Towards a lake basin management initiative

27/04/2004

Second Steering Committee Meeting

GEF Medium Size project - Towards a lake basin management initiative

World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA, 22-23 April 2004

This medium size project is designed to draw together global expertise on the management of lakes, in a lake basin context, and to produce a report which can act as guidelines and future support for all interested in the subject of lake basin management. It is to be based on the experiences gained and lessons learned from some 28 GEF projects on lakes, and will provide more general experience and advice from practitioners, covering a range of subjects from the natural and social science bases needed, through policy development, CEPA and management interventions. The Steering Committee was at its second meeting, after a number of workshops had been held on the subject and a draft report prepared.

The draft report was available for discussion and the Secretary General provided the Ramsar perspective for a number of elements, including some strong suggestions on how to develop the sections on governance and on recognising the role of global and regional MEAs relevant to lakes. One key feature which emerged in the discussion was the need to keep the role of global change firmly in focus as the report is developed. The next stages are to finalise the report and then to have it peer reviewed. It is likely that the Ramsar Secretariat will be involved in this peer review process, thus remaining well integrated in this GEF project, implemented by the World Bank. It has been useful for the Secretariat to be involved in these discussions in order to understand what is happening with GEF projects of this kind, and to try and help Contracting Parties understand how to become more involved in such projects - as well as alerting the GEF to the capacities of the Ramsar system.

In next steps, the report will be being refined and redrafted, and Ramsar will assist with specific items highlighting the role of the Convention. It is clear that Ramsar should become involved in such projects at the earliest possible stage, to ensure that the work being undertaken by Contracting Parties is well and effectively recognised. The final project will be available at the end of 2004 and is likely to be presented to Contracting Parties at Ramsar COP9 in Kampala in 2005, possibly through a side event.

-- reported by Sebastià Semene Guitart, Ramsar

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