Summary of the Joint Work Plan with the CBD
The Joint Work Plan was communicated to the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention as an attachment to Diplomatic Note 1998/6, 27 March 1998,and distributed by the CBD secretariat as an information document to the participants in the 4th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, May 1998. Decision IV/15 of COP4 endorsed the Joint Work Plan and recommended it as a model for future cooperative arrangements. -- Web Editor.
Summary of the Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands (1998-99)
Both Conventions will continue to encourage their Contracting Parties to work cooperatively to manage transboundary watersheds and the migratory species reliant on wetland ecosystems (inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems).
Small Island Developing States
Because both Conventions recognise the special significance and circumstances of the Small Island Developing States, the secretariats will collaborate to encourage an integrated approach to implementation.
General measures for conservation and sustainable use
National strategies, policies and plans
Both Conventions recognise that for the long-term sustainability of inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems, there must be cross-sectoral approaches taken for the development of national policy instruments which integrate biodiversity and wetland conservation considerations into broader frameworks.
Integrated watershed and coastal zone management
In view of the inter-relationship and impacts between land use and the status of inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems, collaboration will be developed between the Ramsar and the terrestrial work programs of the CBD with attention to incentive measures for sustainable use.
Ramsars COP7 will consider "The role of wetlands in the hydrological cycle" and "The role of wetlands, both natural and constructed, in pollution management", which will be generally available to CBD Parties and others for their application as appropriate.
Identification and monitoring
Status and trends
Ramsar is funding a Global Review of Wetland Resources which is directly complementary to the Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) project.
Monitoring and assessment
Ramsars Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) has prepared a paper which will provide Ramsar Contracting Parties with a basis for monitoring to detect impacts on water-dominated ecosystems and which could be directly transferable to the SBSTTA program for inland water ecosystems.
Ramsar 7th COP will include a technical session on a special analysis of indicator species and guidelines for rapid assessments of wetlands and water resources from the perspectives of biodiversity and ecological/hydrological functions, which will assist CBD Contracting Parties and the SBSTTA with progressing activities in this area.
Involvement of local and indigenous communities
Ramsars 7th COP, which has the overall theme of People and Wetlands: The Vital Link, will present guidelines for the involvement of local and indigenous people in wetland management.
To assist Ramsar Contracting Parties in the area of legislative frameworks, the Convention Bureau has engaged the IUCNs Environmental Law Centre to develop guidelines for reviewing the legal framework for wetlands conservation and wise use, which will be equally relevant to CBD focal points.
Financial and other support
CBD Decision III/21, Operative Paragraph 12, "Invites Contracting parties to relevant biological diversity-related Conventions to explore opportunities for accessing funding through the Global Environment Facility for relevant projects, including projects involving a number of countries". Given the areas of close collaboration and synergy between CBD and the Ramsar Convention which the proposed Joint Work Plan describes, the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention has outlined under Section II.12 of the document a range of projects which it considers should be recommended for support to the GEF by CBDs COP4. These are mostly priority actions at the country level to enable developing countries, and those with economies in transition, to better implement their obligations under the CBD and Ramsar Conventions as they pertain to inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems.
Sustainable (wise) use of resources
Wise Use Guidelines and Resource Centre
The Ramsar Convention has adopted Guidelines and Additional Guidance on implementation of its Wise Use concept for inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems which are available to all, and could be promoted to CBD focal points to assist them with the management of these habitat types.
Ramsars 1997 publication Economic Valuation of Wetlands: a Guide for Policy Makers and Planners provides the most current information on wetland valuation techniques.
The ecosystem approach under the CBD and the Wise Use Guidelines
The two secretariats will examine whether the Wise Use Guidelines and the principles of the Ecosystem Approach are compatible and how they could be harmonised.
Research and training
Promoting research and the transfer of the knowledge gained will continue to be a priority for both Conventions.
Training and capacity building
It is proposed that in partnership the two Conventions should seek to mobilise donor support, and especially that of the Financial Mechanism, to foster in-country training as well as to escalate the level and intensity of training and capacity building to allow the representatives from developing countries and those with economies in transition to attend training programs.
Public education and awareness
Both Conventions recognise the importance of, and will continue to promote increased public awareness and education about the values, functions and benefits of natural habitats and resources.
Technical and scientific cooperation
Collaboration between technical bodies
The Secretariats will work to ensure regular dialogue and a flow of information between SBSTTA and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention.
Sharing networks and rosters of expertise
It is proposed that there be collaboration between the two Conventions to complement CBDs establishment of a roster of experts with specialisation in inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems and Ramsars Wetland Experts Database.
Collaboration with the broader water resource community
The Ramsar Bureau is using the opportunity of its participation in high-level global water fora to actively advocate and encourage the adoption of an ecosystem approach to river basin management.
CBD Decision III/21, under Operative Paragraph 12, invited "Contracting Parties to relevant biological diversity-related Conventions to explore opportunities for accessing funding through the Global Environment Facility for relevant projects, including projects involving a number of countries".
Given this previous Decision by the CBD, the Ramsar Convention Bureau has prepared the following advice for the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is designed to assist with providing Additional Guidance to the Financial Mechanism at COP4 (Agenda Item 14.5) in order to operationalize the priority actions under the two Conventions as they pertain to inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems:
Mobilising resources at the country level
At the country level, the priorities for funding support through the Financial Mechanism are as follows:
- enabling activities to establish the necessary policy and legislative frameworks and instruments, including cross-sectoral consultative processes, leading to harmonised implementation of the Conventions on Biological Diversity and Wetlands at the national scale;
- the completion of national inventories of wetland and associated water resources to allow the identification of ecosystems (according to the definition used by the Ramsar Convention) of global importance in accordance with the Criteria for Wetlands of International Importance adopted by the Ramsar Convention, and encouraged under Annex I of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
- the preparation of integrated management plans for the Wetlands of International Importance designated under the Ramsar Convention, and those identified under b. above;
- the preparation of management reviews and the undertaking of appropriate remedial and other actions for those sites included on the Ramsar Conventions Montreux Record of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur;
- the preparation, and implementation, of integrated river basin management plans, where these cross international borders, to ensure the long term conservation of these sites of global significance for the conservation of biological diversity, and
- the capacity building and training needed to provide the long-term skills base within these countries for (a-e) above to be undertaken.
With regards the Financial Mechanism supporting targeted research which contributes to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components, CBDs COP4 is urged to advise the Financial Mechanism to give high priority to supporting:
- a review of the threatening processes contributing to the loss of biological diversity and breakdown of ecological processes in wetland ecosystems,
- the identification of the global measures needed to combat these threats, and
- specific investigations into the degrading impacts of toxic chemicals on inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal ecosystems, and how these can be addressed.