Ramsar Convention at Rio+20 Conference

Side Event on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands"

The new TEEB work on Water and Wetlands for the Ramsar Convention was announced at a side event on 15 June 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference*, in Rio de Janeiro.

Presentations were made by Claudia Fenerol (Ramsar Convention Secretariat), Patrick ten Brink (Institute for European Environmental Policy IEEP) and Johannes Förster (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ) on TEEB for Water and Wetlands. An expert panel followed the speakers and consisted of of Mark Smith (Head of the Global Water Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN), Karin Lexén (Director of Swedish Water House), Mary Barton-Dock (Director of the Environment Department at the World Bank) and Inger Hotten, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.

This side event at Rio+20 was covered by IISD Reporting Service: http://www.iisd.ca/uncsd/rio20/enbots/15jun.html

→ "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands: A contribution to Rio +20" - Download PDF here.

Two partnerships with the World Bank!


In light of the work on a TEEB for Water and Wetlands, and the importance in having the values of nature to help with better decision and policymaking at the national and international level, the Secretariat of Ramsar Convention has pledged its support for the World Bank’s Natural Capital Declaration, to be launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit. This Declaration is set out in concert with the Partnership on Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES).

The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention is happy to join the partnership under the World Bank on Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) from which the Natural Capital Declaration can be found at www.naturalcapitaldeclaration.org.

The declaration states that “Natural capital comprises Earth’s natural assets (soil, air, water, flora and fauna), and the ecosystem services resulting from them, which make human life possible. Neither these services, nor the stock of natural capital that provides them, are adequately valued compared to social and financial capital. Despite being fundamental to our wellbeing, their daily use remains almost undetected within our economic system. Using natural capital this way is not sustainable.” (World Bank, 2012). For a full list of signatories, please visit the NCD website: www.naturalcapitaldeclaration.org.


Global Partnership on Oceans, World Bank. The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention has joined the Partnership on Oceans being led by the World Bank. The Declaration, being signed during the Rio+ 20 Conference, commits the Partnership to mobilizing “significant human, financial and institutional resources for effective public and private investments in priority ocean areas”. It aims to improve capacity and close the recognized gap in action in implementing global, regional and national commitments for healthy and productive oceans.
Read the declaration at: https://globalpartnershipforoceans.org/sites/default/files/images/GPO%20Declaration.pdf.
The Partnership recognizes that despite global commitments made to date as well as the efforts of many organizations, governments, enterprises and individuals, the oceans remain “under severe threat from pollution, unsustainable harvesting of ocean resources, habitat destruction, ocean acidification and climate change”.

To tackle these threats, the Partnership is targeting three key focus areas: 

  • sustainable seafood and livelihoods from capture fisheries and aquaculture;
  • critical coastal and ocean habitats and biodiversity;
  • pollution reduction. (World Bank, 16 June 2012)

*Rio +20 Conference
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. From 20-22 June 2012, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together at the Rio+20 Conference, to shape the global debate on ways to reduce poverty, advance social equity, and ensure environmental protection. www.uncsd2012.org.

Reported by Claudia Fénérol, Partnership Coordinator

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