37th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

37th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 2-6 June 2008
Agenda item 7.6
DOC. SC37-15

The "Changwon Declaration"
Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to review progress in the preparation of the proposed "Changwon Declaration" as a draft Resolution and to advise on the most appropriate way of bringing this forward for COP10 consideration.

1. The Standing Committee will recall the proposal from the Republic of Korea to have a "Changwon Declaration" considered for agreement during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties and the discussion of that proposal during the 36th meeting of the SC.

2. At that time it was suggested that such a Declaration should be presented to the COP in the form of a draft Resolution, so that it could be formally negotiated and adopted by Parties at the COP.

3. Accordingly, the Republic of Korea is planning to host a drafting meeting, involving members of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) among others, during May 2008 in order to bring suggestions for the content of the Changwon Declaration draft Resolution to the 37th meeting of the SC. Further information on this will be provided to the Standing Committee at the time of SC37.

4. Following further discussion of the most appropriate process for bringing the Changwon Declaration to COP10, the Secretariat, with the advice of the STRP Chair, offers the following suggestions, which will be further discussed with the Republic of Korea and the STRP prior to SC37.

5. It would seem most appropriate that such a Declaration should focus on the key future strategic and urgent issues for the Convention (in other words, what are the current barriers to successful delivery of the wise use of wetlands and what is needed to deal with them?), with a particular emphasis on the issues most pertinent to the Asia region, and also that it should reflect on or summarise the major issues covered by the COP10 draft Resolutions, including those in the draft Strategic Plan 2009-2014 as adopted.

6. Given that it will not be clear which draft Resolutions will be transmitted for discussion at COP10, nor the precise content and issues raised in those draft Resolutions, until they have been approved for finalization by the SC37, it would seem most effective for the main Changwon Declaration drafting activity to be undertaken following the decisions made by SC37.

7. Accordingly the Standing Committee may wish to consider that it is appropriate to view the issues to be covered in the Changwon Declaration as emerging in the run-up to the COP and thus to treat the preparation of this document under the terms of the COP Rules of Procedure covering Resolutions arising from emerging issues discussed during the COP. This would then permit the drafting group to continue its work following SC37 and produce as authoritative a draft text as possible for COP10's consideration.

8. It might also be helpful to Contracting Parties for the Secretariat to prepare a short information paper (DOC. X.00) for COP10 to alert Parties to the agreed process for bringing thisdraft Resolution forward, with a tentative outline of what issues it will address.

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