13th Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) -- Decisions

12/07/2006

CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
13th Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel,
Gland, Switzerland, 30 May - 2 June 2006


Decisions of the meeting

Note. Decisions formally adopted under Agenda item 11 (Finalization of the STRP work programme and task-based budget) are included under each of the relevant thematic agenda items below.

STRP National Focal Points networking (Agenda item 6)

Decision STRP13-18: The STRP agreed to recommend to the Standing Committee that the development of regional networking should be elevated to immediate priority and that a package of actions, including appropriate material targeted to the STRP National Focal Points and to the Parties, should be included, with a budget estimate, in the proposed STRP Work Plan for this triennium.

Resolution VIII.45 and ongoing functions of the STRP (Agenda item 7.7)

Decision STRP13-1: The STRP agreed that the process used in preparing background and bringing forward the emerging issue of wetlands and human health should serve as a model for dealing with additional emerging issues as they may arise.

Decision STRP13-26: The STRP agreed to recommend that the priorities of tasks 3 and 5 be reversed and endorsed the approach outlined by the task force on Resolution VIII.45 and ongoing issues.

Inventory, assessment, monitoring, and indicators (Agenda item 7.2)

Decision STRP13-13: The STRP accepted the approach proposed by Working Group 1 concerning further work on indicators of effectiveness, taking account of the comments made in the discussion, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee, and urged that STRP comments on the second tranche of indicators should be communicated via the Support Service by the end of July 2006.

Decision STRP13-14: The STRP agreed that Nick Davidson and Dave Pritchard should report to the STRP midterm workshops on how the STRP can contribute to the CBD's target indicators.

Decision STRP13-15: The STRP acknowledged the activities of the International Organization Partners acting as a group on wetland site monitoring and urged Panel members to comment on the 2nd draft of the proposal, when available, and consider where those activities can be fit into the STRP Work Plan.

Decision STRP13-16: The STRP accepted the approach proposed by the task force for progressing task 52 on Ramsar sites information reporting and data needs and for merging the parts of the task into one whole, and it recommended that the priority of the task should be elevated.

Decision STRP13-17: The STRP accepted the approach proposed by the task force for progressing tasks 54 and 56 on reporting change in ecological character but urged the group to refine the timetable so that the review products will be ready in time for the midterm workshops.

Decision STRP13-19: The STRP accepted the plans by the Working Group 1 task force on mapping and delineation, taking account of further review by the IWMI and FAO participants in the task force, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee.

Decision STRP13-20: The STRP requested Max Finlayson and Doug Taylor to provide an assessment of the GlobWetland's metadatabase in respect to task 50 and post their conclusions on the Support Service prior to the midterm workshops.

Wise use and ecological character of wetlands (Agenda item 7.1)

Decision STRP13-2: The STRP agreed on the need for a coordinated approach to gathering case studies for the different tasks and requested Randy Milton to keep a master list with input from all groups seeking case studies, outlining their specific needs and geographical areas.

Decision STRP13-3: The Panel agreed to note the great importance that the issue of wetlands and poverty reduction has for the Ramsar Convention and determined to monitor the progress of WI's Wetlands and Livelihoods Working Group and other processes and requested the Wise Use Working Group lead to report back to the midterm workshops.

Decision STRP13-8: The STRP agreed to recommend to the Standing Committee that the priority of task 13 on elaborating ways to maximize the use of the MA Conceptual Framework should be elevated from a low to a high priority.

Decision STRP13-9: The STRP accepted the approaches proposed by the Working Group on the Wise Use and Ecological Character of Wetlands, taking account of the comments made in the discussion, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee.

Ramsar site designation and management (Agenda item 7.4)

Decision STRP13-10: The STRP accepted the approaches proposed by the task force on wetland management, taking account of the comments made in the discussion, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee.

Decision STRP13-11: The Panel accepted the approaches proposed by the task force on issues relating to the Strategic Framework, taking account of the comments made in the discussion, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee.

Decision STRP13-28: The STRP expressed its appreciation to Archana Chatterjee of WWF for her excellent work in pulling together an enormous amount of material, which will make possible the development of a suitable presentation of the wetland managers' field guide.

Water resources management (Agenda item 7.3)

Decision STRP13-12: The STRP endorsed the approaches proposed by the task force on water resources management, taking account of the comments made in the discussion, to be included in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee.

Wetlands and agriculture (Agenda item 7.5)

Decision STRP13-25: The STRP agreed to recommend to the SC that the development of the discussion papers and consolidated report on wetlands and agriculture (task 150) should be raised to an immediate priority, to request the Secretariat to explore the possibility of co-funding the work with the government of the Netherlands, and to inform the Standing Committee that it is unlikely that the requested guidelines will be completed this triennium.

Wetlands and human health (Agenda item 7.6)

Decision STRP13-4: The STRP agreed that Nick Davidson and Max Finlayson should lead in scoping the work, in discussion with WHO, CGIAR, FAO, and others, and identifying a consultant, to begin soon and with a view to a draft product ready by the STRP midterm workshops. The Working Group to assist in scoping should include FAO (Lucilla Spini or other representative to be identified), Max Finlayson, Rebecca Tharme (IWMI), David Stroud, CBD (Jo Mulongoy), and a representative from WHO's PEEM (to be invited).

Decision STRP13-24: The STRP approved of the task force's proposed approach to task 163 on wetlands and human health, to be recommended to the Standing Committee for inclusion in the STRP Work Plan.

CEPA (Agenda item 7.8)

Decision STRP13-27: The Panel endorsed the approach outlined by Christine Prietto for contributing CEPA input to the specified STRP tasks and asked the task force leads to liaise with her about the progress and needs of their work, especially concerning the development of a questionnaire.

Avian influenza (Agenda item 9.1)

Decision STRP13-5: Having reviewed recent developments, the STRP reaffirmed the importance and continued relevance of Resolution IX.23 and the recent Standing Committee decision on this matter. The Panel determined that the Ramsar Web site should provide a prominent link to the CMS-sponsored common Web site on avian flu. The Panel requested the Secretariat to prepare a diplomatic notification communicating to the Parties this decision on avian flu and its reaffirmation of Resolution IX.23, and it requested David Stroud to post frequent updates to the Support Service forum on avian flu and wherever appropriate additional news and comments for the Ramsar Web site. The Panel will review the matter at the midterm workshops and determine whether any additional proposals should be made to Ramsar COP10 for consideration.

Decision STRP13-21: The Panel endorsed the proposed work on responding to avian flu for inclusion in the Work Plan to be proposed to the Standing Committee, and it adopted the statement on highly pathogenic avian influenza included as Annex 2 of the meeting's report.

Decision STRP13-22: The STRP recommended to the Standing Committee that the Ramsar Convention make a financial contribution, along with other members of the Scientific Task Force on Avian Flu, to the development and maintenance of the CMS-based Web site on avian flu, as a matter of priority.

Decision STRP13-23: The STRP requested the Secretariat to send a strong message by the diplomatic channel to the country that has engaged in mass lethal measures in response to avian flu, and asked David Stroud to draft a text of the message for the Secretariat's use.

Issues arising from the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee (Agenda item 9.4)

Decision STRP13-6: The Panel requested the Ramsar Standing Committee to include the Chair of the STRP in the membership of its Subgroup on the Strategic Plan.

Any other relevant issues (Agenda item 9.7)

Decision STRP13-7: The STRP expressed its recognition that there have been new developments regarding wetlands and climate change since Ramsar COP8, and the Panel recommended that the issue be brought back onto the agenda in the near future. The Panel asked Mike Acreman to report on the work of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to the midterm workshops and determined to consider the work of the CEH and AEWA at its 14th regular meeting.

Dates of the midterm workshops (Agenda item 12)

Decision STRP13-29: The STRP agreed that the last week of March, 26-30 March 2007, would be the best dates for the midterm workshops, subject to the approval of the Oversight Committee.
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