Ramsar COP8 DOC. 29: Ramsar implementation in the North America region

27/09/2002

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"Wetlands: water, life, and culture"
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002

Ramsar COP8 DOC. 29
Information Paper
English and Spanish only

Regional overview of the implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan 1997-2002: North America

The National Reports upon which this overview is based can be consulted on the Ramsar Web site, on http://ramsar.org/cop8_nr_natl_rpt_index.htm

Contracting Parties in North America: Canada, Mexico, and United States of America (3).

Contracting Parties whose National Reports are included in this analysis: Canada, Mexico, United States of America (3).

1. Main achievements since COP7 and priorities for 2003-2005

1.1 Main achievements since COP7

1. There are 3 countries in the North America region; all are already Contracting Parties.

2. To 31 August 2002 the region has 61 Ramsar sites, covering an area of almost 15.4 million hectares. This represents approximately 15% of the world's Wetlands of International Importance.

3. In COP7 Resolution VII.12, Canada committed itself to designating three new sites and carrying out two site expansions. Since COP7 only two new Ramsar sites were designated in North America: Dzilam (reserva estatal) in Mexico, and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in the United States of America (USA), covering 61,707 and 8,958 ha. respectively. Additionally, two sites were expanded in the same period: Cheyenne Bottoms State Game Area in the USA - extension of 2,942 ha; total site area of 10,978 ha - and Mer Bleue Conservation Area in Canada - extension of 243 ha; total site area of 3,343 ha.

4. Canada and the United States have National Wetlands Policies in place, while Mexico has policies in place that partially fulfil this task.

5. Canada and the United States have bodies that carry out the functions of a National Ramsar Committee (NRC), while Mexico is starting the process of establishing its Committee.

6. The North America Region currently has one site in the Montreux Record, the Everglades National Park in USA.

7. Contracting Parties in the region have engaged in international cooperation efforts with international organizations such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Ducks Unlimited, and Conservation International (CI), and with regional initiatives such as the Wider Caribbean Action Plan.

8. The United States has provided $1,160,000 to support the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) initiative since 1999. So far WFF has provided $748,328 in funding for 82 projects in the Neotropics region as well as $123,500 in funding for 11 projects in Mexico.

9. The United States has also contributed $316,000 to the Small Grants Fund programme since 1999.

10. The governments of Canada and the United States of America both contributed funds for the organization of the Regional Meeting for Central America, the Caribbean and North America in Honduras, as well as the II Pan-American Regional Meeting in Ecuador.

1.2 Priorities for 2003-2005

These priorities for future implementation action have been identified from those topics for which two or more countries in the Region have reported little or no progress in implementation and/or where implementation in the Region is significantly less than the global average.

1. Restoration of wetlands, in particular coastal sites.
2. Identification and adoption of national incentives to promote rational use and conservation of wetlands.
3. Development of Communication, Education and Public Awareness strategies (CEPA).
4. Designation of under-represented wetlands - particularly coastal sites and peatlands.
5. Increased coordination between national focal points of other relevant environmental agreements/conventions, including Biodiversity, Desertification, Climate Change, Migratory Species, and the Cartagena Convention.
6. Private sector participation in management and conservation of wetlands.
7. Review of national institutions related to wetlands in order to insure the resource availability for implementation of the Convention.
8. Requirement of economic valuations as part of environmental impact assessments.
9. Review of resource materials related to wetland management policies and practices.
10. More complete assessments for identification of priority wetlands for restoration or rehabilitation.
11. Increased cooperative management of shared wetlands, including twinning of sites.
12. Further analysis of training needs and review of training opportunities.

In addition to these areas of future priority action, two further, more specific, actions remain a priority for 2003-2005. These are:

13. Removal of Everglades National Park Ramsar site from the Montreux Record; and
14. Continued support for Wetlands for the Future Fund-style initiatives.

2. Implementation activities undertaken since COP7

This analysis has been prepared following the format of the proposed 21 Operational Objectives of the Strategic Plan 2003 - 2008. Numbers in square brackets [...] in each section heading refer to the relevant Operation Objective in the draft Strategic Plan 2003-2008.

2.1. Inventory and assessment

2.1.A Wetland inventory [1.1]

All three Contracting Parties in North America partially fulfilled comprehensive wetland inventories with national coverage. Canada has carried out efforts in some provinces but complete efforts are hindered by the size of jurisdictions as well as land tenure and resources issues. Mexico currently has a coastal ecosystem inventory, and is planning to finalise a national inventory within 3 years. The United States through the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has mapped 89% of its lower 48 states and 31% of Alaska. Globally, 66% of Parties report that they have at least partially elaborated comprehensive wetland inventories.

Similar results are found regarding national wetland databases, where all three countries reported having partial databases compiled and hosted within several different institutions and bodies. Globally, 56% of Contracting Parties report having partial national databases.

2.1.B Wetland assessment [1.2]

Canada and the United States reported having conducted regular internal reviews to identify factors potentially altering the ecological character of Ramsar sites, compared to 54% at global level.

Contracting Parties also reported changes in ecological character in the following Ramsar sites: Canada - McConnell River and Queen Maud Gulf; United States of America - Everglades National Park.

2.2 Policies and legislation, including impact assessment and valuation

2.2.A Policy instruments for wetland wise use [2.1]

Canada and the United States have National Wetlands Policies (NWP) in place, while in Mexico the task is partially fulfilled through the law for permissible use of water ecosystems. In comparison, the global percentage of Parties with NWPs is only 35%.

Canada and the United States have indicated that they take fully into consideration Ramsar Convention obligations in their environmental policies, while Mexico reports partial efforts in this respect. At the global level, 88% of Parties reported full consideration of the Convention's obligations.

2.2.B Development, review and amendment of policies, legislation, institutions and practices [2.2]

All Contracting Parties in the region have carried out complete (United States ) or partial (Canada and Mexico) reviews of laws and institutions related to wetlands. In Mexico, existing sectorial plans for the years 2001-2006 consider developing strategies for natural resource use including wetlands. Canada has carried out reviews at provincial government level, while Ducks Unlimited is carrying out a review of all provincial laws and policies on wetlands. Canada and the United States additionally have reviewed all government plans and policies which might impact wetlands, while Mexico is undertaking a process of harmonisation of sectorial policies within government. Globally, 33% of Parties carried out complete reviews of laws and institutions, and 29% reviews on government plans and policies.

Canada has conducted a review of its national institutions related to wetlands in order to ensure the resource availability for implementation of the Ramsar Convention. Mexico has only carried out a general review of institutions dealing with natural resource use and the environment. The United States has not carried out a review due to the scale and diversity of all institutions involved in wetland protection and conservation. Regionally, implementation of this action is lower than the 45% global percentage of Parties.

All three countries in North America have full or partial legal requirements to carry out an EIA in all likely cases of change in ecological character of all wetlands, including Ramsar sites. Mexico has full requirement, while the other two Contracting Parties in the region have partial requirements for this task. In Canada, the requirement is dependent upon general environmental requirements at provincial and federal level, while in the United States the requirement applies to major federal projects that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. However, when assessments have been required, they have not been carried out in all likely cases of change in ecological character of Ramsar wetlands in any of the countries of North America; only partial consideration has been given by all three Contracting Parties. Worldwide, 91% of Ramsar Contracting Parties have full or partial EIA requirements, although only 39% have actually carried out assessments in all cases required.

The United States requires economic valuations depending on the size and the scope of the project proposed for assessment. Canada and Mexico currently do not have a specific requirement in place. With no country in the region fully requiring economic valuations in EIAs, the North American region lags behind the 31% of Parties worldwide which have reported that this is required.

2.3 Integration of wetland wise use into sustainable development

2.3.A Methodologies for wetland conservation and wise use [3.1]

Canada has undertaken a review of resource materials related to wetland management, policies and practices, through the initiative "WetKit: Tools for Working with Wetlands in Canada". Mexico and the United States have various resource materials available, but they have not yet been consolidated for review. Globally, only 21% of Contracting Parties have carried out such reviews.

2.3.B Peatlands [3.2]

Canada and the United States reported giving special attention to under-represented wetland types, including peatlands. Furthermore, Canada also highlighted the presence of peatlands in its Ramsar sites, and reported that it has set as a target the designation of this type of under-represented wetland in the future. Globally, 43% of Ramsar Contracting Parties that gave special attention to under-represented types also specifically highlighted peatlands. See also additional reference to under-represented wetland types in section 2.10.A.

2.3.C Recognition of wetland values and functions [3.3]

All countries in the region reported that they have identified potential sites for Ramsar designation (see also section 2.10.A). Additionally, Canada and the United States reported having implemented a systematic approach to identifying sites at national level, while Mexico is in the process of developing a strategy in this respect. In using a systematic approach, the United States highlighted the identification of important wetland resources, including cultural values. Globally, a comparable percentage of Contracting Parties (61%) report having implemented a systematic approach for site identification.

2.3.D Integration of wetland policies into broader planning and management from local to national scales [3.4]

All Contracting Parties in North America have implemented or developed (wholly or in part) programmes with varying percentages of national coverage using integrated management approaches for river basins or coastal zones. Partial assessments of priority wetlands have been carried out in 85% of countries globally.

2.4 Restoration and rehabilitation [4.1]

The three Contracting Parties in the region have only carried out partial assessments to identify priority wetlands for restoration or rehabilitation. For geographic reasons, Canada has concentrated efforts only on regions with unacceptable levels of wetland loss so far, while the efforts in the United States have varied in scale depending on the region. Comparatively, 20% of all Ramsar Parties have carried out full assessments, while the percentage goes up to 71% when considering partial efforts also.

Additionally, all countries in the region report being engaged in restoration and rehabilitation actions. Canada detailed several existing programmes, including the Wetland Habitat Fund, the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program, and the Species at Risk Recovery. Mexico reported restoration efforts at three Ramsar sites damaged by meteorological events as well as in some river basins. In the United States all efforts are not gathered under one centralised implementation process; rather, different programmes are successfully managed regionally.

All Parties in the region have resource information on wetland restoration. However, there is still a need for more materials to be forwarded to the Ramsar Bureau. Only 55% of all Contracting Parties have this type of resource information, so the North America region is relatively strong in addressing wetland restoration.

2.5 Invasive alien species [5.1]

This increasingly important issue for the Convention had no specific questions in the COP8 National Report format. However, all three Contracting Parties in North America provided details on their resource materials regarding invasive species and have recognised the importance of the issue. Globally, only 49% of countries reported having such resource materials.

2.6 Local communities, indigenous people, and cultural values [6.1]

All Contracting Parties in North America have broadly promoted local stakeholder management of wetlands, while all three governments also provide support for site managers in monitoring ecological character of Ramsar sites. This is another area of relative strength for North America, as the global percentages of countries with positive replies on these two issues are 82% and 74% respectively

All countries in North America have wetland site management committees or similar bodies in place for the large majority of their Ramsar sites. Canada has committees in at least 20 of its 35 sites, Mexico has them in 6 of its 7 sites and the United States in most of its sites, while globally only 65% of Contracting Parties report having establishing such committees.

All North American countries reported that they have given wide support to the application of traditional knowledge and management practices. Canada, Mexico and the United States all have given support through both legislative instruments and specific programmes, whereas this occurs in only 65% of all Contracting Parties worldwide.

2.7 Private sector involvement [7.1]

All three Contracting Parties in North America report having carried out extensive efforts to encourage private sector support for wetland conservation. Canada held the Millennium Wetland Event, with substantial private sector support, in the year 2000, and it supports the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, both of which feature prominent involvement of the private sector. Mexico has focused on cooperation between the Council of Natural Protected Areas (CONAP) and the private sector for both funding and site management cooperation. Federal, state and local agencies in the United States are also involved in a large number of collaborative efforts with private landowners (both industrial and non-industrial), conservation groups, and not-for-profit organizations. This is another area of strength for North America, since only 66% of all Contracting Parties globally report actively encouraging private sector support for wetland conservation.

In the more specific efforts to encourage private sector involvement in monitoring ecological character of Ramsar sites in North America, only Canada reported a series of ongoing programmes. Globally, a similar percentage of Parties (36%) have undertaken efforts in this respect.

2.8 Incentives [8.1]

For North America only the United States has carried out a complete review of existing incentives measures, but Canada and Mexico have conducted partial reviews. Although this implementation in the Region is considerably higher than the global percentage of 21%, there is still a need for more concrete efforts in this area.

Some specific actions concerning incentives were reported by each of the three North American countries: by the United States, under its Wetlands Reserve Program which works with landowners to protect and restore wetlands, in Canada through recent legislative measures that improve treatment for ecological gifts, and in Mexico which has carried out a detailed study in order to implement various economic and fiscal incentives for future wise use of natural resources.

2.9 Communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA) [9.1]

Overall, CEPA-related activities are generally further developed in the North America region than in many other parts of the world, although there remain opportunities for further increasing CEPA work on wetlands, for example in establishing CEPA task forces and reviewing national CEPA needs.

Mexico and the United States had provided information on both their government and non-government CEPA focal points before 31 December 1999. However, recent changes in Mexico and in the United States government now require the designation of a new non-government CEPA focal point for Mexico and a new government CEPA focal point for the United States. Canada has not yet designated its two CEPA focal points, but has stated in the report that it has other mechanisms in place to carry out this function.

Canada and the United States have carried out actions to identify regional CEPA needs. Additionally, Mexico has conducted partial efforts in this respect. Globally, actions in this respect have been taken in 50% of countries.

Similarly, all three countries have carried out actions to assist the development of international CEPA resource materials. Canada's efforts include the Millennium Wetland Event as well as cooperation for development of CEPA materials through the Canadian International Development Agency. Mexico has developed diverse educational materials to be forwarded to the Ramsar Bureau. The United States has extensively cooperated in the development of materials in Mexico and the Neotropics region through the funding given by the Wetlands for the Future Fund. Globally, the percentage of countries taking actions to assist development of CEPA materials is only 35%.

All Contracting Parties in North America have given support to international programmes that encourage transfer of information, knowledge and skills among wetland education centres and educators, compared to 50% of Parties that have done so globally.

Canada and the United States have bodies that partly constitute task forces to undertake a review of national needs, capacities and opportunities in the field of wetland CEPA. However, no CEPA Action Plans have been developed in the region. While two of three countries in North America have made partial efforts to review wetland CEPA, 21% of Contracting Parties worldwide already report fully constituted task forces to address this issue.

Canada and the United States have fully encouraged the establishment of educational centres in wetland sites. Mexico carries out educational support through site visitor centres in protected areas. These efforts by all three Parties exceed the global average of 69% of all Contracting Parties.

Canada and the United States have given partial support to wetlands CEPA in various types of facilities, while wetland issues have been partially incorporated into the curricula of all three Contracting Parties in North America. Globally, partial support is given in 50% of countries, while wetland issues have been incorporated to some degree in 64% of them.

All Ramsar site managers and Ramsar sites are reported as having Internet access, comparatively much higher than the 41% of all the Contracting Parties.

2.10 Designation of Ramsar sites

2.10.A Application of the Strategic Framework [10.1]

Canada, Mexico and the United States have between them identified 77 wetland sites as possible future Ramsar sites. However, only two new Ramsar sites, covering 70,665 ha, have been designated in the region since COP7, one each by Mexico and the United States (see Annex Table 1).

All Parties in North America report having partial directories of potential Ramsar sites, but have recognised the difficulty of achieving full coverage of their large areas of territory. 62% of all Contracting Parties report having full directories of potential Ramsar sites.

Canada and the United States have given special attention to identification of suitable sites with under-represented wetland types, while in Mexico priority areas are considered in the framework of protected areas and the Meso-American Biological Corridor. However, only one site in Mexico containing under-represented wetlands has been designated in the region since COP7. Globally, 70% of all Contracting Parties report giving special attention to identifying under-represented wetlands.

All countries in the region have designated wetlands that had no previous protection. Eleven sites were reported as not having any previous protection before their designation as Wetlands of International Importance. Of all Ramsar Convention Contracting Parties only 45% of them have designated sites without previous protection.

Contracting Parties in North America have not designated all suitable shared wetlands as Ramsar Sites. However, efforts to designate shared wetlands are currently under discussion between the United States and Mexico and between Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Globally, there is also a low percentage (16%) of Parties which report having designated all their shared wetlands.

2.10.B Maintenance and use of the Ramsar Sites Database [10.2]

In July 2001 the Bureau's Americas Regional Team, with the assistance of Wetlands International, reviewed the status of information on all designated Ramsar sites in the region and requested updates for RIS files older than six years, incomplete RIS files, and/or sites with inadequate maps. These requests concerned 44 Ramsar sites (23 in Canada, six in Mexico and 15 in the United States). Table 2 details the requested updates, to 31 August 2002. By this date, Canada had provided updated RISs for all 23 sites requested, but had yet to provide updated maps for these sites. Mexico provided updated RISs for all six sites, although a map for one site is still awaited. The United States has not yet supplied the Bureau with updated and/or improved maps for its requested 15 sites.

2.11 Management planning and monitoring of Ramsar sites

2.11.A Maintenance of the ecological character of all Ramsar sites [11.1]

All Contracting Parties in North America have reported measures in place to maintain ecological character of Ramsar sites completely (Canada and the United States) or in part (Mexico). Globally, 77% of Contracting Parties have reported such measures as being fully or partly in place.

Each of the three countries in the North America region report having implemented management plans for a significant number of their Ramsar sites. As of 31 August 2002, 34 (56%) of 61 Ramsar sites in North America have management plans in place. Although the global statistics for the status of management planning for Ramsar sites are difficult to interpret clearly from the information supplied in the COP8 National Reports, this would appear to be a higher percentage of sites than globally. The North American figures indicate overall delivery of Action 5.2.3 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002, although with only just over half the designated sites having implemented management plans this still appears to fall short of the Convention's Work Plan 2000-2002 target of three-quarters of sites in each Contracting Party with plans in preparation or in place. Table 3 of the Annex provides details on management plan status for all Ramsar sites in the region.

All countries in North America report applying zoning measures to regulate activities in those wetlands where it is warranted, and 24 Ramsar sites are reported as having zoning measures in place. All Parties in the region use strict protection measures to regulate activities in those wetlands where it is warranted and almost all Ramsar sites are reported as being covered by these strict protection measures. Zoning and other strict protection measures are used in 67% and 65% of Contracting Parties worldwide.

2.11.B Monitoring the condition of Ramsar sites,including application of Article 3.2 and Montreux Record [11.2]

The North America region had one Ramsar site on the Montreux record at the time of COP7: Everglades National Park, USA, designatedon 4 June 1987 and placed on the Montreux Record on 16 June 1993. No Ramsar Advisory Mission has been carried out to this site.

The United States provided extensive details in its National Report on the situation in the Everglades. Activities intended to improve the status of the site have included a series of programmes sponsored by the state of Florida legislature, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the office of the Governor of Florida. However, there is no clear diagnosis on whether the ecological character of the site is being improved or maintained overall, or a timetable for removal from the Montreux Record provided.

(See also information on the related indicator concerning regular internal reviews to identify factors potentially altering ecological character of Ramsar sites, in section 2.1.B.)

2.12 Management of shared water resources, wetlands and wetland species

2.12.A Inventory and integrated management of shared wetlands and hydrological basins [12.1]

Only the United States reported carrying out cooperative management of shared wetlands, in the Great Lakes Area bordering Canada. Globally, 31% of Contracting Parties report carrying out such efforts.

(See also additional related reference to integrated zone management in section 2.3.D.)

2.12.B Cooperative monitoring and management of shared wetland-dependent species [12.2]

All countries in the region regularly gather bird population data. Mexico highlighted the joint efforts of all Parties to monitor the three migratory waterbird flyways in North America. Additionally, Canada reported providing bird population data to Wetlands International. Globally, 74% of countries report gathering such data. No information was provided concerning other wetland-dependent migratory taxa.

2.12.C Support and promotion of regional arrangements under the Convention [12.3]

There are no regional agreements under the Ramsar Convention for North America.

2.13 Collaboration with other multilateral environmental agreements and institutions [13.1]

Canada and the United States have carried out informal discussions regarding the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Ramsar Convention, but none of the Contracting Parties have yet conducted formal reviews of the Joint Work Plan (JWP) between the Ramsar Convention and the CBD. Globally, 29% of Contracting Parties report having conducted such a review.

2.14 Sharing of expertise and information [14.1]

All Contracting Parties in North America have carried out or given assistance for South-South cooperation, in particular for cooperation within the Neotropics region. Some significant examples include: Canada's partnership with Wetlands International in supporting the South American Wetlands Assessment; Mexico's cooperation with Parties in the Neotropics in the context of the Meso-American biological corridor and the Meso-American barrier reef system; and the highly valuable support provided by the United States for South-South cooperation through funding of the Wetlands for the Future Initiative. Globally, only 36% of countries reported being engaged in such activities.

One country in North America reported the twinning of their Ramsar sites with those of other Contracting Parties: Mexico formalised the twinning of its Ría Lagartos site with Ciénega de Zapata, Cuba, plus the Delta del Río Colorado with Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, United States of America. Canada has identified the possibility of future twinning of sites in the context of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve network (WHSRN). The United States detailed ongoing efforts to designate sites jointly with Mexico, particularly in the bordering states of Texas and Tamaulipas. Worldwide, 30% of Contracting Parties report being engaged in twinning efforts.

2.15 Financing the conservation and wise use of wetlands

2.15.A Promoting international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands [15.1]

Mexico, the only Contracting Party eligible for international development assistance in the region, did not report having submitted project proposals to funding agencies which were intended to assist Ramsar implementation. Globally, 63% of countries submitted such project proposals.

Canada and the United States are represented in the governing bodies or scientific advisory bodies of multilateral donor institutions or the GEF. Globally, only 35% of countries have representation in these international bodies.

2.15.B Environmental safeguards and assessments as part of all development projects (including foreign and domestic investments) affecting wetlands [15.2]

Requirements of EIA in each Contracting Parties are covered in section 2.2.B.

2.16 Financing of the Convention [16.1]

In their National Reports, two of the Contracting Parties in North America reported being up to date with their contributions to the Convention, compared to a global total of 60% of all Parties. However, a review of the state of contributions as of 31 August 2002 reveals that all Contracting Parties in the region are now up to date with their contributions to the Convention.

Both Canada and the United States of America provided invaluable financial support for the organization of the 2001 and 2002 regional meetings for the North America and Neotropics regions. The Regional Meeting for Central America, the Caribbean and North America, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, 26-28 September 2001, was made possible through the contributions of the Canadian Wildlife Service ($5,960) and the United States ($50,000) and contributions from Norway and Sweden.The Pan-American Regional Meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador 1-5 July 2002 was funded again by the Canadian Wildlife Service ($6,412) and the United States ($100,000), and a contribution from Spain.

The United States also contributed $316,000 to the Small Grants Fund programme for the period between 1999-2002. Over the triennium the United States has also contributed a total of $ 1,300,000 for the Wetlands for the Future Initiative.

2.17 Institutional mechanisms of the Convention [17.1]

Relevant questions in National Reports are covered in section 2.18 below.

2.18 Institutional and financial capacity of Contracting Parties [18.1]

Only Canada has reported having reviewed its national institutions related to wetlands in order to improve implementation of the Convention; while globally such reviews are reported as having been carried out in 45% of Contracting Parties.

Two of the three Contracting Parties in the region (Canada and the United States) have in place a National Ramsar Committee (NRC) or similar body, while Mexico is currently making progress in establishing its own Committee. Globally, 80% of all Contracting Parties report already having an NRC, or similar body, in place.

All Contracting Parties in the Region report having a mechanism for the purpose of coordination and integration in the implementing international and regional conventions and treaties,. Environment Canada employs an interministerial consultation process for the CBD, the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the Circumpolar Program for the Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as cooperation between the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Mexico coordinates actions regarding multilateral environmental conventions through its International Affairs Coordination Unit (UCAI) and has also highlighted the relevance of the North America Trilateral Committee that emerged from the 1996 Oaxaca memorandum of understanding. In the United States coordination regarding all environmental conventions and negotiations are centralised in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. Globally, a lower percentage of Parties (58%) have such mechanisms for coordination in addressing international environmental agreements and treaties.

All Contracting Parties in North America allocate funds for conservation and wise use of wetlands. In each country these allocations have taken place as part of broader allocations for the environment or as part of cross-sectoral and cross-ministerial initiatives and programmes. Globally, 78% of Contracting Parties have reported specific earmarked allocations for wetlands.

2.19 Working with International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others [19.1]

Canada and the United States coordinate actions with Ramsar's International Organization Partners (IOPs), either through the IOPs' membership in National Ramsar Committees and similar bodies or through direct joint projects with, in particular, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Regional Offices. Globally, coordination between Contracting Parties and IOPs was reported by 43% of countries.

2.20 Training [20.1]

Canada has partly carried out an analysis of training needs for implementing wise use guidelines. Mexico has a review in progress through the Center of Education and Training for Sustainable Development (CECADESU). The United States has not carried out an analysis due to the size of the undertaking that this would entail. However, the relevant agencies in the country appreciate the importance of providing training at all levels. Canada has also reviewed its training opportunities in part.

All Contracting Parties in North America have developed extensive training activities and modules related to wetlands. Mexico and the United States have also provided training to wetland managers through personnel exchanges.

The United States provides the financial support for the Wetlands for the Future initiative which allows project development in Mexico and the Neotropics region. Globally, only 5% of Contracting Parties gave support to similar initiatives.

2.21 Membership of the Convention [21.1]

The United States has actively encouraged the accession of non-Parties in the Caribbean Region through financial and technical assistance.



Annex

Summary statistics

Table 1 - North America Sites designated since COP 7

 

Country

Site name

Designation date

Area (in ha.)

Under-represented wetland types

Mexico

Dzilam (reserva estatal)

07.12.00

61,707

Zk(b)

United States

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

12.02.02

8,958

None

TOTAL

Key for under-represented wetland types:
Inland Wetlands:
Zk(b) Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems, inland.

Table 2 - Update Status of Ramsar Information Sheets (RIS) and Maps

Country

Site Name

Area (ha)

Last RIS update

Comments

Canada

Alaksen

586

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Baie de l’Isle-Verte

2,215

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Beaverhill Lake

18,050

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Cap Tourmente

2,398

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Creston Valley

6,970

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Delta Marsh

23,000

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Dewey Soper Migratory Bird Sanctuary

815,900

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Hay-Zama Lakes

50,000

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Lac Saint-Franþois

2,310

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Long Point

13,730

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

McConnell River

32,800

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Mer Bleue Conservation Area

3,100

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Oak Hammock Marsh

3,600

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Old Crow Flats

617,000

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Peace-Athabasca Delta

321,300

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Point Pelee

1,564

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Polar Bear Pass

262,400

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Polar Bear Provincial Park

2408700

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Queen Maud Gulf

6,278,200

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Rasmussen Lowlands

300,000

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Southern James Bay (Moose River & Hannah Bay)

25,290

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

St. Clair

244

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

 

Whooping Crane Summer Range

4,997

2002

RIS received; map still pending.

USA

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

9,509

1986

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Cache-Lower White Rivers

81,376

1993

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Cache River-Cypress Creek Wetlands

24,281

1994

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Catahoula Lake

12,150

1991

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Complex

45,000

1992

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Cheyenne Bottoms State Game Area

10,978

1988

Partial update of RIS received 06.11.2001.  Waiting for full RIS.  

 

Connecticut River Estuary & Tidal Wetlands Complex

6,484

1995

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Delaware Bay Estuary

51,252

1992

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

13,080

1986

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Everglades National ParkMR

566,143

1987

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Horicon Marsh

12,912

1990

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Izembek Lagoon National Wildlife Refuge

168,433

1986

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

159,889

1992

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge

1,908

1993

RIS and map still pending. 

 

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

8,958

2001

Up-date of map was requested on 04.08.02.

Table 3 - North America Ramsar site list and management plan status

Country

Site Name

Area (ha)

Total area per country (ha)

Management Plan (MP)?

Additional comments

Canada

Alaksen

586

Yes

1986 MP was revised 1993 and 1995; to be finalized (2002)

Baie de l’Isle-Verte

2,215

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Beaverhill Lake

18,050

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Cap Tourmente

2,398

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Chignecto

1,020

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Creston Valley

6,970

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Delta Marsh

23,000

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Dewey Soper Migratory Bird Sanctuary

815,900

No

MP under development, to be finalized 2004 under Nunavut Land Claim Agreement.

Grand Codroy Estuary

925

No

1993 MP draft still under revision.

Hay-Zama Lakes

50,000

No

No information available.

Lac Saint-François

2,310

Yes

No information available.

Lac Saint-Pierre

11,952

No

MP currently under development.

Last Mountain Lake

15,602

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Long Point

13,730

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Malpeque Bay

24,440

No

MP currently under development.

Mary’s Point

1,200

Yes

Partial MP- part of site is in National Wildlife Area

Matchedash Bay Provincial Wildlife Area

1,840

Yes

MP fully implemented.

McConnell River

32,800

No

MP under development, to be finalized 2004 under Nunavut Land Claim Agreement.

Mer Bleue Conservation Area

3,100

No

MP currently under development.

Minesing Swamp

6,000

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Musquodoboit Harbour

1,925

No

MP currently under development.

Oak Hammock Marsh

3,600

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Old Crow Flats

617,000

No

MP fully implemented, also covers Vuntut National Park..

Peace-Athabasca Delta

321,300

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Point Pelee

1,564

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Polar Bear Pass

262,400

Yes

MP fully implemented, but will be affected by future Innuit Impact Benefit Agreement.

Polar Bear Provincial Park

2,408,700

Yes

MP fully implemented; new MP in preparation.

Queen Maud Gulf

6,278,200

No

MP under development, to be finalized 2004 under Nunavut Land Claim Agreement.

Quill Lakes

63,500

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Rasmussen Lowlands

300,000

No

MP to be done by 2004 according to Nunavut Land Claim Agreement.

Shepody Bay

12,200

Yes

MP draft released 1994 covers site partially. Full site MP currently being prepared (2001).

Southern Bight-Minas Basin

26,800

No

MP currently under development.

Southern James Bay (Moose River & Hannah Bay)

25,290

No

NO MP planned (2001)

St. Clair

244

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Tabusintac Lagoon & River Estuary

4,997

No

MP currently under development.

Whooping Crane Summer Range

1,689,500

Yes

Partial MP for part of site within Wood Buffalo National Park

13,051,258

Mexico

Cuatrociénegas

150,000

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Dzilam (reserva estatal)

61,707

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Humedales del Delta del Río Colorado

250,000

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Marismas Nacionales

200,000

No

Currently guided by coastal zoning program. Dedicated MP currently under development.

Pantanos de Centla

302,706

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Reserva de la Biosfera La Encrucijada

144,868

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Ría Lagartos

47,840

Yes

MP fully implemented.

1,157,121

United States of America

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

9,509

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Bolinas Lagoon

445

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Cache-Lower White Rivers

81,376

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Cache River-Cypress Creek Wetlands

24,281

Yes

MP currently under revision for National Wildlife Refuge.

Caddo Lake

8,382

No

Training facility for community based management currently under development.

Catahoula Lake

12,150

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Complex

45,000

No

MP to be developed by 2012 for National Wildlife Refuge.

Cheyenne Bottoms State Game Area

10,978

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Connecticut River Estuary & Tidal Wetlands Complex

6,484

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Delaware Bay Estuary

51,252

No

MP to be developed by 2012 for National Wildlife Refuge.

Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

13,080

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Everglades National Park

566,143

Yes

MP fully implemented.

Horicon Marsh

12,912

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Izembek Lagoon National Wildlife Refuge

168,433

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

159,889

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge

1,908

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

8,700

No

MP being prepared for National Wildlife Refuge.

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

8,958

Yes

MP approved in 2000 for Rattlesnake Creek Basin.

1,189,880

TOTAL

61

   

15,398,259

34

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