Memorandum of Understanding between Wetlands International and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

10/11/2000

[reprint with permission]


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Memorandum of Understanding

between the

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

and

Wetlands International

relating to

Cooperation for the Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands and their Associated Biodiversity

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Coordination Unit of Wetlands International (also representing the Wetlands International regional licensees for Asia Pacific; Africa, Europe, Middle East; and the Americas):

RECOGNISING that the Convention on Biological Diversity is the intergovernmental instrument focused on the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources;

FURTHER RECOGNISING that Wetlands International is the leading international non-profit organisation focused on wetland conservation, and that through its decentralised offices and expert networks on six continents, it provides an outstanding source of information and expertise for the conservation and wise use of wetlands;

NOTING that the Convention on Biological Diversity has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ramsar Convention, and ALSO NOTING the special relationship of Wetlands International to the Ramsar Convention and FURTHER NOTING the GEF Council recognition of the Ramsar Convention and its partners as the appropriate instruments for wetlands;

CONSIDERING that Wetlands International and the Convention on Biological Diversity share the common goal of the conservation of wetlands, their associated biodiversity and their wise use, and that to meet this goal will require enhanced and concerted actions at all levels (international, national, local), and between all sectors (governmental, non-governmental, corporate, public and private);

AWARE that the past cooperation between the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International has been successful and that both Parties wish to enhance that cooperation;

HAVE AGREED as follows:

Article I: General cooperation and focal points

1. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International as an officially recognised Partner NGO will cooperate in supporting the ecosystem approach to conservation of biological diversity, particularly through the global network for wetland conservation and wise use, by enhancing their existing communication and cooperation.

2. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International will facilitate the development of cooperation and collaborative programmes in the field of wetlands by preparing together a joint work programme, and sharing in draft form, and contributing detailed comment to, their respective forward planning documents, as appropriate.

3. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International will keep each other well informed as appropriate, of needs, issues and opportunities that emerge as a result of their activities, as well as by providing articles for newsletters and publications of their organisations.

4. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International will endeavour to provide each other's staff with short-term office space and facilities and will encourage staff interaction and exchanges.

5. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International will seek opportunities. to develop and support programmes, projects and publications of mutual interest. Where both Parties agree to the development of a joint initiative, the specific terms of collaboration shall be agreed upon in writing prior to the initiation of activities.

6. When resources are not available in current budgets to accommodate agreed joint initiatives or to accommodate specific support requested from Wetlands International by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the two parties shall cooperate in seeking resources to accommodate the requested support or agreed action.

7. The focal points for general matters between the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Wetlands International shall be the Executive Secretary and International Director, respectively. For matters pertaining to the three regions of Wetlands International (Asia Pacific; Africa, Europe, Middle East; Americas), the regional focal points for Wetlands International shall be the respective Regional Directors. Specialist Group Coordinators approved by the Wetlands International Board of Directors will be nominated as additional technical focal points.

8. The focal points will aim to meet to assess the implementation of this Memorandum at least once every two years, and will arrange for reviews of the Memorandum as necessary.

Article II: Contribution from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

1. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity will invite Wetlands International to participate as an Observer in meetings of the Conference of the Parties, and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, and in appropriate regional and technical meetings.

2. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity will endeavour to involve Wetlands International, where appropriate, in the design, coordination and implementation of project activities.

3. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity shall keep the International Coordination Unit of Wetlands International informed of all relevant documents, and on request, shall make available a single copy of each relevant technical publication and, to enhance Wetlands International's ability to assist the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, shall provide copies of promotional materials about the Convention for further dissemination.

Article III: Contribution from Wetlands International

1. The activities shown below will be carried out to the best ability of Wetlands International, through its global network, and within the resources available.

2. Wetlands International will cooperate with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in its work, in particular through the provision of technical support including:

  • providing information concerning wetlands, including those on the Ramsar List
  • assisting organisation of technical workshops, and input to the work of the SBSTTA
  • facilitating technical compatibility of definitions and actions between the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention, and other relevant Conventions (e.g. Convention on Migratory Species)
  • identifying priority wetland conservation issues that require the attention of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • assisting with conservation measures for sites of common interest
  • assistance with the organisation of regional and other meetings
  • assistance through regional and subregional offices; and
  • joint fund-raising initiatives especially to support activities in developing countries and countries with economies in transition

3. Wetlands International, in accord with Article I paragraph 6, shall cooperate with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in supporting the Convention on Biological Diversity Parties in their work, when so requested, in particular through:

  • provision of technical support for the implementation of the Convention
  • opportunities for capacity building through training programmes
  • providing coordination of international technical programmes, when requested, concerning wetlands and wetland species
  • dissemination of information and technical materials

4. In addition to the above activities, Wetlands International will endeavour to support the implementation of the Joint Work Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Ramsar Convention, in particular through:

  • promoting implementation of the ecosystem approach
  • wetland inventory and assessment and monitoring programmes
  • raising awareness of the biodiversity of wetlands and their values
  • training and capacity building for wetland management
  • managing data on important wetlands
  • providing technical assistance in support of important wetlands
  • developing conservation measures for migratory wetland species, particularly waterbirds
  • participation in expert groups, including those dealing with inland waters, peatlands, wet grassland, mangrove, and coral reefs

Article IV: General

1. This Memorandum shall enter into force upon signature by the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the President of Wetlands International.

2. Any amendment or modification of this Memorandum shall only be made on the basis of a written Memorandum signed by both Parties.

3. Neither Party shall be legally or financially liable in any way for activities carried out independently by the other Party.

4. Any dispute arising from the implementation or interpretation of the Memorandum shall be resolved amicably by consultation or negotiation between the two Parties.

5. This Memorandum may be terminated by either Party subject to written notice of 12 months. In case the Memorandum ceases to be in effect on account of termination thereof, existing cooperation shall continue to the extent necessary for the completion of existing, agreed activities.

Signed in two copies in the English language

Dr Chris Kalden
President, Wetlands International
Date and Place: 22/9/00 The Hague
Dr Hamdallah Zedan
Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
Date and Place: 20/9/00, Montreal
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