Memorandum of Cooperation with BirdLife International


[This agreement has been superseded by the memorandum of November 2004]

BirdLife International

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 The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971)


BirdLife International

Recalling that Recommendation 5.6 of the 5th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Ramsar Convention (Kushiro, Japan, 1993) noted the instrumental role played by BirdLife International (in the form of its predecessor ICBP) in the creation of the Convention, and the continuing important role of NGOs generally in the implementation of the Convention, including the support provided by them to the Ramsar Bureau;

Aware of the strong, active and multi-faceted contribution made since its inception to the work of the Convention by BirdLife as one of the Convention's Partner Organisations, and the significant potential for continued cooperation on technical, policy, information and other issues in future;

Further aware that the conservation aims of BirdLife International and the aims expressed in the text of the Ramsar Convention as interpreted by a number of decisions of the Conference of the Parties, and in particular in the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 adopted by the 6th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, are fully compatible;

Desiring to formalise in an explicit and enduring manner a joint commitment of intent to seek productive partnership collaboration in respect of the conservation and wise use of wetlands worldwide;

The Bureau of the Ramsar Convention and the Secretariat of BirdLife

International therefore decide as follows:

1. BirdLife International will endeavour to use its networks of Partners, Representatives, Associate Organisations and individual experts to assist and further the work of the Ramsar Convention, in line with the Convention's Strategic Plan 1997-2002.

2. BirdLife International will incorporate promotion of the wetland conservation and wise use agenda of the Ramsar Convention in its programmes of work at international, regional and national levels, as appropriate.

3. BirdLife International will, in particular, promote a high level of recognition, where relevant, of the status of sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance, or candidate sites for listing, in programmes relating, for example, to identification and conservation of Important Bird Areas.

4. BirdLife International will promote enhanced awareness and understanding of all aspects of the Ramsar Convention through BirdLife's networks, and will provide support, in appropriate ways, to the promotion of increased general public awareness of, and sympathy for, the Convention and its aims.

5. BirdLife International will seek to use its good offices to encourage efficient and effective synergy and cooperation among the group of Ramsar Partner Organisations.

6. The Ramsar Bureau will extend invitations to BirdLife International to participate in meetings of the principal organs of the Convention, such as the Conference of the Parties, Standing Committee, Scientific & Technical Review Panel, and regional and subregional meetings.

7 BirdLife International and the Ramsar Bureau will ensure regular exchanges of information about their respective activities, by appropriate means and using all possible avenues.

8. As much as is feasible, BirdLife International and the Ramsar Bureau will each take account of the other’s various corporate and strategic planning processes and documents when any of these are being drawn up or reviewed, aiming to enhance synergy among their respective plans, programmes and actions.

9. The Ramsar Bureau will seek to afford to BirdLife International all reasonable access to Ramsar Convention meetings, documentation, data and staff contact which may further the provisions of this Memorandum.

10. The Ramsar Bureau acknowledges the independent right of BirdLife International to voice its policy position on any matter within the scope of the Convention's work, recognising that informed and reasoned NGO advocacy is generally a valuable and valid motivating force contributing to the better achievement of the Convention's mission.

11. The scope for specific initiatives to further cooperation, such as exchanges of staff, joint projects and publications, will be explored.

12. The primary contact points for communication with the Ramsar Bureau on matters covered by this Memorandum on behalf of the BirdLife International Partnership are the designated officers in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (the BirdLife Partner in the UK), or such other officers as may be notified to the Bureau in writing by the Director and Chief Executive of BirdLife International.

13. The parties to this Memorandum will institute consultations to review its implementation, reporting accordingly to their respective governing bodies and inviting further guidance on possible new areas of cooperation.

14. This agreement may be reviewed at the request of either party and will be terminated by either party giving one year’s written notice.

Mr. Delmar Blasco
Secretary General
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)


Michael Rands
Director and Chief Executive
BirdLife International


Date: 26 April 1999 Date: 19 April 1999
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