Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ramsar Bureau and RIZA







RECOGNISING that the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the primary inter-governmental
instrument for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, and that the Convention cooperates as a lead partner with the Convention on Biological Diversity in the implementation of activities concerning CBD's inland waters biodiversity programme of work;

RECOGNISING ALSO that, being part of the extensive Dutch network of expertise-centres on water and wetland issues, the Institute for Inland Water Management and Wastewater Treatment (RIZA) is the leading Dutch governmental research and advice institute for management and wise use of inland water systems. RIZA has wide national and international expertise on physical, chemical, ecological, environmental and planning aspects of river basins and integrated management of inland waters, including restoration and rehabilitation;

AWARE that the Ramsar Administrative Authority in the Netherlands is the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, and that RIZA is an institute of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport and Public Works;

CONSIDERING that RIZA and the Ramsar Bureau share the common goal of the conservation, management and wise use of wetlands for people and nature, and that meeting this goal requires collaboration at all levels (international, national, local), and by all stakeholders (governmental, non-governmental, corporate, public, and private);

AWARE that, from 2002, RIZA will host the Secretariat of the European Centre for River Restoration;

RECALLING in particular the draft Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008 and especially its actions concerning inventory and assessment, policies and legislation including impact assessment and valuation, restoration and rehabilitation, management planning and monitoring of Ramsar sites, management of shared water resources, wetlands and wetland species, sharing of expertise and information, and training; the anticipated workplan of Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel; and the relevant parts of the draft third Joint Work Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; and

DECLARING that both the Ramsar Bureau and RIZA (hereafter referred to as the Parties) wish to establish a formal cooperation for the management, conservation, wise use and restoration of wetlands;


Article 1: General cooperation and focal points

1.1 The Parties agree to collaborate to promote the management, conservation, and wise use of wetlands, especially with respect to integrated water management and river basin management, by enhancing their existing communication and cooperation.

1.2 The Parties recognize the benefit of facilitating the development of cooperative and collaborative activities as well as of providing articles for newsletters and publications of their respective organizations.

1.3 The Parties shall keep each other well informed of needs, issues, and opportunities that emerge as a result of their activities.

1.4 The Parties shall create links between the web sites of the two organisations, and establish appropriate links between relevant RIZA-expertise and the Experts Database maintained by the Ramsar Bureau.

1.5 The focal points for general matters between the Ramsar Bureau and RIZA shall be the Ramsar Secretary General and the Head of the Wetland Development and Restoration Department, RIZA.

1.6 The focal points shall arrange for periodic review of this MoC and assessment of its implementation, as necessary.

Article 2: Contribution from the Ramsar Bureau

2.1 Subject to the agreement of the respective bodies within the Ramsar Convention, the Ramsar Bureau shall seek to invite RIZA, when appropriate, to assist the Ramsar Bureau.

2.2 Subject to the agreement of Ramsar's Contracting Parties, RIZA will be invited to participate in Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel as an observer organisation.

2.3 The Ramsar Bureau shall disseminate information, where and when appropriate, on RIZA and the support given to the Convention by RIZA.

2.4 The Ramsar Bureau shall involve RIZA, where appropriate, in Ramsar advisory missions and other project activities.

2.5 The Ramsar Bureau shall keep RIZA on its mailing list for receipt of all relevant documents.

2.6 The Ramsar Secretary General will continue to chair the Advisory Board of the Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (WATC).

2.7 The Ramsar Bureau will promote and support the development and implementation of wetland-related training activities of RIZA.

2.8 These activities will be carried out to the best ability of the Ramsar Bureau, within the resources available.

Article 3: Contribution from RIZA

3.1 RIZA shall endeavor to support the Ramsar Convention through:

i) Provision of technical and scientific support for the implementation of the Convention, especially, where appropriate, for the relevant items of the STRP work plan and the third joint work plan between the Ramsar Convention and CBD;

ii) Offering opportunities for capacity building through international training courses and knowledge exchange in the field of wetland policy-making, wetland management and wetland restoration;

iii) Dissemination of information and technical materials; andiv) Raising awareness of wetlands and their values, including the promotion of World Wetlands Day;

iv) In matters concerning coastal wetlands and coastal zone management, RIZA shall primarily seek assistance from RIKZ, the National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management.

3.2 In addition to the above activities, RIZA shall endeavor to support the implementation of the Ramsar Convention Strategic Plan 1997-2002 and it's successor, the Strategic Plan 2003-2008, as adopted by Ramsar COP8, in particular through promoting the Convention in all appropriate forums.

3.3 Where specific support is requested from the Ramsar Bureau by RIZA, RIZA shall seek to secure and allocate funds to assist the Ramsar Bureau to provide that support.

3.4 These activities will be carried out to the best ability of RIZA, within the resources available.

Article 4: General

4.1 This MoC shall be effective from the date when both Parties have affixed their signatures.

4.2 Any amendment to this MoC shall only be made on the basis of a written agreement signed by both Parties.

4.3 Neither Party shall be legally or financially liable in any way for activities carried out independently by the other Party.

4.4 Any differing viewpoints or interpretations of this MOC shall be resolved amicably by consultation or negotiation between the two Parties.

4.5 This MoC may be terminated by either Party subject to written notice of six months. In case the Memorandum ceases to be in effect on account of termination thereof, existing cooperation shall continue to the extent necessary for the completion of existing, agreed activities.

Signed in two copies in the English language:

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

Mr. A.H. van Bennekom
General Director, RIZA

On behalf of,
Mr Bart Fokkens
Director, Wetland Development and Restoration Department, RIZA

Date and Place: 22 November 2002, Valencia (Spain)

Annex 1

Proposed initial implementation activities (2002-2003) under the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and the Institute for Inland Water Management and Wastewater Treatment
(RIZA, The Netherlands)

1. Activities in implementation of the MoC must be closely related to RIZA's core business as a governmental institute, which are:

  • Integrated water management of inland water systems (lakes, rivers, streams, ground water);
  • River basin approach in integrated water management;
  • Wetland management (esp. water management aspects, socio-economic aspects and wise use);
  • Wetland restoration/rehabilitation; and
  • River restoration.

2. RIZA activities will be supplementary to the obligations of the Government of the Netherlands, coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries, as a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention.

3. RIZA activities will give priority to the implementation of the CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan 2002-2003, supporting the work of Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and to relevant Ramsar advisory missions.

4. Concerning the exchange of information between Ramsar and RIZA, RIZA will focus especially on exchange of information related to Eastern Europe (pre-accession countries) and on the European Water Framework Directive.

5. Specific implementation activities will include, during 2002-2003, the following:

i) RIZA's contribution to the proposed Global Biodivesity Forum workshops (Valencia, Spain, November 2002) on agriculture, wetlands and water resources, and on wetland restoration and mitigation;

ii) Co-chairing by RIZA of Ramsar's proposed Virtual Water Forum on wetland management planning, as preparation for the 3rd World Water Forum (Japan, 2003);

iii) Ramsar Bureau involvement in RIZA's wetland training courses (including presentations, assistance in selection of participants, and assistance in finding sponsors) and the Chairing of the Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (WATC) Advisory Board;

iv) Input from RIZA and the European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR) to the Ramsar Standing Committee's "Review of scientific support and synergies amongst partners to improve core scientific foundation support to the STRP and the Ramsar Convention", especially concerning the co-ordination and linking of expert networks;

v) Input from RIZA and the ECRR to the implementation of the Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative, including identification of good practice case studies; and

vi) Input from RIZA and the ECRR to any further work by Ramsar's STRP concerning guidance on wetland restoration, water allocation and management, and river basin management.

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