34th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

10/03/2006

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CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 10-13 April 2006
DOC. SC34-8

Agenda item 8.3

Format for National Reports for COP10

Action requested: Standing Committee is invited to agree that the Subgroup on Resolution VII.45 take account of the issue of developing a simplified format for national reporting for COP10, and provide the format for SC35 to consider and adopt in early 2007.

Issues

1. The Contracting Parties, in Resolution IX.8, requested the Standing Committee to design a simplified COP10 National Report Format based on the Framework for the implementation of the Convention's Strategic Plan 2003-2008 in the 2006-2008 period, taking into account reporting issues in Resolutions IX.1 Annex D and IX.5 and, in so doing, to ensure that the new format will reduce the overall reporting burden on Contracting Parties by:

i) reducing duplication required and/or requested in relevant Resolutions adopted by this and previous COPs;
ii) ensuring that any new reporting requirements are compensated for by removal of existing requirements, so as to ensure at least no net increase in reporting requirements;
iii) considering reporting requirements of other relevant conventions and agreements and ways to use the information collected for these purposes rather than requiring the collection of additional information; and
iv) also considering the contribution of Ramsar reporting to other conventions' equivalent processes including inter alia the 2010 biodiversity target.

2. Discussions at the regional meetings prior to COP9, and the COP itself, re-inforced concern from Parties that a simpler reporting format is needed, yet nonetheless a format that would allow lessons to drawn and shared - in other words the need for national reporting to be a dynamic tool for overall Convention management.

3. At the same time moves within and amongst other MEAs in the biodiversity cluster are examining the possibility to reduce duplication in national reporting requirements. This is quite a complicated issue but one which will certainly develop in the next two years.

4. Specifically, the SBSTTA of the CBD meeting last November, inter alia;

(5.) Requested the Executive Secretary to invite the Ramsar Convention to take the lead in developing a draft joint reporting framework on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems, taking into consideration the needs of both conventions, including their respective needs for reporting on other matters, and, as appropriate, drawing upon the Issue-Based Modules for Coherent Implementation of Biodiversity-related Conventions;

(6.) Requested the Executive Secretary to invite the Ramsar Convention, subject to resources, to take the lead in reviewing the processes and categories of activities that have or are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of inland water biological diversity identified by, among others, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, including in its synthesis report on wetlands and water, and the Global Biodiversity Outlook, as well as the extent to which the activities in the programmes of work of the Convention address the major threats to the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems, and to inform Parties about the outcome of the review;

(7.) Recommended that the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its eighth meeting:

(a) Invite Parties, other Governments and relevant international organizations to promote the recognition and implementation of the programme of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems by relevant stakeholders, using the information to be provided, inter alia, by the aforementioned process;
(b) Invite Parties, other Governments and international organizations, on a voluntary basis and in accordance with identified needs, to contribute financial and other resources to assist the work of the Executive Secretary and the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on these matters; and
(c) Consider further ways and means for developing a strategic approach, relevant to all programmes of work, to assess and monitor threats and to identify key stakeholders and promote, where appropriate, their full involvement in reducing threats.

5. While we should wait for the final decision of CBD COP8 on this matter (to be taken in March 2006 and reported verbally to Standing Committee), it seems clear that already there is a mandate to work closely with the CDB secretariat and parties on the issue of developing joint reporting frameworks, which should inform our National reporting processes. One issue which remains is that CBD parties seem to be less aware of the link of Ramsar work with other thematic programmes such as Marine and Coastal, mountain and Island ecosystems than the link with inland waters. However this can be clarified as we work on the national Report Format.

6. As noted in DOC. SC34-7 it is suggested that this issue be considered by the Subgroup on Resolution VIII.45, along with the development of the Strategic Plan 2009- 2014.

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