Ramsar MOC with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 2006

13/03/2006


Memorandum of Cooperation

between

The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

and the

International Water Management Institute - IWMI

Preamble

Since its inception in 1971, the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) has provided the single most important intergovernmental forum on wetland conservation issues. According to the Convention's mission statement, the Contracting Parties agree to "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".

The Convention is founded on three pillars of:

  • promoting wise use of wetlands,
  • developing international cooperation, and
  • developing a network of Wetland sites of International Importance.


The conservation and wise management of wetlands through the designation of wetlands for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, especially the obligation to maintain the ecological character of designated sites, deserves special recognition. This obligation recognizes the importance of wetlands for the maintenance of healthy and productive inland freshwater and coastal systems. In the context of water and wetlands, the Convention on Wetlands thus addresses issues which guide its Contracting Parties on ways to achieve sustainable development.

Within the general obligations set out by the treaty, Contracting Parties, meeting as the Conference of the Parties (COP) identify priorities for action through a Strategic Plan. Implementation of this Memorandum of Cooperation shall be through joint actions within the framework of the Strategic Plan, detailed in the attached Annex.

General aims and objectives of IWMI

The mission of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is to improve water and land resources management for food, livelihoods and nature. This is being realized through a world-class Knowledge Centre on Water Food and the Environment that generates, shares and brokers knowledge, and encourages the application of knowledge. The strategic development of the Knowledge Centre is occurring by: i) undertaking world-class applied and policy-oriented research, ii) working closely with partners and building alliances, iii) taking responsibility for sharing the knowledge that is generated, iv) building research capacity among colleagues and partners, and v) ensuring that the generated knowledge is used to improve water and land resources management for food, livelihoods and nature. This is achieved by emphasising excellence, impact, team work, and respect for diversity. The research is divided into four themes: basin water management; land, water and livelihoods; agriculture, water and cities; and water management and environment.

IWMI and wetlands/water

With regard to wetlands and water resources management, IWMI will specifically undertake projects that fall within its water management and environment theme, specifically under the sub-themes: environmental water requirements in basins; enhancing benefits in agricultural-wetlands interaction; and valuing contributions of ecosystem services to livelihoods. This will be complemented by the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture that aims to improve water investment and management decisions to meet poverty, hunger, and environmental sustainability objectives in the near future and over the next 25 years.

The Convention on Wetlands and IWMI recognize the fundamental role played by wetlands in regulating and providing water, in supporting maintenance of cultural and biological diversity, in ensuring high ecosystem productivity, and in providing services and benefits for people and the planet.

The Convention on Wetlands and IWMI share similar conservation and management goals and the positive cooperation between the two institutions to date has been expressed through the recognition of IWMI as a Ramsar International Organisation Partner (in line with COP7 Resolution VII.3 on "Partnerships with international organisations"). Turning to the future, it would be ideal to reinforce existing mechanisms, including any specific joint work plans, and establish new and specific mechanisms for enhancing synergies and partnerships to achieve common goals, whilst avoiding duplication of effort through application of the Ramsar Convention Strategic Plan.

Therefore, the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and IWMI agree the following:

Article 1. Mechanisms for Programme Cooperation

A - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and IWMI will develop a collaborative programme for sustainable wetland and water resource conservation and management by increasing current consultation and co-operation between them.

B - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and IWMI will inform their focal points at regional and national levels of their cooperative activities. For general matters, the focal points for the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and IWMI are respectively the Secretary General and the Director General, or their assigned delegates.

C - The focal points, or their assigned delegates, may meet from time to time to assess the implementation of this Memorandum, exchange documents and review on-going activities.

Article 2. Joint Activities

A - Common areas for joint conservation activities, as identified in the Annex to this Memorandum of Cooperation, relate clearly to the Ramsar Strategic Plan currently in force and will be reviewed annually or at the request of either party.

B - IWMI and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands will communicate agreement on common areas with their respective networks, and IWMI will endeavour to mobilise the expertise available on wetlands and water resources within its organisation in support of these activities.

C - The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands and IWMI will provide each other with details of their annual work programmes to ensure harmonisation of activities at global, regional and country levels.

D - The extent to which the collaborative programme and the joint conservation activities are implemented will be subject to the availability of resources.

Article 3. Obligation, Review and Termination

A - This Memorandum of Cooperation constitutes an expression of a shared objective and vision. However, each party's actions will be considered to be that party's sole and separate action, for all purposes, and neither party shall claim to be acting on behalf of, or as agent for the other party to this Memorandum of Cooperation.

B - The term for this Memorandum of Cooperation is six years. The agreement may be reviewed at the request of either party (usually annually) and may be terminated by either party subject to six months notice in writing.

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

Frank Rijsberman
Director General
IWMI

Done at: Gland, Switzerland

Date: 28 February 2006



ANNEX

Joint activities in the framework of the operational objectives of the Strategic Plan as outlined in the strategies presented in Resolution IX.8 Streamlining the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Convention 2003-08.

STRATEGY 1.1 (Operational objective 1.1)
Describe, assess and monitor the extent and condition of wetland resources at relevant scales, in order to inform and underpin implementation of the Convention, in particular in the application of the wise use principle.

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy through a Global Wetland Inventory & Mapping project.

STRATEGY 1.3 (Operational objective 3.1 -3.3 )
Increase recognition of the significance of wetlands for reasons of water supply, coastal protection, flood defense, climate change mitigation, food security, poverty reduction, cultural heritage, and scientific research, with a focus on under-represented ecosystem types, through developing and disseminating methodology to achieve wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy through information compiled and assessed through the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture.

STRATEGY 1.4 (Operational objective 3.4)
Integrate policies on the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the planning activities in all Contracting Parties and in decision-making processes at national, regional, provincial and local levels, particularly concerning territorial management, groundwater management, catchment/river basin management, coastal and marine zone planning, and responses to climate change, all in the context of implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy through a project on the Implications for Wetland Biodiversity from Water Management in Agriculture.

IWMI will further contribute to immediate priority tasks for the STRP under Resolution IX.1 Annex C (Issues relating to the Integrated Framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance), particularly those covering further guidance for environmental flows and groundwater-wetland interactions.

STRATEGY 3.2 (Operational objective 14.1)
Sharing of expertise and information: Promote the sharing of expertise and information. (CPs, Secretariat)

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy by making information on wetlands available through published reports and through its Knowledge Centre Initiative, and by presenting seminars and attendance at wetland (and other relevant) symposia.

STRATEGY 4.1 (Operational objective 6.1)
Local communities, indigenous people, and cultural values: Encourage active and informed participation of local communities and indigenous people, including women and youth, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands, including in relation to understanding the dynamics of cultural values. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy by encouraging the informed participation of local communities in the conservation and wise use of wetlands through its wetland projects in southern Africa.

STRATEGY 4.3 (Operational objective 8.1)
Promote measures which encourage the application of the wise use principle.

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy by encouraging the application of the wise use principle through its wetland projects in southern Africa.

STRATEGY 4.4 (Operational objective 9.1)
Support, and assist in implementing, at all levels, the Convention's Communication, Education, and Public Awareness Programme (Resolution VIII.31) for promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands through public participation and communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA).

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy by making information on wetland management and wise use available through its Knowledge Centre Initiative.

IWMI will further contribute to this Strategy through i) assistance with the development by the CGIAR Global Open Food & Agriculture University of an integrated water management course; ii) a training module on wetland assessment and monitoring for initial use in southern Asia; and iii) assistance with local and regional training courses undertaken by other institutions.

STRATEGY 4.9 (Operational objective 19.1)
Maximize the benefits of working with the Convention's International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others. (Secretariat, IOPs)

IWMI will contribute to this Strategy through the development by COP10 of a program of joint work based on this MoC and anticipated further priority actions following COP10, including activities jointly with other IOPs.


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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
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