourism, which are being supported or managed by the private sector? Yes/No

If yes, please describe these activities and give your assessment of how well the private sector operators of these activities adhere to the management plan.

7. Evaluating the implementation of the plan

7.1 Does the plan include regular monitoring? Yes/No

If yes,

a. how often does monitoring take place?

b. what parameters are measured?

c. who does the monitoring (for example - trained government personnel, university staff, NGOs, local people)?

7.2 Is the monitoring data used to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan against the objectives set out in the plan? Yes/No

If yes, please provide more details.

7.3 Has it been possible to measure the effectiveness of the plan against its objectives? Yes/No.

In terms of evaluation please give examples of objectives which have been well formulated and poorly formulated.

7.4 Has the management plan been modified in response to the monitoring and evaluation? Yes/No

If yes, please provide details.

8. Major constraints to implementation of the plan

What, if any, do you consider have been the major constraints to having the Plan implemented fully? Please provide brief details and if appropriate describe how these constraints have been addressed.

9. Financial support for implementation of the plan

9.1 What is the source of the funding provided for implementation of the Plan?

9.2 Have these financial resources been secured for the long term? Please give details of the period for which funding is guaranteed.

10. Additional important questions not addressed above

Please provide any further comments or observations you believe should be taken into account in the revision of the Management Planning Guidelines.

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