37th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

37th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 2-6 June 2008
DOC. SC37-33

Activities of the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention, 2005-2007

Action requested: The Secretariat requests that the Standing Committee 1) note the progress on the development of the Capacity Building Framework and endorse the proposed course of action, and 2) note the activities of the Advisory Board over the period 2005-2007.

1. At the 36th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee (SC36), the Secretary General, who is also chair of the Advisory Board on Capacity Building, explained that the Capacity Building Framework is under review with the hope that it would be ready for SC37. The Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention, based on its sixth meeting on 2 April 2008, presents the following update to the Standing Committee on the Framework and a report on the activities of the Board for the period 2005-2007.

Finalisation of the Capacity Building Framework and its intended use

2. The Advisory Board suggests that the Standing Committee take note of the development of the Capacity Building Framework and the actions for further development.

  • The Advisory Board appreciates the first draft by Wageningen International and recognizes the value of the framework. This first draft lays down a solid theoretical foundation. It will be more useful when it is made more practical, more structured, and shorter.
  • The Advisory Board has requested Wageningen International to take the lead in the redrafting of the Framework to make it more practical, more structured and shorter, and to present it as an Information Paper to COP10.
  • The Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management / Deltares, together with UNESCO-IHE, will draft a proposal for funding under the Memorandum of Understanding between those organizations to organize and hold a side event at COP10 in which the Convention's Parties will be consulted on the Capacity Building Framework.
  • After the COP, and based on the outcome of the consultations in the side event, the Advisory Board will consult on the further development of the Capacity Building Framework as a practical tool for the development of effective capacity building programmes for wetlands.

Summary Report of the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention for the period 2005-2007

3. This summary report presents a brief overview of the background, purpose, activities and results of the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.

4. In a letter of April 2004, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention suggested to the Netherlands' government that the RIZA Advisory Board be developed into an Advisory Board to the Ramsar Convention on Training Activities and asked its support for the facilitation of such an Advisory Board as "a small, but highly effective part of the Ramsar Convention".

5. By letter of October 2004, the Netherlands' Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, on behalf of the Netherlands government, responded favourably to this suggestion and pledged to provide active support.

6. The Advisory Board itself is not intended to execute activities, but rather to acknowledge, encourage, and endorse activities that it considers helpful for capacity building for the Ramsar Convention, and to provide advice to the Ramsar Secretariat and other organizations on the development of such activities.

7. Since 2005, the Advisory Board has met on average twice a year. Members of the Advisory Board include: Ramsar Secretary General (ex officio chair); Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (Secretary); Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Wetlands International; Wageningen International; UNESCO-IHE. Observers have inlcuded: KWS Training Institute from Kenya and the two Ramsar Regional Centres, CREHO in Panama and the Central and West Asia Centre in Iran.

8. Results from 2005:

  • Welcome to and stimulation of the WetCap (Wetland Capacity Building) partnership with the related Wetland Professionals Platform.
  • Advice on obtaining funded participants for RIZA/Wageningen International's Interactive Training on River Basin Restoration.
  • Endorsement of the proposal from Wetlands International and RIZA for a side event at COP 9 for further inventory of regional wetland capacity building needs and opportunities. This side event yielded useful information on this subject.

9. Results from 2006:

  • Advice to WetCap, CREHO, KWSTI, RRC-CWA on curriculum development, funds, advertising, strategy, plans, joint brochure, evaluation, sharing of information, and support of other regional initiatives.
  • Based on the Board's advice, Wageningen International, funded through Rijkswaterstaat RIZA, has produced a joint brochure.
  • Request to UNESCO-IHE, Rijkswaterstaat RIZA and Wageningen International, under the MOU between UNESCO-IHE and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, to assist the Advisory Board by developing a capacity building framework and strategy.
  • Enhanced communication with the CEPA Oversight Panel by endorsement of the membership of Wageningen International of both the Advisory Board and the CEPA Oversight Panel and the proposal to have a joint workshop on capacity building with the CEPA Oversight Panel.

6. Results from 2007:

  • A one-day workshop on capacity building with 20 participants from the Advisory Board, the CEPA Oversight Panel, and the Ramsar Regional Centres.
  • A first draft of a Capacity Building Framework.

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