Progress in advancing the River Basin Initiative


The River Basin Initiative
on integrating biological diversity, wetland and river basin management

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The River Basin Initiative on integrating biological diversity, wetland and river basin management (RBI) is a joint initiative by the Ramsar Bureau and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) under the framework of the 2nd CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan. It aims to help Parties to the Conventions implement both the Ramsar Guidelines on integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management (Resolution VII.18, Wise Use Handbook 4) and the CBD programme of work on inland waters biodiversity.

The RBI will help establish a global network to share information and link and support activities and projects that demonstrate the principles and practice of integrated water resources management including wetland and biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. It will operate through links with a wide variety of partner organisations from national to international scale, and will showcase good practice and lessons learnt from basin management projects and programmes throughout the world. The RBI is being developed on behalf of the two Conventions by the Global Environment Centre, Malaysia.

To progress the development of this important initiative, the RBI has recently been awarded a UNDP project development fund grant. Initial work through this funding is under way, and as a first step a 'country needs assessment' will shortly be undertaken through a brief questionnaire survey of the views of Ramsar Adminstrative Authorities and CBD National Focal Points, followed by a similar survey of the wide range of other organisations and projects which have expressed interest in the Initiative.

The development of the RBI will be further discussed at a side event during the CBD's forthcoming 6th meeting of its Subsidiary Body on Scientific Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Montreal, Canada (12-16 March) to which all those interested in finding out more about the RBI are cordially invited.

A short summary of the RBI and its objectives and planned outputs is attached, and a more detailed project description in available on request from the RBI secretariat ( or from the Ramsar Bureau (

-- reported by Dr Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General

Brief Description of the River Basin Initiative (English version)

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