Validation workshop for the Guidelines for Inland Wetland Development in Sub Saharan

A validation workshop for the “Guidelines for Inland Wetland Development in Sub Saharan” was run over two days (13 to 14 September 2012) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was attended by 23 participants drawn internationally from FAO, the Ramsar Convention, Ministries in charge of Agriculture and Environment, Wetlands Experts, and Wetlands International.

The workshop was preceded by a first consultative workshop which took place in Nairobi on 21 and 22 May 2012 and brought together participants from Central, East, Southern and West Africa with a mix of expertise comprising water resources, agriculture, environment and resource economics.

This second workshop brings together the same mix with, in addition, policy makers and representatives of countries where the guidelines are likely to be piloted in the near future. The workshop objectives included to:

  • Validate the latest version of the guidelines
  • Focus on case studies to better grasp the relevance of the guidelines
  • Provide guidance to the pilot
  • Agree on the way forward – next steps
  • Further networking… towards the next steps

The workshop was organised by FAO - Regional Office for Africa Accra, Ghana and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat – Africa Region. The meeting was made possible through the generous financial support of FIDA.

The guidelines in the context of other documents, an overview of the guidelines, some case studies (Uganda and Ghana); Focus on Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda to pilot the guidelines and key elements on piloting the guidelines. A working session was conducting utilising break-out group and subsequent plenary discussions. The working session focused on the roadmap for bringing the “Guidelines for Inlands wetlands Development: Steps from Guidelines Development to Implementation”.

Overall the participants and the organisers considered that the workshop was extremely beneficial and represented an essential element in finalising the Guidelines for Inland Wetland Development in Sub Saharan. The workshop highlighted several key issues on the objectives and implementation of the Guidelines for Inland Wetland Development in Sub Saharan recommendations including:

The workshop represented an essential element in linking the guidelines to other ones and strategizing the Private sector involvement in the IW development (PPP) and defining the role of policy makers in implementing guidelines

Additional information on hydrology is required to detail the importance of combined rating and to add a sub-section on springs within the section on water resources management. How and who will carry out the rating should be clarified. Regarding the importance of rating there a need to give the formula for the BBCs.

The economic chapter should find ways to clarify difference between economic valuation and economic analysis. While the bottom line is that economic valuation is a sub-set of economic analysis, the challenge is absence of baseline information to help with this process. It was recommended assigning economic value to resources and standardizing the valuation.

It was recommended to maintain some intellectual robustness in the report while simplifying and present a box on risk and disaster management. Regarding the stakeholders categorisation it was agreed to make them simpler e.g. key, primary and secondary.

The main outputs of the workshop include:

  • A roadmap for “Bringing the Africa Guidelines for Inlands wetlands Development to Implementation”
  • A step-by-step guidance for implementing the FAO IW Development Guidelines
  • An action plan that contains actions required for IW Guidelines implementation relevant and responsibilities for each of the participating countries.

Reported by Paul Ouedraogo
Senior Regional Advisor for Africa
Ramsar Convention Secretariat

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