Ramsar COP8 DOC. 19: Third Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and the CBD

05/09/2002

[Français] [Español]


"Wetlands: water, life, and culture"
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

Ramsar COP8 DOC. 19
Information Paper

Third Joint Work Plan (2002-2006) of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

NOTE: The text in the three first paragraphs of this document have been updated to reflect the current situation. The text from paragraph 4 onwards is identical to the text submitted to CBD COP6 in April 2002 and formally endorsed by Decision VI/20.

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The first two joint work plans between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) covered the two-year periods 1998-1999 and 2000-2001. The CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan 2000-2001 was commended by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (Decision VI/20) in May 2000 as a useful example of future cooperation between CBD and other conventions.

2. At its 6th meeting (March 2001) the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of CBD requested the Executive Secretary of CBD to prepare a report on the second Joint Work Plan, including a draft third Joint Work Plan covering suggestions for future joint activities, for consideration by the 6th meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties. At its 26th meeting (December 2001), Ramsar's Standing Committee noted the preparation of the report on the second Joint Work Plan and the elements of work proposed for the third Joint Work Plan.

3. The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat prepared a draft third Joint Work Plan 2002-2006, which was made available to CBD COP6 in April 2002 and was welcomed and endorsed by COP6 Decision VI/20. A progress report on the second CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan (2000-2001) was also made available to CBD COP6 as an Information Paper and is available as Ramsar COP8 DOC 18. The meeting of the Standing Committee's Subgroup on COP8 (May 2002) approved a draft COP8 Resolution on Partnerships and synergies with Multilateral Agreements and other institutions (Ramsar COP8 - DR 5) which invites Contracting Parties to welcome and endorse this third Joint Work Plan 2002-2006.

4. The Conventions' secretariats have recognised that the two calendar year periods of the first and second Joint Work Plans have created obstacles to the full and effective implementation of collaborative work. This arises because the schedules of work of the Convention's meetings of the Conference of the Parties and their subsidiary bodies - CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, and Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) - differ, notably with CBD operating on a two-year and Ramsar on a three-year cycle, and also that these schedules of work are not delivered on a calendar year basis. To address this issue, the third CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan will therefore cover a four-year period from 2002 to 2006.

5. During this period significant decisions will, however, be made by the Convention's meetings of the Conference of the Parties to both conventions on activities relevant to the implementation of work on matters of common interest. This third Joint Work Plan will therefore be kept under regular review and amendment so as to incorporate fully any such decisions into joint actions. It will also be necessary to review this Plan, and amend it as appropriate, in the light of any decisions concerning International Environmental Governance (IEG) and other areas of direct interest to the Conventions made by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD in Johannesburg, August/September 2002).

"Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters" (Article 1.1 of the Ramsar Convention) Wetlands may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six meters at low tide lying within the wetlands (article 2.1 of the Ramsar Convention) (http://www.ramsar.org/key_ris_types.htm)

6. Following the implementation of the second Joint Work Plan 2000-2001, this third Plan considers joint activities under the thematic areas and cross-cutting issue addressed by both Conventions. Since the Ramsar Convention uses a broad definition of 'wetland' , it recognises wetland types found within each of the ecosystem thematic areas covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity. As a result, Ramsar Contracting Parties and the STRP are undertaking activities relating to all these thematic areas.

7. New elements of this JWP include activities, which are identified for joint initiatives of the two Conventions, notably the Ramsar-CBD River Basin Initiative (RBI), and for cooperation with other conventions and organizations. The JWP also places increased emphasis on country-level implementation and collaboration.

8. Like its predecessors, this JWP does not add new or additional elements to the work programme for either Convention. Rather it identifies those issues and areas of activity where common interests apply, and develops collaborative approaches designed to lead to more effective and consistent approaches to implementation.

II. MECHANISMS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

9. The JWP will be implemented mainly through institutional links between the two conventions, developed under the 1996 Memorandum of Cooperation between the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nairobi, 1992).

10. The two secretariats, in their role of coordinating implementation of the JWP, will use the following ways and means to carry out the proposed actions in the third JWP:

a) ensuring consultation and exchange of information by Chairs of the subsidiary bodies of the two conventions in planning their programmes of work, and the participation of Chairs in the subsidiary bodies of the other convention;

b) establishing regular consultation and cooperation between the two secretariats and their joint development of initiatives and projects;

c) ensuring participation of representatives of secretariats and subsidiary bodies in expert meetings and working groups;

d) accessing each convention's roster of experts, and the expert networks of Ramsar's International Organization Partners (BirdLife International, IUCN, WWF and Wetlands International) and other scientific and technical organizations with which the Convention's cooperate for sourcing expertise to contribute to the implementation of the JWP;

e) ensuring that reports and other materials prepared by subsidiary bodies are made available to their meetings and to the work of expert liaison and working groups;

f) promoting dissemination of information and case studies to Contracting Parties and others through CBD's Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and Ramsar's Web-site; and

g) encouraging communication and collaboration at the national level between CBD Focal Points and Ramsar Administrative Authorities and, where appropriate, with counterparts for other multilateral environmental agreements

11. As part of the enhanced cooperation under this JWP the two secretariats will for the first time:

a) jointly develop technical guidelines on rapid assessment of biological diversity of inland water ecosystems for consideration for adoption by both conventions (see activity 2.4 under inland water ecosystems);

b) jointly organize liaison group meetings to review and refine the programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems (see activity 2.5 under inland water ecosystems); and

c) seek to ensure that the technical guidance and tools available from the other convention are used, where appropriate, to implement their programmes of work and to meet the needs of their Parties, particularly through the provision of harmonised guidance (see activities under environmental impact assessment and invasive alien species, and activities 2.6, and 2.7 under inland water ecosystems).

12. Responsibility for implementing most actions of this third JWP lies with the CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau, the convention's scientific and technical subsidiary bodies and Parties to the conventions. In addition, other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and international organizations, such as Wetlands International, IUCN-The Conservation Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization are invited to contribute to the implementation of the JWP.

III. TIMEFRAMES, REVIEW AND REPORTING

13. The provisional schedule of meetings of the Conference of Parties and subsidiary bodies of CBD and Ramsar during the period of this third JWP is as follows:

. 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
CBD COP6 (April)
SBSTTA 8
SBSTTA9 COP7 SBSTTA10
SBSTTA11
COP8
Ramsar COP8 (Nov) STRP11 (May) STRP working groups STRP12
COP9
STRP13

14. The programme of work of Ramsar's STRP for the 2003-2005 triennium will be developed from the decisions of Ramsar COP8 in November 2002 and implemented during the period May 2003 to early 2005. The programmes of work for SBSTTA8 and 9 will be approved by CBD COP6 in April 2002 for implementation during 2002-2003. The programmes of work for SBSTTA10 and 11 will be approved by CBD COP7 in 2004.

15. The third JWP incorporates anticipated results of the CBD COP 6 (April 2002) and Ramsar COP8 (November 2002) including the proposed implementation actions in Ramsar's draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008.

16. The CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau will undertake an annual review of the JWP and introduce amendments, as necessary, so as to fully address joint activity arising from the decisions of CBD COP6 and COP7 and Ramsar COP8 and COP9.

17. In the first instance this review will be made in December 2002. This first review will particularly need to take into account the changes to the modus operandi of Ramsar's STRP which will be considered at Ramsar COP8. The review will also address any issues arising from the decisions on International Environmental Governance and other matters of direct interest to the Conventions by the WSSD in August/September 2002 (see paragraph 4 of this document).

18. The Executive Secretary will submit an interim report on implementation of the third JWP and a revised third JWP to COP7, which shall review the third JWP taking into account new elements arising from the work of Ramsar COP8 (November 2002) and also SBSTTA 8 and 9 (late 2002 and 2003).

19. Interim reports will be provided to Ramsar's Standing Committee in February and December 2003 and in November 2004, and to Ramsar COP9 (2005). A final report on the third JWP and a draft fourth JWP will be submitted to CBD COP8 and Ramsar's Standing Committee in 2006.

IV. ACTIVITIES

A. JOINT INITIATIVES

Activity 1 - The Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative (RBI)

20. This, the first major joint initiative of the two conventions, completed its preparatory and establishment phase in 2001. The RBI is designed to support Parties in their implementation of CBD Decision IV/4 on the programme of work on inland waters biological diversity and Ramsar Resolution VII.18 on Guidelines for integrating wetland conservation and wise use into river basin management. It promotes and supports the integrated management of wetlands, biological diversity and river basins worldwide and operates through cross-sectoral partnerships at local, country and international scales. A Steering Committee of partner organizations concerned with wetlands, biodiversity and water resource and river basin management is being established to guide full implementation.

21. The RBI's design has been developed through input and identification of user needs of Steering Committee member organizations, and those of CBD and Ramsar Parties through a 2001 user needs and contributions survey, which indicated strong Contracting Party support for the development of the Initiative. A Management Group consisting initially of the CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau, with the support of the Secretariat of the River Basin Initiative provided by the Global Environmental Center (GEC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, directs the operations and development of the Initiative. A detailed report on RBI is contained in information document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/13

22. RBI entered its initial operational phase (2001-2003) in September 2001 with the following activities:

a) establishment of a RBI Net Internet discussion group (currently of 250 members from 80 countries);
b) establishment of an internet portal to facilitate easy information exchange between countries, and initial identification of good practice case studies and experience;
c) discussions with a range of countries about initial awareness or exchange activities at country or basin level;
d) collation and distribution of manuals and guidelines; and
e) operation of an online workshop on the Virtual Water Forum as a contribution to the preparation of the Third World Water Forum (Japan 2003).

23. The Initiative is anticipated to become fully operational from mid-2002, subject to funding. During the period of this JWP it will, subject to the achieving of its full funding requirements, develop and maintain a major suite of tools, analyses and information exchange mechanisms that will assist Parties in their on-the-ground delivery of sustainable water resource and basin management for wetlands ecosystems.

Actions to be taken:

1.1 Both secretariats will continue to oversee and direct the development and implementation of the RBI through the Management Group, with input from collaborating partner organizations, as appropriate.

1.2 The secretariats will ensure that analyses of wetlands, biodiversity, river basins and drylands, and other relevant analyses on status and trends of river basin and wetland biodiversity undertaken through the RBI are made fully available to the work of their subsidiary bodies, and to those of other conventions and agreements, notably UNCCD and UNFCCC.

1.3 The secretariats will ensure that further developments under the RBI fully take into account, and assist delivery, of the of review and elaboration of the CBD programme of work on inland waters biological diversity to be considered by SBSTTA8.

1.4 The RBI secretariat will continue to invite and encourage full participation in the Initiative by CBD and Ramsar Parties, both in the use of the tools, and information available through the Initiative mechanisms to assist their implementation of the conventions, and to share their experiences and case studies.

1.5 Through the RBI case studies of watershed, catchment and river basin management experience and best practices will be compiled and made available through its internet portal (refer decision IV/4, Annex I, part A.2, paragraph 8(c)).

B. THEMATIC AREAS

24. Since Ramsar's definition of wetlands is wide-ranging, covering inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal ecosystems to a depth at low tide of six meters, and human made wetlands, and its classification of wetland types includes all inland waters, major components of marine and coastal ecosystems, and also forested wetlands, mountain wetlands, agricultural wetlands and wetlands in drylands, the work of Ramsar Parties and the STRP covers activities in all the thematic areas for which programmes of work have been or are to be approved under the CBD.24 . Activities 2 to7 below are related to issues on thematic areas that are not cross-cutting in nature. Activities 8 to 19 are related to cross-cutting themes. dd

Activity 2 - Inland water ecosystems

25. The CBD programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems was adopted by the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties as contained in Annex I to decision IV/4. At its fifth meeting in May 2000, the CBD Conference of the Parties adopted decision V/2 on "progress report on implementation of the programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems." Decision IV/4 and V/2 contain the following elements: cooperation with other bodies; development of an improved picture of inland water biological diversity and its uses and threats around the world; national elaboration of Annex I to the Convention (as pertinent to inland water ecosystems); methodologies for assessment of biological diversity (as pertinent to inland water ecosystems); taxonomy; elaboration and refinement of the programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems, and the report of the World Commission on Dams.

26. A progress report was submitted to SBSTTA at its sixth meeting and a progress report will be presented to COP6. SBSTTA at its sixth meeting adopted recommendation VI/3 on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems.

27. Ramsar's STRP has prepared a substantial body of new scientific and technical guidance for consideration for adoption by Ramsar COP8 (November 2002) on matters concerning the conservation and wise use of wetlands that are relevant to the implementation by Parties of maintenance of the biological diversity of inland waters, supplementary to that available to Parties of both Conventions in the Ramsar 'toolkit' of Wise Use Handbooks. This includes guidance on: water allocation and management to maintain ecosystem function; principles and guidelines for wetland restoration; a framework for wetland inventory; a wetland ecosystem assessment framework; guidelines on global action on peatlands; and new guidelines for management planning.

Actions to be taken:

2.1 The two Secretariats and STRP and SBSTTA will continue their collaboration in implementing action 1.3 of the second joint work plan (CBD decision IV/4, Annex I, paragraph 12) concerning ensuring convergence between the criteria and classification of inland water ecosystems between the two Conventions, taking into account the paper prepared for CBD SBSTTA8 on this matter and the outcomes of the Ramsar COP8 on this issue.

2.2 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties and SBSTTA the Ramsar Framework for Wetland Inventory, which includes guidance on wetland classifications and their application, as adopted by COP8.

2.3 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties and SBSTTA the Ramsar principles and guidelines for wetland restoration, which includes guidance on identifying wetlands appropriate for restoration, as adopted by COP8. SBSTTA may wish to review the utility of Ramsar's guidelines for wetlands restoration, in relation to promoting restoration of inland water ecosystems (CBD decision IV/4, paragraph 9(b) (ii)), and make appropriate recommendations to CBD COP7

2.4 The CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau, working with their partner organizations, will continue collaboration in development of regional guidelines for rapid assessment of biological diversity of inland water ecosystems (giving special attention to small island States) (CBD decision IV/4, Annex I, paragraphs 6, 7, and 8 (b)).

2.5 CBD Secretariat will work with the Ramsar Bureau and Wetlands International in 2002 in organizing a Liaison Group to meet to refine and elaborate the programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems (paragraphs 23 and 24 of document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/11), and the preparation of background papers including a summary review of the status and trends of inland waters biological diversity, which will also be made available to CBD and Ramsar Parties.

2.6 SBSTTA 8 may wish to review the utility of Ramsar's guidelines for allocation and management of water for maintaining ecological functions (and the background technical paper on this topic), to be considered for approval by Ramsar COP8, in relation to the allocation and reservation of water for ecosystem maintenance (CBD decision IV/4, paragraph 9 (m) (v)), and make appropriate recommendations to CBD COP7

2.7 SBSTTA 8 may wish to review the utility of Ramsar's new guidelines on management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands, to be considered for approval by Ramsar COP8, in relation to the sustainable use of inland waters to maintain biological diversity (CBD decision IV/4, paragraph 9 (f) (ii)), and make appropriate recommendations to CBD COP7.

2.8 SBSTTA 8 may wish to use Ramsar's publication on Economic Valuation of Wetlands: a Guide for Policy Makers and Planners for developing techniques for the valuation of goods and services of inland water ecosystems (CBD decision IV/4, paragraph 8 (d) and paragraph 9 (f) (i)).

2.9 STRP may wish to consider incorporating in its future programme of work development of techniques for valuation of goods and services of inland water ecosystems.

2.10 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties and SBSTTA the Ramsar Guidelines for Global Action on Peatlands, as adopted by COP8.

The Global Peatlands Initiative will be relevant also to the implementation of actions related to forested peatlands that would be included in the new programme of work on forests to be considered by the CBD COP6 (see Action 4.1)

2.11 The two Secretariats will consider the role of the Global Peatland Initiative being developed by Wetlands International and other partners, which is designed to assist Parties in implementing the Ramsar Guidelines for Global Action on Peatlands, in implementation of the programme of work on biological diversity of inland water ecosystems and forests . The Secretariats will raise awareness of Initiative and the opportunities it offers for Parties in developing projects for the conservation and wise use of peatlands, including their potential role in carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change.

2.12 In any review of the future Operational Guidelines for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, consideration will be given to affording a priority to projects that contribute to the implementation of the programmes of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems particularly in relation to the actions of this JWP.

2.13 The two secretariats will seek opportunities for joint activities relating to the 2003 International Year of Freshwater, in association with UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme and the Man and the Biosphere Programme.

Activity 3 - Marine and coastal ecosystems

28. The CBD programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity was adopted by the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties as contained in decision IV/5. The CBD Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting adopted decision V/3 on "progress report on implementation of the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity". Decision IV/5 and V/3 contain the following elements: integrated marine and coastal area management; marine and coastal living resources (e.g. coral reefs; approaches to the management of marine and coastal living resources in relation to those used by local and indigenous communities; analysis and advice on scientific, technical and technological matters related to marine and coastal genetic resources; consideration and prioritization of issues listed in paragraph 13 of decision V/3); marine and coastal protected areas; mariculture; alien species and genotypes; and institutional cooperation.

29. A progress report was submitted to SBSTTA at its sixth meeting (March 2001) and another progress report will be presented to the CBD COP6. SBSTTA at its sixth meeting adopted recommendation VI/2 on marine and coastal biological diversity, which is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/3.

30. Ramsar COP8 will be considering guidelines prepared by the STRP for the integration of wetlands into Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), and guidelines for the identification and designation of coral reefs and mangroves as Wetlands of International Importance. In addition much of the new guidance being prepared by STRP for COP8 consideration (see under Activity 2 on inland water ecosystems) is relevant to the implementation of ICZM and the sustainable use of marine and coastal biological diversity.

Actions to be taken:

3.1 CBD will invite a representatives of Ramsar's STRP and Bureau to contribute to the further work of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on marine and coastal protected areas (see report of UNEP/CBD/COP/11, paragraphs 43 to 48), and participate in its second meeting (New Zealand, 2002).

3.2 The CBD Secretariat will consider the principles and guidelines on ICZM prepared by the STRP for consideration by Ramsar COP8 in future deliberations for development of guidelines for integrated marine and coastal area management in CBD (CBD decision IV/5, programme element 1).

3.3 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau and STRP to collaborate in the development of rapid assessment methods for marine and coastal biological diversity. (SBSTTA recommendation VI/5)

3.4 Both secretariats will evaluate how the Ramsar guidelines for designation of mangroves and coral reefs as Wetlands of International Importance, and any further such guidance prepared by the STRP on marine and coastal wetland types, can contribute to implementation of CBD programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity, in support of programme element 2 on marine and coastal living resources and specifically the work programme on coral reefs (CBD decision IV/5).

3.5 The Ramsar Bureau will continue to promote the development and implementation of integrated marine and coastal areas management at local, national and regional level, including the application of its guidelines once adopted by Ramsar COP8, including through the Ramsar Convention's Outreach Programme and Web-site, in support of operational objective 1.2 of the CBD Jakarta Mandate programme of work.

Activity 4 - Forest ecosystems

31. At its fifth meeting in 2000, the CBD Conference of the Parties decided to consider expanding the focus of the work programme on forest biodiversity (decision IV/7) from research to practical action. It established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Forest Biological Diversity to provide, for the consideration of SBSTTA, information that could be useful in considering the expansion of the programme of work.

32. At its seventh meeting, SBSTTA recommended that the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting adopt an expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity, which identifies priorities, actors, timeframes and ways and means for implementation of the activities proposed, as well as indicators of progress supplemented by targets, using the elements contained in annex I of recommendation VII/6, and the work of the Executive Secretary described in paragraph 2 of decision V/7.

33. The focus of the work programme for forest biological diversity, as adopted by the Conference of the Parties in decision IV/7, is on research, assessment, indicators, and development of technologies necessary for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity. In response to decision V/4 SBSTTA expanded the programme of work on forest biological diversity. The proposed work programme (SBSTTA recommendation VII/6) consists of three broad programme elements: 1) Conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing, 2) Institutional and socio-economic enabling environment, and 3) Knowledge, assessment and monitoring. Each programme elements consists of goals, objectives and activities. In particular, the work programme address direct and underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation.

34. In addition to preparation by the Ramsar STRP of guidelines for the identification and designation of mangroves and peatlands (which includes forested peatlands), Ramsar's COP8 will also consider adoption of guidelines for global action on peatlands, which includes actions relevant to forested wetlands and their potential role in mitigating climate change.

Actions to be taken:

4.1 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau to explore ways and means on how the Ramsar STRP can contribute to the implementation of the new programme of work on forest biological diversity proposed to CBD COP6, particularly on issues related to peatlands and wooded wetlands (Annex to SBSTTA recommendation VII/6) (see actions 2.10 and 2.11).

Activity 5 - Agricultural lands

35. The CBD programme of work on agricultural biological diversity was adopted by the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties as contained in decision III/11. The Conference of the Parties in its fourth meeting adopted decision IV/6 on agricultural biological diversity; and COP 5 adopted decision V/5 on agricultural biological diversity and review of phase I of the programme of work and adoption of a multi-year work programme.

36. Decisions III/11, IV/6 and V/5 contain the following elements: assessment; adaptive management; capacity-building; mainstreaming; GURTs; trade liberalization; the international pollinators initiative; animal genetic resources; and international genetic resources.

37. A progress report was submitted to SBSTTA at its sixth meeting and a progress report is presented to COP6. SBSTTA at its seventh meeting adopted recommendation VII/7 on agricultural biological diversity, which is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4.

38. It is anticipated that Ramsar COP8 will consider a resolution on agriculture and wetlands, and that this will lead to elements of future STRP work in preparing guidance on sustainable agriculture and the maintenance of the ecological character of wetlands. In addition the guidelines to be considered by Ramsar COP8 on water allocation and management for the maintenance on ecosystem functions, and the technical background report accompanying these guidelines, are relevant to the issue of managing water abstractions for agricultural purposes.

Actions to be taken:

5.1 The Ramsar Bureau (with the support of Wetlands International and IUCN) will identify those Ramsar sites where agricultural practices are being undertaken either within, or in close association with, the sites, and provide this information to the CBD Secretariat. Management guidelines developed for these agricultural ecosystems will also be sought by the Ramsar Bureau, and provided to CBD and CCD (Activity 3.2.1 of the JWP 2000-2001).

5.2 The two Secretariats will review the decisions of Ramsar COP8 concerning agricultural lands and wetlands, and incorporate joint actions, as appropriate, in the review of this JWP.

Activity 6 - Dry, Mediterranean, arid and semi-arid, grasslands and savannahs

39. The CBD programme of work on dry and sub-humid lands was adopted by the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties as contained in Annex I to decision V/23.

40. The programme of work consists of two parts: (i) assessment; and (ii) targeted actions in response to identified needs, and includes the following elements: assessment of the status and trends of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands; identification of specific areas within dry and sub-humid lands of particular value for biological diversity and/or under particular threat; development of indicators of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands and its loss; building knowledge on ecological, physical and social processes that affect the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands; identification of the local and global benefits, including soil and social processes that affect the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands; identification and dissemination of best practices; promotion of specific measures for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands; promotion of responsible resource management, at appropriate levels, applying the ecosystem approach, through an enabling policy environment; and support for sustainable livelihoods.

41. A progress report was submitted to SBSTTA at its seventh meeting and a progress report is presented to COP6. SBSTTA at its seventh meeting adopted recommendation VII/3 on biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, which is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4.

42. Under its Memorandum of Cooperation with the CCD the Ramsar Convention has agreed to work collaboratively in several areas of common interest, including identification of important wetlands in drylands, traditional knowledge, and benchmarks and indicators for monitoring, and in contributing to national action programmes. A joint work plan between Ramsar and CCD is under development. The outcomes and outputs of joint CBD-Ramsar actions listed below will also be made available to CCD.

43. The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), involving all 25 countries of the Mediterranean Basin operates under the aegis of the Ramsar Convention. A MedWet Coordination Unit, based in Athens, Greece, was established in 2001, and has responsibility for developing and coordinating a programme of actions supporting inventory, training and capacity building, management planning, site identification, and communications and public awareness, in collaboration with wetland centres and other partners in the region.

Actions to be taken:

6.1 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau to collaborate in implementation of activity 2 of the CBD programme of work on biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, related to identification of specific areas within dry and sub-humid lands of particular value for biological diversity and/or under particular threat, such as, inter alia, endemic species and low lying wetlands with reference to the criteria in Annex I to CBD. The CBD Secretariat will also invite the Ramsar Bureau to participate in the AHTEG established by CBD COP5.

6.2 In support of Action 6.1 above, it is planned that as an element of the implementation of the River Basin Initiative (see Activity 1. Above) analyses will be undertaken of wetlands and biodiversity in relation to river basins and drylands. These products will be made available also to CCD.

6.3 The Ramsar Bureau and its MedWet Coordination Unit will review MedWet activities to establish ways and means of relevant activities contributing to the CBD programme of work on biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands, and incorporate these in the review and amendment of this JWP.

Activity 7 - Mountain ecosystems

44. CBD decision IV/16 states that biological diversity of mountain ecosystems will be one of three main topics for the seventh meeting of the COP, likely to be held in 2004. In preparation for CBD COP7, the Executive Secretary will actively collaborate with relevant institutions, organizations and processes, in particular in the context of the International Year of Mountains.

45. A liaison group on mountain biological diversity is being established. The liaison group will consist of experts and representatives of relevant organizations.. SBSTTA8, which is expected to meet in late 2002, will consider biological diversity of mountain ecosystems as its main theme and will provide recommendations for additional preparatory work for CBD COP7. This work will be undertaken either by extending the mandate of the liaison group, establishing an ad hoc technical expert group, or by other means specified by SBSTTA. SBSTTA9 will therefore be the main preparatory meeting for COP7 on this issue.

46. The preparatory process will lead to a synthesis of available information on biological diversity of mountain ecosystems, and options for conservation and sustainable management of this biological diversity, including considerations such as the role of biological diversity in combating poverty, ensuring sustainable livelihoods and protecting food security.

47. Ideally, the results provided for CBD COP7 would include the following:

a) a CBD programme of work on biological diversity of mountain ecosystems, including goals, objectives, specific activities, actors and time-frames;
b) an assessment of status and trends of mountain biological diversity, including a description of causes of changes; and
c) identification of options for conservation and sustainable use of mountain biological diversity, including guidelines, best practices, tools and approaches for mountain ecosystem management, aimed to assist national, regional and global-level implementation of the Convention.

48. In recognition of 2003 as the International Year of Mountains, a resolution on the Ramsar Convention and mountain wetlands, accompanied by guidelines for the identification and designation of mountain wetlands as Wetlands of International Importance, will be considered for adoption by Ramsar's COP8.

Actions to be taken

7.1 CBD will invite the Ramsar Bureau to participate in the Liaison Group meeting on biological diversity of mountain ecosystems and to contribute to its work.

7.2 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to the Liaison Group and CBD Parties the guidance on mountain wetland identification and designation, once adopted by COP8, and incorporate into subsequent review of this JWP and relevant joint actions requested by Parties for implementation in the period 2003-2006.

7.3 Ramsar Bureau will encourage CBD focal points contribution to the World Congress on Paramos (May 2002) in relation to strengthening collaborative work on the conservation of the biological diversity of montane peatland systems.

C. CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES

Activity 8 - Invasive alien species

49. At its fifth meeting, the CBD Conference of the Parties considered alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species, also referred to as invasive alien species. In its decision V/8, the COP adopted interim guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of alien species, and made a number of requests to Parties, other Governments, the Executive Secretary and relevant bodies, in particular the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). In the same decision, the COP decided to consider at its sixth meeting options for the full and effective implementation of Article 8(h), including the possibilities of: (i) further developing the guiding principles on the prevention of introduction, and mitigation of the impacts, of invasive alien species; (ii) developing an international instrument; and/or (iii) other options for future work on invasive alien species.

50. SBSTTA6 revised the guiding principles and made recommendations containing advice to the COP for consideration, at its sixth meeting, of the items identified at its fifth meeting. The COP is invited to consider SBSTTA recommendations IV/4 on invasive alien species and review the proposals of the Executive Secretary in response to the tasks requested by COP5 and SBSTTA6 with regards to invasive alien species.

Note by the Ramsar Bureau. Subsequent to the preparation of this Joint Work Plan, Ramsar's Standing Committee Subgroup on COP8 (May 2002) determined that the CBD Guiding Principles and Ramsar "Guide to wetland invasive species guidance" should not be considered by Ramsar COP8. Actions 8.1 and 8.2 below will be modified as necessary when this Joint Work Plan is reviewed and updated in late 2002.

51. Ramsar's STRP reviewed draft CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] and determined that these and the IUCN Guidelines on invasive alien species are applicable to wetlands by Ramsar Parties. Ramsar's Standing Committee has recommended that the CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] (once approved by CBD COP6 in April 2002) should be considered for adoption also by Ramsar Parties at COP8 (November 2002), with the addition of guidance to wetland managers on their application through the Ramsar process. In addition, the STRP is preparing for consideration by Ramsar COP8 a "Guide to wetland invasive species guidance" covering the IUCN guidelines and CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] and the tools and guidance produced by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). This will be made available to CBD Parties to assist in the Conventions' joint efforts to address invasive species issues.

52. In partnership with IUCN and the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Ramsar Bureau has initiated a communications and awareness-raising project on African wetland invasive alien species, which will disseminate information and advice on good practice and experience to wetland managers.

Actions to be taken

8.1 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will draw to the attention of their Parties that, once adopted by CBD COP6 and Ramsar COP83, common guidance is available for addressing invasive alien species issues, and urge their respective focal points to collaborate closely in developing and implementing national actions on the issue.

8.2 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties the Ramsar "Guide to wetland invasive species guidance", prepared as a background paper for Ramsar COP83, so as to assist in the Conventions' joint efforts to address invasive species issues.

8.3 Information products and other materials prepared by the Ramsar/IUCN communications and awareness-raising project on African wetland invasive alien species will be made available to the CBD Secretariat and publicised through the Ramsar Web-site for use by CBD Parties.

8.4 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat, working with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), IUCN and UNEP-WCMC will seek jointly to develop a programme of work focusing on aquatic invasive species.

8.5 The CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau will ensure that GISP work on developing assessment of inland waters invasive alien species is taken into account in the review of the CBD programme of work on inland waters biodiversity, and ensure that this work is made available, as appropriate, to Ramsar Contracting Parties.

Activity 9 - Monitoring and indicators

53. CBD COP5, in decision V/7, requested the Executive Secretary to carry out the pending activities set out in the work programme on indicators of biological diversity (decision IV/1 A).

54. The pending activities include the development of:

a) a set of principles for designing national-level monitoring programmes and indicators; and
b) a key set of standard questions and a list of available and potential indicators, covering the ecosystem, species and genetic levels, taking into account the ecosystem approach, that may be used by Parties at their national level and in national reporting, and that also allow for regional and global overviews on the state and trends of biological diversity and, if possible and appropriate, any responses from policy measures.

55. SBSTTA7 considered the report prepared by the Executive Secretary and adopted recommendation VII/11, which is being submitted to CBD COP6 for its consideration (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4). SBSTTA recommendation VII/11 includes suggestions to facilitate and direct further implementation of the pending activities.

56. The Ramsar STRP has prepared new guidelines for wetland management, including further guidance on monitoring and the use of indicators, for consideration by Ramsar COP8. It is anticipated that COP8 will consider as a priority area of future STRP work the development of further guidance on identifying, assessing and monitoring the ecological character of wetlands, including the identification of indicators.

Actions to be taken:

9.1 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau and STRP and UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme to collaborate in implementation of proposed SBSTTA recommendation VII/11, and in particular to review the set of principles for designing national-level monitoring programmes and indicators, a key set of standard questions, and a list of available and potential indicators for inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/12.

9.2 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties and to SBSTTA information concerning its further work on indicators and monitoring and the new guidelines for the management of Ramsar sites and other wetlands, which includes guidance on monitoring and the use of indicators.

9.3 Ramsar COP8 may wish to consider requesting the STRP to collaborate with SBSTTA in the development of guidelines for designing national-level monitoring and assessment programmes for biological diversity of wetlands (CBD decision IV/4 Annex I, paragraph 8(e)), so as to ensure harmonised guidance is available to Parties to both Conventions.

9.4 Once such guidance is available, the two Secretariats will encourage their respective national focal points to collaborate in the development of national monitoring programmes and indicators for the biological diversity of inland and coastal and marine wetlands.

9.5 The CBD Secretariat will make available to the Ramsar Bureau the drafts of the World Water Development Report and background documents for review and comments on issues related to wetlands.

Activity 10 - Environmental Impact assessment

57. In response to the request of the CBD COP, in paragraphs 4 and 5 of decision V/18 on further development of guidelines for incorporating biodiversity related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or processes and in strategic environmental assessment, the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Biodiversity and Ecology Section of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) and other relevant organizations, prepared document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/13 which includes a compilation of lessons learned from existing guidelines, procedures and provisions for environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment with respect to impacts on biological diversity. The document also contains draft guidelines for incorporating biodiversity-related issues into environmental impact assessment legislation and/or process and in strategic environmental assessment. SBSTTA considered the draft guidelines and adopted recommendation VII/10, which is contained in the report of the seventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4).

58. Ramsar's STRP, working with IAIA and IUCN, determined that the CBD Guiding Principles [Guidelines] (once approved by CBD COP6 in April 2002) should be recommended for adoption also by Ramsar Parties at COP8 (November 2002), with the addition of guidance on their application through the Ramsar process. It is anticipated that COP8 may consider requesting the STRP to undertake further work, in collaboration with CBD, IAIA and IUCN, on impact assessment and in particular strategic environmental assessment.

Actions to be taken:

10.1 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar STRP to contribute to implementation of SBSTTA recommendation VII/10 1(e) on further development and refinement of the guidelines, particularly to incorporate all stages of the environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment processes taking into account the ecosystem approach.

10.2 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau to contribute to the implementation of SBSTTA recommendation VII/10, paragraph 1(c) on development of a programme of work on environmental impact assessment.

10.3 The two Secretariats will draw to the attention of their respective Parties the harmonised guidance on impact assessment, once adopted by CBD COP6 and Ramsar COP8, so as to encourage collaborative national implementation of impact assessment procedures concerning wetlands and biodiversity.

10.4 The STRP will invite the participation of CBD Secretariat and SBSTTA in any further work it is requested to undertake concerning environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment.

Activity 11 - Inventory and assessment

59. SBSTTA6 adopted recommendation VI/5 on the development of methodologies and identification of pilot studies for scientific assessments. The note UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/3 prepared by the Executive Secretary reported on the progress made on activities relating to scientific assessments. These activities included the development of an assessment procedure and methods for the rapid assessment of biodiversity in inland waters and in marine and coastal areas; assessments of the status and trends of forest biodiversity; and assessment of the impacts of invasive alien species, and the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity, as well as the development and maintenance of a list of ongoing global and regional assessments.

60. Development of rapid assessment methods for biological diversity of inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems is addressed in sections I and II of this JWP under the thematic areas on inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems.

61. Ramsar's STRP has prepared a "Framework for Wetland Inventory" which includes guidance on establishing core datasets as the basis of assessment and monitoring, use of remote sensing, a standard metadata record for inventory, and the use of wetland classifications, which will be considered for adoption by COP8. The Ramsar Convention has recognised inventory as the key basis for the identification of Wetlands of International Importance in the application of the "Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance" adopted by Ramsar COP7 (Resolution VII.11). Ramsar COP8 will also consider a "Wetland Ecosystem Assessment Framework" prepared by the STRP, which will provide overarching guidance to the application of the Ramsar tools and guidance on inventory, assessment, monitoring and management. It is anticipated that addressing gaps in guidance and harmonising existing Ramsar guidance may form a key topic for future STRP work in the 2003-2005 triennium.

62. Both CBD and Ramsar Convention are identified as key users of the work of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), and both convention secretariats and representatives of SBTTTA and STRP have contributed to the technical design and development of the assessment. Ramsar's Secretary General and CBD's Executive Secretary and the Chairs of SBTTTA and STRP are members of the MA's Board. This collaboration will continue during the work of undertaking the Assessment from 2002-2004 so as to ensure that its outputs meet the needs of the Parties to both Conventions.

Actions to be taken:

11.1 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD Parties and SBSTTA the "Framework for Wetland Inventory" and "Wetland Ecosystem Assessment Framework", so as to assist in the further development and application of inventory and assessment.

11.2 The Ramsar Bureau will be invited to take part in implementation of the pilot project on interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity and other pilot assessments.

Activity 12 - Global Taxonomy Initiative

63. CBD COP5 established the Global Taxonomy Initiative Coordination Mechanism to assist the Executive Secretary in developing a Work Programme for the GTI, convening regional meetings of scientists, managers and policy makers to prioritise global taxonomic needs, and establishing mechanisms to use the GTI as a forum to promote the importance of taxonomy and taxonomic tools in the implementation of the Convention's programmes of work. The COP also urged identification of national and regional priority taxonomic information requirements, assessments of national taxonomic capacities, establishment of regional and national taxonomic reference centres, building of taxonomic capacity particularly in developing countries, and communication to the Executive Secretary for consideration of potential pilot projects under the GTI.

64. SBSTTA 6 considered a note by the Executive Secretary on the Draft Programme of Work of the GTI (document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/10), and provided a series of recommendations to the COP (recommendation VI/6) for the further development of the Initiative, including proposing the endorsement of the Programme of Work (document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4).

Actions to be taken:

12.1 Ramsar COP8 may wish to consider requesting the STRP to develop a priority list for taxonomic work required to support inventory, assessment and monitoring in different wetland types, including regional guides to groups of particular importance, and request that this is transmitted to CBD secretariat, such that the priorities so identified may be considered through the work of the GTI.

12.2 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar STRP to participate in the GTI Coordination Mechanism.

Activity 13 - Global Strategy for plant conservation

65. SBSTTA in its seventh meeting recommended that CBD COP6 considers adoption of a global strategy for plant conservation, which should include outcome-oriented global targets for the year 2010 (recommendation VII/8). Existing relevant initiatives involved in the development of the global strategy, such as CITES, IPPC, FAO, UNESCO, WWF, IUCN are listed in recommendation VII/8 paragraph 14(b).

66. The global strategy for plant conservation aim to improve the long-term conservation, management and restoration of plant diversity and plant communities, and the associated habitats and ecosystems, and where necessary to complement in situ measures, with ex situ actions, preferably in the country of origin. The strategy, with its 16 targets, will be a tool to enhance the ecosystem approach to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, will focus on the vital role of plants in the structure and functioning of ecological systems, and will assure provision of the goods and services such systems provide.

67. In paragraph 2 of recommendation VII/8, SBSTTA requested the Executive Secretary, with the support of technical experts and on the basis of advice from Parties, to refine the quantitative elements of the targets in the draft strategy providing a scientific and technical rationale in each case, and clarifying terms as necessary. Additionally, in paragraph 3 of recommendation VII/8, SBSTTA requested the Executive Secretary to prepare an analysis of the opportunities for implementation of the strategy through the thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work of the Convention, including in particular the ecosystem approach and the Global Taxonomy Initiative, as well as through existing relevant international, regional and national initiatives, and of any gaps in these programmes and initiatives.

Actions to be taken:

13.1 CBD will invite Ramsar STRP, working with IUCN, to explore ways and means for contributing to implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and to incorporate elements which contribute to halt the loss of plant biodiversity in its future work as a n approach to the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity.

Activity 14 - Ecosystem approach

68. CBD COP6, in its decision V/6 on the ecosystem approach, invited Parties, other Governments and relevant bodies to identify case-studies and implement pilot projects, and to organize, as appropriate, regional, national and local workshops, and consultations aiming at enhancing awareness, sharing experiences, including through the clearing-house mechanism, and strengthening regional, national and local capacities on the ecosystem approach.

69. In addition, the Conference of the Parties requested SBSTTA to review, at a meeting prior to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the principles and operational guidelines of the ecosystem approach, to develop guidelines for its implementation, on the basis of case-studies and lessons learned, and to review the incorporation of the ecosystem approach into the programmes of work of the Convention.

70. Work on the ecosystem approach is ongoing through the elaboration of the concept in the different programmes of work on the thematic areas and cross-cutting issues of the Convention. Collection and analysis of case studies on ecosystem approach are in progress. The results of these activities will be submitted for consideration by SBSTTA prior to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

Actions to be taken:

14.1 Ramsar STRP may wish to contribute to the work of SBSTTA on incorporation of the ecosystem approach in CBD programmes of work, in particular on inland water ecosystems and marine and coastal biological diversity.

Activity 15- Protected areas

71. Protected areas will form a priority theme for consideration by CBD's COP7 in 2004, and proposals for intersessional work on this issue will be considered by CBD COP6 (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/2). As a result, protected areas will be the focus of the work of subsidiary bodies of the Convention in the period between the sixth and seventh meeting of the COP.

72. In preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the Executive Secretary, in collaboration with other institutions, organizations and processes, will carry out studies relating to protected areas, compile case studies and information, develop databases, and organize and service scientific and technical meetings as appropriate. Fostering collaboration, in particular with protected area programmes and the Vth World Congress on Protected Areas in 2003, is a vital part of this process. It is expected that the main result of this process will be a programme of work on protected areas, as well as guidelines on best practices in the establishment and management of protected areas.

73. The identification and designation of sites for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) forms one of the three pillars of Parties' implementation of the Ramsar Convention. The Convention has established a short-term target of the designation of 2000 Ramsar by COP9 in 2005. As at January 2002 the Ramsar List includes 1132 sites covering 91,364,989 ha worldwide.

74. At Ramsar's COP7 the Convention adopted a Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Resolution VII.11), which also modernized its site designation criteria. The eight criteria are in two groups: Criterion 1 concerning sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types, and Criteria 2-8 concerning sites of international importance for conserving biological diversity (including Criteria based on species and ecological communities, and specific Criteria based on waterbirds and on fish). This Strategic Framework and guidelines is of direct relevance to CBD since it provides detailed guidance on how to take a systematic approach to future site designations under the Convention in order to achieve the vision of "an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the ecological and hydrological functions they perform".

75. Within this Strategic Framework for the Ramsar List, Parties have agreed to give priority to designating under-represented wetland types, which include coral reefs, seagrass communities, mangroves, saltmarshes, tidal mudflats, wet grasslands and peatlands. The STRP has prepared additional guidance for consideration at COP8 to assist Parties with identifying and designating peatland, wet grassland, mangrove and coral reef wetland types as Ramsar sites. It is anticipated that similar guidance on mountain wetlands will also be considered at COP8.

76. Ramsar's International Organization Partners and their expert networks regularly prepare information sources in support of the application of the Ramsar designation criteria, including ICUN Red List of globally threatened species (supporting Criterion 2) and Wetlands International's global Waterbird Population Estimates (supporting Criterion 6), for which a 3rd edition will be published in late 2002.

77. Ramsar's Guidelines for International Cooperation under the Convention (Resolution VII.19) identify species as a future joint activity collaboration with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) with respect to identifying and designating as Ramsar sites those areas of importance for migratory. Under the Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and CMS, to be finalised in early 2002, the two conventions will work together to achieve the designation of site networks for the conservation of migratory birds and marine turtles. The conservation of such biota presents an opportunity for the three Conventions to work together in this area.

Actions to be taken:

15.1 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will jointly promote the application of the Strategic Framework for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance, recognizing that in so doing they are working to serve the common interest of identifying areas of global importance for biodiversity conservation found in all of the thematic areas for which programmes of work have been, or are planned to be approved, under the CBD.

15.2 The Ramsar Bureau will provide to SBSTTA and all CBD Focal Points the additional detailed guidance for identifying and designating peatland, wet grassland, mangrove and coral reef Ramsar sites to be considered by Ramsar COP8, and will advise SBSTTA and CBD Secretariat of any further work on protected areas issues called for by Parties at CBD COP8.

15.3 The CBD Secretariat will invite the contribution of the Ramsar Bureau and STRP in its intersessional work, including any liaison or working groups as appropriate, on protected areas in preparation for consideration of the theme at CBD COP7. (Refer also Action 2.1 concerning convergence of CBD and Ramsar criteria for the biological diversity of inland waters, and Action 3.1 concerning marine and coastal protected areas.)

15.4 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will review opportunities for collaborative work with CMS and its agreements on protected area networks for migratory birds and marine turtles, through their respective joint work plans. (Refer also to Action 21.2).

15.5 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will review opportunities for collaboration with the Man and the Biosphere Programme concerning management of protected areas in the context of implementation of the Ramsar-MAB programme of joint work and of the current cooperation between UNESCO and the CBD Secretariat.

Activity 16 - Sustainable use of biological diversity

78. CBD COP5, in paragraph 5 of its decision V/24, invited Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to undertake actions to assist other Parties to increase their capacity to implement sustainable use practices, programmes and policies. In response to this invitation, the Secretariat organized a series of three workshops on the sustainable use of biological diversity. The first workshop was held in Maputo, Mozambique, in September 2001 and focused on sustainable use of dryland resources and game utilization. The workshop produced the "Maputo principles of sustainable use", consisting of a set of axioms and guiding principles. The second workshop focused on forest biodiversity, including timber and non- timber forest resources. The workshop has further developed the practical principles and operational guidelines produced in the first meeting. The third workshop will be held in Ecuador in February 2002 and focus on marine and freshwater capture fisheries. A fourth workshop to synthesis the results of the three regional workshops on sustainable use of biological diversity is planned for Fall 2002.

79. SBSTTA7 considered document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/5 on the development of practical principles, operational guidance and associated instruments for sustainable use of the components of biological diversity. SBSTTA adopted recommendation VII/4 on "Progress in the development of practical principles, operational guidance and associated instruments on sustainable use".

80. Over the years, the Ramsar COP has developed the concept of "wise use" (i.e. sustainable use) embodied in the text of the Convention and adopted guidance to the Parties on its application. The Ramsar toolkit of Wise Use Handbooks provides guidance to Parties on the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their biodiversity. The range of guidance being considered for adoption by Ramsar COP8 will make a further contribution to implementing sustainable use practices of relevance to the Parties of both Conventions.

Actions to be taken:

16.1 The CBD Secretariat will invite the Ramsar Bureau and the Fisheries Department of FAO to the meeting in Ecuador on marine and freshwater capture fisheries and to the synthesis meeting on sustainable use and biological diversity.

16.2 CBD Secretariat, Ramsar Bureau, and Fisheries Department of FAO will explore their common areas of interests for implementation of the recommendations of the CBD synthesis meeting on sustainable use particularly on marine and freshwater capture fisheries.

16.3 The Ramsar Bureau will continue to assist the CBD Secretariat in the identification of good practice case studies demonstrating wetland sustainable use, and to make these available to Parties.

16.4 The Ramsar Bureau will continue to distribute to CBD Focal Points and CBD collaborators at country level its toolkit of Wise Use Handbooks.

Activity 17 - Sustainable use and tourism

81. In response to decision V/25 of the Conference of the Parties, the Secretariat convened a Workshop on Biological Diversity and Tourism to develop draft international guidelines for activities related to sustainable tourism development in vulnerable terrestrial, marine and coastal and mountain ecosystems. The guidelines are meant to be a practical tool to provide technical guidance to policy makers, decision makers and managers with responsibilities in the fields of tourism and biodiversity, whether in national or local governments, as well as the various stakeholders involved in tourism development planning and management. The draft guidelines cover all forms of activities of tourism, which should all come under the framework of sustainable development, in all geographic regions. These include conventional mass tourism, eco-tourism, nature- and culture-based tourism, cruise tourism, leisure and sports tourism. The draft guidelines will be submitted to COP6 for its consideration and approval.

82. Ramsar COP8 will consider the adoption of guidelines on the use of the cultural aspects of wetlands as a tool for their conservation and sustainable use, which will include guidance on the values and functions of culture-based tourism in wetlands.

Actions to be taken:

17.1 Ramsar COP8 may wish to consider the proposed International Guidelines for Activities related to Sustainable Tourism Development in Vulnerable Terrestrial, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Habitats of Major Importance for Biological Diversity and Protected Areas, including Fragile Riparian and Mountain Ecosystems, contained in document UNEP/CBD/WS-Tourism/4 and request its interpretation in the Ramsar context for application by Ramsar Parties.

17.2 The Ramsar Bureau will put at the disposal of CBD Parties the Ramsar "Guiding principles on the cultural aspects of wetlands", once adopted by Ramsar COP8.

Activity 18 - Incentive measures

83. In its Decision V/15, the Conference of the Parties decided to establish a programme of work intended to promote the development and implementation of social, economic and legal incentive measures. In this connection, the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary "to collaborate with relevant organizations, in order to engage in a coordinated effort.

84. On the basis of the work of a Liaison Group and a workshop related to incentive measures, SBSTTA adopted recommendation VII/9 in which it submits proposals for the design and implementation of incentive measures (annex I) to CBD COP6, and also suggests recommendations for further cooperation on incentive measures (annex II).

85. The recommendations with respect to the design and implementation of incentives measures propose the following steps: identification of the problem; design of the measure; provision of capacity and building of support to facilitate implementation; management, monitoring and enforcement; and guidelines for selecting appropriate and complementary measures. Concerning the suggested recommendations on future cooperation, SBSTTA stresses, inter alia, the importance to establish or strengthen biodiversity incentives information systems, and also suggests coordinating further activities on incentives on the international level, thus avoiding overlapping initiatives and activities while providing support to Parties. This coordination effort should be based on the Liaison Group established by the CBD Executive Secretary, and should include, inter alia, representatives from other Multilateral Environmental Agreement Secretariats, as appropriate.

86. Pursuant Resolution VII.15 of Ramsar COP7, incentives measures have also been considered by Ramsar STRP. Ramsar COP8 will consider a resolution concerning further work on incentives and the removal of perverse incentives for wetlands as a priority topic for STRP in the 2003-2005 triennium, taking into account the work of SBSTTA on the design and implementation of incentive measures and its recommendations for further cooperation.

87. The IUCN Internet-based resource kit on incentives, developed in support of both Ramsar and CBD, is now available on http://www.biodiversityeconomics.org/assessment/ramsar-503-01.htm.

Actions to be taken:

18.1 The CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau will continue to co-operate to further improve the linkages between CBD and the Internet-Based Resource Kit on economic incentives, which is developed and maintained by IUCN (SBSTTA recommendation VII/9).

18.2 STRP may wish to consider the SBSTTA proposals for the design and implementation of incentive measures (recommendation VII/9, Annex I) as a basis for its future work on identifying wetland-related elements of existing guidelines on incentive measures, recognizing important gaps and investigating possible ways of filling such gaps (Ramsar COP8 Draft Resolution 23). STRP may also wish to invite input from CBD/SBSTTA and the CBD Secretariat, as appropriate.

18.3 Ramsar Bureau will participate in the coordination effort on future work on incentive measures, as envisaged by SBSTTA recommendation VII/9. This may especially concern future work by STRP on the linkages between incentives and related topics, including financial mechanisms, trade, impact assessment and valuation, as envisaged in Ramsar COP8 Draft Resolution 23.

Activity 19 - Traditional knowledge

88. In paragraph 8 of decision V/16, the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to facilitate the integration of the relevant tasks of the programme of work in the future elaboration of the thematic programmes of the Convention. A report on the progress on the integration of relevant tasks of the programme of work on Article 8(j) and related provisions in the cross-cutting areas of the Convention has been prepared by the Executive Secretary for the Second Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions as document UNEP/CBD/WG8J/2/Inf/2. The purpose of this document is to provide additional information concerning the implementation of the priority tasks of the programme of work on Article 8(j) in the cross-cutting areas dealt with under the Convention to complement the information provided in relation to the thematic areas in document UNEP/CBD/WG8J/2/2.

89. Work on issues of traditional knowledge and practices is also relevant to and underway through other conventions including CCS and the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Ramsar's COP8 will consider guidance on cultural issues and wetlands which will include guidance on indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge and practices. To assist implementation of Ramsar COP7 Resolution VII.8 on "Guidelines for establishing and strengthening local communities' and indigenous peoples' participation in the management of wetlands", IUCN, in cooperation with the Ramsar Bureau and WWF, has initiated a Participatory Management Clearinghouse (for more information: http://iucn.org/themes/pmns/).

Actions to be taken:

19.1 The Ramsar Bureau will continue to assist the CBD Secretariat in the development of a multi-convention approach to coordinate and facilitate collaboration with regard to the maintenance and application of traditional knowledge relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and involvement of indigenous and local communities as cross-cutting issues (Action 7.1 from the JWP2000-2001)

19.2 The Ramsar Bureau will seek to identify Ramsar sites where indigenous and local community traditional management practices and methods are being used, and how successful they are, and provide this information to the CBD Secretariat.

19.3 The Ramsar Bureau will provide information to the CBD Secretariat on measures taken to enhance the participation of indigenous and local communities, particularly women, in the implementation of Ramsar work programme;

19.4 The Ramsar Bureau, with the assistance of Wetlands International, will seek information, and provide this to the CBD Secretariat, on capacity building measures being undertaken to facilitate the involvement of indigenous and local communities and the application of the knowledge they hold, with their prior informed consent, in the management of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in wetlands at national, subnational and local levels (CBD decision V/2, paragraph 8 , and decision V/16, Annex, Element 1, Task1

19.5 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will promote access and use of the Participatory Management Clearinghouse to their Parties in support of implementation of Article 8(j).

19.6 The Ramsar Bureau will encourage CBD focal points to participate actively in Ibero-American meeting on participatory management of wetlands, to be held in Guatemala in 2002, and to contribute to the implementation of its recommendations, and other relevant meetings.

Activity 20 - Communication, education and public awareness

90. In decision V/17, the Conference of the Parties adopted a range of measures, including the establishment of a Global Initiative on Biological Diversity Education and Public Awareness to promote education and public awareness for purposes of the Convention, pursuant to Article 13 of the Convention. During the inter-sessional period, the Secretariat and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in collaboration with other institutions, convened three meetings of the Consultative Group of Experts on Biological Diversity Education and Public Awareness, called for in decision V/17. Reports of the three meeting are contained in documents UNEP/CBD/GEEPA/1/1, UNEP/CBD/GEEPA/2/3 and UNEP/CBD/GEEPA/3/3 and are available at www.biodiv.org/awareness/global-initiative.asp.

91. The Executive Secretary has prepared an in-depth analysis of the proceedings of the EPA group of experts, as well as recommendations for future action, for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/13/Add.2). The recommendations include a programme of work for the global initiative on communication, education and public awareness.

92. Resolution VII.9 of Ramsar COP7 adopted "The Convention's Outreach Programme 1999-2002 - Actions to promote communication, education and public awareness to support implementation of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)". The Resolution invited Ramsar Parties to designate a governmental and a non-governmental focal point for the implementation of the Outreach Programme. The Ramsar Bureau has developed a work plan for the implementation of the programme and established an Outreach Web-site (http://ramsar.org/outreach_index.htm), which includes contact lists for national CEPA (Communication, Education and Public Awareness) focal points. Electronic discussion groups (in English, French and Spanish) for the national CEPA focal points and others interested in wetland CEPA have been established through the Web-site so as to facilitate exchange of information. Further elaboration of the Outreach programme will be considered by Ramsar COP8.

Actions to be taken:

20.1 The Ramsar Bureau and the CDB Secretariat will exchange information about the implementation of the respective work plans in the areas of education, communication and public awareness in order to avoid duplication of efforts and so as to reinforced the work of both Conventions and national, regional and international levels.

20.2 The Ramsar Bureau, Wetlands International and the CBD Secretariat will maximise the use of the Ramsar Outreach Programme mini-website and Wetlands International's website to enable all relevant information to be made available to CBD CHM, and will explore additional ways and means to make the information accessible to CBD Parties.

20.3 The Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will encourage contact between their respective national focal points with responsibility for communication, education and public awareness to encourage national collaboration concerning wetlands and biodiversity, including any review of national education and public awareness needs.

20.4 CBD Secretariat will raise awareness with CBD national focal points of the theme and activities of Ramsar's World Wetlands Day, the theme of which will link in 2003 to the International Year of Freshwater.

20.5 Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat will ensure Ramsar Parties are fully aware of, and can access information and tools from, national CBD Clearing House Mechanisms through CBD focal points, so as to encourage national collaboration on joint implementation of the conventions.

20.6 CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau will review opportunities for using the CHM to profile and increase access to information available though each Convention on priority areas of activity under this JWP.

Activity 21 - Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

93. The CBD recognizes the immediate threats to the inland water ecosystems and associated biological diversity of small island states. CBD COP4 requested the Executive Secretary and the SBSTTA to pay special attention to early cooperation with the small island States in the development of rapid assessment methodologies and states suffering from ecological disasters (CBD COP decision IV/4, Annex I, paragraphs 6, 7, and 8(b))

94. Ramsar COP7 adopted Recommendation 7.2 on Small Island Developing States, island wetland ecostystems and the Ramsar Convention, and the Standing Committee has reviewed synergies between Ramsar and the Barbados Programme of Action and determined that its priorities should form a focus for development of specific actions for incorporation into the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008. Work to develop a joint programme of activity, including identification of the needs of SIDS in relation to wetlands has been initiated between Ramsar and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with the support of the Government of Australia.

Actions to be taken:

21.1 CBD Secretariat, Ramsar Bureau, UNESCO (SIDS programme), and Conservation International will contribute to implementation of activity 2.4 of this joint work plan on development of guidelines for rapid assessment of biological diversity of inland water ecosystems (giving special attention to small island states).

21.2 The Ramsar Bureau will make available to CBD its work plans and agreements on priorities for work with SIDS under the Barbados Programme of Action and with SPREP.

D. COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Activity 22 - UNFCCC, UNCCD and CMS

95. Given the close links between desertification, climate change and biodiversity, and Ramsar's role as lead partner for CBD with respect to inland waters, its work on climate change and wetland issues, and the MOU between Ramsar and UNCCD, this area of work presents an opportunity for the four conventions to work together so as to support their respective Parties with harmonised national implementation. Likewise the joint work plans between CBD and CMS and Ramsar and CMS, to be finalised in 2002, offer the basis for strong opportunities for tripartite action on common issues.

Actions to be taken:

22.1 Efforts will continue, in consultation with an interested national government, to prepare for consideration by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of a project proposal for a pilot demonstration site, possibly in Africa, at which the common interest of CBD, Ramsar, UNCCD and UNFCCC can be considered and integrated into an on-ground management model. (Activity 1.8 of the second JWP 2002-2003)

22.2 The CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau will review their respective programmes of joint work and collaboration with other MEAs so as to fully identify where areas of common interest and activity exist so as to ensure appropriate contributions to implementation, and incorporate these into the review of this JWP.

22.3 The CBD Secretariat and the Ramsar Bureau will continue to seek to ensure that guidance prepared for each convention on impacts, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change on wetlands and biodiversity is harmonised through the work of STRP and SBSTTA in this area.

Activity 23 - UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

96. The Ramsar Standing Committee in December 2001 endorsed a joint programme of work between the Ramsar Bureau and MAB which will be considered by the MAB Consultative Council in March 2002. This particularly addresses the designation, monitoring and management of Ramsar sites and Biosphere Reserves.

Actions to be taken:

23.1 Ramsar Bureau and MAB secretariat will make available to CBD secretariat their programme of joint work, as the basis for review of ways and means of it contributing to the actions under this JWP.

Activity 24 - Ramsar's International Organization Partners

97. Four international environmental non-governmental organizations (BirdLife International, IUCN- The World Conservation Union, Wetlands International, and WWF International) formally act as Ramsar's International Organization Partners (IOPs). These organizations provide wide-ranging and long-standing technical and scientific support to the implementation of the Convention at global , national and local levels, notably through their membership of the STRP, as well as directly assisting Parties. Wetlands also has a Memorandum of Cooperation concerning technical support to CBD. Likewise IUCN contributes to CBD work through a Memorandum of Cooperation.

98. Wetlands International's core work priorities include the International Waterbird Census, associated data management and supra-national analysis and reporting, which provides information to set the Ramsar waterbird 1% population criterion for the designation of Wetalnds of International Importance; design and piloting of regional approaches to wetland inventory, monitoring and assessment; design and development of and support to a number of regional flyways; and science-led input to and facilitation of the conservation and wise use of wetlands. In addition, Wetlands International, under contract to the Ramsar Bureau, manages and develops the Ramsar Sites Database which contains official site information, provided by Contracting Parties through the "Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)". The Database is used to provide analysis and advice to the Ramsar Bureau, for the use of Contracting Parties. The Ramsar Sites Directory, maintained on WI's website, contains standardised extracts of the RIS to enable comparison of Sites. Wetlands International is also developing a Ramsar Wetlands Training Service on behalf of the Convention.

99. BirdLife International has a long history of input to policy development in both Conventions, in pioneering aspects of global guidance as well as elaboration of national policy and legislative frameworks in individual countries. Programmes and projects at local level include scientific research, conservation management of key sites and ecosystems, education and community participation initiatives. More widely, campaign activities promote public awareness of a range of bird and biodiversity conservation issues.

100. BirdLife International provides support and assistance to both Conventions at all levels, including their global technical bodies, regional initiatives and national implementation by Parties. In particular BirdLife collects and synthesises a variety of data resources which offer significant contributions to the implementation of the Joint Work Plan. These include inventories of Important Bird Areas (IBAs), and the World Bird Database, concerning the status and distribution of birds worldwide. Much of this is now accessible through the new website www.birdlife.net. BirdLife is also currently developing integrated monitoring and biodiversity indicators in three categories: IBAs, threatened bird species and common bird species. Convention-related processes will be among the end-uses for this work.

101. IUCN undertakes a wide range of global policy and local activities that support implementation of both Conventions and has prepared an analysis of how has contributed to the delivery of the CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan 2000-2001. In particular the Water and Wetlands Programme delivers sustainable management and other strategic activities for inland waters in many countries, the IUCN - Species Survival Commission prepares the IUCN Red List, which highlights the status of globally threatened species, and is developing the Species Information Service to support this work. IUCN-SSC has also initiated a programme of work on freshwater biodiversity assessment, which will contribute to the joint CBD-Ramsar activities on this topic. IUCN is active in contributing to preparation of convention guidance from its expertise in invasive species, impact assessment, incentives and climate change.

102. WWF International, through its Living Waters Programme, is actively supporting countries in their designation of Wetlands of International Importance, and management planning for these sites, and is preparing during 2002 a review of the global status of Ramsar sites. Its campaign activities promote public awareness on wetland conservation issues.

103. During the first half of 2002, Ramsar's Standing Committee will be undertaking a review of the scientific support and synergies amongst it scientific and technical partners (IOPs and other collaborating organizations) so as to improve the core science foundation support to the STRP and the Ramsar Convention. The findings of this review will, as appropriate, be incorporated into the revised modus operandi of the STRP to be considered by Ramsar COP8.

Actions to be taken:

24.1 Wetlands International will work closely with the Ramsar Bureau and the CBD Secretariat to support implementation as appropriate of the actions of this JWP, and will provide technical information under its core work priorities to support the implementation of both Conventions.

24.2 Information on the Ramsar Wetlands Training Service, once launched, will be made available to CBD Parties through the conventions' Web-sites.

24.3 BirdLife International will continue to work closely with the Ramsar Bureau and CBD Secretariat to support implementation as appropriate of the actions of this JWP, and will provide technical information and input to policy development activities in support of the implementation of both Conventions.

24.4 The scope for establishing links between BirdLife International's website and Convention sites, including the CBD Clearing-House Mechanism, will be explored.

24.5 As a contribution to CBD's work on protected areas, WWF's assessments of the status of Ramsar sites will be made available to SBSTTA.

24.6 The CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau will review with IUCN its areas of support for the implementation of this JWP, and seek to ensure that its work on freshwater biodiversity assessment is made fully available to joint Convention actions and the preparation of guidance.

E. NATIONAL REPORTING

Activity 25 - Harmonising national reporting

104. Following the project finalized by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) in 1998 entitled "Feasibility study for a harmonized information management infrastructure for the biodiversity-related treaties" the same five convention secretariats involved in this initiative have since acted to establish a common entry point and search engine for their respective sites on the World Wide Web. Ramsar COP7 Resolution VII.4 on Partnerships and cooperation with other Conventions, including harmonized information management infrastructures, supports the continuing implementation of the recommendations from the WCMC Report, including collaboration with respect to national reporting processes under the conventions.

105. During 2001/2002 a series of UNEP pilot projects are evaluating options for improved harmonisation and their experience will help guide future development of both Convention's national planning and reporting processes.

106. The Ramsar Convention has developed its National Report format into a national strategic planning and target-setting tool that operates interactively on personal computers. Ramsar's National Report format also mirrors that of its Strategic Plan to assist the monitoring of progress and the identification of priorities. The Ramsar National Report Format and National Planning Tool will be reviewed and further developed during 2002/2003 to match the format of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008.

Actions to be taken:

25.1 During 2002, the Ramsar Bureau will contribute to the CBD work and liaison group on national reporting and report formats so as to identify appropriate themes and topics for collaborative reporting, and may wish to conduct further review in the light of the outcomes of the UNEP harmonised reporting pilot projects.

25.2 The Ramsar Bureau will continue to contribute to the finalisation of the CBD Strategic Plan and CBD Secretariat to the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, including ensuring the elements of this Joint Work Plan are fully covered in their objectives and implementation plans.

25.3 The CBD Secretariat and Ramsar Bureau will seek ways of sharing experience and approaches to the handling and analysis of National Reports, and make available analyses, as appropriate, to support the work of the Conventions and their subsidiary bodies.

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

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

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
E-Mail: ramsar@ramsar.org
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe