Ramsar Secretariat MOC with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)


Memorandum of Cooperation


The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

RECOGNIZING that the Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is the primary intergovernmental instrument for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources, including water, land, and biodiversity, and that to date 137 countries worldwide have ratified the treaty, which is served by the Ramsar Bureau (secretariat) based in Gland, Switzerland;

RECOGNIZING ALSO that the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a leading international research institute on matters related to the improvement of water and land resources management for food, livelihoods and nature, and that the Institute has extensive expertise on issues of particular interest to the developing countries, including integrated water management for agriculture, sustainable smallholder land and water management systems, sustainable groundwater management, water resources institutions and policies, and health and environmental issues in water management;

AWARE that IWMI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and a Future Harvest Center;

CONSIDERING that IWMI and the Ramsar Bureau share the common goal of ensuring sustainability in the use of water and wetland resources for livelihoods and nature;

RECALLING in particular the Resolutions adopted at the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on water allocation and on agriculture, as well as the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, in particular its actions concerning wetland inventory and assessment; policies and legislation including impact assessment and valuation; restoration and rehabilitation; management planning and monitoring of Wetlands of International Importance designated under the Convention; management of shared water resources; shared wetlands and wetland species; and sharing of expertise, information and training;

ALSO RECALLING the Work Plan 2003-2005 of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), which includes an Expert Working Group on Water Resource Management, and in which agriculture is considered as a high priority cross-cutting issue;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the relevant parts of the Third Joint Work Plan between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention covering the period 2003-2006;

AWARE that on the basis of Ramsar COP Resolutions VII.19 and VIII.30, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) operates under the aegis of the Convention and the MedWet Coordination Unit has been established in Athens, Greece, under the authority of the Ramsar Secretary General in order to support activities for the implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan in the Mediterranean region;

RECALLING that IWMI hosts the secretariat for the global Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment, as one of three designated resource centres for the Global Water Partnership (GWP), providing support to GWP secretariat, and that MedWet is the leading partner of the GWP-Mediterranean for this Dialogue in the Mediterranean Region; and

DECLARING that both the Ramsar Bureau and IWMI (hereafter referred to as the Parties) wish to establish a formal cooperation in their fields of mutual interest;


Article 1: General cooperation and focal points

1.1 The Parties agree to collaborate to promote the wise use of wetland resources, especially with respect to integrated river basin management, by establishing a regular communication and cooperation.

1.2 The Parties recognize the benefit of facilitating the development of cooperative and collaborative activities, including programmes of research, applications and training.

1.3 Each of the Parties will assign one of its staff to act as the focal point for general matters between them. In particular, for the Mediterranean region, IWMI will collaborate directly with the MedWet Coordination Unit.

1.4 The Parties will create links between the Web sites of the two organizations and the Web site of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, and will provide for exchange between relevant IWMI expertise and the Ramsar Experts Database maintained by Wetlands International as part of its STRP Support Service.

1.5 The focal points will arrange for periodic review of this MoC and assessment of its implementation, as necessary.

Article 2: Specific collaboration

2.1 The Ramsar Bureau will invite IWMI to provide technical and expert assistance to the Ramsar Bureau, as appropriate.

2.2 Subject to the agreement of the Chair of Ramsar's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), IWMI will be invited to participate in meetings of the STRP as an observer.

2.3 The Ramsar Bureau will provide to IWMI, where appropriate and as resources permit, expertise in relation to wetland conservation, management, and wise use.

2.4 The Ramsar Bureau will keep the IWMI focal point on its mailing list for receipt of all relevant documents.

2.5 The MedWet Initiative, through its Coordination Unit, will collaborate closely with IWMI for the development, fundraising and implementation of activities in the Mediterranean region, especially those related to the use of water in agriculture and wetlands-agriculture interactions, in line with the priorities of the Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment. The two Parties will coordinate in approaching their respective funding partners in order to raise the funds needed for the implementation of activities.

2.6 In developing actions in collaboration with MedWet for the wise use of water resources in the Mediterranean region, IWMI will act as a focal point for mobilising other expertise within the CGIAR.

2.7 The Ramsar Bureau will provide input to IWMI for its Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture.

2.8 IWMI will endeavour to support the Ramsar Convention through provision of technical and scientific expertise for the implementation of the Convention, especially, where appropriate, for the relevant items of the STRP Work Plan and the Third Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and CBD. In addition, IWMI shall endeavour to support the implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2003-2008, in particular as regards water use and agriculture issues.

Article 3: General

3.1 This MoC shall be effective from the date when both Parties have affixed their signatures.

3.2 Any amendment to this MoC shall be made only on the basis of a written agreement signed by both Parties.

3.3 Neither Party shall be legally or financially liable in any way for activities carried out independently by the other Party.

3.4 Any differing viewpoints or interpretations of this MoC shall be resolved amicably by consultation or negotiation between the two Parties.

3.5 This MoC may be terminated by either Party subject to written notice of six months. In case of its termination, although the Memorandum shall cease to be in effect, existing cooperation shall continue to the extent necessary for the completion of existing, agreed activities.

Signed in two copies in the English language:

Dr Peter Bridgewater
Secretary General, Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

Date and Place: ___________________________ 2004, in ____________________

Prof. Dr Frank Rijsberman
Director General, IWMI (Headquarters, Sri Lanka)

Date and Place: ___________________________ 2004, in ____________________

[signed 26 January 2004]

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