Wetlands for the Future -- Memo of Understanding with the Government of the United States, 2003-2008

21/01/2004

Memorandum of Understanding on the "Wetlands for the Future" Initiative
Between the Secretariat 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 eight 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 Secretariat 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 Secretariat have reached the following understandings:

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

8. This initiative will focus on the Caribbean and Latin American regions. Funds provided by the United States Government are to be disbursed by the Ramsar Secretariat for meritorious proposals that are intended to: 1) develop human resources needed for the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands; 2) train wetlands managers in the professional and technical skills needed to pursue the goals of the Ramsar Convention; 3) establish regional technical information networks to support conservation and sustainable management of wetlands; 4) develop local, national, or regional awareness of and support for conservation of wetlands; 5) advance ecologically sound community management; or 6) link this initiative to other programs 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 Secretariat additional annual contributions for the USG fiscal years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 earmarked for Wetlands for the Future to extend and enhance that initiative. These earmarked funds are intended exclusively to finance this initiative in the manner recorded in this MOU and following the practices established over the last eight years.

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

11. The Ramsar Secretariat should 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. Funds made available by the United States Government for this initiative may be used by the Ramsar Secretariat for administration, coordination, and evaluation of the initiative. The Ramsar Secretariat may utilize up to 10 percent of the annual disbursement for its related costs.

13. The Ramsar Secretariat should maintain and continue to fund on an ongoing basis an intern position for the Neotropical Region whose duties would include assistance with the Wetlands for the Future initiative.

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

15. The United States Government and the Ramsar Secretariat are to decide jointly on the activities and grants provided by the Wetlands for the Future initiative. Should there be a lack of agreement on any decision, it is understood that the views of the United States are to prevail.

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

17. Activities under this MOU and the understandings contained herein that pertain to such activities are to be applied from the date of signature of this MOU and for five (5) years, subject to extension for like periods of time, or until such time as the funds provided have been expended, whichever occurs first. The understandings recorded in this MOU are also understood to apply retroactively to March 1, 2003.

SIGNATURES

For the Ramsar Convention Secretariat:

___________________________ ___________________________
Peter Bridgewater Date 15/1/2004

For the Government of the United States of America:

___________________________ ___________________________
Claudia A. McMurray Date December 29,2003

___________________________ ___________________________
Marshall P. Jones, Jr. Date Jan 12 2004

[Preceding MOU of October 1997]

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