Ramsar address to the Lake Chad Basin Commission, 2008


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54th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and 12th Summit of Heads of States and Governments
Abuja, Nigeria, 25-26 March 2008

by Anada Tiéga, Secretary General
delivered by Amal Talbi, World Bank, and Denis Landenbergue, WWF International

Honorable Ministers,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to express my thanks for the invitation to attend the LCBC 54th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and the 12th Summit of Heads of States and Government. I am fully aware of the contribution of the LCBC in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, and the Ramsar Secretariat greatly appreciates the partnership between our organizations. As decided through Resolution IX.1 (2005), the Ramsar Contracting Parties acknowledge that "management and development of wetlands must be undertaken within the context of their larger surrounding 'waterscape' (the river/lake basin or catchment, including the hydrological processes and functions within the basin or catchment) as well their larger surrounding landscape." This is exactly what the Lake Chad Basin Commission is undertaking and promoting; we are pleased to recognize the work of the Commission and the member states through the strategic and operational actions at basin scale.

We are also pleased to acknowledge that the LCBC draft "Ecological Quality Objectives" match water resources strategies with land use strategies, so that these can be implemented jointly to support the maintenance of healthy, functional wetlands that provide a full range of benefits/services for people (including water supply). We also know that the LCBC stakeholder analysis has recognized that land use management and water management are generally the responsibilities of different agencies or authorities. We hope that the work of LCBC will enhance the alignment of objectives and priorities of relevant organizations and institutions to ensure that all land or water aspects of wetlands are adequately protected or managed for the sustainable development of member states.

Finally, we hope that the Council of Ministers will take decisions to improve the integration of wetlands into river basin management, with special attention to three major areas of activity:

i) communication of policy and operational needs and objectives across different sectors, primarily the water and wetlands sectors, but also the ones dealing with poverty reduction, food security, climate change, and human health;

ii) cooperation between sectors and sectoral institutions, ranging from informal collaboration to formal cooperative governance; and

iii) sequencing and synchronization of planning and management activities in different sectors, including land, water, biodiversity, and wetlands.

It is unfortunate that I am not able to attend these important meetings. I am however pleased to indicate that Mr. Denis Landenbergue from WWF International has kindly accepted to convey our message to the Session, in his capacity as representative of one of the five International Organizations Partners of the Ramsar Convention.

I wish you a fruitful session.

Thank you.


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