Ramsar and Desertification conventions discuss cooperation


UNCCD Executive Secretary visits Ramsar Secretariat

Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), visited the Ramsar Convention Secretariat on 16 January 2008, his first visit to Ramsar, to discuss issues of common interest to the two conventions since his appointment by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In the absence of the Ramsar Secretary General, Mr. Gnacadja, accompanied by Mr. Gregoire de Kalbermatten, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCCD, was welcomed by the Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Nick Davidson, and Mr Abou Bamba, Senior Advisor for Africa, who has lead responsibility for dryland issues in the Ramsar Secretariat.

Discussions covered the future directions of the conventions and possible areas of collaboration between Ramsar and the UNCCD, which have the mandate to deal with essentially two sides of the same coin, namely drylands and wetlands, with the common ground of the increasing importance of water and its availability to maintaining ecosystem services.

UNCCD has adopted a 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) and is finalizing a four-year strategic work plan (2008-2011). At the same time, the Ramsar Convention is currently developing its 3rd Strategic Plan, for 2009-2014, for adoption by Ramsar COP10 in November 2008. Discussions concluded that these plans should form the basis of identifying areas for enhanced synergy and joint activity between the two conventions, including through possible establishment of a joint work plan.

(from left) Gregoire de Kalbermatten, Nick Davidson, Abou Bamba, Luc Gnacadja

-- text: Abou Bamba, Ramsar
-- Photo: Monica Zavagli, Ramsar

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