The 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties


"Wetlands and water: supporting life, sustaining livelihoods"
9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Kampala, Uganda, 8-15 November 2005
Agenda item XV
Ramsar COP9 DR 3

Engagement of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in ongoing multilateral processes dealing with water

1. ACKNOWLEDGING the United Nations "World Water Development Report", showing the worsening water crisis due to water mismanagement;

2. RECALLING the commitments made by governments in the United Nations Millennium Declaration and at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development to reduce by half by the year 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water and the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation; to develop by 2005 integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans; and to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity;

3. ALSO ACKNOWLEDGING the vital contribution that wetlands make to the protection, purification, retention and provision of water resources for water and food supplies and their key role in groundwater recharge and flood control on which the well-being of people and their livelihoods depend, and AWARE of the decision adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its 13th session (CSD13) in April 2005, which emphasized the same themes;

4. FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGING that CSD13 decided on a follow-up on water and sanitation by devoting, in 2008 and 2012, a separate segment of CSD review sessions to monitoring and following up the implementation of decisions taken at CSD13 on water and sanitation and their interlinkages;

5. WELCOMING the outcome of the FAO-Netherlands conference on "Water for Food and Ecosystems - Make it Happen" on the implementation of actions for an integrated approach to balancing water resources for food production and proper ecosystem functioning, which highlighted the necessary components of such an approach, viz. scientific knowledge base, enabling environments, and valuation methodologies for water ecosystem services;

6. AWARE of the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) that global wetlands account for almost half of the total value of all ecosystems combined, but that wetland ecosystems seem to be deteriorating at a faster rate than any other ecosystem, and aware of the MA conclusions that the survival of wetlands and related ecosystems and their important contributions to global development depend upon the achievement of a balance between the human need for ecosystem services and the need for continued functioning of wetland ecosystems;

7. RECOGNIZING that wetland ecosystems play a critical role in water management;

8. RECALLING the analysis of all regional COP9 preparatory meetings of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention of the possibilities and limitations for regional cooperation in the management of transboundary / cross-border water resources and of Ramsar sites and the migratory species and populations which depend upon them;

9. RECOGNIZING the momentum provided by the international organizations associated globally with the Ramsar Convention, whose initiatives aim at achieving the wise use of wetlands with the involvement of all sectors; and

10. ALSO RECOGNIZING the contributions to the global water debates/meetings/sessions of the three World Water Forums held in Marrakech, Den Haag and Kyoto, and PLEASED by the prospective celebration of the Fourth Water Forum in Mexico in March 2006;


11. AFFIRMS that the conservation and wise use of wetlands is critical for the provision of water for people and nature, and that wetlands are a source, as well as a user, of water, in addition to supplying a range of other ecosystem services;

12. ALSO AFFIRMS that priorities for water management should reflect the goals of safekeeping and maintaining water resources, as well as maintaining the ecological character of wetlands;

13. CALLS on Contracting Parties to bring Resolutions VI.23, VII.18, VIII.1, [and COP9 DR1 Annex C and its appendices] and the "Guidelines for the allocation and management of water for maintaining the ecological functions of wetlands" (Ramsar Handbook 12) to the attention of national, regional and local authorities in charge of water management for their integration into, and their multisectoral implementation through, national Integrated Water Resources Management plans;

14. UPHOLDS the principle that governments should commit to informing and organizing the meaningful participation of all sectors of society in decision-making on the conservation, distribution, use and management of water at local, regional and national levels;

15. RENEWS its call to governments and institutions at all levels to ensure that the maintenance of wetlands and their functions are fully taken into account in the design, planning and implementation of water-related projects;

16. AGREES to consider an enhanced focus on collaboration amongst Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on the issue of wetland conservation for the wise management of water resources;

17. INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Secretariat to cooperate with the Secretariat of the Fourth World Water Forum (Mexico, 2006) in order to ensure that the importance of wetland ecosystem goods and services is recognized in the Forum outputs as a key element to effectively managing water resources whilst maintaining the ecosystem functioning of wetlands; and

18. ALSO INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Secretariat to promote and implement, with Contracting Parties, relevant and key elements of the decision taken at CSD13 on Integrated Water Resources Management, including inter alia enhancing the sustainability of ecosystems that provide essential resources and services for human well-being and economic activity and developing innovative means of financing their protection; protecting and rehabilitating catchment areas for regulating water flows and improving water quality, taking into account the critical role of ecosystems; and supporting more effective water demand and water resource management across all sectors, especially in the agricultural sector; and FURTHER INSTRUCTS the Secretariat to prepare a report for COP10, as well as for the CSD report-back session in 2008, on the Convention's activities in promoting these themes.

For reasons of economy, this document is printed in a limited number, and will not be distributed at the meeting. Delegates are requested to bring their copies to the meeting and not to request additional copies.

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