41st meeting of the Standing Committee


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41th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Kobuleti, Georgia, 26 April – 1 May 2010

DOC. SC41-23

Agenda item 13.2

Ramsar Secretariat work plan 2010

Report on activities since January 2010

Action requested: The Standing Committee is invited to consider the Secretariat work plan for 2010, note the activities undertaken since January, and offer additional advice as appropriate.

1.       As instructed by the Standing Committee at its 40th meeting (Decision SC40-23), in November 2009 the Secretariat circulated a draft work plan for 2010 for comments and adoption by SC members. Few major comments were received from the Standing Committee, and the resulting adopted document is appended as an annex.

2.       This 2010 work plan provides a listing of the main activities that are being undertaken by the Secretariat in relation to its role and responsibilities for the implementation of the Convention’s Strategic Plan 2009-2015 adopted by COP10 Resolution X.1 (2008).

3.       Since the Strategic Plan provides the overarching structure and content for implementation by each of the Convention’s bodies and processes, the work plan is structured by Secretariat activities and “Key Result Areas” (KRAs) for each activity for which the Secretariat has a direct implementation responsibility. Only those Strategic Plan Strategies are listed below. During its work the Secretariat also, when requested, provides support and advice to Contracting Parties and other Convention bodies in their implementation of many of the other Strategies established under the Strategic Plan.

4.       From January to March 2010, the Ramsar Secretariat has been implementing this work plan through the following activities:

STRATEGY 1.10 Private sector

Promote the involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

Area of work


Activity undertaken


1.10.1 Partnership with Private Sector: Continue development of the Partnership with Danone in 3 components:

1) Danone Fund for Water;

2) “ Ecoles de l'eau” Programme;

3) Danone/Ramsar/IUCN “Danone Fund for Nature”  

Continue the “Biosphere Connections” partnership with Star Alliance

Concrete actions resulting from:  

1) Danone Fund for Water;

2) “Ecoles de l'eau”;

Danone Fund for Nature


Connections utilized to support participation in key Ramsar meetings

Support to Ad Hoc Group on Wetlands and Urbanization of the STRP to start the preparation of guidelines in collaboration with UN-HABITAT;

Financial support provided to organize World Wetland Day globally and World Wetland Week in the Seychelles.

Technical and administrative support to 3 projects in Argentina, Nepal and Thailand

Scientific and technical support to improve implementation mechanisms;

Report on 2009 achievements made; lessons learned and used to plan 2010 activities.

Preparation of a new agreement with Danone is underway

1.10.2 In line with Resolution X.12, work with Contracting Parties and the Ramsar partners to make good use of the Principles for partnerships between the Ramsar Convention and the business sector, as appropriate, including within the frameworks of existing national, regional, and global initiatives and commitments.


Resolution X.12 principles applied in any developments of business sector relationships

MOU signed with the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) to jointly collaborate on wetland management for sustainable tourism , together with the tourism industry;

The first World Water Week celebrated in Seychelles with participation of all stakeholders, including hotels, other tourism operators and various business ccompanies

A small project is underway jointly supported by Ramsar and the UN WTO in West Africa, involving 3 Ramsar Contracting Parties

STRATEGY 2.2 Ramsar site information

Ensure that the Ramsar Sites Information Service, including the Ramsar Sites Database, is available and enhanced as a tool for guiding the further designation of wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance and for research and assessment, and is effectively managed by the Secretariat. (STRP, Secretariat, IOPs)

2.2.1 Manage and process Ramsar Site designations and updates

KRA: All RISs, including RIS updates, received from Contracting Parties fully processed in a timely manner, within four weeks of receipt of each finalized RIS

Africa: 48 Ramsar sites are in process; Americas: 26 RIS in process, including 17 in North America, 1 Caribbean, 8 in the Neotropics; Asia & Oceania: 9 wetlands in the pipeline; Europe, 33 RIS submitted to the Secretariat in 2009 to be checked in early 2010.

2.2.2 Ensure the maintenance and further development of the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS)

KRA: Timely maintenance of the Ramsar Sites Database and development of other aspects of the RSIS to provide support tools for Parties in Ramsar site designation, by Wetlands International under contract to the Secretariat.

New agreement with Wetlands International signed to continue providing and improving Ramsar Sites Information service

STRATEGY 2.6 Ramsar site status

Monitor the condition of Ramsar sites and address negative changes in their ecological character, notify the Ramsar Secretariat of changes affecting Ramsar sites, and apply the Montreux Record, if appropriate, and Ramsar Advisory Mission as tools to address problems. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

2.6.1 Advise Parties on Article 3.2, Montreux Record and Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM) issues

KRAs: All Article 3.2 issues raised with the relevant Parties; RAMs prepared and undertaken when requested by Parties

Dissemination of RAM results from 1 Contracting party (Mozambique); Preparation of two RAMs in Congo (Cayo Lafouleba) and Morocco (Embouchure de la Moulaya) for April and June 2010 respectively. RAM to Åkersvika RS (Norway) is under preparation. Consultation with 6 Contracting Parties underway to get updated information on Ramsar sites

STRATEGY 3.1 Synergies and partnerships with MEAs and IGOs

Work as partners with international and regional multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other intergovernmental agencies (IGOs). (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs, STRP)

3.1.1 Implement, a 4th Joint Work Plan 2007-2010 with the CBD, and develop a 5th JWP for consideration in 2010

KRAs: 4th JWP implemented and implementation reviewed; 5th JWP drafted

Consultation with CBD is underway to review the implementation of 4th JWP and prepare 5th JWP; participation (by DSG) in UNESCO high-level conference on Int’l Year of Biodiversity

3.1.2 Review Joint Work Plans with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)/African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and with UNESCO-Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

KRA: CMS/AEWA and UNESCO-MAB joint work plans reviewed and updated.

Consultation with CMS/ AEWA is underway (first discussion in Feb. 2010); Preparation of joint RAMs with CMS/AEWA in Africa and joint article 3.2 letter to the Govt of Mali for the Niger Inner Delta.

3.1.3 Use proactively the Biodiversity Liaison Group (BLG) and the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) for the Rio Conventions to improve synergies

KRA: BLG meetings attended at SG/DSG level; JLG meetings attended as observer (SG/DSG level)


3.1.4 Promote the work of the Convention at important international meetings

KRA: SRA level or above represented Convention at key global and regional meetings

Participation of the Secretariat in 12 regional/global meetings

3.1.5 Continue to review the effectiveness of Memoranda of Understanding and agreements with other organisations

KRA: All Memoranda and annexed plans either updated, replaced or annulled

Review of collaboration with IOPs is underway; New MOU signed with World Bank, UN WTO, Organization of American States (OAS), the Stetson University College of Law (Florida, United States).

3.1.6 Organise Secretariat meetings with partners and other stakeholders, as needed

KRA: Meetings prepared in timely manner

Seven meetings jointly organized with the Secretariat

STRATEGY 3.2 Regional initiatives

Support existing regional arrangements under the Convention and promote additional arrangements. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

3.2.1 Manage the core funding support for, and monitor the implementation of, regional initiatives approved by Resolution X.6

KRA: Approved funds transferred to regional initiatives; advice on implementation progress and issues provided to Standing Committee

Advice provided to 6 regional initiatives; Report on updated progress submitted to SC41

STRATEGY 3.3 International assistance

Promote international assistance to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands, while ensuring that environmental safeguards and assessments are an integral component of all development projects that affect wetlands, including foreign and domestic investments. (CPs, Secretariat, IOPs)

3.3.1 Develop and implement the establishment of a Partnership Officer post in the Secretariat, as mandated by Resolution X.2

KRA: Mechanism established for implementation of Partnership Coordinator role

Funding for Partnership Coordinator position is made available; Recruitment of Partnership is underway; Office space for Partnership Coordinator is made available

STRATEGY 3.4 Sharing information and expertise

Promote the sharing of expertise and information concerning the conservation and wise use of wetlands. (CPs, Secretariat)

3.4.1 With the Standing Committee, STRP and interested Parties, review efficacy of COP10 National Report Format, and initiate development of structure and content of COP11 format

KRA: COP11 National Report Format structure agreed

Draft COP11 National Report Format being prepared for SC41 consideration (DOC. SC41-24)

3.4.2 Assist Parties with Convention implementation

KRA: Advice and support on national issues provided, in regional and global contexts, to Parties as requested, including through missions to Parties

5 missions to Parties by the Secretary General; 15 missions to Parties by other staff members


Support, and assist in implementing at all levels, where appropriate, the Convention’s Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness Programme (Resolution X.8) for promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands through communication, education, participation, and awareness (CEPA) and work towards wider awareness of the Convention’s goals, mechanisms, and key findings. (CPs, Secretariat, training centres, IOPs, Advisory Board on Capacity Building)

4.1.1 Implement the CEPA Programme, and further develop a comprehensive plan for CEPA internally, including the activities undertaken with Danone Group and other private sector actors, through CEPA Oversight Panel

KRA: CEPA Programme implemented, with input of the CEPA Oversight Panel; and Secretariat CEPA implementation plan prepared and disseminated

CEPA workshop being organized for mid-April in Bangkok and another planned for Africa. 40th anniversary communications plan developed, disseminated to Parties and others, and Secretariat has begun implementation. Ecosystem Services fact sheets finalised and made available electronically; Report on the Advisory Board and CEPA Panel s submitted to SC41. CEPA activities undertaken from the Seychelles through Radio France International (RFI) and International Press Service (Canada)

4.1.2 Prepare and publish a 4th edition of the Ramsar Wise Use Handbooks and Ramsar Technical Reports (RTRs)

KRA: Publication of 4th Edition Handbooks completed; RTRs published in a timely manner

Preparation of 4th ed. of Handbooks in progress, with half redrafted so far; Translation of the handbooks into Arabic and Russian is in progress with the limited funds available

4.1.3 Fully redevelop the appearance and structure of the Ramsar website

KRA: New-look Ramsar website launched and fully functional

New website is functional & new Communication Officer took office on 1st March 2010

4.1.4 Maintain Ramsar website, listserves and other electronic information provision

KRA: Topical Ramsar-related information provided to all stakeholders

Updated information is provided on a regular basis through the website & e-mail lists (Ramsar Forum, Ramsar Exchange in 3 languages, CEPA lists in 3 languages) and other communication tools

4.1.5 Seek to enhance the development of capacity building through the Ramsar Advisory Board on CapacityBuilding and the regional centres

KRA: Ramsar Advisory Board mechanism to contribute to capacity-building for Parties agreed

No significant progress because of contractor illness. Final report not expected before June-July 2010

4.1.6 Prepare materials and advice for WWD 2010

KRA: WWD 2010 materials prepared and dispatched; WWD  reports placed on website

All WWD materials dispatched; Secretariat involvement in WWD activities within Switzerland organized & reported; WWD reports received being posted to the web; customization of WWD materials reported on the web  

4.1.7 Monitor implementation of COP10 Resolution X.3, the “Changwon Declaration”

KRA: Implementation progress by Parties, Convention Bodies and IOPs compiled, as advised

Report on updated progress submitted to SC41 (DOC. SC41-22)

STRATEGY 4.2 Convention financial capacity

Provide the financial resources necessary for the Convention’s governance, mechanisms and programmes to achieve the expectations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, within the availability of existing resources and by the effective use of such resources; explore and enable options and mechanisms for mobilization of new and additional resources for implementation of the Convention. (CPs, Secretariat)

4.2.1 Undertake project evaluations and reviews (SGF, WFF, SGA etc.)

KRA: All project proposals and reports evaluated

(See DOC. SC41-12)

4.2.2 Make representations to Parties in arrears with annual contributions

KRA: Meetings with missions made

Specific discussions have been made with representatives of Parties in various regional/global meetings and missions to Parties

4.2.3 Manage the Convention budget in a timely and efficient manner

KRA: Maintain financial records and make all payments in a timely manner, reporting to Standing Committee Subgroup on Finance

Voluntary contributions have been received from Switzerland, Japan, USA, Mauritius, Danone Group, Star Alliance; All financial matters recorded and made available to SC41 in DOCs SC41-3; SC41-4; SC41-5; SC41-6; SC41-7; SC41-8; SC41-9; SC41-10

STRATEGY 4.3 Convention bodies’ effectiveness

Ensure that the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Standing Committee, Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and Secretariat are operating at a high level of effectiveness to support the implementation of the Convention. (CPs, Secretariat)

4.3.1 Organise and hold Standing Committee 41, April 2010

KRA: SC40 held and outcomes disseminated

All arrangements made to hold SC41, including logistics and documentation

4.3.2 Provide periodic intersessional briefings to Standing Committee members, as required during the year

KRA: At least two briefings sent to SC

Three briefings made to the Executive Team

4.3.3 Organise and hold STRP mid-term workshops, February 2010

KRA: STRP mid-term Workshop held; work plan developed and transmitted to Standing Committee

Workshop held in February 2010; report of STRP mid-term workshops provided in DOC. SC41-26

4.3.4 Maintain an electronic system for communication amongst STRP members & with its National Focal Points

KRA: STRP Support Service (SuSe) maintained  to support STRP intersessional work; STRP NFPs assisted to have improved involvement in STRP’s work


4.3.5 Support STRP in its elaboration and delivery of priority tasks in its work plan

KRA: STRP supported in implementation of its work plan High Priority tasks

Done, within very limited funds available for implementation

4.3.6 Arrange periodic briefings of missions in Geneva on activities taking place between Standing Committee meetings

KRA: At least one missions briefing held

Done during two meetings of the Ad Hoc working Group on Administrative Reform.

4.3.7 With the Management Working Group (MWG), keep under review the existing management structures of the Secretariat and Convention

KRA: Any changes to management structures recommended by MWG implemented by Secretariat, as appropriate

New Secretariat structure is functional

4.3.8 Support the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Administrative Reform

KRA: Ad Hoc Working Group’s meetings and intersessional work supported

2 meetings supported by Secretariat since January 2010

4.3.10 With Romania, develop and agree the host country Memorandum of Understanding for COP11

KRA: COP11 MoU developed and Romania fully advised on COP preparations

Communication with Romania and support provided to prepare report to SC41

4.3.11 Undertake general administration of the Secretariat and Convention

KRA: Parties, and other stakeholders, provided with timely and efficient service

Response to requests from Parties promptly provided

STRATEGY 4.4 Working with IOPs and others

Maximize the benefits of working with the Convention’s International Organization Partners (IOPs) and others. (Secretariat, IOPs)

4.4.1 Work with IOPs to develop a common understanding and framework for assistance in delivering the Convention’s implementation

KRA: Collaborative activities identified and agreed; and information on them provided to Contracting Parties

See Doc. SC41-21

4.4.2 Facilitate and enhance joint activities on the ground between IOPs and Ramsar Administrative Authorities

KRA: Joint IOP/AA activities facilitated and reported

IUCN jointly working with the Secretariat to support accession of Lao PDR

STRATEGY 5.1 Membership

Secure universal membership of the Convention and provide an appropriate level of service. (CPs, Secretariat)

5.1.1 Advise countries in the process of accession on any issues of clarification, and on preparing their first Ramsar Information Sheet, as necessary

KRA: Bhutan, Ethiopia, Swazilandand others further assisted for accession

Activities to facilitate accession underway in Lao, with support from IUCN; 5 countries in the process of accession with support from SPREP in the Pacific; an Arab states accession meeting planned for June 2010

Annex 1: Secretariat 2010 Work Plan

(See PDF version)

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