Ramsar and the 12th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development

22/04/2004

Update on news from CSD12

[21 April 2004] Ramsar is present at the 12th meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, in New York, USA, from the 19th to the 30th of April 2004. The overall themes of CSD12 are water, sanitation and human settlements, making Ramsar presence crucial in order to move forward in our focus on the water issue. Beside taking part in the discussions, Ramsar's presence will be enhanced by two side-events, an official statement, and collaboration with other events.

On Monday, the 19th, the "Water for birds, water for people" side event explored how partnership with the private sector can help in applying the Ramsar Convention. Through the explanation of the International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, funded by the Gillette Company, and the DANONE/Evian Fund for Water, this side event showed the success stories of these two Type II partnerships between private companies and the Ramsar Convention. A third presentation explained more specifically how these partnerships can help in enhancing the Ramsar Convention's capacity for dealing with the broader water issues, including not only biological or ecological purposes, but also human and socio-cultural needs.

On Tuesday, 20th, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention gave an official statement during the CSD12 plenary session on water. The text of this statement is available on the Ramsar Web site, as well as on the CSD site (http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm).

Also on Tuesday the 20th, the Secretary General participated in the "Environmental Flows for Sustainable Development" side event organized by IUCN-The World Conservation Union. This session considered the importance of environmental flows for people and nature, considered the experience already gained in achieving environmental flows, and explored the next steps in promoting and implementing environmental flows for sustainable development. Peter Bridgewater's presentation is entitled: "The Ramsar Convention: environmental flows and ecological waters".

On Tuesday, 27th April (13h-15h), a special event co-organized by the Ramsar Convention, the Swiss Confederation, and the Ministry of Environment of Japan will present another aspect of water management, through Integrated Water Management Strategies. With the illustration of cases in Japan and Switzerland, the speakers will explain why the Ramsar Convention is, at the moment, the only international agreement legally empowered to deal with the water issue. Integrated Water Management Schemes, as one of its priorities, shows how Ramsar has already been dealing with this issue, and how this experience can be now applied to other cases.

This event will be a working lunch and will take place at the Delegate's dinning room at the UN Headquarters. Invitations are available from the organizers. Attendance will be limited to 100 persons, on a first come, first served basis.

-- reported by Sebastià Semene, Ramsar

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