31st Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee


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31st Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 6-10 June 2005
DOC. SC31-6

Agenda item 8.1

Additional scientific and technical guidance for implementing the Ramsar wise use concept

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to consider and approve the attached draft Resolution for consideration by COP9.

Note by the Ramsar Secretariat

1. At its March 2005 meeting, as part of its response to Resolution VIII.45 in seeking to streamline the process of preparing and considering COP Resolutions (see DOC. SC31-5), the Standing Committee's Subgroup on COP9 approved in Decision COP9 SG-3 the proposal from the Scientific and Technical Review Panel to bring to the COP two technical draft Resolutions, one containing proposed additional guidance as annexes, and the other recommending future scientific and technical work or the Convention.

2. The draft COP9 Resolution attached to this note is that designed to cover the range of key scientific and technical implementation frameworks and supporting guidelines prepared by the STRP during the 2003-2005 triennium as priority tasks in the STRP work plan as directed by the Standing Committee from the tasks requested by COP8.

3. Each of these frameworks and guidelines will form an Annex to this DR. For ease of reference, each of these Annexes is included in the SC31 papers as a separate document (DOCs SC31-7 to SC31-15) to be considered by SC31 under Agenda items 8.2 to 8.10.

4. The second technical COP9 Resolution, covering future priorities for scientific and technical implementation of the Convention, will be addressed under Agenda item 8.11 (DOC. SC31-16).


Additional scientific and technical guidance for implementing the Ramsar wise use concept

1. AWARE of the suite of technical and scientific guidelines and other materials prepared by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) to support Contracting Parties in their implementation of wetland conservation and wise use;

2. NOTING that the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP8) instructed the STRP to prepare further advice and guidance for consideration by Contracting Parties at COP9 on topics including, inter alia, inventory and assessment, wise use, water resource management, Ramsar site designation and management, and assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of the Convention;

3. THANKING the STRP for its work in preparing the advice and guidance annexed to this Resolution, as well as for the supporting technical reviews and reports being made available to Contracting Parties and others as Ramsar Technical Reports;

4. ALSO THANKING the Government of Sweden and IUCN, WWF, the WorldFish Centre, and the Water Research Commission (South Africa), which have provided financial support to the Panel and its Working Groups for the preparation of this advice and guidance and technical reports; and EXPRESSING GREAT APPRECIATION to the many organisations that have provided significant in-kind support to the work of the Panel; and

5. NOTING that in this triennium the STRP has been provided with insufficient resources and capacity to deliver all the high priority work directed to it by the Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee, as elaborated in the report made to this meeting by the Chair of the STRP;


6. ADOPTS the frameworks, guidelines and other advice provided as annexes A to E to this Resolution, and URGES Contracting Parties to make good use of this guidance and advice, as appropriate, adapting them as necessary to suit national conditions and circumstances;

7. URGES Contracting Parties to draw these guidelines to the attention of relevant stakeholders in their territories, including inter alia government ministries, departments and agencies, water and basin management authorities, non-governmental organisations, and civil society; and FURTHER URGES Contracting Parties to encourage these stakeholders to take these guidelines into account, together with those of the Ramsar 'toolkit' of Wise Use Handbooks 2nd edition, in their decision-making and activities which relate to the delivery of the wise use of wetlands through the maintenance of their ecological character; and

8. INSTRUCTS the Ramsar Secretariat to examine ways to disseminate widely the frameworks and guidelines adopted by this Resolution, including through amendment and updating of the Ramsar 'toolkit' of Wise Use Handbooks.


Annex A A Conceptual framework for the wise use of wetlands and the maintenance of their ecological character DOC. SC31-7
Annex B An Integrated Framework for Wetland Inventory Assessment and Monitoring (IF-WIAM)
Additional guidance annexed, as follows:
DOC. SC31-8
i) Summary guidelines for rapid assessment methodologies for inland, coastal and nearshore marine wetlands. DOC. SC31-9
Annex C An integrated framework for Ramsar's water-related guidance
Additional guidances annexed, as follows:

DOC. SC31-10
i) River Basin Management: additional guidance and framework for analysis of case studies; DOC. SC31-11
ii) Supplemental guidelines for the determination and implementation of environmental water requirements for wetlands; DOC. SC31-12
iii) Guidelines for the management of groundwater to maintain wetland ecological character. DOC. SC31-13
Annex D Revised Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance DOC. SC31-14
Annex E Ecological 'outcome-oriented' indicators for assessing the implementation effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention DOC. SC31-15
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