Documents for the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee


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24th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 29 November-2 December 1999
Agenda item 9.2.viii

DOC. SC24-15

Issues arising from COP7 requiring action by the Standing Committee – Identification of priority actions from the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to review the Barbados Programme of Action and decide upon a process to identify the future priority actions for the Bureau to undertake.


1. Paragraph 16 of COP7 Recommendation 7.2 reads: The COP "REQUESTS the Standing Committee to review the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States with a view to identifying a range of priority actions which the Ramsar Bureau should pursue, both independently and in partnership with other convention secretariats, regional organizations and programmes, the Convention’s International Organization Partners, and donors."

2. A copy of the Barbados Programme of Action is attached for reference.

3. Standing Committee should also recall its considerations under Item 9.2.i of this meeting relating to ‘Tasks of Standing Committee members’, where it was indicated as follows in the agenda paper:

    At COP7 Recommendation 7.2 was adopted relating to SIDS, which urges that further efforts be taken to recruit these countries to the Convention. One key action, which the Standing Committee should also address at this meeting (Agenda Item 9.2.viii), is to review the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and establish those priority actions which the Ramsar Convention will promote pursuant to this significant policy paper. A strong response to the Barbados Programme of Action will help to convince many of the SIDS to join the Convention. The Standing Committee may wish to consider a formal invitation to the SIDS to have input to this process, whether they are Contracting Parties or not (refer to Agenda Paper for Item 9.2.viii).

4. It is the Bureau’s recommendation to Standing Committee that the following actions be undertaken in response to this Item:

4.1 continue to promote SIDS membership of the Convention, as considered under Item 9.2.i;

4.2 continue to seek resources to support a long-term SIDS internship placement within the Bureau (see paragraph 4(i ) of Agenda paper SC24-8 "Tasks of the Standing Committee");

4.3 request a Subgroup of Standing Committee, with the Bureau’s support, to review the Barbados Programme of Action in consultation with the SIDS to establish other priority actions which could be taken during 2001 and 2002. This Subgroup could report to the next meeting of Standing Committee. As part of this review the Subgroup could examine the activities being taken, or proposed, by other relevant regional and international conventions (CBD, UNFCCC, Cartagena, etc.) to ensure that Ramsar’s response is not duplicating their efforts. It could also examine the benefits to be gained by pursuing closer working partnerships with organizations and bodies actively supporting environmental management in SIDS, such as the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Cartagena Convention, and others.

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