Ramsar and UN-Habitat: joint efforts on sustainable management of urban and peri-urban wetlands

22/10/2009

At a meeting in Nairobi last week, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention Anada Tiega, the Chair of the Convention’s Scientific Body (STRP) Heather MacKay, Mr Paul Mafabi of the Ramsar Center for East Africa (RAMCEA) and representatives of UN-Habitat Mr Rafael Tuts and Ms Karin Buhren discussed collaboration to join efforts and expertise in producing a comprehensive guidance for managing urban wetlands, taking into account the ecosystem approach and issues such as climate change, ecosystem services, food production, human health and livelihoods. “To bring into line urban development and biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, we need to undertake ecosystem management with adequate tools that promote synergy between cities and other land users. A range of tools are available, but are not always used most effectively or within a consistent framework by all the responsible institutions and stakeholders. There is a need for guidance on managing wetlands and their biodiversity in urban and peri-urban areas, in a way that shows how the range of existing tools can be applied most effectively.”

This is a major step in the accomplishment of task 2.7 of the Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel(STRP)’s Work Plan which will support Parties in the implementation of Resolution X.27 on Wetlands and urbanization.

The UN-Habitat will host an expert workshop in Naivasha, Kenya, 16-17 November 2009, as a first step towards development of joint guidance. This will be followed by a writing meeting in the margins of the Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) mid-term workshop of the 22-26 February 2010.The draft guidance will be then tested with urban managers and wetland managers through the Ramsar Center for East Africa (RAMCEA).

The Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel welcomes any advice from Contracting Parties through their STRP National Focal Points on issues concerning urban wetlands and peri-urban wetlands that could inform the development of this scientific and technical guidance. (Please contact the STRP Task Lead, Rob McInnes robmcinnes@bioscanuk.com)

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