40th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee


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40th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 11-15 May 2009

DOC. SC40-19

Summary report from the CEPA Oversight Panel

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to note the report of the CEPA Oversight Panel, approve the appointments of the CEPA Government and NGO National Focal Points (NFPs) to the Panel, and advise on the Panel’s composition, development and key areas of work for this triennium.


1.     The CEPA Oversight Panel was formed following the adoption of Resolution IX.18 in Uganda in 2005 and Standing Committee Decision SC34-12.
2.     The Panel has met three times during the triennium, in May 2006, June 2007, and during COP10 in November 2008. Full reports of these meetings have been posted on the Convention’s Web site (www.ramsar.org/outreach_oversight_panel.htm). Between meetings, the Panel has communicated by e-mail.

3.       This report is focused on the third meeting of the Panel (held in Changwon on the 29th and 31st October 2008), on its recommendations for the appointment of the new Panel for 2009-2012, and on the work priorities for the Panel in this triennium.

Appointment of the Panel for the period 2009-2012

4.      The 36th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC36) agreed, following advice from the CEPA Panel, that the new CEPA Panel for the triennium 2009-2012 should include two Government and two NGO CEPA Focal Points. In Decision SC34-12, the Standing Committee adopted the clear criteria were defined in DOC. SC34-11 for the nomination of a CEPA Government NFP member who should:

  • have served as the Government CEPA NFP for a minimum period of two years;
  • have worked collaboratively with the nominated NGO NFP;
  • have taken an active role in developing a strategic approach to national implementation of the CEPA Programme;
  • be fluent in written and spoken English.

Since no such clear criteria were established for the NGO NFP nomination, the Panel produced the following criteria during their Changwon meeting and these were agreed in writing by the SC Chair, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Subgroup on Finance during COP10. The NGO NFP should:
  • have served as the NGO NFP for a minimum period of 2 years;
  • have worked collaboratively with national and regional wetland-related networks and networkers;
  • have been actively involved in some aspects of the implementation of the Convention;
  • be fluent in written and spoken English.

5.     In December 2008, the Secretariat prepared an explanatory note and nomination forms, including the above criteria, and sent these by e-mail to Heads of Administrative Authorities, AA National Focal Points, and all CEPA National Focal Points, with a request for nominations of the CEPA Focal Points for the Panel by 31 January. Fourteen nominations were received, 10 for the Government positions and four for the NGO positions. While all NGO nominees met the criteria, six of the Government nominees did not. Keeping in mind the need for regional balance in the nominations and considering the experience of the various nominees, the Secretariat, with the advice of the CEPA Panel, recommends:

Government NFP: András BOHM, Hungary
Government NFP: Cecilia GICHUKI, Kenya
NGO NFP: Melissa MARIN, Costa Rica
NGO NFP: Amy LECCIONES, Philippines

6.     In terms of other Panel members, the Panel recommends that:

  • the Ramsar Regional Centre representative should be continued on a rotational basis to ensure that an overall balance of the diversity of members is maintained, and that for the next triennium RRC West and Central Asia should represent the RRCs on the Panel;
  • the Deputy Secretary General (DSG) should replace the  Secretary General as one of the ex-officio members since the DSG has direct line management responsibilities for the Secretariat’s communications staff including the Communications Officer and the CEPA Programme Officer (the latter also an ex-officio member);
  • the original Panel member described as Chair of the STRP/WI CEPA Specialist Group should be replaced with the STRP CEPA Expert to reflect the current situation more accurately;
  • following e-mail exchanges between the Secretariat and the International Organization Partners (IOPs) on their representative for the triennium, their choice, Tunde Ojei from Wetlands International, should be accepted;
  • a few of the current Panel members should be present as observers at the next Panel meeting to ensure continuity of the Panel’s work.

7.      The composition of the Panel will therefore be:

Vice-chair of Standing Committee (Chair of the Panel): Paraguay, Mr Amado Insfran Ortiz
Chair of SC Subgroup on Finance: Finland, Ms Tiina Niikkonen
STRP CEPA Expert:  Ms Christine Prietto
Vice Chair of the STRP: Ms Rebecca D’Cruz
Additional Expert: Ms Esther Koopmanschap (Participatory skills expert)
CEPA Government National Focal Point: Mr András Bohm, Hungary
CEPA Government National Focal Point: Ms Cecilia Gichuki, Kenya
CEPA NGO National Focal Point: Ms Melissa Marín, Costa Rica
CEPA NGO National Focal Point: Ms Amy Lecciones, Philippines
IOP representative: Mr Tunde Ojei
Ramsar Regional Centre representative: Ramsar Regional Centre for West and Central Asia  

Ex officio:  Secretariat: Deputy Secretary General; CEPA Programme Officer

Work plan for the CEPA Panel 2009-2012

8.     The following are the suggested key areas of work for the CEPA Panel in the coming triennium, incorporating the recommendations accepted by SC36 as well as some additional recommendations from the Panel’s third meeting marked *:

  • * Develop a short advisory document which shows the relationships between Resolutions VII.9 and VIII.31 and Resolution X.8 in order to assist CEPA Focal Points in the ongoing implementation of the CEPA Programme (this is a priority for the Panel as identified Resolution X.8 para. 10).
  • Review CEPA implementation demonstrated through the National Reports submitted to COP10. The Panel discussed the need to consider whether the National Reports submitted triennially by Parties are an appropriate mechanism for assessing the level and scope of CEPA implementation. An assessment of this, using the COP10 National Reports, should be made by the Panel.
  • Review Ramsar regional initiative reports to clarify the role they play in delivering objectives under the CEPA programme.
  • Identify changing priorities and associated issues for the Ramsar CEPA Programme, using the two reviews above in conjunction with the priorities identified by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP).
  • Continue work with the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention on identifying priorities for capacity building for wetland management.
  • Advise the Convention on the development of some general guidance on CEPA for site managers that could be easily incorporated into site manager training programmes.
  • * Advise the Convention on improving the performance of the CEPA NFPs, including the need for training workshops in using the new CEPA planning tool launched at the COP.
  • * Advise the Secretariat on how regular Convention meetings and Ramsar-related meetings can be used to help raise the profile of the Convention and the performance of the Secretariat, e.g. Georgia’s offer to host a Standing Committee meeting. 
  • * Identify what the Secretariat does well that can be shared with Parties, e.g. using the Secretariat experience with Danone/Evian to share knowledge and know-how on working with the private sector. Perhaps successful experiences from the IOPs in working with the private sector could be identified. All this advice should be delivered to the Parties through the Standing Committee.

Other matters

9.      Following discussion at the third Panel meeting with the current representative of the Ramsar Regional Centres (CREHO), it was agreed that the Panel should communicate to Standing Committee that there is an urgent need for the development of an effective network of the RRCs in order to share experiences, work plans, and other relevant materials.

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