Report of the 2nd Meeting of the Standing Committee, 4 June 1987
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CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
2nd Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 4 June 1987
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE ESPECIALLY AS WATERFOWL HABITAT
- Canada (Mr. H.A. Clarke and Mr. H. Boyd)
- Chile (Dr. R. Schlatter)
- Netherlands (Mr. F.C.M van Rijckevorsel)
- New Zealand (Mr. N.R. Hellyer)
- Pakistan (Mr. A.L. Rao) Chairman
- Poland (Mr. Z. Krzeminski)
- Tunisia (Mr. S.B.H Kacem)
- United States of America (Mr. L. Mason, Mr E. McKeown)
- Switzerland (Mr. A. Antonietti)
- IUCN (Dr. P. Dugan)
- United Kingdom (Dr. D.R. Langslow)
- IWRB (Prof. G.V.T. Matthews)
- Mr. D. Navid
- Mr. M. Smart
- Mr. C. de Klemm
- Mr. A.J. Mence (rapporteur)
1. Opening of the meeting
The Chairman, Mr. A.L. Rao, Pakistan, opened the meeting and requested Mr. Navid to present the background documents. Mr. Navid tabled the Minutes of the First Meeting of the Standing Committee held on the previous day (document S.C.87.l) and Annex I to this document, the Draft Agenda, as well as Annex II entitled Note on Draft Rules of Procedure for Standing Committee.
2. Adoption of the Agenda
The Agenda was adopted and the minutes of the previous meeting confirmed. Mr. F. van Rijckevorsel expressed special appreciation for the competent support to the Task Force, the Conference and to the Convention generously and voluntarily dedicated by Mr. de Klemm. Mr. Navid also expressed his thanks on behalf of the Bureau.
3. Administrative Requirements
a) Consideration of Rules of Procedure for the Standing Committee
Mr. Navid presented the points set out in the Annex to document S.C.87.l. From subsequent discussion it was agreed that the Rules of Procedure should be flexible and uncomplicated. The Rules of Procedure utilized by Standing Committees of other conservation conventions should be studied. The Chairman requested suggestions from members to assist the preparation by the Bureau of a preliminary draft to be circulated in the near future to members for comment.
b) Consideration of financial and personnel administration under the Convention provided by IUCN and IWRB
i) financial matters
It was emphasized that mechanisms for managing the Convention budget must be established. However, concern was expressed that there was as yet no funded budget, and that IUCN and IWRB were already in debt from the heavy costs of the Conference, including those concerning support to individual delegates. It was agreed that the Chairman should make a special plea in the final plenary session of the Conference for voluntary contributions to be paid if possible in 1987. It was noted by the observers from both IUCN and IWRB that their organizations would be prepared to continue to provide Bureau services to the extent that limitations of time and expense allowed. The possibility of raising funds for specific purposes, e.g. preparation of publications, was recognized and Committee members agreed to assist as they could.
ii) personnel matters
Staff recruitment for the permanent Bureau was considered a high priority. Mr. van Rijckevorsel expressed the opinion that the officers currently serving the Convention Bureau should be appointed on a permanent basis, by the Director General of IUCN and the Executive Director of IWRB, with Mr. Navid serving as Secretary General and Mr. Smart as Scientific Coordinator. In the ensuing discussion the Committee noted with appreciation the work of these two officers and expressed general support for Mr. van Rijckevorsel’s proposals while considering at the same time that the designation of permanent Convention officers should await the implementation of the financial regime adopted at the Regina Conference. In the meantime the Committee requested IUCN and IWRB to allow the two officers to continue to serve the Convention as they had so ably done in the past. Subject to the limitations mentioned in i) above, the observers from IUCN and IWRB confirmed their readiness to provide support to the Convention as hitherto. This raised the issue of formal written acceptance by IUCN and IWRB of responsibilities under the Convention. It was agreed that these would appropriately be received by the Standing Committee and thereafter circulated to the Contracting Parties.
c) Committee meeting schedule 1987/1988
It was noted that for financial reasons the Standing Committee could not meet often. Much work would need to be done by correspondence. Events likely to bring Committee members together should be kept in mind, and the IUCN General Assembly in Costa Rica 1-10 February 1988 was identified as such an occasion. It was agreed, therefore, to hold the next meeting of the Committee in Costa Rica just prior to that event. The possibility of constituting ad hoc subcommittees as appropriate was also suggested, and it was agreed that this should be covered in the Rules of Procedures for the Committee.
4. Ongoing Bureau Activities in 1987
Mr. Navid reported that the main activities would be: preparation of the Proceedings of the Conference and associated publications, their production and distribution; continuing contacts with Parties and relevant agencies, organizations and individuals; promotion and implementation of resolutions and recommendations from the Conference; preparations for next year’s programme; participation in the meeting on environmental law at Lyons next September, all of which require funding. The Chairman requested that details about these activities be provided to the Committee so that it might assist in locating funding opportunities. It was agreed that, pending other arrangements, diplomatic contacts by the Bureau should continue to be carried on through IUCN.
5. Bureau Programme and Budget for 1988
It was agreed that a 1988 work plan and related costs should be developed as soon as possible as the basis for establishing task priorities and funding allocations.
6. Preparation of Regina Conference Proceedings
The cost of publication of the Proceedings of the Regina Conference would be of the order of US$ 20-25,000 without including any element for preparation or distribution. It was noted that there were possibilities of raising money from Canadian sources, e.g. WWF-Canada, and perhaps from US organizations, e.g. Ducks Unlimited Inc. Members of the Committee in a position to pursue funding support for this priority matter were asked to assist. Although it was agreed that the Proceedings should be published as soon as possible, the present financial constraints were recognized.
7. Convention logo
It was agreed that the Ramsar Convention should have its own identity, logo and letterhead. Mr Navid reported that many suggestions had already been received for a logo and that these would be circulated to Committee members. Further examples would be solicited. Various ideas for pursuing additional proposals were put forward; viz., design competitions (especially ones for children), promotion of these by newspapers and organizations such as WWF etc. The Committee agreed to provide further advise on this issue following review of the examples already received by the Bureau. In the meantime it was noted that the use of provisional Convention stationery without a logo might be necessary in the future although that should await designation of Bureau personnel positions.
8. Any other business
i) Standing Committee references in the Conference Proceedings should be noted and conveyed to the members.
ii) The names of persons (and their alternates) representing Parties which are members of the Standing Committee should be circulated to all Parties.
iii) The next meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. An offer from Switzerland to host the next meeting in 1990 was noted. The agreement of the Federal Government and of Canton de Vaud had been given. New Zealand was also prepared to make an offer, but confirmation was required. Mr. Navid explained the requirements and formalities to be satisfied before an offer could be accepted, and so negotiations would need to begin fairly soon. It was agreed that the Chairman of the Committee should seek a mandate from the Conference for the Committee to assist the Bureau in negotiating with potential hosts.