World Summit on Sustainable Development -- Ramsar report on events of 1 September
Events of Sunday, 1 September 2002, and the signing of an MOU between Ramsar and UNCTAD
While Ministers continued with their negotiations behind closed doors, the rest of the participants at the Summit were involved in a myriad of activities at the Water Dome, Ubuntu Village (where South Africa and other countries have mounted national pavilions not related to water), at NASREC the site where civil society is camping, at the IUCN Centre near the Convention Centre and, yesterday, at the Hilton Hotel where there was a special event for business leaders from all over the world, with Kofi Annan and many ministers in attendance.
Ramsar chaired a session on wetlands in water management held at the IUCN Centre within a day of activities under the theme "Water - Responsibility for security". The panel at the wetland session included Peter Spillet, Head of Environment and Sustainability at the Thames Water company, UK; Torkil Clausen, Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Global Water Partnership; Tabeth Chiuta, Coordinator of the IUCN Water Programme for Southern Africa; Paul Mabafi, Uganda Wetland Programme; and Jamie Pittock, WWF Living Waters Programme.
The Secretary General participated also in the kick-off meeting of the Ministerial Conference on Water to be held in conjunction with the Third World Water Forum in Japan in March 2003. The meeting was organized by the Government of Japan to brief governments and international organizations about the preparations for the Conference and to receive feedback on the content and proposed modus operandi of the event.
Finally, Ramsar was represented at a high-level meeting invited by the Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr. Rubens Ricupero, in relation to the BIOTRADE Initiative. At the meeting a series of Partnerships on biotrade were launched, and Ramsar and UNCTAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the cooperation with the BIOTRADE Initiative. A special side event and an exhibition of wetland products are being organized for COP8 by the Ramsar Bureau in cooperation with the BIOTRADE Initiative. The UNCTAD Initiative is being funded by the UN Foundation and the Governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands.
-- reported by Delmar Blasco, Secretary General