Ramsar COP7 DOC. 11

23/03/1999

COP7's logo"People and Wetlands: The Vital Link"
7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971),
San José, Costa Rica, 10-18 May 1999

 Ramsar COP7 DOC. 11

Agenda item X

Regional overview of implementation of the Ramsar Convention and its Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in Oceania

The National Reports upon which this overview is based can be consulted on the Ramsar Web site, http://ramsar.org/caxref:1359

Contracting Parties in the Oceania Region: Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand

Contracting Parties yet to submit National Reports: all have been received


§I. Major achievements since COP6 and priorities for the next triennium

The following have been prepared based on the advice provided by the National Reports submitted for COP7 as summarised in Sections II and III.

A. Main achievements since COP6

A1. Efforts have been taken to encourage the Pacific Island nations to join the Convention, most notably through the partnership between Environment Australia and Wetlands International - Oceania.

A2. Wetlands Policy frameworks are in place for two of the three Contracting Parties and in both Australia and New Zealand processes are under way to develop policies and plans at the provincial level. Legislative reviews have also been undertaken by these two Parties.

A3. Wetland concerns are increasingly being considered in related national environmental / conservation planning initiatives in all three Contracting Parties.

A4. Environmental Impact Assessments are required in all three countries, and in Australia and New Zealand economic valuation techniques are beginning to be applied.

A5. There is also a growing level of wetland restoration and rehabilitation, the involvement of local stakeholders in management, and support from the private sector. Again, this is most pronounced in Australia and New Zealand.

A6. Efforts are being made to increase cooperation between the institutions responsible for wetland management and to coordinate the implementation of various environment-related conventions and agreements.

A7. A significant number of actions have been taken to enhance education and public awareness at all levels, with the active involvement and contribution of NGOs.

A8. Management planning for Ramsar sites is well advanced and inventories are under way in Australia and New Zealand.

A9. All three countries are involved in a range of bilateral and multilateral initiatives relating to migratory wetland species, and there are Ramsar sites twinnings in place for a few sites.

A10. The development assistance agencies of Australia and New Zealand are supporting wetland-related projects in developing countries.

B. Priorities for the next triennium

B1. Further promote Convention membership among the Pacific Island nations.

B2. Escalate the efforts to assist Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island nations to implement the Convention, especially in terms of policy/legal instruments, institutional frameworks, inventory, and general capacity building.

B3. Undertake comprehensive reviews of wetland-related training needs, opportunities and the development of training programmes where indicated.

B4. Further promote the inclusion of wetland issues in school curricula.

B5. Continue to pursue appropriate mechanisms to enhance the integrated implementation of international conventions, such as through cross-sectoral National Ramsar Committees.

B6. Complete wetland inventories in each Contracting Party.

B7. Strengthen the resources for development, implementation and monitoring of management plans for Ramsar sites.

B8. Promote further designations to the Ramsar List, paying particular attention to habitat-types under-represented on the List (coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, geothermal, karst and peatlands).

B9. Pursue opportunities for further twinning arrangements between Ramsar sites to promote international cooperation.

B10. Establish formal consultation between development assistance agencies and Ramsar Administrative Authorities to assist with meeting obligations under Article 5 of the Convention.


§II. Description of activities undertaken

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1. Within Oceania there are 16 countries, of which just three are Contracting Parties; namely Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. During this triennium efforts have escalated to encourage the remaining 13 small island states to join the Convention. These efforts have been through the continuing work of Wetlands International - Oceania, which under a Memorandum of Understanding with Environment Australia is working with a number of these countries to promote wetland conservation and wise use. The Convention’s Small Grants Fund (SGF) has also provided resources to support accession by Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

2. In December 1998 New Zealand hosted the first Oceania Regional meeting in Hamilton to allow for preparatory discussion of the issues to be considered at COP7. This highly successful meeting was attended by representatives of nine countries and three dependent territories from the region as well as nearly 20 international, regional, national and local organizations. At this meeting a number of the non-Contracting Parties represented indicated enthusiasm for moving to join the Convention. Also, there was recognition that the Ramsar Bureau needs to work more in partnership the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Wetlands International - Oceania and WWF, to allow for improved efficiency and effectiveness in promoting wetland conservation actions among the small island states of the region.

3. Within Oceania there are a number of dependent and/or external territories of Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America (USA). At the Oceania Regional meeting, one of the recommendations was that these Contracting Parties should review their implementation of the Convention within these dependent and/or external territories to ensure they are meeting their obligations under the Convention fully.

4. With the assistance of Wetlands International - Oceania, the Bureau produced a special information brochure about the Convention for the Small Island Developing States of the world. This has been distributed widely throughout Oceania.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines
.

National Wetland Policies/Strategies and their implementation

5. Papua New Guinea does not have a National Wetland Policy. Actions relating to wetlands management are undertaken through the National Conservation Program. New Zealand adopted a National Wetland Policy in 1986 - the first Contracting Party to do so. Australia adopted a Wetland Policy for the Commonwealth tier of government in 1997 and is now working towards complementary policies for each of its eight State and Territory governments. Of these, four have such policies in place now and four others have them under preparation.

6. The New Zealand National Wetland Policy and Australia’s Commonwealth Wetland Policy were adopted by the whole of Government. To assist with the coordinated implementation of these Policies, New Zealand is developing a National Wetlands Action Plan and Australia has adopted a formal Implementation Plan. Both New Zealand and Australia advise of having cross-sectoral National Ramsar Committees or similar bodies to provide advice and guidance with implementation of the Convention and their Wetland Policies. In Australia, coordination for implementation of the Convention and the associated Policies is facilitated through a Taskforce of government officials from the Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies with primary responsibility for wetland matters. The Natural Heritage Trust of Australia also provides resources for wetland-related activities through a number of the programmes which come under its aegis. New Zealand advises that implementation of its National Wetland Policy has been slow due mainly to difficulties with limited resources and shared responsibilities between central and local government.

Reviews of legislation

7. New Zealand reviewed its legislation prior to and after adopting the National Wetland Policy in 1986. This also resulted in provisions being introduced into two related pieces of legislation in 1987 and 1991. Australia’s Commonwealth Government commenced a legislative review process in 1997 designed to reform and rationalise a suite of environmental legislation. This is also aimed at providing the Commonwealth Government with the capacity to discharge adequately its international environmental responsibilities such as those arising from the Ramsar Convention. In early 1999 this revision process was under review by Australia’s upper house, the Senate. Papua New Guinea advises that is at present carrying out a major review of its environment and conservation legislation and some sections of these relate to total catchment management and wetland habitats such as the two Ramsar sites and several other major wetland areas in the country..

Integrated approaches to wetland management

8. All Australian States and Territories, which have the primary responsibility for managing land and water resources, are pursuing an integrated approach to catchment management. Three jurisdictions (New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria) have enacted legislation to this effect, and the Commonwealth Government’s Natural Heritage Trust (see ¶6 above) also promotes and supports this approach in partnership with the provincial jurisdictions and local communities.

9. New Zealand’s Resource Management Act of 1991 is designed to promote integrated management approaches. It has national, subnational and local requirements in terms of protecting significant wetlands and the preparation of subnational policy statements and plans as well as coastal management plans.

Wise use publications produced

10. Refer to Paragraph 19., General Objective 3 below.

Toxic chemicals and pollution

11. New Zealand’s National Report indicates that the Farewell Spit Ramsar wetland is identified as an important site in the local authority Oil Spill Contingency Plan and that for the Waituna site more stringent standards have been imposed on a nearby aluminium smelter. Australia has both government- and community-based monitoring programmes for many of its waterways and considers that these provide the frameworks for detecting potential toxic chemical and pollution impacts. In a number of the Australia States and Territories, programmes designed to reduce or mitigate pollution impacts on wetlands, and in some cases Ramsar sites, are under way.

Economic valuation techniques

12. In both New Zealand and Australia the National Reports refer to various studies and instances where the economic valuation of wetlands is being investigated or developed for application in planning and assessment.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs)

13. EIAs are required under legislation in all three Contracting Parties for actions potentially impacting on wetlands.

Restoration and rehabilitation of wetlands

14. New Zealand reports several major wetland rehabilitation projects in the Northland Region, Waipa, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty and Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Councils. Restoration and rehabilitation are priorities under Australia’s Commonwealth Wetland Policy and those of the provincial governments of Western Australia and New South Wales. A review of the Register of Wetland Restoration Projects in Australia and New Zealand is also under way and Australia’s National Wetlands Program and related programmes of the Natural Heritage Trust are supporting a number of community-based wetland rehabilitation projects. Wetland rehabilitation forms a key part of addressing salinity problems in Western Australia’s southwest region and water quality problems in New South Wales and South Australia.

Encouraging active and informed action by local stakeholders

15. Papua New Guinea indicates that this question is not applicable to them due to their customary land tenure system and the direct reliance of their people on wetland resources for their food and water and increasingly for economic development. In the economically more developed Australia and New Zealand, the situations are very different and both countries have highly evolved processes in place to support, foster and encourage community-based actions. In both countries, efforts have been made to provide the framework for the respective indigenous peoples to continue managing their traditional wetlands. In New Zealand, recent settlements of founding Treaty claims have resulted in important wetlands being revested in tribal authorities. Australia’s Waterwatch programme is a model for community empowerment which will be presented to COP7 in conjunction with the proposed Outreach Programme of the Convention (see Ramsar COP7 DOC. 15.9).

Private sector involvement

16. Both Australia and New Zealand report research into incentive measures and the application of these in some cases to benefit wetland areas. This has included sponsorship programmes, rate relief, covenanting programmes and protection incentives. In addition, there are examples in both countries where the business sector has taken an active role in either supporting, or undertaking direct actions to protect wetland sites. Papua New Guinea reports of no such actions.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

Education and Public Awareness programmes (EPA)

17. Papua New Guinea reports that there are no EPA programmes in that country. Australia has the national community empowerment and education programme Waterwatch and supports a range of actions through its National Wetlands Programme. Environment Australia also maintains a Web site for these and related activities by that Ministry. New Zealand’s Department of Conservation runs Conservation Week and World Wetlands Day and also participates in Sea Week activities. The target groups for their activities in this area are landowners and schools. In New Zealand, Ducks Unlimited sponsors an annual award scheme. In Australia, the non-government organizations interested in wetlands (some 33 organizations) have formed the Australian Wetlands Alliance. Its members engage in a variety of educational and promotional activities especially in association with World Wetlands Day. The NGO organizations also produce and disseminate newsletters, encourage school based studies at wetlands and promote community awareness.

Wise Use as part of formal education curricula

18. New Zealand has a range of wetland reference and resource materials. Curriculum guidelines are being developed from the Government’s Environmental Education Strategy. Wetlands modules were developed for secondary school science curriculum and estuary modules for primary curriculum. Papua New Guinea provided no advice on school curriculum information. Australia has undertaken a range of actions to introduce wetland material into education streams. At the national scale this includes a curriculum tool box under the Waterwatch programme and support for hands-on style monitoring and an Internet based problem solving game called "Murder under the Microscope" which reached 600 schools in 1998. Several Australian States and Territories also report significant actions to introduce wetlands into school curricula, most notably in Western Australia and Queensland. The Shortland Wetland Centre in New South Wales is another major contributor to promoting this aspect of the Convention’s work.

Wise use publications produced

19. New Zealand reports a number of publications which help to promote wise use principles and management. Likewise, Australia through its various Commonwealth Government programmes and those of the State and Territory Governments has produced a vast range of management-related information and publication including the proceedings of an expert workshops called "Wetlands in a Dry Land: Understanding for Management (1998)".

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Institutional coordination and cooperation

20. In New Zealand the National Wetlands Committee established in 1998 is to provide this in part and is complemented by a number of regional (subnational) wetland forums. All of these bring together government and non-government stakeholders relevant to the issues of concern. Papua New Guinea reports of no such coordination mechanism. Australia also reports of its cross-sectoral National Wetlands Advisory Committee established in 1995. Under Australia’s Natural Heritage Trust bilateral partnership agreements have been negotiated between the Commonwealth Government and each provincial government to facilitate nationally coordinated actions for wetland conservation and wise use. A Taskforce of officers from the Commonwealth and each provincial government also have an agreed work programme to progress cooperation. The state of Western Australia has a cross-sectoral Wetlands Coordinating Committee as does New South Wales through its Wetlands Action Group.

Coordinated implementation of international conventions

21. New Zealand’s Draft Biodiversity Strategy makes specific references to the Ramsar Convention, the review of the National Wetlands Policy and implementation of the National Wetlands Action Plan. The Natural Heritage Fund has recently had its scope expanded to include wetlands. In both Papua New Guinea and Australia, one government ministry is responsible for implementing the range of international environment to which the countries are signatories. In Australia’s case thre is an internal departmental committee to coordinate actions and exchange information on the conventions to which the country is a signatory, as well as other international activities. The Natural Heritage Trust, a national funding programme of Aud$1.25billion over five years, is targeted at implementing an integrated and coordinated package of actions, including cooperative actions for implementing the responsibilities under the range of international environment conventions.

Training needs and opportunities

22. In addition to the activities referred to above in paragraphs 1., 17. and 18., Australia advises that the Tri-national Wetlands Cooperative Programme, which "twins" the Ramsar sites of Kakadu National Park in Australia with Tonda Wildlife Management Area in Papua New Guinea and Wasur National Park in Indonesia, provides for ongoing training opportunities for managers of these sites. Wetlands International - Oceania produced training materials on shorebirds for use in China and along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In association with the 2000 Olympics, Australia’s National Wetlands Programme has contributed funds to the Internet based Virtual Ramsar site, as has the Ramsar Bureau.

23. Australia advises that they undertook a training needs analysis and review of training opportunities in 1996. There was no information on these issues provided by Papua New Guinea or New Zealand. All three countries indicated that some training of their nationals had occurred, but the level of this is not clear. Through a Ramsar Small Grants Fund project, Papua New Guinea nationals have gained training organized by Wetlands International - Oceania.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

Status of management plans for Ramsar sites

24. Refer to the table in Section III and also to Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2.

Change in ecological character at Ramsar sites

25. These issues are considered in Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2. In summary, Papua New Guinea indicates that no change in ecological character has occurred at their two sites. New Zealand advises that there have been some changes to the vegetation in two of their sites (Waituna Lagoon and Whangamarino Wetland) and some mangrove loss at the Firth of Thames site. Australia’s National Report (through its Appendix 4) provides extensive information on 36 of its 49 sites. For three sites in Tasmania (Pittwater-Orielton Lagoon, Little Waterhouse Lake and Interlaken Lakeside Reserve), one in New South Wales (Towra Point Nature Reserve) and three in Western Australia (Eighty mile Beach, Peel-Yalgorup system, Lake Toolibin) the Report advises that changes in ecological character have occurred. The Report also provides detailed information on the ecological changes, or threats, to the ten sites in the state of Victoria. Remedial measures are also described and advice given that management plans with monitoring regimes are being prepared for all ten sites.

Montreux Record sites

26. There are no sites from the Oceania Region included in the Montreux Record.

Sites referred to in COP6 Recommendation 6.17

27. These issues are considered in Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

National inventories and directories of "important" wetlands

28. In 1993 New Zealand completed an inventory of all wetland systems meeting the criteria for international importance which describes 73 sites. This was published in 1996 as a Directory of wetlands in New Zealand. Several subnational and district authorities have wetland inventories as well. Papua New Guinea included information about its wetlands in the Directory of Asian Wetlands published in 1988 and the Directory of Oceania Wetlands published in 1993. Papua New Guinea also finalised a list of important wetlands as part of the report the conservation needs of the country in 1994. Australia has no national inventory, but plans are well advanced to have one substantially under way by the year 2000. Two editions of the Directory of Important Wetlands In Australia have been produced, in 1993 and 1996. The latter volume describes nearly 800 wetlands covering almost 25 million hectares.

Estimates of wetland area and rates of loss and conversion

29. No estimates are available for Papua New Guinea. For Australia there is no national area estimate, although the state governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have provided estimates for some subnational regions and wetland types. New Zealand has 100,000 hectares of palustrine wetlands remaining of 311,000 hectares in 1970 and 672,000 hectares pre-European settlement. The losses for riverine, lacustrine and estuarine have not been calculated for New Zealand. In Australia, the extent of wetland conversion since European settlement has been estimated in several subnational regions and ranges from 40 and 80%. The state of Victoria provides precise figures of wetland loss for different types and these range from 70% lost for deep freshwater marshes to less than 5% of permanent open freshwater and saline wetlands.

COP6 priorities for Ramsar listing and statements of intent

30. Since COP6 there has been only one new Ramsar site designation in Oceania. Papua New Guinea’s listing of Lake Kutubu in 1998 on the basis of its importance as fish habitat and a peatland ecosystem is a significant response to the COP6 priorities. New Zealand indicates that they are currently developing criteria for prioritising the future listing of its 73 sites considered as meeting the Ramsar criteria, and that three nominations are under development at present. Consistent with Recommendation 6.17.4, Australia listed Ginini Flats, a peatland site, in the Australian Capital Territory, as a Ramsar site in 1996. More recently Environment Australia has provided funding to the Tasmanian Government to survey and prepare an inventory of peatlands in the State’s northwest. Environment Australia is also supporting efforts to conserve Wingecarribee Swamp in New South Wales and provided input to the State’s Inquiry which recommended the cessation of peat mining, and the designation of the area as a nature reserve. The states of New South Wales and Western Australia are at present assessing potential candidate sites for listing with the priorities identified at COP6 in mind. In Victoria, a project is under way to identify important karst wetlands and two inland wetland categories not assessed to date: permanent rivers and streams and seasonal and irregular rivers and streams. Particular attention will be paid to using existing statewide distributional data on threatened fish and invertebrate species to identify important wetlands in these and other wetland categories.

Transfrontier sites

31. Australia and New Zealand are isolated island states. Papua New Guinea has common borders with Indonesia and along this border the Ramsar sites of Wasur National Park (Indonesia) and Tonda Wildlife Management Area (PNG) are transfrontier sites.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

Bilateral or multilateral activities for shared wetlands, watersheds and species

32. The governments of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia are currently drafting a Memorandum of Understanding to exchange ideas, coordinate training programmes, and to develop management strategies to address issues such as bushfires, the introduction of feral animals ands exotic weeds, and poaching on both sides of the shared Ramsar sites of Tonda Wildlife Management Area in Papua New Guinea and Wasur National Park in Indonesia.

33. In terms of shared (migratory) wetland species, Australia is involved in the Pacific Regional Marine Turtle Management Programme coordinated by SPREP. Australia also has bilateral agreements with Japan and China for the conservation of their shared migratory birds and is a signatory of the Convention on Migratory Species. New Zealand is considering accession to this treaty also. Within the region, the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Strategy 1996-2000 is in place and at COP6 the East-Asian Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network was launched and all three Oceania Contracting Parties have sites as part of the network.

"Twinned" sites

34. New Zealand does not have any twinned sites. The Tri-national Wetlands Cooperative Programme (refer to paragraph 21), "twins" the Ramsar sites of Kakadu National Park in Australia with Tonda Wildlife Management Area in Papua New Guinea and Wasur National Park in Indonesia. In addition, Australia has two other site twinning arrangements: Kooragang Nature Reserve is twinned with Kushiro Marsh in Japan and Boondall Wetland, which forms part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site, is twinned with Yatsu Tideland in Japan.

Coordinated implementation of international conventions

35. Refer to paragraph 21. above.

Support from bilateral or multilateral donors

36. This applies only to Papua New Guinea which does receive support from a range of donors for wetland-related activities.

Budgetary allocations for wetlands conservation and wise use outside the country and consultation between the development assistance agency and the Ramsar Administrative Authority

37. This applies to New Zealand and Australia. Through their respective development assistance programmes, both Australia and New Zealand support wetland-related projects, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia’s National Report indicates that in 1996-7 AusAid funded projects to promote the wise use of wetlands costing approximately Aud$20 million. Neither country indicates that there are formal mechanisms in place for consultation between their development assistance agency and the Ramsar Administrative Authority.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

Budgetary allocations for wetlands conservation and wise use in the country

38. All three countries advise that budgetary allocation for wetlands form part of larger appropriations for environment activities. This applies to Australia also, which in addition has a National Wetlands Programme.

Annual and Voluntary contributions

39. All three Contracting Parties are up to date with their fixed annual contributions to the Convention budget. Only New Zealand has made additional voluntary contributions within this period to the Small Grants Fund (SFR1,157 in 1996).

Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

In this optional section of the National Report, Contracting Parties were asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

NGOs which have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in the country

40. In Papua New Guinea there are four international, two regional and one national NGO with wetlands as part of their regular business. Australia indicates that there are three international, six national and 24 provincial and local NGOs active in this field.In New Zealand there are three international, four national and numerous provincial NGOs.

Consultative mechanisms involving NGOs for wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation

41. In New Zealand the Limnology Society meets annually and allows for consultation between NGOs, and the National Wetlands Coordinating Committee provides a forum for dialogue between NGOs and government officials. Papua New Guinea advises there are no such formal mechanisms. The Australian Wetland Alliance provides a forum for NGO consultation in that country. The Alliance has received government funding to assist coordinate the NGO input to the National Report and for the preparation of policy positions for COP7. The National Environment Consultative Forum provides an opportunity for NGO-government consultations.

NGO representative on official delegation to Ramsar COPs

42. This has been the practice for Australia for the past three COPs and is expected to continue. Papua New Guinea says it is their expectation also and New Zealand advises that it occurs "sometimes".

NGOs as part of site management committees

43. Yes, in some cases in both Australia and New Zealand. In Australia also, NGOs are usually represented on the steering committees or similar for the development of site management plans. In Papua New Guinea site management is by the communities.

Areas of Ramsar work where NGOs are most active

44. Australia’s National Report is the only one to address this issue. It provides the perceptions of both Environment Australia and the Australian Wetlands Alliance. In short, the NGOs active in Australia appear to have an interest in virtually all themes within the Convention’s Strategic Plan.

Other comments and suggestions:

45. The following were provided by Australia:

i) Standing Committee - the preparation and dissemination of short profiles of the new members of Standing Committee would be helpful.

ii) STRP - greater distribution of information about the work of the STRP would have benefits for involving the Administrative Authorities more. Greater interaction with other Convention secretariats and expert bodies should also be encouraged (refer to Ramsar COP7 DOC. 15.2 on the future composition and modus operandi of the STRP.)

iii) Bureau - The Bureau’s Web site is applauded and staff profile requested (note from the Bureau - these are already on the site).

iv) Partner Organizations - Greater communication about the activities of Ramsar’s NGO Partners would be advantageous.

v) National Reports - A valuable addition would to seek advice on the establishment of wetland reserves (Article 4.1) and more detailed information on the status of Ramsar sites as indicated by monitoring activities.


§III. Summary statistics

This Summary statistics section has been prepared based on the responses to each question asked in the National Reports prepared by each Contracting Party from the region. In Section I more detailed information is provided and the corresponding paragraphs are indicated in the "Nos" column below. In the table below the response of each Contracting Party to the key questions asked in the approved National Report format have been scored as either Y=Yes or N=No. In some cases the total of these responses may not be as great as the number of the National Reports submitted for this region because not every question was answered by all Contracting Parties.

This summary table is designed to give a clearer view at both the regional level of those areas of the Convention’s Strategic Plan 1997-2002 which have been addressed since the 6th Conference of the Contracting Parties and conversely, where the National Reports indicate there has been little or no activity. Those areas of activity where the National Reports have indicated little activity are shown in shaded cells. [Note: in this Web version, these shaded cells appears as white rows against the aqua background.]

Nos.

Strategic Plan General Objectives and (Actions)

Y

N

  General Objective 1 - Universal membership    

1-4

Actions taken to encourage accession by non-Contracting Parties (Actions 1.1.1- 2)

3

-

  General Objective 2 - Promoting the wise use of wetlands    

5-6

National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan in place (Action 2.1.2)

2

1

5-6

National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is being developed (Action 2.1.2)

-

1

7

Review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands has been carried out (Action 2.1.1)

3

-

7

Legislative or similar amendments have been made (Action 2.1.1)

2

1

8

Conservation and wise use of wetlands forms part (or will) of other national environmental / conservation planning initiatives (Action 2.1.2)

3

-

7

For countries with a Federal system of Government, there are Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state levels of Government (Action 2.1.2)

2

-

8

Efforts are being made to have wetlands managed as integrated components of land/water and coastal zone resources and environments (Action 2.2.2).

2

-

19

Production of "Wise Use" publication (Action 2.3.2)

2

-

11

Actions taken to address the impacts of toxic chemicals and pollution on wetlands (Action 2.3.1)

2

-

12

Actions taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions (Actions 2.4.1, 2.4.3)

2

-

13

Environmental Impact Assessment is required for actions potentially impacting on wetlands (Actions 2.5.2, 2.5.3)

3

-

14

Wetland restoration and rehabilitation is being undertaken to some extent (Actions 2.6.1-3)

2

-

15

The participation of local stakeholders in the conservation and wise use of wetlands is being encouraged (Actions 2.7.1- 4)

2

-

16

Private sector involvement in the conservation and wise use of wetlands is being encouraged (Actions 2.8.1-4)

2

1

  General Objective 3 - Raising awareness of wetland values and functions    

17

There exists government-run programmes for Education and Public Awareness in this country which include wetlands (Actions 3.2.1-2)

2

1

17

There exists non-government-run programmes for Education and Public Awareness in this country which include wetlands (Actions 3.2.1-2, 8.3.1)

2

1

18

Wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles are included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. (Action 3.2.5)

1

-

  General Objective 4 - Reinforcing the capacity of institutions    

20

Mechanisms are in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the institutions responsible for wetlands management (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

2

1

6

A National Ramsar/Wetland Committee exists - government only (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

1

-

6

A National Ramsar/Wetland Committee exists - it includes non-government representatives (it is cross-sectoral) (Actions 4.1.1-2, 8.1.9-10)

2

1

21

Mechanisms in place to promote cooperative actions between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the focal points for other international environment Conventions to which the country is a signatory (Actions 7.2.3-5, 7.2.7-8)

1

2

23

A training needs analysis has been done or is under way (Action 4.2.1)

1

2

23

A review of training opportunities has been completed (Action 4.2.2)

1

2

22

Training modules or training programmes specifically for wetland managers have been completed, or are being developed (Action 4.2.3).

2

1

23

Nationals of the country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country (Action 4.2.4).

3

-

  General Objective 5 - Management of Listed sites    

25-29

See the table below and Ramsar COP7 DOCS. 13.3 and 15.2 - Proposal No. 2    

Status of management plans for Ramsar sites (Actions 5.1.2, 5.2.3)

Contracting Party Number of Ramsar sites Plans being prepared (or updated) Plans fully prepared Plans being implemented Plans include monitoring
Australia

49

28

30*

13

15

New Zealand

5

0

5

4

3

Papua New Guinea

2

2

0

0

0

Totals

56

30 (54%)

35 (62%)

17 (30%)

18 (32%)

* includes 16 sites in Australia which are only covered partially by management plans

Nos.

General Objective 6 - Designation of Ramsar sites

Y

N

30

A national inventory of wetlands has been completed (Action 6.1.2)

-

3

30

A national inventory of wetlands is planned for the near future (Action 6.1.2)

1

1

32

Actions been taken to list under-represented wetland types on the List or in response to the various related decisions from COP6 (Actions 6.2.1, 6.2.3)

2

1

33

The country has sites included in the Ramsar list which are transfrontier sites (Actions 6.2.5, 7.1.1)

1

-

  General Objective 7 - Mobilising international cooperation and financial assistance    

33

Bilateral or multilateral activities have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Actions 6.2.5, 7.1.1)

1

-

36

Countries which have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others (Action 7.1.2)

2

1

34-5

The country is cooperating as part of bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species (Action 7.2.5).

3

-

38

Multilateral and/or bilateral donors are supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in this country (Actions 7.33, 7.4.2, 7.4.4)

1

-

39

The government makes an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within the country (Action 7.4.1).

3

-

39

The country has a development assistance programme which includes funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries (Action 7.4.2)

2

-

39

There is a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in the country, where one exists (Action 7.4.2)

-

2

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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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