Millennium Ecosystem Assessment work nearing completion

11/10/2004

Progress in preparing the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's Ramsar Synthesis Report

Alongside a final full meeting of the lead authors of each of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Conditions & Trends, Scenarios, Responses and Sub-global Assessments report chapters, members of the MA's Ramsar Synthesis Team (co-led by Rebecca D'Cruz, former Ramsar Secretariat Regional Coordinator for Asia, and Max Finlayson, Chair of the STRP) met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 25-29 September 2004 to work further on the draft MA Synthesis Report being prepared to meet the information needs identified by the Ramsar Convention as a key user of the MA's work.

Working closely with the lead authors of a number of these chapters, in order to ensure consistency of information and key messages in both the chapters and the Synthesis Report, the team made significant progress in preparing its consultation draft text. The Synthesis Report for Ramsar will focus on the vital range of ecosystem services provided by inland and coastal wetlands for people, emphasising that without maintaining the ecological character and capacity of wetlands to continue to provide these services, attempts to secure poverty reduction, improved sanitation, and food and water security will not be sustainable. The MA's findings are confirming that both coastal and inland wetlands and their biodiversity are deteriorating at even more alarming rates than most terrestrial ecosystems, and that the fate of wetlands under several of the MA's future plausible scenarios could significantly worsen. The report will explain the implications for the Convention of different global futures, and will provide advice on a wide range of strategies and interventions which can and should be applied so as to contribute to future wetland sustainability.

A consultation draft of the Ramsar Synthesis Report will be circulated by the MA Secretariat for review to all Ramsar Contracting Parties, the STRP, and STRP National Focal Points in mid-November 2004. The Synthesis Team will then meet in mid-January 2005 to finalise the report text in the light of the review comments. This final draft will be considered by the STRP when it meets for its 12th meeting in February 2005. It is planned to launch the MA's Ramsar Synthesis Report at the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Ramsar COP9) in November 2005.

Dr Nick Davidson
Deputy Secretary General
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

As the work goes on into the night.

The Ramsar Synthesis Report team: this side of the table, Max Finlayson (Australia) and David Pritchard (BirdLife International); far side of the table, Carmen Revenga (The Nature Conservancy), Steve Cork, Blake Ratner (World Fish Centre), Rebecca D'Cruz.

Ramsar Synthesis co-lead authors Max Finlayson (Australia, Wetlands International, and chair of Ramsar STRP) and Rebecca D'Cruz (Malaysia, formerly Ramsar Secretariat)

from left: Charlie Vorosmarty (University of New Hampshire, USA), coordinating lead author on Freshwater Services; Lori Han (World Resources Institute), MA Product Manager; Carmen Revenga (The Nature Conservancy, formerly WRI)

Charlie Vorosmarty and Christian Leveque (French National Centre for Scientific Research)

Max Finlayson; Bob Scholes (South Africa), Co-Chair, working group on Condition and Trends; Rebecca D'Cruz.

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