Nordic Wetland Conference & Ramsar Meeting -- Closing statement

18/05/2004

NORDIC WETLANDS CONFERENCE
BREKSTAD - NORWAY, 4 - 7 MAY 2004

CLOSING STATEMENT

In view of the recommendation in the Nordic Council of Minister's report "Nordic Wetland Conservation" (Tema Nord Report 2004/506) stating that "priority should be given to arranging a seminar to follow up this report"; and

In light of obligations under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar) and recommendations from the eighth Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the convention in Valencia in 2002; and

With funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers through its Nordic working group for nature, outdoor recreation and cultural heritage (NFK);

The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN), with assistance from the County Governor of Sør-Trøndelag, had invited to such a conference; and

48 participants from 10 countries, representing national Ramsar management authorities, research institutions, Ramsar site management staff, and NGOs, gathered from 4 - 7 May 2004 at Brekstad in Ørlandet municipality in Norway;

To consider the findings and recommendations in the Nordic report, to share experiences and gain new knowledge, to develop a closer Ramsar network between neighbouring countries, and to discuss possible further subregional cooperation; and

Having followed a program with thematic sessions exploring overviews on working with wetlands, global to regional perspectives on wetlands, wetlands conservation and management, wetlands - more than birds, possible increased and improved subregional cooperation, and field visit to the Ørlandet Ramsar site;

Participants agreed to;

Welcome the recently available Nordic Council of Minister's report "Nordic Wetland Conservation" including its recommendations; and

Support that these recommendations should be considered and followed up, in particular those directed to responsible national authorities in the Nordic countries; and identified some recommendations and issues that should be emphasised for follow-up;

Express that there are good opportunities for improved and increased subregional cooperation, and identified several areas and approaches for such cooperation;

Welcome the offer from Norway to try to convene a smaller subregional meeting later this year, which could inter alia consider mandate, geographical focus, possible work plan, funding and lead responsibilities;

Conclude that there are to lessons to be learned from each other and opportunities for enhanced subregional cooperation on improved management of Ramsar sites and wetlands, and identified several areas and approaches for such cooperation;

Look forward to appropriate cooperation with regard to the European Ramsar meeting in Armenia in December 2004 and the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) in Uganda in 2005, and

Thank the speakers for the many insightful presentations related to the development and implementation of Ramsar Convention at the subregional and national level; and

Thank the Nordic Council of Ministers for the financial support for the Conference and the Norwegian government for their support and good organisation of the Conference;

Appreciate the participation of and contributions made by the Regional Coordinator for Europe from the Ramsar Bureau, Tobias Salathé; and

Expect that the Nordic report will soon be distributed to relevant organisations and people working with conservation and wise use of wetlands in the region, as well as be made available on the Internet, and requested Norway to follow up on this; and

Look forward to receiving the proceedings from the conference, expecting this to include the agenda/program, key points in available presentations, summary from break-out sessions, a list of participants and this concluding statement; and

Request Norway that the proceedings be distributed to relevant stakeholders, including conference participants, national management and scientific authorities for the Ramsar Convention in the countries participating, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Ramsar Bureau.

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