Wetlands for the Future -- Memo of Understanding with the Government of the United States

15/10/1997

US State DepartmentUnited States Department of State
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental
and Scientific Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20520

Memorandum of Understanding on the "Wetlands for the Future Program"
Between the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and the Government of the United States of America

1. RECOGNIZING that the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (hereinafter Ramsar) is the only global conservation treaty dedicated to the sustainable and wise use of wetlands resources;

2. NOTING that this goal is fully compatible with the conservation objectives of the Government of the United States of America, which is party to the Ramsar Convention;

3. CONSIDERING that the Ramsar Convention has already successfully implemented a Western Hemisphere capacity-building initiative entitled "Wetlands for the Future" with funding provided by three years of contributions from the United States of America;

4. RECALLING the "Memorandum of Understanding on Ramsar Convention Capacity Building in the Western Hemisphere Between the Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and the Government of the United States of America", signed November 1994; and

5. REAFFIRMING that the Government of the United States of America considers the continued implementation of the Wetlands for the Future initiative beneficial to the future of wetlands in the Western Hemisphere and consonant with the international environmental goals of the Government of the United States of America.

6. The Government of the United States of America and the Ramsar Convention Bureau hereby record the following:

7. The purpose of this Understanding is to continue the partnership between the Government of the United States of America and the Ramsar Bureau established pursuant to the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding for managing the Wetlands for the Future initiative.

8. This small-grants initiative will focus on the Caribbean and Latin American regions, and grants provided by the United States Government will be disbursed by the Ramsar Bureau for meritorious proposals that are intended to:

develop human resources needed for the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands;
train wetlands managers in the professional and technical skills needed to pursue the goals of the Ramsar Convention;
establish regional technical information networks to support conservation and sustainable management of wetlands;
develop local, national, or regional awareness of and support for conservation of wetlands;
advance ecologically sound community management; or
link this initiative to other prograrns that share the overall goals of wetlands management and conservation.


9. Subject to availability of funds, the United States Government intends to make available to the Ramsar Convention Bureau additional annual contributions for the USG fiscal years 1998,1999, 2000 earmarked for Wetlandsfor the Future to extend and enhance that initiative. These earmarked funds are intended exclusively to finance this initiative in the manner that has already been established by practice over the last three years.

10. The Ramsar Bureau, acting through its Secretary General, and the United States Government, acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will cooperate in the implementation of the Wetlandsfor the Future initiative and continue to develop appropriate procedures and methods for carrying out this initiative.

11. The Ramsar Bureau will continue to maintain a separate project account for this activity and intends to provide the United States Government with an annual audit of these funds within the context of annual Ramsar accounts audit.

12. The Ramsar Bureau will designate an individual knowledgeable of the Ramsar Convention and Western Hemisphere Convention program objectives to provide independent oversight, coordination, and evaluation of activities carried out under this initiative. These activities will be carried out on a voluntary basis, but under appropriate circumstances, this individual may be reimbursed for costs incurred.

13. Funds made available by the United States Government for this initiative may be used by the Ramsar Bureau for administration, coordination, and evaluation of the initiative, but may not be used for payment of salaries to Ramsar Bureau staff.

14. Any publications, slides, videos, or other promotional and information materials specifically related to this initiative should mention the initiative and insofar as practicable display the logos of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of State, and Ramsar Convention.

15. The United States Government and Rarnsar Bureau challenge other nations and organizations interested in wetlands conservation to undertake similar initiatives in other regions of the world.

16. The United States Government and Ramsar Bureau intend to seek long-term understandings for wetlands management and natural resource conservation in the Western Hemisphere.

17. This Memorandum of Understanding will remain in effect for three (3) years, subject to extension for like periods of time, or until such time as the funds provided have been expended, whichever occurs first.

SIGNATURES

For the Ramsar Convention Bureau:

Delmar Blasco, 10-9-97

For the Government of the United States of America:

Rafe Pomerance, 10-1-97

Marshall P. Jones, Jr., 10-9-97

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