Arab Working Group on the implementation of biodiversity and desertification related Multilateral Environmental Agreements

The Secretariat of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt organised the meeting of the ‘Arab Working Group on the implementation of biodiversity and desertification

Logo of the League of Arab States
 related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)’ 25–27 September, 2011. The meeting was an opportunity for representative of the Arab countries to hear report from the various MEAs, including the Ramsar Secretariat, on their work over the past year relevant to the Arab region. 

Concerning the implementation of the Ramsar Convention and the conservation of wetlands, the meeting heard presentations from the Ramsar Secretariat that updated the participants about the work of the Convention; from the Fujairah Emirates (UAE) about the outcomes of the Fujairah workshop from Wetlands International on wetland conservation issues in the Mediterranean; from the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Jordan on the role of NGOs in wetland conservation in the region; and a presentation on a proposal to conduct an economic valuation of the wetlands in the Arab region.

The meeting was also an opportunity for the Arab countries to hear proposals from the MEAs about plans for their future activities relevant to the Arab region, and for discussions on possible future cooperation relating to wetland conservation and wise use between the MEAs, other regional organizations and the LAS. Such cooperation being planned with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat includes the development of a regional wetland training programme, and a methodology for conducting wetland inventories.
Group photograph of the participants

A special presentation was also given by IUCN on their recently completed assessment of freshwater habitats in Africa, and political support was gained for this project to be extended to West Asia.

The outcomes from the meeting [in Arabic, only. PDF] will be passed on to the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region, before then being forwarded to the meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment before the end of the year.

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