Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) -- Work Plan 2003-2005

16/05/2003

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STRP Work Plan 2003-2005

as agreed by STRP11, April 2003, and approved by Standing Committee by correspondence, May 2003

Background

1. The 11th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, held on 8-11 April 2003, reviewed the tasks allocated to it by COP8 and previous COPs, and the priorities established for these tasks by the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee.

2. The STRP established six Expert Working Groups to undertake the substantive work for each of the six high priority areas of work identified to the Panel by the Standing Committee. Two co-leads for each Working Group were appointed by the Chair of the STRP.

3. In the course of the meeting, each Expert Working Group established the scope of, and mechanisms for, each of its requested tasks, identified timeframes and lead persons for undertaking these tasks for delivery to the Standing Committee and COP9, established whether a mid-term workshop or workshops would be needed to progress its work, and identified for which tasks it will need additional expertise and/or resources.

4. The STRP also established mechanisms for addressing high priority cross-cutting issues of Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) and agriculture in the work of each of the six Working Groups.

5. The STRP also agreed ways and means for progressing most areas of work indicated by the Standing Committee as lower priority, with the exception of Incentives, through the identification of a lead organization or organizational representative to develop the work requested; agreed mechanisms for delivering the ongoing tasks of the Panel; identified several key strategic issues for the Convention in the future; and identified tasks which it proposed to defer until the 2005-2008 triennium.

6. It should be noted that an early task of the Working Groups and other mechanisms established for areas of work will be to further define the terms of reference, scope, contents and timeframes for some tasks.

7. The Expert Working Groups will work largely through electronic discussion mechanisms. To facilitate this, the STRP Support Service is establishing a mini-Web site, with separate pages of resource materials and a discussion forum with associated e-mail listserver for each Working Group. Similar mechanisms are being established by the STRP Support Service for other work areas in the STRP's proposed work plan.

8. In each section of the STRP's proposed Work Plan, a tabular summary of each task and how it will be undertaken is provided, followed where necessary by further details of the proposed scope and mechanisms for the work.

9. The proposed STRP Work Plan that follows presents:

A. HIGH PRIORITY AREAS OF WORK - ACTIVITIES TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY EXPERT WORKING GROUPS:

1. Working Group 1: Wetland inventory and assessment
2. Working Group 2: Wise use concept
3. Working Group 3: Water resource management
4. Working Group 4: Ramsar site designation
5. Working Group 5: Wetland management
6. Working Group 6: Assessing the effectiveness of implementation of the Convention

B. CROSS-CUTTING AREAS OF WORK:

7. Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA)
8. Agriculture

C. LOWER PRIORITY AREAS OF WORK - ACTIVITIES TO BE UNDERTAKEN THROUGH LEAD ORGANISATIONS:

9. Environmental and strategic impact assessment
10. Peatlands
11. Climate change
12. Restoration and rehabilitation
13. Invasive alien species
14. Participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in wetland management
15. Further guidance for designating wetland types in the Ramsar List
16. Sharing of information and expertise

D. ON-GOING TASKS OF THE STRP

17. STRP National Focal Points
18. Regional categorization advice
19. Ramsar Small Grant Fund projects
20. Wetland project development and evaluation
21. Ramsar Sites Database
22. Montreux Record
23. Collaboration with other Conventions and agreements
24. Drafting technical Resolutions

E. KEY ADDITIONAL STRATEGIC ISSUES

F. WORK PROPOSED FOR DEFERRAL TO THE 2005-2008 TRIENNIUM

10. For those tasks in the Work Plan for which additional resourcing is indicated as required, the Bureau, with the assistance of the STRP Support Service, will develop a fundraising document.

A. High priority areas of work

Working Group 1: Wetland inventory and assessment

Membership

Co-leads: Max Finlayson & Lijuan Cui (China)
Francisco Contreras
Dick Ho
Jorge Jimenez
Najam Khurshid
Eckhart Kuijken
Tatiana Minaeva
Stephen Njuguna
Manichand Puttoo
David Stroud
BirdLife (David Pritchard)
IUCN (Jean-Yves Pirot)
Wetlands International (Ward Hagermeijer)
Randy Milton (Canada) IWMI (Rebecca Tharme)
WRI (Carmen Revenga)
TNC (Mary Lammert - tbc)
UNEP-WCMC (Christoph Zöckler)
CIESIN (Alex de Sherbenin - tbc)
SWS (Glenn Guntenspergen - tbc)
CBD Secretariat (Robert Hoft)
LakeNet (David Read Barker)
IMCG (Andreas Grünig)
IAIA (Andrea Athanas)
MedWet Initiative (tbc)
Bureau support: Nick Davidson

Tasks

11. Tasks and the mechanisms established by the Expert Working Group for their delivery are summarized below. All tasks except task 1.10 have been indicated by the Standing Committee as high priority. Although task 1.10 was indicated by the Standing Committee as a lower priority, the Working Group considers that initial work on this topic (wetlands and fisheries) can be undertaken during this triennium, drawing upon on-going work of other organizations. Working Group 1's work plan also includes tasks concerning monitoring and assessment of status and trends of Ramsar sites, so as to avoid duplication of work with other Working Groups.

12. Workshops suggested for tasks 1.3.ii, 1.4.i, and 1.8, for early 2004, should be held concurrently if possible. Detailed work plans for each task follow the tabular summary.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframes

A. Wetland Inventory

1.1 Contribute to update of the Global Review of Wetland Resources and Priorities for Wetland Inventory, reporting to COP9 [1.1.5]

Progress report and summary of regional/global inventory status

Lead: Bureau/Wetlands International: prepare full project proposal, for review by Working Group, July 2003. Subsequent steps dependent on project funding.

1.2 Further review application of remote sensing data, low-cost GIS, and classification systems in wetland inventory, reporting to COP9 [R1.1.i] (Resolution VIII.6)

Guidelines on use of remote sensing and GIS methods in wetland inventory

Lead: Max Finlayson. Scoping, July 2003, preliminary tools assessment, September 2003, draft guidance early 2004, final draft guidance August 2004 for STRP12.

B. Wetland Assessment

Further review and, as appropriate, develop guidance and report to COP9, concerning identified gaps and disharmonies in defining and reporting the ecological character of wetlands through inventory, assessment, monitoring and management of Ramsar sites and other wetlands, giving priority to advice and guidance on practical matters on issues that should include:

1.3 the Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type, (bio)geographical regionalization schemes, and their application in defining and reporting the ecological character of wetlands

i) wetland classification review

ii) revised Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type

iii) review and recommendations on continuing use of biogeography in RIS

i) Lead: Vic Semeniuk
Identification of leads for wetland classification review and Ramsar Wetland Classification System revision end of May 2003; Draft wetland classification review end of September 2003;

ii) Workshop: early 2004; Draft proposals for revisions to Ramsar Wetland Classification System end of February 2004; Final draft classification review and revised Ramsar Wetland Classification System August 2004, for STRP12.

iii) Lead: tbc. Review of application of biogeography fields in RIS, by September 2004, for STRP12.

1.4 determining the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands, including techniques for delineating and mapping wetlands and for evaluating their values and functions and goods and services

i) Guidelines for defining the "ecological character" of Ramsar sites and other wetlands

ii) Guidelines on techniques for delineating and mapping wetlands

iii) Guidelines for evaluating the values and functions, goods and services provided by wetlands

i) Lead: Max Finlayson.
Catalogue of data fields September 2003; draft of key features and datasets early 2004; revised draft & workshop early 2004; final draft guidelines August 2004, for STRP12.

ii) Lead: UNEP-WCMC & WI
First draft early 2004; revised draft August 2004, for STRP12

iii) Lead: Lijuan Cui (with IUCN input)
Scope & contents, reviewed by WG1 July 2003; first draft guidelines early 2004; final draft guidelines August 2004, for STRP12

1.5 Incorporation of assessment and management processes and practical methods (including multi-scalar methods for wetland assessment and monitoring) developed by other programmes, including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), into the series of Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands

None – deferral to next triennium recommended, to await availability of relevant MA products

-

1.6 Practical methods, including indicators, for monitoring wetlands and for the rapid assessment of wetland biodiversity, including both inland waters and coastal and marine systems

i) practical indicators for monitoring wetlands

ii) rapid assessment guidelines: inland waters and marine/coastal

 

 

i) Lead: IUCN-SSC & UNEP-WCMC
Timeframes: tbc

ii) Lead: IUCN-SSC & UNEP-WCMC
CBD guidelines review end of 2003; final draft guidelines, in Ramsar context, July 2004, for STRP12

1.7 incorporation of environmental impact and strategic environmental assessment into wetland risk assessment procedures

[see section 9. Environmental and Strategic impact assessment]

-

1.8 Consider consolidation of existing Convention guidance and develop an integrated framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring [R1.2.ix] &

Harmonization of definitions and terms throughout the suite of Ramsar guidance on inventory, assessment, monitoring and management of the ecological character of wetlands [R1.2.viii] (Resolution VIII.7)

i) An Integrated Ramsar framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring

ii) Report on harmonized definitions and terms in Ramsar guidance

Lead: Max Finlayson, eriss & Wetlands International

1st draft framework early 2004, review workshop early 2004, final draft framework July 2004, for STRP12; draft harmonization review / recommendations September 2004, for STRP12

1.9 Contribute to, review, and utilize the work of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in reporting to COP9 on wetland status and trends [1.2.1]

Guidance and review of MA’s products. Incorporation of MA guidance into STRP products.

Leads: Max Finlayson and Douglas Taylor. Timeframes to be clarified with MA

1.10 Contribute to assessment of contribution of Ramsar sites and other wetlands to fisheries maintenance, and recommend sustainable management practices [1.2.6]

i) summary of Ramsar sites with respect to fisheries

ii) short guidance on sustainable management practices for inland and nearshore coastal fisheries

Lead: [tbc]

Draft summary of fisheries in Ramsar sites and August 2004, for STRP12; workshop (provisional) to finalise summary and guidance, early 2005

1.11 Develop methodologies for vulnerability assessment of wetlands to change in ecological character (incl. to impacts of climate change, alien species invasion and agricultural practices) [1.2.4]

Report on vulnerability assessment methodologies, and summary of early warning systems on wetlands

Lead: UNEP-WCMC (tbc)

Timeframes: [tbc]

C. Monitoring the condition of Ramsar sites, including application of Article 3.2 and Montreux Record

1.12 Prepare further consolidated guidance on the overall process of detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character, including guidelines for determining when such a change is too trivial to require reporting, having regard to the reasons why a given site is important, and the conservation objectives set for it [R11.2.ii] (Resolution VIII.8)

Supplementary guidance on Article 3.2 requirements for Integrated Inventory Assessment and Monitoring Framework (see task 1.8)

Lead: Bureau/STRP Support Service

Mechanism established July 2003; review of draft integrated framework (early 2004), draft supplementary guidance June 2004, final draft August 2004, for STRP12

1.13 Prepare an analysis and report of the status and trends in the ecological character of sites in the Ramsar List, and set, as far as possible, the status and trends of Ramsar sites within the wider context of the status and trends of marine, coastal and inland wetlands, drawing upon the results of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and other assessment initiatives as appropriate [R11.2.ix] (Resolution VIII.8)

i) Report of state of knowledge base on status and trends of Ramsar sites

ii) Report of pilot status and trends test for selected Ramsar sites

Lead: [tbc]

ToRs, costing and timeframes to be prepared by Bureau / STRP Support Service, in consultation with WG co-leads

A. Wetland Inventory

Task 1.1: Contribution to an update of the Global Review of Wetland Resources and Priorities for Wetland Inventory (GRoWI), reporting to COP9 [1.1.5]

1.1.1 The Working Group requests the Bureau and Wetlands International to develop a costed project proposal to take forward this work, and recognizes that the resources and timeframes required to produce a full update are likely to be substantial (as a measure of the effort, the updates of the European component of GRoWI carried out by Wetlands International took c. 18 months).

1.1.2 The Working Group considers it doubtful that a full global update can be completed in time for COP9, especially regarding the progress on inventory at the national level. However, a summary of progress to date, as well as information on existing regional and global inventories could be submitted to COP9, while the full report and update, including for national inventories should be submitted to COP10.

1.1.3 Advice from the Working Group on the scope and approach to the GRoWI update is as follows:

i) The updates should use the 1998-99 GRoWI databases as the starting point and draw on other existing and ongoing regional inventories (Europe, MedWet, Central and East Asia, Southeast Asia).

ii) Information compiled on existing inventories should follow the wetland inventory metadata structure developed by the STRP in the previous triennium. The European inventory is already in this format; other existing inventory information would need to be adapted to this framework and entered into the inventory metadatabase (already developed by eriss, Australia and Wetlands International).

iii) Information on the status of national wetland inventory provided by Parties in COP8 and COP9 National Reports should be used as source material and as the basis for follow-up with each Party for the full GRoWI update.

iv) the updated review should include specific information on the contents of each inventory with respect to spatial data, raw data or interpreted/derived information (if this is not already included in the inventory metadata fields).

v) In recognition of the large scope of the work, the project should be a collaboration between several regional and international institutions, with assistance of the STRP Support Service.

1.1.4 Actions and timeframes:

1. Draft project proposal, including proposed collaborating organizations and potential sources of funding, developed by Bureau and Wetlands International, by July 2003

2. Review of project proposal by Working Group 1, by end of July 2003

3. Subsequent full project implementation dependent on identification of funding sources.

4. Progress report for STRP12, by September 2004

5. Information paper (resources permitting) on status of regional/global wetland inventories for possible COP9 consideration, by September 2004, for STRP12.

Task 1.2: Further review of the application of remote sensing data, low-cost GIS, and classification systems in wetland inventory

1.2.1 The Working Group noted that the term "low-cost GIS" is potentially misleading and recommends that an alternative be found to reflect the issue of distinguishing between different GIS software packages, some of which require less investment and less training than others (e.g., ArcView vs ArcInfo). Special attention should be paid to providing guidance on simple and accessible tools that can be used by developing countries.

1.2.2 There is not the necessary expertise within the STRP to carry out this task in full: it should be contracted out to a research institution, drawing on what has already been done (or is under development) by European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Space Agency (NASDA), WRI, and Africa GIS (an Africa-based NGO specializing in the application of GIS for natural resources management in Africa).

1.2.3 The output for COP9 should be guidelines for the use of remote sensing and GIS methods in wetland inventory. The guidelines should, if possible, include information on sources of training and software at low costs. The guidelines should not be a detailed "how to use GIS and remote sensing" guide, but rather should focus on providing a catalogue of tools, with a description of the utility of each for wetland inventory.

1.2.4 Actions and timeframes:

1. An initial outline of the scope and costing of the work by July 2003: by Max Finlayson, in association with IWMI, who have offered to contribute to the task from their ongoing work using GIS and remote sensing.

2. A preliminary assessment to identify the tools and approaches that have already been used and which may be of use, as well to as distinguish different scales of application, will be undertaken by Max Finlayson, with input from IWMI, by September 2003.

3. Further work (by consultant) to follow-up on the preliminary assessment and prepare draft guidance should be completed by early 2004, for review by the Working Group.

4. Final draft guidance by August 2004, for review by STRP12.

1.2.5 Additional assistance and resources required

Additional funding is required to engage a consultant or organization to carry out this task. Resources permitting, the STRP Support Service will assist in identifying a suitable contractor.

B. Wetland Assessment

Task 1.3: Consolidation of guidelines on Ramsar Wetlands Classification System and biogeographic regionalization

1.3.1 The work will involve three elements:

i) Review of existing wetland classification systems. The review will identify what are the different methodologies in use and for what purpose. Experts to be invited to contribute to this task are: Mark Brinsan, ECU (US), Vic Semeniuk (Consultant), and Max Finlayson. The IUCN SSC-Specialist Group working on habitat classification for the Species Information System will also contribute. Lead: Vic Semeniuk.

ii) Ramsar Wetlands Classification System. Once the wetland classification systems review is completed, its findings will be used to revise and harmonize the Ramsar Wetland Classification System (RCS). Modifications to the RCS system may need to be made to inter alia include mountain wetlands and other types of wetlands identified in Resolution VIII.12. David Stroud and the IUCN-SSC Specialist Group working on habitat classification system for the SIS will contribute to this task. Lead: to be identified with assistance of the Support Service.

iii) Biogeographic regionalization in the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS). The Working Group is concerned that establishing guidelines on biogeographic regionalization risks might become an endless task with little applicability, given the likelihood of difficulty in reaching global agreement on biogeographic regionalization. Before considering any guidance development, the Working Group requests the Bureau and Wetlands International to make a review of the application of the two new biogeography fields in RISs submitted by Parties since COP8, and to present this review for consideration by STRP12. If the results of this review demonstrate that the biogeographic classification fields are not being used, or are causing difficulty for Parties, the Panel should consider recommending that the biogeographic regionalization concept should be dropped from the Ramsar Criteria for site designation, through work in the next triennium. Lead: tbc.

1.3.2 Actions and timeframes:

1. Identification of leads for wetland classification review and Ramsar Wetland Classification System revision, by end of May 2003.

2. Draft wetland classification review, circulated to Working Group, by end of September 2003.

3. Draft proposals for revisions to Ramsar Wetland Classification System, circulated to Working Group, by end of February 2004.

4. Final draft classification review (as possible Information Paper for COP9 or earlier circulation to Parties) and revised Ramsar Wetland Classification System, by August 2004, for STRP12.

5. Review of application of biogeography fields in RIS, by September 2004, for STRP12. {Note. This analysis should be undertaken as late as possible before STRP12 so as to permit inclusion of maximum number of RISs prepared since COP8.]

1.3.3 Additional resources/assistance required:

STRP Support Service assistance to identify lead for tasks 1.3.1 i) and 1.3.1 ii). If an identified lead needs to work on a consultancy basis, additional funding may be required for this work.

Task 1.4: Determination of the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands, including techniques for delineating and mapping wetlands and for evaluating their values and functions and goods and services

1.4.1 Work by the Working Group will cover three 'sub-tasks', each resulting in guidelines for Parties, as follows:

i) Guidelines for defining the "ecological character" of Ramsar sites and other wetlands. Lead: Max Finlayson, with Bill Phillips invited to assist, with input also from LakeNet.

ii) Guidelines on techniques for delineating and mapping wetlands. Lead: UNEP-WCMC and Wetlands International, with contribution from IMCG and LakeNet.

iii) Guidelines for evaluating the values and functions, goods and services provided by wetlands. Lead: Lijuan Cui, with input from IUCN

1.4.2 The actions and timeframes to produce the Guidelines for defining the "ecological character" of Ramsar sites and other wetlands (task 1.4.1 i) are as follows:

1. Prepare a catalogue of biological, physical, chemical and ecosystem services data fields (not at this stage data fields for ecological processes), by September 2003. This work will draw on the Asian Wetland Inventory and an Australian government report on ecological character definition.

2. Identify key features and data sets that specifically determine the character of individual wetland types. First draft by early 2004. (Note. This approach and its recommended features and datasets needs to be harmonized with the information required for site designation in the RIS (Working Group 4, task 4.2 c) and monitoring. Given the relevance of this work on ecological character to other STRP tasks, the drafts should be circulated for comment to all STRP Working Groups.)

3. Review and revise the concepts/data fields through a small workshop (6-10 technical experts) (early 2004 - date tbc).

4. Final draft guidelines, for STRP12, by August 2004.

1.4.3 Additional resources required

Funding for the workshop will be required.

1.4.4 The actions and timeframes to prepare the Guidelines on techniques for delineating and mapping wetlands (task 1.4.1 ii) are as follows:

1. First draft for review by Working Group, by early 2004.

2. Revised draft, for STRP12, by August 2004.

1.4.5 The actions and timeframe to produce the Guidelines for evaluating the values and functions, goods and services provided by wetlands (task 1.4.1 iii) are as follows:

1. Develop scope and outline contents of guidelines (Lijuan Cui, with assistance from STRP Support Service), for circulation and agreement by Working Group, by July 2003.

2. First draft guidelines, for Working Group review, by early 2004. (Note. It may be appropriate to convene a small expert workshop to review and revise the guidance, in mid 2004.)

3. Final draft guidelines, for STRP12, by August 2004.

Note: The guidelines should draw upon materials and information on valuation from IUCN, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), and others. IUCN (Lucy Emerton) will contribute the following:
· guidelines for the economic valuation of wetlands (with particular attention to the biophysical data required for valuation; integration of economic valuation with other decision-support methods; and how to address poverty concerns in wetland valuation.
· a practical toolkit for integrating wetlands economic values into river basin management;
· case study applications of wetland valuation techniques including: Muthurajawela (Sri Lanka), That Luang (Lao PDR), lower Mekong (Cambodia/Lao), Terraba-Sierpe (Costa Rica), Pangani (Tanzania), Ruhuna/Kala Oya (Sri Lanka), Djoudj (Senegal), and Diawling (Mauritania); and
· Policy briefs and technical papers on wetland valuation methods and applications.

Task 1.5: Incorporation of assessment and management processes and practical methods (including multi-scalar methods for wetland assessment and monitoring) developed by other programmes, including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), into the series of Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands.

1.5.1 Since the outputs needed from the MA will not be available in time for STRP to consider them for COP9, the Working Group recommends that this task be deferred to STRP work in the 2005-2008 triennium, once the relevant MA products are available, for COP10 consideration.

Task 1.6: Practical methods, including indicators, for monitoring wetlands and for the rapid assessment of wetland biodiversity, including both inland waters and coastal and marine systems

1.6.1 Work by the Working Group will be undertaken through two 'sub-tasks':

i) development of practical indicators for monitoring inland and coastal/marine wetlands. Lead: IUCN (SSC) and UNEP-WCMC, with input from WRI, CBD and Najam Khurshid

ii) Guidelines for rapid assessment of wetland biodiversity (both inland and coastal/marine systems). Lead: IUCN (SSC) and UNEP-WCMC, with input on the application and adaptation of existing guidance to Ramsar sites from Steven Njuguna, Francisco Rilla, CBD and David Stroud.

1.6.2 For the sub-task 1.6.1 i), already developed indicators (global, regional and national level) should be presented and reviewed with respect to their applicability and use in the Ramsar context. The work will draw on previously developed indicators from CBD and IUCN-SSC (biodiversity), UNEP-WCMC (specifically coastal marine ecosystems), WRI (coastal/marine, freshwater, wetlands in drylands, agriculture and poverty mapping), and MA (all ecosystems).

1.6.3 The indicators should provide information on the condition of Ramsar sites and other wetlands, and in the longer term should become indicators that can contribute towards measuring the effectiveness of the Convention (see also task 6.2).

1.6.4 There is a close linkage with the work of Working Group 6 on indicators of Convention implementation effectiveness, and also with that of Working Group 3 on water resource management indicators. Close collaboration between these three related tasks will be essential, so as to ensure consistency (taking into account the different specific purposes for each set of indicators) of the proposed indicator sets.

1.6.5 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

[to be advised by task Leads]

1.6.6 Additional resources required for sub-task 1.6.1 i):

Some funding may be required to develop specific indicators for Ramsar sites, and to carry out cross-links with agriculture and other land uses in relation to wetland condition (WRI and IWMI).

1.6.7 For sub-taks 1.6.1 ii) ( Guidelines for rapid assessment of wetland biodiversity, both inland and coastal/marine systems), the CBD guidelines for rapid assessment of inland waters (recommended by CBD SBSTTA8 to CBD COP7) and marine and coastal biodiversity (in draft, to be considered by SBSTTA9, November 2003) will form the starting point of the work. The Working Group will review these guidelines, advise on their applicability to the Ramsar context, and make recommendations for any modifications which may be appropriate.

[Bureau note. It is recognized that the current CBD guidelines focus on assessment of species / communities, and that further work on provision of assessment guidance at the habitat / ecosystem level is needed. In its review, the Working Group should also consider to what extent it could develop such additional guidance during this triennium, and/or make recommendations for how such guidance might be subsequently developed.]

1.6.8 The actions and timeframes for sub-task 1.6.1 ii) are as follows:

1. Review of CBD guidelines and recommendations for adaptation to the Ramsar context for comment by Working Group, by end of 2003. Note. It would be appropriate for the Working Group to first review the inland waters guidelines, since these are already finalized, and then the marine/coastal guidelines once they are prepared as a CBD SBSTTA Information Paper later in 2003.

2. Final draft guidelines, adapted to the Ramsar context, and recommendations for further work needed, for STRP12 consideration, by July 2004.

Task 1.7: Incorporation of environmental impact and strategic environmental assessment into wetland risk assessment procedures

1.7.1 The Working Group recommends that this task be consolidated with the work under Section 9 of this Work Plan on environmental and strategic impact assessment.

Task 1.8: Consolidation of existing Convention guidance and development of an integrated framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring,
-- and --
Harmonization of definitions and terms throughout the suite of Ramsar guidance on inventory, assessment, monitoring and management of the ecological character of wetlands

Lead: Max Finlayson, Peter Bayliss (eriss, Australia), and Wetlands International

1.8.1 The framework will be developed from the outline integrated framework prepared by STRP for COP8 (COP8 DOC. 16) and relevant materials from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and other published papers.

1.8.2 The framework will include identification of links to the suite of tools and guidance already approved by Ramsar COPs, and new tools and guidance being developed under this STRP work plan for COP9. It will link biodiversity, ecosystem services, and wise use concepts.

1.8.3 Once the framework is completed and the draft reviewed, an assessment of harmonization issues with existing tools/guidelines and their language will be undertaken. This will form a report for COP9 in which cross-referencing to previous documents will be included, but no attempt will be made to rewrite existing documents. However, recommendations in the report may, if appropriate, include suggestions for revised definitions and terms in existing Convention documents.

1.8.4 The actions and timeframes are as follows:

1. First draft integrated framework, by early 2004, for circulation to all STRP Working Groups for comment (since this task is relevant to areas of work covered by each Working Group).

2. A small workshop (6-10 technical experts) to review and revise the framework, in the light of comments from all STRP Working Groups, will be needed, early 2004 (date tbc). This could be held in conjunction with the ecological character workshop proposed under 1.4.3 (action 3) above.

3. Final draft guidelines, for STRP12, by July 2004.

4. Draft harmonization review and recommendations on definitions and terms, by September 2004, for review by STRP12.

1.8.5 Additional resources required:

Funding for the workshop will be required (action 2).

Task 1.9: Contribute to, review, and utilize the work of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in reporting to COP9 on wetland status and trends

1.9.1 The STRP (all Working Groups) will be circulated relevant draft products specifically relevant to wetlands from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) for review. In particular, the STRP will be requested to review the draft synthesis report for the Ramsar Convention (draft expected late 2004).

1.9.2 The STRP will provide a report to the MA on links and collaboration possible through the STRP work plan.

1.9.3 If possible, information on the status and trends of wetlands in MA reports will be utilized by Working Group 1 in its task 1.13 below.

Task 1.10: Contribute to assessment of contribution of Ramsar sites and other wetlands to fisheries maintenance, and recommend sustainable management practices

Lead: [further information to be provided by Working Group 1]

1.10.1 Although indicated by the Standing Committee for deferral to the 2005-2008 triennium, the Working Group considers that initial work on this important topic (see also Section E Key Additional Strategic Issues) can be undertaken during this triennium, given the current work being done at the international level by several IOPs and STRP observer organizations.

1.10.2 Outputs for consideration by Standing Committee and COP9 will be:

i) a summary assessing the role of inland and coastal Ramsar sites and other wetlands is sustaining healthy fisheries
ii) a short guidance (not detailed guidelines) on how to implement, foster, maintain, and support sustainable management practices (old or new), for inland and inshore coastal fisheries. This guidance will not cover offshore fisheries.

1.10.3 The outputs will be prepared within the context of current ongoing work led by the WorldFish Center. Contributions will also be made by IUCN, WWF, IWMI, WRI, and MA. FAO will also be approached to provide input from their work in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Note. A draft Resolution concerning wetlands and fisheries was prepared during the 2000-2002 triennium and can form the basis of a draft COP9 Resolution prepared by STRP12 to accompany the above outputs.

1.10.4 The actions and and timeframes are as follows:

1. Draft summary of Ramsar sites' role in fisheries, and short guidance, prepared by August 2004, for review by STRP12.

2. Expert workshop (provisional) to finalise documents, early 2005.

1.10.5 Additional resources required:

Availability of funds would allow for more focus specifically on the contribution to fisheries of Ramsar sites. A small workshop of experts to review and finalise documents, following guidance received from the 12th STRP meeting, may be needed (for which funding would be required). [Timing of workshop will be advised to the STRP Support Service - anticipated early 2005]

Task 1.11: Develop methodologies for vulnerability assessment of wetlands to change in ecological character (including to impacts of climate change, alien species invasion, and agricultural practices)

Lead: UNEP-WCMC [subject to confirmation of lead person] for vulnerability assessment methodologies report.

1.11.1 Outputs for COP9 will be a report on vulnerability assessment methodologies, with a summary report identifying areas with early warning systems in place for monitoring wetlands, highlighting case studies where these systems have been used successfully.

1.11.2 On vulnerability assessments, other contributors will be Manichand Puttoo, Najam Khurshid, and IWMI and IMCG on agriculture cross-links. Other groups suggested to be approached by UNEP-WCMC for input include IGBP, MA, UNEP-GRID Sioux Falls (Ashbindu Singh), and UNDP and GEF on their recently completed work on adaptation to vulnerability.

1.11.3 This task also covers work carried over from the previous triennium concerning compilation of a report on cases where early warning systems for wetlands are in place or are being established and of the experience in maintaining these systems (Resolution VII.10, paragraph 14). Working Group members (Max Finlayson and Lijuan Cui), the Bureau and the STRP Support Service will identify case studies and catalog places where Early Warning Systems for wetland monitoring are in place, including from information provided by Parties in their COP8 National Reports. A summary report will be included in the report on vulnerability assessment methodologies.

1.11.4 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

[to be advised by the Working Group and task lead]

Final draft vulnerability assessment report by August 2004, for STRP12 review.

C. Monitoring Ramsar sites

Task 1.12: Prepare further consolidated guidance on the overall process of detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character, including guidelines for determining when such a change is too trivial to require reporting, having regard to the reasons why a given site is important, and the conservation objectives set for it

1.12.1 Working Group 5 is addressing the issue of whether further guidance is needed concerning responding (through management processes) to change in ecological character (task 5.4).

1.12.2 Working Group 1 requests the Bureau and the STRP Support Services to take the lead on establishing a mechanism to provide any supplementary information necessary on how to apply the integrated framework (task 1.8) to fully cover the requirements of Article 3.2 of the Convention.

1.12.3 BirdLife International (David Pritchard), David Stroud and IMCG have offered, in collaboration with Max Finlayson (Lead: task 1.8), to contribute to any repackaging of relevant information for incorporation into the proposed integrated framework. IMCG has an existing methodology that may serve as an example.

1.12.4 The Working Group strongly recommends that in preparing guidance on these matters, the term "trivial" is interpreted to mean "minor or transitory."

1.12.5 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Establish mechanism (Bureau, STRP Support Service) for incorporating Article 3.2 procedures into the integrated framework for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, by July 2003

2. Review draft integrated framework (available early 2004), and draft supplementary guidance as necessary, by June 2004, for Working Group review.

3. Final draft supplementary guidance, by August 2004, for STRP12.

Task 1.13: Prepare an analysis and report of the status and trends in the ecological character of sites in the Ramsar List, within the wider context of the status and trends of marine, coastal and inland wetlands

Lead: [organization or consultant to be identified]

1.13.1 The Working Group recognizes that the extent to which this work can be undertaken during the current triennium is constrained by a) limited availability of Ramsar site status and trends information and b) the absence of a clear definition of ecological character (to be developed this triennium by Working Group 1, task 1.4) which would provide the baseline for status and trends assessment.

1.13.2 The Working Group therefore proposes to prepare the following outputs to inform COP9 discussion on this topic:

i) an analysis of how little can be said about the ecological character of Ramsar sites given the current level of information available from the national reports and Ramsar Information Sheets; and
ii) a pilot test of status and trends information for a selected number of Ramsar sites for which better information exists.

1.13.3 Work for output ii) will draw on the ESA TESEO and proposed 'GlobWetlands' project outputs and other sources (including through consultation with Parties to identify for which Ramsar sites they have status and trends information) to determine which data are useful for assessing the condition and trends of Ramsar sites, and to use this knowledge to modify, as appropriate, the information which should be provided by Parties. Results from this work can also help to inform the STRP work on determining the ecological character (task 1.4).

1.13.4 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

[Terms of Reference, including scope and estimated costing, and timeframes, to be developed by Bureau and STRP Support Service, in consultation with Working Group co-leads.]

1.13.5 Additional resources required: The Working Group recommends that these tasks be contracted out to an organization or consultant, because of the scale of the work required, for which additional funds will be required. WRI have expressed an interest in leading on undertaking this work.

Working Group 2: Wise use concept

Membership

Co-leads: Steve Edwards (IUCN - CEM) & Randy Milton (Canada)
Teresita Borges
Lijuan Cui
Heather MacKay
Max Finlayson
Tatiana Minaeva
Stephen Njuguna
Francisco Rilla
David Stroud
Wetlands International (Kevin Erwin)
IWMI
Habiba Gitay (MA)
CBD secretariat (Paola Deda)
IPS (Jack Rieley)
IMCG
Bureau support: Tobias Salathé

Tasks

The tasks indicated by the Standing Committee as high priority, and the mechanisms established by the Working Group for their delivery, are summarized below. Detailed work plans for each high priority task follow the tabular summary.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframe

2.1 Review the Wise use concept, its applicability and consistency with sustainable development objectives [3.1.1]

Review, and as necessary reformulation, of the Ramsar wise use concept and Guidelines, in relation to the CBD Ecosystem Approach and Sustainable Use Principles, comparable systems associated with other global conventions, WSSD goals, Sustainable Development principles, ICZM, IWRM, etc.

First draft review paper, by end of August 2003

Further steps to be determined by WG based on findings of review paper.

2.2 Compile advice, methods and best practice studies on wise use of wetlands, including application of the ecosystem approach [3.12]

Report for COP9 on "necessary conditions" which must be in place to assist Contracting Parties implement the wise use concept

Establish ToRs and identify consultant end of May 2003; Analysis of existing case studies/ identification of "necessary conditions", by August 2003; Workshop, early October 2003

2.3 Develop new tools to assist Parties with the implementation of the wise use principle [17.1.5]

New tools based upon identified need, using a "bottom-up" approach.

Framework of tools, based on workshop outcomes, circulated end of December 2003; Assessment responses on framework returned June 2004; Final draft tools and guidance September 2004, for STRP12

2.4 Contribute to technology transfer initiatives for sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems [R3.1.iv]

None

[Notes. Mangrove systems will be one of the selected case studies and target sites to identify "NCs" under task 2.2.

The Bureau is contributing to UNFF/ITTO guidance on mangrove technology transfer, which will be made available to all Contracting Parties.]

Task 2.1: Wise use concept review

2.1.1 The wise use concept is synonymous with the Convention and is one of the three pillars or obligations of Contracting Parities. The wise use provisions apply to all wetlands and their support systems (not just wetlands designated as Wetlands of International Importance under the Convention) within the territory of a Contracting Party.

2.1.2 Resolutions 4.10 (1990) and 5.6 (1993) adopted guidelines for the implementation of the wise use concept. Guidance for implementing wise use has been provided to Contracting Parties in the form of guidelines published in a series of handbooks.

2.1.3 The Working Group will undertake a review of the wise use concept and guidelines and if necessary update them to reflect recent developments related to the concepts of sustainable development and the ecosystem approach. While it is one of the pillars of the Convention, it is recognized that there is a need to revisit the applicability and consistency of the wise use concept, in the context of the relevant approaches being developed by other MEAs and outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

2.1.4 To examine this, the Working Group will undertake a review highlighting the comparability and harmonization of the wise use concept with other international systems. This review will relate the Ramsar wise use concept and guidelines to the CBD Ecosystem Approach and Sustainable Use Principles, comparable systems associated with other global conventions, WSSD goals, sustainable development principles, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and Integrated Water Resource Management. Case studies that may be used as examples to illustrate the comparability of these approaches will be reviewed.

2.1.5 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. IUCN - Commission on Ecosystem Management/Ecosystem Management Programme (IUCN-CEM/EMP) will lead in preparing a first draft of this review report, by August 2003.

2. On the basis of this draft review, the Working Group will determine if further work is required to update and/or reformulate the Ramsar guidance on wise use, and propose a work plan and timeframes to prepare material for COP9.

Tasks 2.2 & 2.3: Wise Use methods, best practice studies and new tools

2.2/2.3.1 In addressing Tasks 2.2 and 2.3, the Working Group will use a complementary approach. The development of any new tools to assist Parties with the implementation of the wise use concept needs to be based on identified need, using a "bottom-up" approach. If Contracting Parties are experiencing difficulty in implementing the wise use concept with the guidance provided in Ramsar Handbook 1, the additional thematic guidance available in the other Ramsar Handbooks and further guidance adopted by COP8, assistance or guidance may be required to identify the "necessary conditions" which are lacking and must first be established.

2.2/2.3.2 The work plan reflects the role and importance of the wise use concept in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, and the fact that tools must be relevant to the intended user, whether it is the national authority or site manager within a Contracting Party.

2.2/2.3.3 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1a) The identification of "necessary conditions" or "NCs" is a multi-step process. Initially, a consultant will need to be identified (through the STRP Support Service) and contracted to compile and review a series of case studies reflective of the Ramsar regions on the implementation of the wise use concept.

1b) The consultant will revisit the case studies contained in the booklet "Towards the Wise Use of Wetlands" and the wetland case studies included in a publication being prepared for the CBD SBSTTA on the ecosystem approach. The case studies will be analyzed for the underlying foundation or "NCs" upon which to build the necessary framework to implement the wise use concept. This work should be completed by August 2003.

2. The preliminary assessment of "NCs" produced by the consultant will then be used to structure a small workshop (early October 2003) of invited Ramsar national authorities and local site managers from the Ramsar regions. This facilitated workshop (Ramsar Support Service and Working Group) will further refine the "NCs" based on the operational needs of Contracting Parties. (Note: Dr. MacKay has offered the facilities of the Water Research Commission, South Africa, as a location to hold the workshop.)

3. A synthesis of "NCs" and identification of needed tools for successful implementation will be prepared by the Working Group, a consultant, and Ramsar Bureau staff. This should be completed by mid-November 2003. Note. Tools may require input from CEPA experts and processes.

4. The results of the synthesis will be used to develop a framework of tools to be used by workshop participants to assess whether wise use is being implemented at the national or site scale. The framework of tools will be prepared by a consultant and structured to allow a comparative analysis on the effectiveness of existing or new tools to provide or build on the NCs. This framework of tools will be sent to workshop participants by the end of December 2003 for their assessment.

5. Completed assessment reports should be returned by June 2004.

6. The Working Group will make an analysis of the reports and refine and/or generalize the tools, supporting documentation and resolutions for review by STRP12, by September 2004.

2.4 Additional resources required:

a) To be fully implemented, additional financial resources will be required for the engagement of expert consultants to prepare materials for Tasks 2.2 and 2.3, and to prepare, hold, and follow up the workshop on "necessary conditions" for implementation of the wise use concept. A reduced work plan addressing tasks 2.2 and 2.3 could be accomplished with minimal expenditure of funds.

b) If further work to revise and update the wise use guidance (Task 2.1) proves necessary, additional funds for consultancy work may also be required for this.

2.5 Cross-cutting issues: Evaluation by CEPA experts of the prepared texts will be required, since it will be essential to ensure that this fundamental guidance for Convention implementation will be easy to understand, use and transmit to others. There should also be a cross-link between the work of WG2 of evaluating "necessary conditions" and managers' needs and issues for 'tools', and that of WG5 in evaluating its 'field guide' to the Convention's management planning guidelines.

Working Group 3: Water resource management

Membership

Co-leads: Heather MacKay (South Africa) & Rebecca Tharme (IWMI)
Max Finlayson
Jorge Jimenez
Najam Khurshid
Francisco Rilla
IUCN - CEH/CEM (Mike Acreman) UNEP-WCMC (Christoph Zöckler)
WRI (Carmen Revenga)
CBD Secretariat (Robert Hoft)
RIZA (Frank Alberts)
Bureau support: Anada Tiega

Note. The Working Group co-lead has identified the following who should be invited to participate in the work of the Group: Member of IUCN Water Resources & Wetlands programme, environmental flows group; FAO water resources lead person and/or Ramsar focal point (Nico van Leeuwen?); MedWet member of wetlands centre (e.g. Greek Biotope Centre); GWP; WorldFish Center; Dialogue Knowledge Base Coordinator (Domitille Vallee); SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute); Dams & Development Group member

Tasks

Tasks and the mechanisms established by the Expert Working Group for their delivery, are summarized below. Tasks 3.1, 3.3 and 3.6 have been indicated by the Standing Committee as high priority, and tasks 3.2, 3.4 and 3.5 as a lower priority and/or appropriate for deferral to the 2005-2008 triennium pending other precursal steps. Detailed work plans for the high priority tasks follow.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframes

3.1 River basin management: Review case studies compiled through the River Basin Initiative and other sources and prepare additional guidance (as necessary) on integrating wetlands, biodiversity and river basin management [3.4.3]

i) Compilation and review of case studies

Lead: Jorge Jimenez
ToRs, August 2003; Case study collation and review (STRP Support Service and consultant), by April 2004

 

ii) Additional guidelines for Parties on wetlands and basin management, if required

Review & recommendations on further guidance needs, August 2003; Consultation draft additional guidelines, by July 2004, for WG review; Final draft guidelines, by September 2004

3.2 Dams: Develop guidelines for considering full environmental, social and economic impacts of large dam construction on wetland and river systems, for COP9 [3.4.4]

None [some additional guidance may be included in task 3.1 products]

 

3.3 Prepare report on environmental flow methodologies, to assist in management of dam-related impacts, for COP9 [R3.4.v] (Resolution VIII.2)

i) Review of environmental flow methodologies, for 1) rivers, and 2) other wetland types/components

Lead: Rebecca Tharme (IWMI), with consultant input for 2)
i) 1st draft, March 2004; Review by WG, April-July 2004; Final draft, September 2004

 

ii) Guidelines for determination of environmental flows

ii) 1st draft, March 2004; Review by WG, April-July 2004; Final draft, September 2004

 

iii) Guidelines for implementation of environmental flows (issues paper only)

iii) 1st draft, July 2003; WG review and revised draft, July 2004

3.4 Water allocation and management: Contribute to report to COP9 on successes achieved and lessons learnt from demonstrating good practice in water allocation and management for maintaining ecological functions of wetlands [R3.4.ix] (Resolution VIII.1)

None [elements addressed under 3.1 above]

 

3.5 Review Resolutions VIII.1 and VIII.2 and prepare further guidance, if required, for COP9 [R3.4.xi] (Resolution VIII.1)

None [some additional guidance covered under task 3.3]

Deferred for full review of Resolutions and their implementation for COP10

3.6 Groundwater: Review and prepare guidelines, as appropriate, on the role of wetlands in groundwater recharge and storage and of groundwater in maintaining the ecological character of wetlands, and on the impacts of groundwater abstraction on wetlands [Resolution VIII.1]. Prepare guidance, as appropriate, on sustainable use of groundwater to maintain wetland ecosystem functions [3.4.5]

i) Technical paper: review of interactions between groundwater and wetlands

ii) Technical paper: practical guidance ofr use and management of groundwater resources/aquifers so as to maintain ecosystem functions

Lead: Heather MacKay (consultant to prepare drafts)
Preliminary drafts, by March 2004; Review by reference group, April 2004; Revised drafts ready for review by Working Group, June 2004; Workshop, June/July 2004, Final drafts ready for STRP12, September 2004

iii) Guidelines for Parties on groundwater and wetlands

(consultant to prepare drafts)
Preliminary draft, by March 2004; Review by reference group, April 2004; Revised draft ready for review by Working Group, June 2004; Workshop, June/July 2004, Final draft ready for STRP12, September 2004

Task 3.1: River basin management case studies and further guidance

3.1.1 The task concerns a review of case studies, specifically those compiled through the Ramsar/CBD River Basin Initiative (RBI), and on the basis of the review to prepare further guidance, if considered necessary, to supplement that adopted by COP7 Resolution VIII.18.

3.1.2 Some case studies are already available through the RBI's Web portal, but full implementation of the RBI has been delayed and so may not yield further case study information on the timescales needed: the Working Group should not rely solely on the RBI for providing case studies. Other initiatives related to IWRM may yield some case studies, though the biodiversity component of these might not be very strong in projects or initiatives being driven from within the water sector. IHE is currently collating case studies and information/training material related to IWRM, as are several other groups, which should be accessed.

3.1.3 Furthermore, case studies of successful incorporation of biodiversity and wetland issues into river basin management are likely to be very difficult to find, since there are currently very few initiatives at river basin scale which have progressed beyond their early stages. Most available case studies reflect implementation at site scale rather than basin scale. Nevertheless, it should be possible to source information from which to draw some lessons from current initiatives, even if these initiatives are still in early stages. There is a need to ensure that duplication with work of other initiatives e.g. IUCN/Dialogue on Water, Food & Environment, is avoided.

3.1.4 If the case studies are not available or adequate, or if resources are not available, then tasks 1 and 3 below fall away, leaving tasks 2, 4 and 5 to be completed by the Working Group members.

3.1.5 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Review existing Ramsar guidelines on IWRM with respect to integrating wetlands, biodiversity and river basin management. Address gaps, if present, to see if necessary to extend; identify further guidance which may be required to assist Parties in advancing integration of biodiversity and wetlands issues into river basin management. Prepare brief recommendations related to needs for further guidance. Heather MacKay (with Working Group), by August 2003

2. Develop detailed terms of reference for complete programme of work related to this item, recognizing that resources may not be available in this triennium to do all the work which is indicated in the terms of reference. Jorge Jimenez & Heather MacKay, mid-May 2003

3. Develop brief for STRP Support Service on criteria for identifying relevant case studies (represent different interests, regional priorities, etc.) Lead: Jorge Jimenez

4. Collate (STRP Support Service) and analyze relevant case studies to identify success criteria and potential obstacles for integration of biodiversity and wetlands issues into river basin management. Draw out lessons learned and recommendations. Prepare a technical paper which includes synthesis of lessons learned from case studies.

Notes: Initiatives that may yield such case study information include: Chilika Lake (India), Lake Chad, Niger Basin, RBI SE Asia project (13-15 cases), China - restoration studies, and European Centre for River Restoration. STRP members, Bureau Regional Coordinators, KB of Dialogue, IWMI should also be approached to identify potential case studies.

The Water Research Commission (South Africa) is managing a project funded by WWF Living Waters Programme to develop "Guidelines for integrating the protection, conservation and management of wetlands into catchment management planning". This project should be completed by January 2004. Although the work is intended specifically to support implementation of the South African national water policy, the results are likely to have general applicability and could serve as the basis for a set of less comprehensive guidelines under task 1, if resources are not available to undertake the work set out in tasks 2 and 3 during the 2003-05 triennium. Heather MacKay

5. Critical analysis by consultant:
Option 1 - workshop-based process
Option 2 - desktop process (consultant)

6. Compile report: synthesis of lessons learnt (consultant)

7. The case studies and synthesis of lessons learned could potentially be taken up by CEPA activities in the next triennium, as this is considered to be an important area for CEPA to focus on, especially in terms of informing and influencing the water sector (see also Section E, Key additional strategic issues). WI CEPA Specialist Group

8. Develop a document which builds on existing Ramsar guidelines from COP7 and COP8, plus new information derived from tasks 2 and 3, and which provides guidance on river basin planning and management that incorporates biodiversity and wetlands issues. Guidance document prepared for consideration by STRP12. Consultant to draft, under guidance from Jorge Jimenez and Heather MacKay, by July 2004

Note: Some guidance for planning for dams and mitigating their potential impacts will be included, but only in the context of strategic river basin planning, not at project-specific level. The guidance must be practical and explanatory, indicating how to do things on the ground. Since most Ramsar administrative authorities and focal points probably do not have the responsibility or authority for river basin planning, the guidelines would be intended to help them to advance the integration of biodiversity and wetland issues into river basin management, in order to raise the level of debate at national level, particularly in the water sector. The guidelines should include clarification of terminology regarding ecosystem approach, wise use, sustainable development, etc. (cross-reference to Working Group 2 paper on wise use, since this should provide much of the general information needed). The guidelines should also preferably meet the needs of other conventions, including CBD, CCD, and UNFCCC, regarding river basin management.

Task 3.2: Environmental, social and economic impacts of dams

3.2.1 Lower priority task. The Working Group considered that a significant amount of guidance, in addition to the report of the World Commission on Dams, is already available. This includes: International Energy Agency, national guidelines, HydroQuebec and other groups, ICOLD, IAIA, International Hydropower Association, UNEP DDP, and others.

3.2.2 Some additional guidance on the issue of dams would be provided in any guidelines developed under task 3.1, but only in the river basin planning and management context.

Task 3.3: Report on environmental flow methodologies to assist in management of dam-related impacts

3.3.1 The Working Group agreed that "dam-related impacts" is too narrow, since determination and implementation of environmental flows are often more challenging in unregulated systems than in regulated systems, and hence that guidance for Parties should be provided for both kinds of situations. Therefore the issue of environmental flow methodologies will be addressed from a more general point of view, but ensuring that dams are included in order to meet the needs indicated by this COP8 task.

3.3.2. The Working Group recognizes that, while more detailed guidance on determination of environmental flows is needed, the implementation of such determination and the delivery of environmental flows is a particularly challenging area. High-confidence determinations of environmental water requirements are of little value unless effective implementation is feasible.

3.3.3. The Working Group considers that guidance is definitely required in relation to the implementation of environmental flow determinations, but intends this aspect of work be deferred to the next triennium, due to the capacity and resources limitations of the Working Group, so as to focus on the task elements below.

3.3.4 Work proposed under this task also covers the requirements of task 3.5 in relation to review of Resolution VIII.1.

3.3.5 Actions and timeframes in relation to the Review of methodologies for determination will be as follows:

IWMI (Rebecca Tharme) is preparing a detailed review of available methodologies for determination of environmental flows, though without substantial funding. The review of methodologies for rivers is nearly complete (Volume 1), but the review of methodologies for other systems, such as floodplains, estuaries, groundwater systems (Volume 2) requires input from other specialists in the relevant fields. This review would be of great value as an information resource for Ramsar focal points and implementing agencies, as well as for other conventions, if it can be completed.

Sub-tasks:

i) Complete review on environmental flow methodologies for rivers
ii) Develop and complete review on environmental flow methodologies for other systems, with input from specialists
iii) Prepare summary, in the form of a short technical paper

Lead: Rebecca Tharme. Draft complete: March 2004; review by Working Group: April-July 2004; finalise text for STRP12: September 2004

3.3.6 Actions and timeframes in relation to the Guidelines for determination of environmental flows will be as follows:

i) Guidelines should address both regulated and unregulated systems, dams and other flow control structures, and all wetland types.

ii) The primary source material for development of guidelines will be the summary of the review of methodologies (task 3.3.5 i) above), Several sources are also available, including: the IUCN/World Bank initiative (contact: Ger Berkamp IUCN), which should produce two books in June 2004; and the relevant chapter of the SADC book on water resources management (Hirji et al, 2002). The Working Group recommends that the authors of the SADC book chapter (Jackie King and Cate Brown, South Africa) be invited to draft the guidelines, with inputs from WG3 members, and with Jorge Jimenez and Najam Khurshid providing STRP Working Group links for the task.

iii) While some guidance can probably be drafted without task 3.3.5 i) above having been done, such guidelines would focus on rivers and would be relatively weak in the area of systems other than rivers, such as floodplains and estuaries. Therefore, further guidance on systems other than rivers might need to be developed during the 2005-2008 triennium.

Lead: consultants. Preliminary draft: March 2004; review by Working Group: April-July 2004; finalise text for STRP12: September 2004

3.3.7 Actions and timeframes in relation to the Guidance for implementation of environmental flows will be as follows:

i) To a large degree, this task covers that requested as task 3.4 below. Although the Standing Committee indicated that this task 3.4 should be deferred to the 2005-08 triennium, depending on the provision of case studies, the Working Group considered that this issue was of sufficient importance that it should at least be raised at COP9, in order to alert Parties to its significance, but with detailed guidance developed in the 2005-2008 triennium.

ii) In this triennium, only a brief issues paper (5 pages) will be prepared to introduce the key aspects and provide an overview of the subject and its relevance to maintenance of wetland ecosystem functions and biodiversity.

iii) Subsequent detailed guidance should address issues such as the decision-making process, supporting legal, policy, administrative and institutional frameworks, and daily operating rules for river basins, etc. By the next triennium, additional source information should also be available through the IUCN work and the World Bank's Environmental Flows Window.

Lead: Heather MacKay. Preliminary draft issues paper: July 2003; review by Working Group and preparation of revised draft: July 2004.

Task 3.4: Successes achieved and lessons learned in water allocation and management

3.4.1 Addressed under task 3.3.3 above - substantial work deferred till the 2005-08 triennium.

Task 3.5: Review of Resolutions VIII.1 & VIII.2

3.5.1 Further guidance concerning water allocation and management is addressed through task 3.3 above. A significant amount of guidance on dams is already available - see task 3.2 above.

As indicated by the Standing Committee, further work to link this with guidance on dams, and a joint review of Resolutions VIII.1 and VIII.2, will be deferred to the 2005-2008 triennium. This will permit the review to be informed by Parties' responses on implementation in their National Reports to COP9.

Task 3.6: Groundwater

3.6.1 Existing information and guidelines on the linkages between groundwater and wetlands are based on conceptual understanding that is largely outdated. Although this is still an area which is poorly understood, there has been new research in the last 20 years which could provide more relevant and accurate technical guidance on the role of groundwater in maintaining wetland character and functions, the role of wetlands in groundwater recharge and discharge, and management of the impacts on wetlands of changes in groundwater quality and quantity. For this reason, limiting the work to another superficial review of existing high-level guidelines will probably not help to advance the understanding of Ramsar's Parties or lead to improved management of groundwater in relation to wetlands.

3.6.2 The Working Group developed an outline and contents for two supporting technical papers:

i) a substantive technical review of the interactions between groundwater and wetlands; and

ii) practical guidance for use and management of groundwater resources/aquifers so as to maintain wetland ecosystem functions.

3.6.3 Guidelines for Contracting Parties would then be developed drawing upon the information in these two technical papers.

3.6.4 It was noted that IMCG would like to be involved in this task, and their representative should be involved in the proposed activities as appropriate.

3.6.5 The suggested outline of the conceptual relationships between groundwater and wetlands includes:

i) hydrological functions of wetlands linked to groundwater and groundwater-surface water interaction (Mike Acreman's wetland hydrological functions review; IWMI database on hydrological functions of wetlands);
ii) types of groundwater-dependent or groundwater-linked wetland ecosystems;
iii) role of groundwater in maintaining ecological character;
iv) dynamics of groundwater-surface water interaction for each wetland type including its role in recharge;
v) impacts of abstraction, sensitivity of different wetland types to groundwater abstraction and changes in groundwater quality; and
vi) land use and infrastructure (hydraulic, irrigation, urban areas, etc.) effects on groundwater dynamics.

3.6.6 The suggested outline of the management guidance (avoid term guidelines) document includes:

i) catchment perspective (what to do - identify groundwater-surface water resources and links, aquifers and whether or not transboundary);
ii) how to establish the link between wetland and groundwater: recognition (geology, topography, hydrology);
iii) establish current status and trends in groundwater use and implications for wetland;
iv) determining groundwater requirements of wetland (groundwater allocation) before going into basin water allocation procedure - cross reference to environmental flows guidelines for information;
v) allocation of groundwater/surface water from wetland;
vi) protection of aquifers (quality, quantity) and consideration as protected areas

3.6.7 Agricultural issues will feature strongly in the reports and other work of this Working Group (see also section 8 on Agriculture as a crosscutting issue). The Working Group recognized that the task relevant to Working Group 5 (but recommended for deferral pending preliminary work by IOPs and other interested organizations) concerning preparation of wetland type-specific guidelines on agricultural practices for minimization of adverse impacts on wetlands is, and should remain, a high priority. Such guidelines would draw on information emerging from the work of other working groups (WG1 and WG2) as well as a significant amount of work outside the STRP, in combination with FAO, IWMI, RIZA, CBD and IUCN. The Working Group 3 representatives from IWMI, RIZA and CBD agreed to draft a short (half a page) outline of the desired product, in consultation with members of other Working Groups, which could be circulated amongst potential lead organizations.

3.6.8 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Working group to prepare detailed terms of reference for the technical aspects of the work. With assistance of STRP Support Service, Working Group to identify a consultant to undertake drafting work, and a broader group of experts who can act as a reference group for this work, by July 2003. Lead: Heather MacKay

2. Collate existing relevant literature, including any Ramsar guidance relevant to groundwater as well as new scientific literature. STRP Support Service

3. Review available literature and prepare two technical papers: one on conceptual relationships between groundwater and wetlands; and one on management of groundwater/aquifers to maintain wetland ecosystem functions. Consultant to undertake review and prepare preliminary draft documents for review by WG and reference group (who should meet in a small specialist workshop), followed by revision.

Lead: consultant. Preliminary draft: by March 2004; Review by reference group: April 2004; Revised draft ready for review by Working Group: June 2004; Workshop: June/July 2004; Final draft ready for STRP12, September 2004.

4. Prepare guidance for Contracting Parties on the basis of the two technical papers. Preliminary draft to be prepared for review by the Working Group and reference group of experts, at the same time as the two technical papers in task 3.6.2 above.

Lead: consultant. Preliminary draft: by March 2004; Review by reference group: April 2004; Revised draft ready for review by Working Group: June 2004; Workshop: June/July 2004, Final draft ready for STRP12, September 2004.

3.6.9 Additional expertise and resources would be required, as follows:

i) consultants will need to identified, and their work resourced, to fully undertake tasks in 3.6.2 and 3.6.3 above; and

ii) Resources will be also needed for the costs of a workshop (June/July 2004) involving Working Group reference group members to review draft reports and guidance prepared under task 3.6.

Working Group 4: Ramsar site designation

Membership

Co-leads: Dick Ho & David Stroud
Lijuan Cui
Eckhart Kuijken
Stephen Njuguna
Manichand Puttoo
Maria Jose Vinals
David Pritchard (BirdLife International)
IUCN
WI (Marcel Silvius, Stefan Pihl)
Randy Milton (Canada)
UNEP-WCMC
WRI
WWF
CBD Secretariat (Marjo Vierros)
IMCG
Bureau support: Margarita Astralaga

Tasks

The tasks indicated by the Standing Committee as high priority, and the mechanisms established by the Expert Working Group for their delivery, are summarized below. A detailed work plan for task 4.4 (socio-economic and cultural criteria) follows the tabular summary.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframes

4.1 Definition of ‘under-representation’. Provide interpretation of the term ‘under-represented type’ in the context of available information on the global extent of different wetland types and representation of these in the Ramsar List, and investigate methods for defining targets for representation of wetland types in the Ramsar List in the context of the Strategic Framework for the future development of the List (Resolution VII.11), and report to COP9. [R10.1.iii] (Resolution VIII.11)

a) Definition and interpretation of different types of under-representation (Note links with actions in CBD/Ramsar joint work plan)

b) Development of (?regional) targets for biotope representation in the Ramsar list

Leads: Dick Ho & Wetlands International

Specification for work: end of June 2003; Identify and engage contractor to undertake drafting work (Note: simple approaches needed); 1st draft for WG4 consultation November 2003; Final draft January 2004, for STRP12

4.2 RIS development

Revised RIS structure and additional guidance on ecological character and criteria application, changes in structure and content, including additional field for wetland type, harmonization with inventory core data fields, and site boundary field

Lead: David Stroud

4.2 a) Prepare guidance for the clear definition of the ecological character features in the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), including recommendations for change to the structure and content of the RIS and, as appropriate, further guidance on the application of the Criteria for the identification and designation of Wetlands of International Importance in the Strategic Framework and future development of the Ramsar List (Resolution VII.11) and the additional guidelines for the identification and designation of under-represented wetland types (Resolution VIII.11) in the definition of the ecological character of Ramsar [R10.1.x](Resolution VIII.7)

Initiation of this work is dependent on outputs from WG1 in 2004 concerning defining ecological character.

A small workshop may be needed in mid-late 2004 to review WG1 output, and those of tasks 4.3 and 4.4 below, and to design revisions to RIS and guidelines.

4.2 b) Consider allocating an open field in section of the Ramsar Information Sheet concerning wetland types, to facilitate the process of review of the Ramsar wetland classification system with a view to including additional types [R10.1.xii] (Resolution VIII.13)

(included in 4.2 a) above)

Minor task - will be considered in light of RIS structure review in task 4.2 a) above.

4.2 c)Harmonize of the layout and information fields of the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) and the core data fields recommended in the Ramsar Framework for Wetland Inventory [R10.1.xiii] (Resolution VIII.7)

(included in 4.2 a) above)

To be considered in the context of the Data and information needs review (Task 4.6 below)

4.2 d) Investigate the inclusion of a core data field in the Ramsar Information Sheet to allow for the insertion of a precise site boundary description and consider the preparation of guidance about this field for inclusion in the accompanying RIS Explanatory Notes and Guidelines [R10.1.xiv] (Resolution VIII.21)

(included in 4.2 a) above)

To consider in context of work on Mapping standards and guidance (Task 4.5 below)

4.3 Rolling criteria review

Keep under review the Ramsar Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance to ensure that these reflect global wetland conservation and wise use priorities [17.1.5]

4.3 a) Criterion 6 guidance

Enhanced guidance for the application of Criterion 6 (to be included in outputs of task 4.2 above)

Lead: David Stroud
The Global Flyways Conference ("Waterbirds around the world", Edinburgh, April 2004) will be used to review current guidance and prepare further materials, as appropriate.

4.3 b) A quantitative criterion for ‘aquatic megafauna’

b) Exploration of potential for quantitative (e.g. 1%) criterion for ‘aquatic megafauna’

Lead: David Stroud (with input from relevant WWF species groups & IUCN Specialist Groups)
Exploration of issues July/August 2003; Trialling potential application with example datasets for different taxa October/Novemeber 2003; Report on feasibility (and draft criterion and guidance, if appropriate) July/August 2004, for STRP12

4.3 c)Expansion of Ramsar criteria to match CBD Annex I

Report advising on need for additional criteria and guidance and/or expanded guidance for existing criteria

Lead: Stephen Njuguna
Initial exploration of issues – advisory paper circulated to Working Group 1: July/August 2003; Work Plan to be developed, as necessary, subsequently
Note. This issue will also be partly covered by the development of cultural and socio-economic criteria – see task 4.4 below.

4.4 Cultural and socio-economic criteria

Develop, for consideration by COP9, additional Criteria and guidelines for the identification and designation of Ramsar sites concerning their socio-economic and cultural values and functions that are relevant to biological diversity, as listed in Annex 1 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which would be applied on each occasion in conjunction with one or more existing criteria for the identification and designation of Ramsar sites; and include in this work a full analysis of the implications for Contracting Parties of the implementation of such criteria for the management of Ramsar sites, including Contracting Party obligations and responsibilities for maintaining the ecological character of any such sites so selected so as to ensure that the coherent national networks of Ramsar sites fully incorporate all relevant aspects of the biological diversity of wetlands. [R10.1.xi] (Resolution VIII10)

Additional Criteria and guidelines for socio-economic and cultural values and functions in Ramsar site designation

Note. Further details on the scope and mechanisms for this task are provided below this tabular summary.

4.4 a)Development of cultural and socio-economic criteria (both tangible & intangible values) for use with existing criteria, and guidelines for their application

NB. Development of this task should also link with and draw upon that of Working Group 2 on wise use guidelines.

Leads: María José Viñals & Manichand Puttoo
Specification agreed end of June 2003; STRP Support Service to prepare summary of previous ideas for criteria approaches August 2003; First draft to be prepared by Viñals et al./IUCN, for WG comment end of December 2003; Small workshop to review first draft and consider implications (Jan/Feb 2004). STRP Support Service and CEPA specialist group to advise on appropriate representation at the meeting – should include World Heritage Convention and IUCN.
Revised draft, by end of March 2004

4.4 b) Full analysis of implications of these criteria for the management of Ramsar sites

Leads: Dick Ho/ David Stroud
Initial draft end of December 2003, for assessment at workshop (Jan/Feb 2004); Revised draft: end of March 2004

4.4 c) Consolidation of tasks 4.4 a) & 4.4 b)

Consolidated text (criteria, guidelines and implications) for consultation with STRP National Focal Points: April 2004 (Support service to manage); Results of focal point consultation, and revised draft text June 2004, for STRP12

4.5 Mapping standards and guidance Provide further guidance concerning Ramsar site maps on:

i) where the additional information called for in paragraphs 14-16 of Annex III to the RIS Explanatory Notes and Guidelines (Resolution VIII.13) would be incorporated into the RIS;

ii) the value and feasibility of supplying digital mapping (called for in paragraphs 17-22 of Annex III);

iii) the compatibility of such data at a global scale;

iv) the use of such data by third parties; and

v) issues of data licencing, copyright, access and fees.

[R10.1.xv] (Resolution VIII.13)

Further guidance on Ramsar site maps: boundary description, digital maps, data compatibility, data use and copyright/access issues

Lead: Wetlands International

By April 2004 – Work is largely evolutionary, building on existing RIS guidance on standards.

4.6 Data and information needs review Review the multiple sources of information available on Ramsar Sites, including RISs, the Ramsar Sites Directory, site management plans, and data that might be collected under other international instruments; review the needs for such information, their uses and users; and make recommendations to COP9 as to how the supply and international reporting of information on Ramsar Sites might be better harmonized to give possible efficiency and cost savings. [R10.1.xix] (Resolution VIII.13)

Review and recommendations on improving harmonization of international supply and reporting of information from multiple sources on Ramsar sites

Lead: David Stroud
Terms of Reference for review developed by end of July 2003
Invite WI Wetland Inventory Specialist Group (working with UNEP-WCMC and other partners) to consider preparing initial review (STRP Support Service to consider other options to take forward)
First draft review paper, by end of 2003

Inclusion of cross-cutting issues

CEPA: Relatively few direct CEPA issues, other than the general need to ensure that any new guidance is ‘user friendly’ to greatest extent, since the main target audience for the products of this Working Group will be CPs, not the public. There will be an important message to communicate regarding the outcome of under-representation review (task 4.1) and its implications in relation to strategic future Ramsar site designations.

Agriculture: There will be a need to fully take account of agricultural ‘cultural landscapes’ including socio-economic issues, in the context of the development of cultural criteria.

Note. STRP tasks concerning preparing further identification and designation guidance for marine/coastal and artificial wetlands are covered under section 15. of the Work Plan below.

Task 4.4: Development of cultural and socio-economic Criteria in Ramsar site designation

Leads: María José Viñals & Manichand Puttoo (with Lijuan Cui and IUCN)

4.4.1 The focus will be to respond to the terms of Resolution VIII.10 to develop additional Criteria and guidelines on socio-economic and cultural features (noting that it may also be appropriate to clarify or expand the guidance on certain of the existing criteria related to socio-economic values and functions (e.g., hydrological values in Criterion 1).

4.4.2 Socio-economic Criteria development will cover the socio-economic values of biodiversity products and ecological services of wetlands, and will not address other non-wetland economic values (such as mineral resources or land conversion). Non-material values should be given equal importance to material values in the criteria and guidelines.

4.4.3 Lesson learned from economic valuation assessment work in China will be provided (Lijuan Cui) as a contribution to the work of the Working Group. SEHUMED's work on assessment of cultural values will also contribute.

4.4.4 The following documents will be prepared:

i) draft Criteria on socio-economic and cultural values;
ii) guidelines for their implementation; and
iii) an analysis of the implications of the use of such Criteria for Ramsar site management, including possible guidelines on assessing such implications (Leads: Dick Ho and David Stroud).

4.4.5 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. A specification for draft of Criteria and guidelines prepared and circulated to the Working Group, by end of June 2003;

2. STRP Support Service will compile, as background information, a digest of previous discussions and ideas for development of socio-economic and cultural Criteria, by August 2003;

3. First draft Criteria and guidelines, for circulation to Working Group, by end of December 2003;

4. First draft analysis of implications of Criteria for Ramsar site management, by end of December 2003;

5. A workshop should be convened (with the assistance of the STRP Support Service) in January or February 2004 to review the first draft Criteria and guidelines, and implications analysis;

6. Consolidated revised draft text of Criteria, guidelines and annexed analysis of full implications for management of Ramsar sites prepared by April 2004;

7. Consolidated draft text circulated for consultation with STRP National Focal Points during May/June 2004;

8. Final draft text, revised in light of STRP NFP consultation, by end of June 2004, for STRP12.

4.4.6 Additional resources will be required for:

i) participation and logistics for a workshop on socio-economic and cultural Criteria (see 4.4.5 5 above) in January/February 2004; and

ii) a further small workshop on revisions to RIS and guidelines (task 4.2 in the tabular summary for WG 4 above) may be needed in mid-late 2004 to review WG1 output, and those of tasks 4.3 and 4.4, so as to design necessary revisions to RIS and guidelines.

Working Group 5: Wetland management

Membership

Co-leads: Francisco Rilla (Uruguay) & Frank Alberts (RIZA)
Francisco Contreras
Eckhart Kuijken
Stephen Njuguna
David Stroud
IUCN
Tatiana Minaeva WI (Kevin Erwin)
UNEP-WCMC
WWF
LakeNet
CBD secretariat (name tbc)
UNESCO-MAB
Bureau support: Guangchun Lei

Tasks

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframes

5.1 Management planning "Field-guide"

Develop a field guide for the practical application of the guidelines [on management planning] adopted by Resolution VIII.14, recognizing that there may be circumstances that limit the application of the guidelines in full. [R11.1.viii] (Resolution VIII.14)

A ‘field guide’ for applying Ramsar’s management planning guidelines

Lead: Frank Alberts (RIZA)
ToR and writer identified, early May 2003; Needs questionnaire to Ramsar site managers, June 2003; 1st draft guide, end of September 2003; 2nd draft, circulated for users’ testing. Feb-May 2003; Final draft text in attractive layout, August 2004, for STRP12

5.2 Zonation guidance

Review and prepare further guidance on zonation and monitoring programmes and methodologies for Ramsar sites and other wetlands, including indicators and rapid assessment methodologies and the use of remote sensing [R11.1.xiii]

Further guidance on zonation methodologies in management planning

[Note. Guidance on monitoring is covered under Working Group 1]

Lead: Tatiana Minaeva
ToR and consultant identified, May 2003; Review existing information, end of June 2003; 1st draft guidance, end of August 2003; Draft reviewed by WG and 2nd draft prepared, end of November 2003; ‘Road-test’ by users, Feb-May 2004; Final draft for STRP12, August 2004

5.3 Montreux Record questionnaire

Provide advice on the redesign of the Montreux Record questionnaire

Revised MR questionnaire, harmonized with RIS and Article 3.2 report forms

Lead: Frank Alberts

Review WI/Bureau draft, September 2003

5.4 Responding to change in ecological character

Prepare further consolidated guidance on the overall process of detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character, including guidelines for determining when such a change is too trivial to require reporting, having regard to the reasons why a given site is important, and the conservation objectives set for it [R11.2.ii] (Resolution VIII.8)

Further guidance, if appropriate, on responding to change in ecological character

[Note. The aspects of detecting and reporting change in ecological character are covered under Working Group 1]

Lead: Frank Alberts

Res. VIII.14 review and advisory note to WG5, end of August 2003; Decision on need for additional guidance, November 2003

5.5 San José Record

Assist the Bureau to establish the procedures for the creation and maintenance of the "San José Record" [11.1.3]

Advice to the Bureau, as required

Comment on Bureau proposal for operations, as required

Notes: The STRP agreed that work concerning monitoring and reporting on the status of Ramsar sites should be undertaken by Working Group 1, so as to avoid a risk of duplication of work: Working Group 5's attention to this topic is limited to the issue of responding - through management processes - to change in ecological character.

Work requested by Resolution VIII.34 concerning establishing a framework for identifying, documenting and disseminating good agriculture-related practice and preparing wetland-type specific management guidelines concerning wetlands and agriculture is dependent on initial review work on the topic being first prepared by the IOPs and other relevant organisations, and is deferred until such time as this material becomes available.

Based on the planning for the separate tasks, it is not anticipated that the Working Group will need to meet in a mid-term workshop prior to STRP12. All communication will be done electronically or by mail through the STRP Support Service.

Task 5.1: A ''field guide'' for the practical application of the Convention's management planning guidelines

Lead: Frank Alberts (RIZA)

5.1.1 The key target group for the "field guide" is Ramsar site managers and management authorities.

5.1.2 The "field guide" should:

i) be a practical addition to the guidelines in Resolution VIII.14 but not a replacement;
ii) assist managers in how to undertake a management planning process when capacity and resources are limited;
iii) contain basic instructions for managers involved in management planning;
iv) include agriculture-related case studies, examples and a list of agriculture-related threats and opportunities in wetland management; and
v) utilize and draw attention to existing materials prepared through other relevant initiatives, e.g., UNESCO MAB, Eurosite, and processes such as the 2003 World Parks Congress.

5.1.3 Preparation of the "field guide" is essentially a CEPA exercise, and requires the assistance of a writer expert in CEPA and management planning to prepare drafts.

Note. After approval through the appropriate Convention processes, the "field guide" should be printed in an attractive and 'easy-to-use' format and made available to Parties in such a way as to facilitate the guide being translated and made available in local languages.

5.1.4 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Formulate a Terms of Reference, identify a writer from the CEPA network for field guide, and seek advice from CEPA experts on presentation format (Frank Alberts and Support Service), by early May 2003.

2. Seek input from site-level managers on content of field guide, through preparation and circulation of a short questionnaire (Tatiana Minaeva/IOPs/Support Service), by June 2003.

3. Preparation of first draft "field guide" and circulation for comment to Working Group (including additional invited experts as necessary), by end September 2003.

4. Revise to prepare a 'road-test' second draft, by November 2003.

5. Circulate 'road-test' draft for testing by selected users, February - May 2004.
(Note: If timeframes permit, testing should also be encouraged by participants in wetland management planning training courses.)

6. Revise in the light of road-test comments and prepare final draft in attractive layout (author(s) and WG5 members), for review by STRP12, by August 2004

5.1.5 Additional resources will be required for preparation of drafts by an expert author(s).

Task 5.2: Additional guidance on zonation in management planning

Lead: Tatiana Minaeva

5.2.1 The guidance should:

i) provide succinct additional and practical advice to supplement the existing one in the New on management planning guidelines (Resolution VIII.14);
ii) be designed primarily to assist in resolving possible conflicts between conservation and land-use (including water resources);
iii) if possible, be specific for main types of wetland ecosystems;
iv) make use of existing experience, including from UNESCO MAB, IUCN WCPA, Eurosite, Europark, WI, etc.;
iv) include a special section on zonation in relation to agriculture (including case studies); and
v) be prepared as a technical paper with draft COP9 Resolution.

5.2.2 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Prepare (Frank Alberts) a Terms of Reference for author(s) (consultant), by early May 2003.

2. Undertake an inventory and review of existing relevant information on zonation (MAB, WCPA, Europark, WI, etc.) (Support Service and consultant), by end of June 2003.

3. Prepare first draft additional guidance (consultant), by end of August 2003.

4 First draft reviewed by Working Group, by end of September 2003.

5. Revision by consultant and second draft prepared for circulation for 'road-testing' by users, by end of November 2003.

6. Circulate 'road-test' draft for testing by selected users (in combination with 'field guide' road-test - see Task 5.1), by February - May 2004.

7. Revise in the light of road-test comments and prepare final draft for review by STRP12, by August 2004.

5.2.3 Additional funding will be required for preparation of drafts by an expert consultant.

Task 5.3: Advice on the Montreux Record questionnaire

Lead: Frank Alberts (RIZA)

5.3.1 The provision of advice on removal of sites from the Montreux Record is covered under Section D. Ongoing tasks of the STRP. However, the Panel also considered that a review and possible restructuring of the Montreux Record questionnaire completed by a Party when listing and requesting removal of a site from the Record was needed, so as to ensure harmonization with information fields in the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) and the Article 3.2 reporting form being prepared by the Bureau and Wetlands International.

5.3.2 Actions and timeframes will be as follows: a first draft revised Montreux Record questionnaire will be prepared by Wetlands International and the Bureau and circulated for comment by Working Group 5 members (and interested Parties as appropriate). A final draft will be prepared for consideration by STRP12.

Note by the Bureau. It will be appropriate to delay preparation of a revised draft Montreux Record questionnaire until after Working Group 1 has undertaken its work of reviewing and as appropriate revising the RIS, so as to ensure full harmonization.

Task 5.4: Additional guidance on responding to change in ecological character

Lead: Frank Alberts (RIZA)

5.4.1 Working Group 1 (Wetland inventory and assessment) will prepare guidance on detecting and reporting change in ecological character: the work to be undertaken by Working Group 5 concentrates on guidance for responding (by management) to change in ecological character.

5.4.2 An initial review of existing management planning guidance will be undertaken to ascertain if any additional response options guidance is necessary. If a decision is made that such guidance is needed, a work plan and timeframes will be developed and agreed with STRP Chair and Bureau.

5.4.3 Any such additional guidance would have a general character and focus on actions for the responsible management authority, and would include practical examples (good and bad) of management responses. The guidance should include a section on agriculture (including case studies).

5.4.4 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Review Resolution VIII.14 guidance, with input from Working Group 1 on issues concerning detecting and reporting change in ecological character, and prepare advisory note on need for and scope of any additional management response guidance (Frank Alberts/Tatiana Minaeva), by end of August 2003.

2. Consultation with WG5 and WG1 members on advisory note, by end of October 2003.

3. Decision to proceed or not with additional guidance, in consultation with STRP Chair and Bureau, by November 2003.

Task 5.5: Assist the Bureau to establish the procedures for the creation and maintenance of the "San José Record"

5.5.1 Through Resolution VIII.15 the Bureau has responsibility for establishing a mechanism for the operation of the "San José Record" of good practice in Ramsar site management.

5.5.2 As appropriate, Working Group 5 will provide comment on the mechanism proposed by the Bureau, through consultation via the electronic mechanisms established by the STRP Support Service.

Working Group 6: Assessing the effectiveness of implementation of the Convention

Membership

Co-leads: Teresita Borges & David Pritchard (BirdLife International)
Najam Khurshid
Eckhart Kuijken
Tatiana Minaeva
Heather MacKay UNEP-WCMC (name tbc)
CBD Secretariat (Robert Hoft/ Arthur Nogeira)
IMCG
(MedWet Initiative tbc)
Bureau support: Alain Lambert/ Nick Davidson

Tasks

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/Timeframes

6.1 Assist the work of the Standing Committee in reviewing the process of the preparation, and adoption of Resolutions and Recommendations by COP (Resolution VIII.45)

Advice to the Standing Committee on scientific and technical Resolution preparation

Essentially reactive, dependent on requests for advice which may come from the Standing Committee’s sub-group on Resolution VIII.45. CO-lead D Pritchard represents IOPs on this sub-group and so will provide the link, including informing the sub-group on progress with the work of STRP Working Group 6.

6.2 Prepare a series of key indicators in relation to the effective implementation of the Strategic Plan in the next triennium, to be used as part of the National report Format [indicators to be adopted by the Standing Committee at its annual meeting in 2004 so that Parties may use them to complement their National Reports to COP9] (Resolution VIII.26)

List of key indicators on effectiveness of implementation, for pilot use by Parties

[Guidelines for use of the indicators – if requested]

Full description of the proposed mechanism is provided below.

1st draft key indicator definitions: end of Sept 2003; final draft for SC: end of Oct 2003; guidance on application and use (if required): early 2004; pilot testing by CPs mid 2004-mid 2005

Note: The task concerning the preparation of draft technical Resolutions for consideration by the Standing Committee and COP is now covered under Section D. On-going tasks of the STRP.

Task 6.2: Key indicators in relation to the effective implementation of the Strategic Plan in the next triennium

6.2.1 The Standing Committee at its 29th meeting in February 2003 adopted a new National Report format and clarified that the indicators developed by the STRP would be used in conjunction with it, in a complementary way, rather than to amend the agreed format.

6.2.2 The Expert Working Group agreed to finalise its proposals for indicators by the end of October 2003, so that they may be approved by the Standing Committee at its 30th meeting in January 2004 and then communicated for pilot testing by volunteer Contracting Parties prior to COP9 in conjunction with the COP9 National Report format.

6.2.3 The Expert Working Group recognized that there is potential for its indicators work to provide a wetland-related contribution from the Ramsar Convention to the assessment of progress towards achieving the WSSD 2010 biodiversity target (see section E. Key additional strategic issues).

6.2.4 The Expert Working Group agreed the following statement of purpose, criteria for indicator selection, scope of indicator coverage, and a 10-step procedure for completing its work.

6.2.5 Statement of purpose:

"To produce a set of key indicators on a small selection of issues which will provide information about the achievement or otherwise of the Ramsar Convention's objectives, in a way which can attribute the specific contribution made by implementation of the Convention, and which will inter alia provide a contribution to assessing progress towards the WSSD target of significant reduction in rates of biodiversity loss by 2010".

6.2.6 Criteria for indicator selection: A provisional list of criteria against which to select or devise indicators which would be most suitable for this purpose, is that (not in any particular order) an indicator must:

i) be simple and pragmatic;
ii) be capable of distinguishing the difference made by the Ramsar Convention;
iii) preferably reflect composite variables;
iv) relate to information which can be reasonably expected to be available, at least in the next triennium if not in the current one; and
v) (at least in some cases) lend themselves to use by wide popular audiences.

6.2.7 Scope of indicator coverage: Provisionally, aspects of the scope of what the indicators should cover, perhaps by ensuring that each of the following categories is covered by at least one of the selected indicators, are:

i) biodiversity, physico-chemical, etc., variables;
ii) ecosystem functions;
iii) socioeconomic issues, including acceptance by affected people of e.g. Ramsar sites;
iv) legislative and institutional factors;
v) "performance" measures; and
vi) pressures on wetlands.

6.2.8 While a majority of the indicators would be designed for use by Contracting Parties at national level, at least some should be designed to operate at a supranational scale.

6.2.9 One indicator would be based on work to be done by Working Group 1 in its task to "prepare an analysis and report of the status and trends in the ecological character of sites in the Ramsar List". Two members of Group 6 are also members of Group 1, and a link will be assured in that way.

6.2.10 Actions and timeframes will be as follows:

1. Working Group members, Bureau and other STRP members to provide to STRP Support Service, for inclusion in the Working Group's Web-based resource library, indicator material already in existence which might be relevant, including e.g.:

i) targets in the Strategic Plan;
ii) paper which lists selected fields in the Ramsar National Report format;
iii) latest version of draft CBD indicators paper;
iv) CMS Strategic Plan indicators produced by CMS performance indicators working group;
v) state of the environment indicators prepared by Environment Australia;
vi) Pan-European bird monitoring indicators;
- etc. by end of April 2003

2. Working Group Members to confirm (by e-mail to co-lead D. Pritchard) agreement with, or any amendment to, the statement of purpose, criteria and scope (as outlined above), by 21 April 2003.

3. Final version to be confirmed by both co-leads T. Borges/D. Pritchard and communicated to the Working Group, by end of April 2003.

4. STRP Support Service to collate material supplied under step 2 above into a package to circulate to Working Group members, including distillation from larger documents of the pertinent sections (e.g., listing the actual indicators used, rather than reproducing the whole document they sit within), by end of May 2003.

5. STRP Support Service to investigate existence of any other relevant sources and provide them in a similar way, by end of June 2003.

6. Working Group members to construct suggestions for definition of selected key indicators, initially by applying the criteria and scope as defined above to the package of collated materials, and then in addition, if appropriate, devising new suggestions. Members to share these suggestions, by posting into the dedicated WG6 discussion forum page of the Support Service Web site, by mid August 2003.

7. The Working Group co-leads to work together to produce a synthesis from the suggestions received in step 6, which will form a first draft set of key indicator definitions, and to circulate this to the Working Group, by mid September 2003.

8. Comments to be returned to co-leads, by mid October 2003.

9. The two group co-leads to work together, taking account of the comments received in step 7, to produce a second draft of the key indicator definitions and send this to the Ramsar Bureau, by end of October 2003.

10. The Bureau to make any presentational adjustments required before including the proposals in agenda papers to be distributed in November 2003 to the Standing Committee for its 30th meeting in January 2004.

11. 30th meeting of the Standing Committee to consider adopting the proposed key indicator definitions, and in cooperation with the Bureau to seek expressions of interest from Contracting Parties who may be willing on a voluntary basis to pilot-test the indicators in conjunction with their compilation of national reports for COP9.

12. If the Standing Committee approves the indicators defined, some work may then be required to develop guidance on their application and use. Specific proposals for this have not been agreed by the Working Group, and this question will need to be revisited at this stage. Parties involved in pilot testing may also need to be engaged in addressing this matter.

13. Any Contracting Parties who have volunteered to do so, pilot-test the indicators as described during 2004-2005. The 31st meeting of the Standing Committee and COP9 should consider the experience generated, and develop/adopt proposals for more formally offering the indicators, with or without modifications in the light of experience, to Parties for use in the 2005-2008 triennium.

6.4.11 A number of additional contacts who should be approached (or at least whose work should be taken into account) have been identified. These include Ulla Pinborg and Dominique Richard of the European Environment Agency, Robert Hoft of the CBD Secretariat, IUCN, WRI, the European Space Agency, OECD, and Wetlands International. This will be done under step 6.4.10 5 above.

6.4.12 No mid-term workshops are proposed, and no requirements for additional financial resources are identified at this stage. However, it should be noted that work under step 6.4.10 12 is required to develop guidance on use of the indicators, which may have resource requirements. It may also be appropriate for attendance at the 30st meeting of the Standing Committee meeting in January 2004 by both co-leads of the Expert Working Group: resources would be required for attendance by one co-lead, T. Borges (D. Pritchard's attendance is already funded by BirdLife).

6.4.13 The STRP Support Service will maintain a check, as work advances, on any potential duplications or conflicts with the work of other STRP Working Groups.

6.4.14 On inclusion of cross-cutting issues, the WG agreed as follows:

i) CEPA. One of the criteria specified above is that indicators should (at least in some cases) lend themselves to use by wide popular audiences. This should usefully serve a CEPA objective; and

ii) Agriculture. It is anticipated that the elements of "scope" given above, especially that on socioeconomic aspects, should ensure that agricultural issues will feature in the indicator set.

B. Cross-cutting areas of work

7. Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA)

Task

The Standing Committee identified the following high priority cross-cutting task for STRP concerning CEPA:

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

For each task within the STRP’s programme of work for the triennium, provide ongoing input [from CEPA experts] to the various working groups to ensure CEPA issues are considered fully and reflected appropriately in the guidance developed for Parties’ consideration at COP9. (Resolution VIII.31) [R9.i.iii]

CEPA elements fully incorporated in other guidances prepared by the STRP

7.1 Although Resolution VIII.31 requested the STRP to establish, as appropriate, an Expert Working Group on CEPA and identified a list of additional CEPA tasks for this Working Group, the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee considered that STRP's CEPA high priority work should focus only on the cross-cutting task listed above, and requested that the Bureau should explore an alternative mechanism for the establishment and operation of a CEPA working group which should, as its first task, review and establish the priorities for undertaking the work requested of it by Resolution VIII.31.

7.2 The STRP accepted (Decision STRP11-2) Wetlands International's proposal to provide the necessary assistance to this high priority cross-cutting CEPA work of the Panel through work to be undertaken by Wetlands International's EPA Specialist Group. The Panel urged further progress in bringing that to fruition, with the advice that it should be reconstituted as a 'CEPA' Specialist Group and that it should secure the full involvement of the Ramsar CEPA network in its work.

7.3 The WI CEPA Specialist Group will undertake the following tasks concerning the work of the STRP and Resolution VIII.31:

i) provide the review function necessary to ensure the full inclusion of CEPA in guidances being prepared by the STRP; and

ii) Design a work programme consistent with the tasks identified in Annex II of Resolution VIII.31.

7.4 Wetlands International will re-organise and fund this CEPA Specialist Group (SG), in close cooperation with the IOPs and STRP.

7.5 The WI CEPA SG will develop CEPA overlays for the identified priority areas at its first meeting, planned for late May 2003 (Wageningen, Netherlands), and subsequently via electronic discussion forums.

7.6 The composition of the CEPA SG will be:

- Nominated STRP members
- IOP nominees
- Nominated Ramsar Bureau staff
- Other invited experts on professional recognition

7.7 It is anticipated that the role of coordinating the Specialist Group will be taken on by Christine Prietto (Australia). Bureau support staff will be Sandra Hails

7.8 STRP members and observers joining the WI CEPA SG are anticipated to be: Lijuan Cui, Dick Ho, Najam Khurshid, Stephen Njuguna, Manichand Puttoo, IUCN CEC, CIESIN (Alex de Sherbenin), and CBD secretariat (Bob Kakuyo).

8. Agriculture

Task

The following high priority STRP cross-cutting task concerning agriculture was identified by the Standing Committee:

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Ensure that adequate consideration of agriculture and wetland issues is incorporated into other relevant areas of work that the STRP may be dealing with, including global climate change, groundwater and its interaction with surface water, toxic chemicals and desertification [R3.4.xxii] (Resolution VIII.34)

Texts concerning agriculture and wetland issues included, as appropriate, in other guidances prepared by the STRP

8.1 The Panel agreed that, rather than establish a separate Expert Working Group on agriculture, a focal point in each of its six Expert Working Groups should be identified to take the lead in ensuring that agricultural issues are adequately covered in relevant guidance and reports being prepared by the STRP.

8.2 Working Group focal points are as follows:

Working Group 1: MedWet (focal point to be advised)
Working Group 2: Tobias Salathé
Working Group 3: Rebecca Tharme
Working Group 4: David Stroud
Working Group 5: Frank Alberts
Working Group 6: David Pritchard
Bureau support staff: Tobias Salathé

8.3 Working Group 3 (Water Resource Management) will take the lead (Lead: Rebecca Tharme (IWMI) in ensuring a common approach on agriculture among all the Groups, through preparation of outline guidance of issues to consider (by end of May 2003) for all Working Groups.

8.4 After collation and review of the results of this process, the Panel will determine whether any additional expert assistance is needed to fully cover agricultural issues in elements of its work.

C. Lower priority areas of work - activities to be undertaken through lead organizations

9. Environmental and strategic impact assessment

Tasks

The tasks indicated by the Standing Committee as a lower priority - to be undertaken if a lead organization offers to take on the work - and the mechanisms agreed by the STRP for their delivery are summarized below. In addition to these tasks, Working Group 1 has recommended that task 1.7 concerning impact assessment and risk assessment also be considered through these mechanisms.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanism/timeframes

9.1 Prepare advice for Contracting Parties on applying strategic environmental assessment in the context of the Convention’s guidelines [R2.2.v] (Resolution VIII.9)

Advice, including wetland case studies, on application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA)

Lead: IAIA. Scope and timeframes to be confirmed

9.2 Prepare a synthesis of lessons learned from case studies [of impact assessment on wetlands] submitted by CPs, including indications of linkages with existing Ramsar guidance on other topics where relevant [R2.2.viii] (Resolution VIII.9)

Report on experience of applying impact assessment on wetlands

Lead: IAIA. Scope and timeframes to be confirmed

9.3 Review references to impact assessment in Ramsar COP decisions, guidelines and other Ramsar publications, and in particular identify and seek to correct if necessary any inconsistencies of approach, and make the results of such a review available as an updated index of references to impact assessment in Ramsar materials [R2.2.ix] (resolution VIII.9)

Update of 1996 (COP6) review of impact assessment issues in Ramsar materials

Lead: BirdLife International (Dave Pritchard). Report to be prepared late 2004 / early 2005.

9.4 Continue to identify wetland-related elements of existing guidelines on impact assessment, to identify important gaps where such guidance is failing fully to meet the needs of Contracting Parties, and to investigate possible ways of filling such gaps, taking into account CBD’s COP6 guidance on impact assessment in relation to sacred and indigenous and local communities’ lands [R2.2.x] [(Resolution VIII.9)

Proposals for filling any gaps in existing guidance

Lead: IAIA. Scope and timeframes to be confirmed

9.1 The STRP accepted (Decision STRP11-3) the offers of IAIA and BirdLife International to progress the requested tasks on environmental and strategic impact assessment for the Panel's review.

9.2 IAIA has recently received partial funding from The Netherlands for a three-year project to continue work supporting implementation of the CBD and Ramsar Convention, especially in capacity building, including producing guidelines. This project provides for Ramsar's participation on its steering committee, through which the Convention and the STRP can provide input so as to ensure that their needs are met. There is a good fit to some parts of the STRP tasks (notably tasks 9.1, 9.2 and 9.4), although the synthesis of lessons learnt (task 9.2) may need additional resources as well as STRP review.

9.3 Further clarification of the scope and timeframes for IAIA's work on these tasks will be made during the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the IAIA project (Marrakech, June 2003).

9.4 In relation to task 9.1, the IAIA project anticipates compiling a small number of case studies on SEA and wetlands.

9.5 In relation to task 9.2, the IAIA project will collect case studies through its network (a call also to Ramsar Parties to provide additional case studies may be appropriate) and make an initial synthesis. Casting this into the Ramsar context may need additional resourcing and review by STRP12. The product could be prepared as a COP9 Information Paper or circulated at an earlier date to Parties.

9.6 In relation to task 9.3, David Prichard (BirdLife International) will review and update his 1996 COP6 information paper on this subject. The review will be prepared late in the triennium so as to take into account the other impact assessment tasks being undertaken. The review, and any recommendations for harmonization of Ramsar guidance on impact assessment, could be prepared as COP9 Information Paper or circulated at an earlier date to Parties.

9.7 In relation to task 9.4, the IAIA project will undertake this review work and prepare proposals for filling gaps in existing guidance, if appropriate.

9.8 Working Group 1 considered that its task 1.7: "incorporation of environmental impact and strategic environmental assessment into wetland risk assessment procedures" would be more appropriately incorporated into this work area 9. This matter will also be considered in discussions with IAIA on the other tasks above:

Task 1.7 (advice from Working Group 1). The task should:

i) identify linkages between risk assessment and EIA and SEA; and
ii) prepare a statement clarifying the relationship between EIA, SEA and risk assessment.

9.9 IAIA is invited to take the lead, with assistance in preparing a draft statement from David Pritchard and from a risk assessment expert to be identified by the STRP Chair and/or the STRP Support Service.

9.10 Some elements of this work area will need additional resourcing to co-finance elements of the IAIA project - this should form part of the Bureau fund-raising document for STRP work. Further information on estimated costs will be prepared during the initial IAIA project Steering Committee (June 2003), at which the Bureau will be present.

9.11 The focal points for this area of work are as follows:

STRP: Andrea Athanas and David Pritchard. IAIA: Rita Hamm (supported by Andrea Athanas).
Ramsar Bureau focal point for IAIA project steering committee: Nick Davidson (supported by Margarita Astralaga).

10. Peatlands

Task

10.1 Paragraph 18 of Resolution VIII.17 Guidelines for Global Action for Peatlands (GAP):

"REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau, working with interested Contracting Parties, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the International Mire Conservation Group, the International Peat Society, the Convention's International Organization Partners, and other non-governmental organizations, the private sector and other bodies, to establish a Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatlands, and ALSO REQUESTS this Coordinating Committee, once established, to prepare an implementation plan for global action on peatlands".

10.2 The Global Peat Initiative (GPI) has identified financial support for a meeting to establish an initial membership and modus operandi of the Coordinating Committee.

10.3 The Ramsar Bureau will work through the STRP Support Service to facilitate this initial meeting, to involve the IMCG, IPS, interested Contracting Parties and others, which is planned to be held before October 2003.

10.4 A key outcome of the meeting, in addition to establishing a modus operandi, will be a draft implementation plan identifying priority action items. It is anticipated that a finalized implementation plan will focus the Coordinating Committee's effort to identify synergies with other initiatives and potential funding groups. An additional outcome of the work of the Committee will be to review and prepare for COP9 actions to be undertaken by Contracting Parties and organizations to implement the GAP.

10.5 The Committee will make a progress report to the STRP on its work following its first meeting. An information paper for Parties will also be prepared, either for COP9 or to be circulated directly the Parties.

10.6 STRP participants who have indicated interest in contributing to the work of the Committee are: Eckhart Kuijken, Tatiana Minaeva, Francisco Rilla, David Stroud, Randy Milton and Wetlands International. Bureau support staff: Tobias Salathé

11. Climate change

Tasks

11.1 The following tasks concerning climate change and wetlands were identified for the STRP. The Standing Committee indicated task 11.1 as a high priority (but recognized that as dependent upon whether the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is able to undertake Technical Paper preparation), and task 11.2 as a lower priority.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

11.1 If, as requested, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has prepared a Technical Paper on the relationship between wetlands and climate change, in time for consideration at the second STRP meeting prior to COP9, develop, on the basis of the IPCC Technical Paper, a synthesis of key issues on wetlands and climate change as an information paper, which should undergo a review process as determined by the STRP, for consideration by Contracting Parties at COP9. If the IPCC is unable to undertake preparation of a Technical Paper on the relationship between wetlands and climate change, the STRP is requested to prepare an information paper, based on the IPCC Third Assessment Report and other authoritative, updated information, that synthesizes key issues on wetlands and climate change, which should undergo a rigorous peer review process as directed by the Standing Committee upon the advice of the STRP, and which should be made available for consideration by the Parties at COP9. [R3.4.xxi] (Resolution VIII.3)

Information paper: synthesis of key issues on wetlands and climate change

11.2 Collaborate with IPCC and UNFCCC to promote management of wetlands and mitigation of climate change impacts (particularly in context of land use, land use change and rising sea levels, forestry, peatlands and agriculture [3.4.8]

Input to IPCC and UNFCCC work

11.2 Concerning task 11.1, the Bureau will approach the IPCC about whether and when it could prepare a technical paper on climate change and wetlands. If the IPCC cannot do so, the Secretary General and the Chair of the STRP will make a proposal as an alternative to the STRP and the Standing Committee.

11.3 It is noted that IPCC's approval process for its reports may take some time, and that this may lead to STRP reporting to COP10 rather than COP9.

11.4 Concerning task 11.2, the Bureau will explore with IPCC and the UNFCCC secretariat ways and means of STRP providing input to any work on mitigation of climate change impacts in relation to wetlands.

Bureau support staff: Nick Davidson

12. Restoration and rehabilitation

Tasks

12.1 The tasks indicated by the Standing Committee as a lower priority - to be undertaken if a lead organization offers to take on the work - and the mechanisms agreed by the STRP for their delivery, are summarized below.

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanism/timeframes

12.1 Compile information on new research and methodologies for restoration and rehabilitation of lost wetlands and disseminate this information [4.13].

Additional methodologies for wetland restoration

Lead: IUCN-Commission on Ecosystem Management

12.2 Contribute to identification of training opportunities and expertise in wetland restoration and creation of relevant training modules as part of the Ramsar Wetland Training Initiative, once established. [R4.1.vi] (Resolution VIII.16).

Training opportunities and training modules provided to Ramsar Wetland Training Initiative

Lead: Wetlands International - to be confirmed

12.3 Contribute relevant addition information on wetland restoration projects and experience to Ramsar’s restoration Web site, and particularly provide demonstration projects that illustrate the application of the principles and guidelines adopted by Resolution VIII.16. [R4.1.ix] (Resolution VIII.16)

Case studies added to wetland restoration website

Lead: IUCN-Commission on Ecosystem Management

12.4 Further develop tools and guidance on wetland restoration, including a glossary of wetland restoration terminology and guidance on small dams and wetland restoration [R4.1.x] (Resolution VIII.16)

Glossary of wetland restoration terminology

Guidance on small dams and wetland restoration

Lead: IUCN-Commission on Ecosystem Management

12.5 Prepare guidance on compensation for wetland losses, in response to Resolution VII.24, and report to COP9 [R4.1.xi] (Resolution VIII.16)

Guidance on compensation for wetland losses

Lead: to be confirmed (see below)

12.2 In relation to tasks 12.1, 12.3 and 12.4, IUCN-CEM has recently received donor funding which will permit development of programme elements in their work to respond to these tasks. Timeframes and the precise scope of the products will be developed subsequently.

12.3 Concerning task 12.2, Wetlands International is willing to contribute to this task on wetland restoration training, subject to further consultation with RIZA and the Chair of the WI Wetland Restoration Specialist Group. Potential support from the WWF network, and from South Africa's "Working for Wetlands" initiative, was identified.

12.4 In relation to task 12.5, consultation (Randy Milton) with the North American Wetlands Council will be undertaken to explore their interest in leading on this work, with BirdLife International willing to contribute to reviewing any work on this issue.

12.5 Consultations with the representative of the Society of Wetlands Scientists concerning interest in continuing to contribute to the Panel's work on wetland restoration will also be made. The STRP Support Service will follow up and confirm as appropriate these expressions of interest.

Bureau support staff: Tobias Salathé

13. Invasive alien species

Task

13.1 "STRP should continue to contribute to the development (with GISP, CBD, IOPs and interested Parties) of practical guidance on prevention, control and eradication of alien species" (Resolution VIII.18).

13.2 The Bureau will discuss with the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) secretariat the potential for GISP developing a toolkit for aquatic invasive species and inland waters (which is provisionally in their forward programme), and will forward to GISP the draft materials on invasive species prepared by the STRP in the last triennium.

13.3 The STRP determined (Decision STRP11-7) to take no further action on invasive species issues until after contacts have been established with the GISP.

Bureau support staff: Anada Tiega

14. Participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in wetland management

Task

14.1 To "prepare for COP9 methodologies or guidelines for effective implementation of Participatory Environmental Management (PEM), gathering case studies and taking into account the content of the annex to that resolution, which provides outline guidance on benefits of PEM and aspects to consider in developing PEM strategies" (Resolution VIII.36).

14.2 The Panel agreed (Decision STRP11-8) to invite the sponsoring Parties of Resolution VIII.36 and those involved in its drafting to prepare methodologies or guidelines for effective implementation of PEM, as requested by the Resolution, for STRP review at its second meeting in 2004. As far as possible, these materials should incorporate a global perspective on PEM, applicable to all regions.

14.3 IUCN will be investing further funding to upgrade the Participatory Management Clearing House Web site, and specifically to include sharing of traditional knowledge (to support also implementation of Strategic Plan Action 14.1.1).

Bureau support staff: Margarita Astrálaga. Contributions from eriss.

Bureau note. A multi-convention approach to the development of further guidance on participatory management is under discussion by the Bureau and CBD secretariat under the terms of the CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan. Work undertaken to develop further PEM guidance in response to Resolution VIII.36 could contribute to this multi-convention approach.

15. Further guidance for designating wetland types in the Ramsar List

Tasks

15.1 The following two tasks were identified by the Standing Committee as lower priority work for the 2003-2005 triennium:

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Proposed product(s) for COP9

Mechanisms/timeframes

15.1. Prepare further guidance on identification and designation of other coastal wetland types, including inter alia intertidal and subtidal mud and sand flats and seagrass beds. [R10.1.xvii] (Resolution VIII.4)

Additional identification and designation guidelines

Lead: WRI, UNEP-WCMC & WI.

[Timeframes to be determined.]

15.2. Review the ecological roles played by reservoirs and other human-made wetlands, including their use by aquatic and other water-dependent biota, and to prepare (if indicated as priority by Standing Committee) guidance for Contracting Parties concerning the identification and designation of such wetlands for the Ramsar List, taking into account the experience gained by Parties that have already done so. [R10.1.xviii] (Resolution VIII.2)

a) Report on the ecological roles of reservoirs and dams

b) Additional identification and designation guidelines

a) Lead: Heather MacKay, with LakeNet & David Stroud

[Timeframes to be determined.]

15.2 In relation to task 15.1, guidance on coastal-marine wetland types will be drafted by a group comprising WRI and UNEP-WCMC (with contribution from the lead authors of their new global Seagrass atlas) and Wetlands International, with potential input (via Randy Milton) from Environment Canada and provincial agencies on intertidal flats and seagrass beds (Decision STRP11-10). Guidance texts should follow the style and content of those adopted by Resolution VIII.11.

15.3 Concerning task 15.2 a), initial work to produce an overview report of the role of reservoirs and other human-made wetlands, and features of their importance in relation to Ramsar sites, will be undertaken by Heather MacKay, assisted by LakeNet and David Stroud, and drawing on information from Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports and waterbird information from Wetlands International - for review by STRP (Decision STRP11-10).

Bureau support staff: Margarita Astrálaga

16. Sharing expertise and information

Task

16.1 To "assist in promoting the sharing of knowledge (traditional, indigenous and more recently derived technologies and methods) through STRP National Focal Points (NFPs)" [Action 14.1.1].

16.2 Initial pilot steps to be undertaken as part of STRP Support Service role in establishing improved links with STRP NFPs will focus specifically on disseminating all relevant work undertaken through the STRP to NFPs (Decision STRP11-11).

Bureau support staff: Nick Davidson

D. On-going tasks of the STRP

The following mechanisms were established by the STRP for the delivery of its on-going tasks.

Tasks

Mechanisms

17. STRP National Focal Points: establish and maintain contact with STRP National Focal Points, with the assistance of the STRP Support Service, so as to ensure that their advice and expertise is fully contributed to the work of the Panel. [Annex to Resolution VIII.28]

Each appointed STRP member will agree with which countries’ NFPs and/or on which topics they will maintain contact.

18. Regional categorization advice: advise on any request from a Contracting Party to participate in the activities of a different Ramsar Region to that which they are assigned under the regional categorization of the Convention (Resolution VII.1).

The STRP noted that there were no established criteria for deciding such an issue or of a common scheme of biogeographic regionalization for the Convention which could form the basis of a decision.

In the absence of criteria for deciding the issue the Panel had no objection to Azerbaijan’s request made at COP8 to participate in the work of the European region. (Decision STRP11-21)

19. Ramsar Small Grants Fund projects: at the request of the relevant Administrative Authority, ensure the involvement of the STRP National Focal Point in monitoring and evaluating an SGF project.

The STRP determined to consult with the STRP Support Service on how to proceed if such a request should be received. (Decision STRP11-22)

20. Wetland project development and evaluation: upon request, assist Contracting Parties and bilateral development agencies in screening, development and evaluation of wetland projects.

The STRP determined to consult with the STRP Support Service on how to proceed if such a request should be received. (Decision STRP11-23)

21. Ramsar Sites Database: receive progress reports and advise on future needs and developments of the Ramsar Sites Database, maintained for the Convention by Wetlands International.

Continue to advise Bureau/WI on future RSD development, in light of progress reports from Wetlands International.

Contribute to review of analysis of RISs for COP9 on Ramsar site designation progress.

22. Montreux Record: advise the Bureau on requests from Contracting Parties for removing Ramsar sites from the Montreux Record of sites facing damaging change in ecological character.

Continue, if requested, to advise the Bureau on information provided by a Contracting Party requesting a site’s removal from the Montreux Record, circulated through the STRP listserve.

Continue, if requested, identify appropriate Members/observers to participate in any Ramsar Advisory Mission concerning removal of site from the Record.

23. Collaboration with other Conventions and agreements: ensure cooperation, exchange of information and coordination of activities, where appropriate, with other MEAs’ scientific and technical subsidiary bodies (and their related processes), including through actions in Joint Work Plans. [Action 13.1.1]

The Panel (Decision STRP11-25) identified leads to represent the STRP and report back to it, as follows:

CBD SBSTTA: Dave Pritchard (BirdLife International)
CMS Scientific Council: Francisco Rilla (in liaison with the STRP Chair)
UNESCO-MAB (Biosphere Reserve Integrated Management (BRIM): Max Finlayson
UNCCD 2003 COP (Havana, Cuba): Teresita Borges

Each STRP Working Group will determine how best it can establish links with related working group processes in other conventions. CBD Secretariat has identified a Programme Officer to participate as a member of each STRP Expert Working Group, and other STRP mechanisms relevant to delivery of the CBD-Ramsar Joint Work Plan 2003-2005.

24. Drafting technical Resolutions: Prepare draft Technical Resolutions, circulate for consultation to STRP National Focal Points and review for transmission to the Standing Committee. (Resolution VIII.45)

This task forms part of the work expected of all Expert Working Groups and other mechanisms established by the STRP, and will be addressed in the natural course of events towards the end of the Panel’s cycle of work.

E. Key additional strategic issues

Task

20.1 To "identify key additional strategic issues for consideration by the STRP during the triennium and establish a Working Group to progress these for reporting to the next COP" (Annex to Resolution VIII.28).

20.2 The Panel identified the following future key strategic issues for the Convention, and noted that their advice to Standing Committee and COP on these issues should highlight scentific and technical challenges for the Convention as a whole, as well as identifying future tasks for the Panel itself:

i) pollution (including non-point sources and point sources such as through accidental discharges from mines) and water quality in relation to maintaining wetland ecosystem values and functions;
ii) mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector;
iii) fisheries and wetlands;
iv) Ramsar site designation: development of brief guidance on the whole range of wetland types and features (i.e., not only 'under-represented wetland types');
v) wetlands and forest ecosystems: input to CBD's programme of work on forest ecosystems; and
vi) addressing, through the Ramsar Convention, the WSSD 2010 target of significantly reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity.

20.3 The STRP also identified a need to clarify and establish a clear general mechanism for conveying its recommendations on key issues and future work priorities to the Standing Committee and COP.

20.4 The Panel agreed the following mechanisms to progress some of these strategic issues during the current triennium, and for taking forward its recommendations to the Standing Committee and next COP:

i) Water quality

Preparation of a short note for the STRP Chair, for inclusion in the Chair's report to the Standing Committee, which presents the case for including water quality issues in the Panel's future agenda. (Decision STRP11-15)

Leads: Anada Tiéga (Ramsar Bureau), Doug Taylor (WI), and David Stroud (UK)

ii) Mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector

Developing a "Strategy for mainstreaming Ramsar issues within the water sector" (Decision STRP11-19)

Scope: Develop guidance for COP9 on how the Convention can improve the uptake and integration of wetlands conservation, protection and biodiversity issues in the water sector, particularly in water resource management, but also in relation to provision of basic water services.

Process:

1. Establish, with assistance from STRP Support Service, a small e-mail discussion group for consultations on proposed strategies, issues, etc.; the discussion group to include interested members of STRP, interested Contracting Parties, and key members of the water sector at international and national level.

2. Synthesise outputs of discussion group, develop an issues paper for circulation and comment, to form the basis for a proposal to the Standing Committee on guidance for consideration by COP9 on what strategy and possible action plan should be adopted by the Convention to pursue engagement with the water sector.

3. Draft guidance document for review by STRP and discussion at STRP12, for possible transmittal to the Standing Committee and COP9.

Lead: Heather MacKay (South Africa)

iii) Fisheries and wetlands

Initial work to provide information to COP9 on fisheries and wetlands will be undertaken by STRP Working Group 1 (Task2 i) (Decision STRP11-16). It is anticipated that this will lead to identification of key future activities on this subject.

iv) Ramsar site designation: development of brief guidance on the full range of wetland types and features

The STRP Chair will notify the Standing Committee of the need to include the development of brief guidance on the whole range of wetland types and features (i.e., not only additional guidance for wetland types considered to be 'under-represented' in the Ramsar List) in future programmes of work, to support future implementation of the Strategic Framework (Resolution VII.11) through identification and designation of Ramsar sites. (Decision STRP11-17)

v) Wetlands and forest ecosystems: input to CBD's programme of work on forest ecosystems

Action 4.1 of the CBD/Ramsar Joint Work Plan 2002-2006 invites exploration of the ways and means on how the STRP can contribute to the implementation of the CBD programme of work on forest biodiversity, particularly on issues related to peatlands and wooded wetlands. The STRP requested the Coordinating Committee for Global Action on Peatlands, once established, to seek ways of inputting to the CBD's work on forest ecosystems (Decision STRP11-18).

Lead: Tatiana Minaeva

vi) Addressing, through the Ramsar Convention, the WSSD 2010 target of significantly reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity

Working Group 6 will be addressing development of indicators of Convention effectiveness which could contribute to assessing progress in achieving the WSSD 2010 target. So as to ensure that its work is linked to, and can contribute to, that of the CBD on this matter, the Panel requested David Pritchard of BirdLife International to represent the STRP at the May 2003 CBD/UNEP-WCMC meeting on WSSD targets for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss, and requested UNEP-WCMC to provide feedback to the STRP through Working Group 6 on the development of indicators for the WSSD 2010 target. (Decision STRP11-16)

Leads: Working Group 6 Co-leads (David Pritchard & Teresita Borges) and UNEP-WCMC (Christoph Zöckler)

Bureau note: Subsequent to the STRP meeting the Secretary General has been invited to make a keynote presentation at the above-mentioned meeting on WSSD 2910 target.

An Overall mechanism for ensuring that the Standing Committee and COP are made aware of STRP's recommendations on future strategic issues and priorities for the future work of the Panel

20.5 The Panel considered (DOC. STRP11-29) the need to enhance current procedures for ensuring that the Standing Committee is made aware of the STRP's advice in regard to its future work, and it adopted procedures to this effect (Decision STRP11-20).

20.6 Two current mechanisms in the STRP's work will be fully and clearly used to ensure that the strategic advice of the Panel on future priorities is available to Parties:

i) STRP's task of drafting technical Resolutions for consideration by SC and COP:

In drafting its Resolutions, the STRP should ensure that these fully identify further work being recommended on the topic, and that these should be carefully drafted so as to ensure that work the STRP considers of particularly high priority is clearly indicated; and

ii) STRP's ongoing priority task (Strategic Plan Action 17.1.5) in advising the Standing Committee on its strategic review of emerging scientific and technical issues and gaps in current guidance to Parties.

20.7 The outcomes of this review should clearly identify priority issues for the future work of the STRP. These should be included in the Report to COP from the Chair of the STRP, which is provided to the COP as an Information Paper. The STRP may wish to consider also drafting a Resolution for consideration by the Standing Committee specifically addressing its views and recommendations on the outcomes of this strategic review.

20.8 The STRP Chair should ensure, through the Standing Committee, that the views and recommendations of the STRP are made fully available to, and recognized by, the COP and the first meeting of the Standing Committee in the next triennium. These meetings should be urged to take into account these recommendations in determining the priorities for the future work of the STRP.

20.9 It should be recommended that the Chair of the current STRP should attend the COP and the first full business meeting of the Standing Committee after the COP to present these recommendations (in recognition that under its new modus operandi the current STRP continues its life until the new Panel is appointed by this meeting of the Standing Committee).

20.10 In providing its instructions to the next STRP, the Standing Committee should be urged to provide an explanatory note to the STRP setting out its rationale for the priorities it establishes.

F. Work proposed for deferral to the 2005-2008 triennium

21. Incentives

Tasks

The following tasks were indicated by the Standing Committee as lower priority for 2003-2005:

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Suggested product(s) for COP9

a) Continue to contribute to development of the Internet-based resource kit (http://www.biodiversityeconomics.org/incentives/policies-07-00.htm) on positive incentives prepared and maintained by IUCN–the World Conservation Union. [8.1.2]

b) Advise the Ramsar Bureau on the relevance, quality, and accessibility of the information provided on the web-based resource kit (see Action 8.1.2) and indicate further needs regarding information on incentive measures. [R8.1.iv] (Resolution VIII.23)

c) Report to COP9 on progress in design, implementation, monitoring, and assessment of incentive measures and identification and removal of perverse incentives [8.1.3]

d) Investigate linkages between incentives and related topics including financial mechanisms, trade, impact assessment and valuation (in collaboration with IUCN, IAIA, other relevant bodies and experts and the Bureau) [R8.1.v] (Resolution VIII.23)

e) Continue to identify wetland-related elements of existing guidelines on incentive measures, so as to recognize important gaps where such guidance is failing to meet fully the needs of the Parties, investigate possible ways of filling such gaps, and to prepare a report on these matters for COP9 (in collaboration with IUCN, the subsidiary bodies of other environmental conventions, and other relevant organizations) [R8.1.vi] (Resolution VIII.23)

Additional information on incentives made web-accessible

 

Review of further information needs on incentives

 

 

Progress report on current incentive measures, and on removal of perverse incentives

 

Report on links between incentives and related financial and trade issues

 

Review of existing incentives guidance, and proposals for gap-filling for wetland incentives

22. The STRP decided (Decision STRP11-9) to take no further action on incentive measures during this triennium.

23. IUCN noted that they are planning to update their Web-based participatory management information.

24. Other tasks for deferral to 2005-2008

STRP tasks 2003-2005

Strategic Plan Action and COP8 Resolution Action numbers are shown in square brackets […].

Notes/decisions

Wetland assessment:

Incorporation of assessment and management processes and practical methods (including multi-scalar methods for wetland assessment and monitoring) developed by other programmes, including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), into the Ramsar "Toolkit" of Wise Use Handbooks. [r1.2.viii] (Resolution VIII.8)

Since the outputs needed from the MA will not be available in time for STRP to consider them for COP9, the Working Group recommends this task is deferred to STRP work in the 2005-2008 triennium once the relevant MA products are available, for COP10 consideration.

Water allocation and management:

Contribute to report to COP9 on successes achieved and lessons learnt from demonstrating good practice in water allocation and management for maintaining ecological functions of wetlands [R3.4.ix] (Resolution VIII.1)

Depends on provision and compilation of case studies and lessons learned – partly addressed by task 3.3.3, but substantial work deferred.

Review Resolutions VIII.1 and VIII.2 and prepare further guidance, if required, for COP9 [R3.4.xi] (Resolution VIII.1)

Review, and preparation of any further guidance would be more effectively undertaken through subsequent consolidation of both COP8 and COP9 materials and guidance

Integrated coastal zone management:

Review case studies (from CPs) of integrating wetlands and ICZM, as basis for preparing further guidance on wetlands and ICZM. [R3.4.vi] (Resolution VIII.4)

Deferral agreed

Note. CBD is currently preparing guidance on IMCAM, focusing on specific topics to elaborate the general guidance in Res. VIII.4 – WWF & WI will provide a report on this work to STRP12

Ramsar sites – management:

b) Working in close cooperation with relevant international organizations, and with input from STRP National Focal Points and drawing on the review conducted by the IOPs (see Action R3.3.i):

a) establish a framework for identifying, documenting and disseminating good agriculture-related practice, including site-specific and crop-specific information, and policies that demonstrate sustainable use of wetlands for agriculture; and

b) use this framework to develop for consideration at COP9, and possible incorporation into the site-management guidelines annexed to Resolution VIII.14, wetland-type specific management guidelines to:

i) enhance the positive role that sustainable agricultural practices may have vis-à-vis the conservation and wise use of wetlands;

ii) minimize the adverse impacts of agricultural practices on wetland conservation and sustainable use goals; and

iii) include examples based on wetland-type specific needs and priorities that take into account the variety of agricultural systems.

[R11.1.ix] (Resolution VIII.34)

Defer, pending availability of precursal work by IOPs and other organizations.

Note. Working Group 3 (Water resource management), recognized the significance of agriculture to their work, its members from IWMI, RIZA and CBD are drafting a short (half a page) outline of the desired product, in consultation with members of other working groups, which could be circulated amongst potential lead organizations.

 

Ramsar sites – monitoring:

Review and evaluate the Man and the Biosphere Programme’s procedure for Biosphere Reserve Integrated Monitoring (BRIM), once developed, and advise on its application to the monitoring of the ecological character of Ramsar sites and other wetlands [R11.2.iii] (Resolution VIII.7)

Defer pending availability of BRIM methodology – if available will be considered by WG1

Shared wetlands and wetland species – sustainable harvesting

Contribute to dissemination of research on sustainable harvesting, especially waterbirds [12.2.4]

No further action required of STRP.

The 2004 Global Waterbirds Conference will consider sustainable harvesting. The STRP Support Service is requested (Decision STRP11-14) to disseminate information concerning wetland-dependent species and their sustainable harvesting, including the outputs of the 2004 conference, to the STRP National Focal Points.

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