The CEPA Oversight Panel

The CEPA Oversight Panel monitors and reports on the implementation of the Convention’s CEPA Programme and sets priorities for communication, education, participation, awarness and capacity building.

The Panel advises Standing Committee and Secretariat on CEPA priorities at national and international level, including CEPA priorities of STRP (Scientific and Technical Review Panel)

Terms of Reference for the CEPA Oversight Panel.

The CEPA Oversight Panel was established at Standing Committee 34 in 2006, following the request of the Contracting Parties through Resolution IX.18 of 2005. 

The CEPA Panel meets several times in each triennium and reports to Standing Committee as necessary to deliver advice and information on implementation.  The Panel also oversees the preparation of the implementation report by the Secretariat for each Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties. 

The composition of the CEPA Panel for the period 2016-2018:

Mark Taylor (Australia)

Chair of the CEPA Oversight Panel (as Vice Chair of Standing Committee)

Mark Taylor is a senior executive in the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and Administrative Authority for Ramsar in Australia.  He is responsible for managing Commonwealth environmental water to protect and restore the rivers, wetlands and aquatic eco-systems in Australia’s economically and environmentally significant Murray Darling Basin.   Mark’s previous roles include: Assistant Secretary in the Australia’s Director of National Parks Division;  Australian lead negotiator on the Nagoya Protocol;  Assistant Secretary of People Strategies and Human Resources in the Department of the Environment; and a number of senior executive roles in Australia’s arts and culture portfolio.  He has also worked as a Chief of Staff to a Government Minister, as a copy-editor for an academic publisher, and as a teacher/lecturer.

Channa Bambaradeniya (Sri Lanka)


Channa Bambaradeniya

Vice-Chair of the STRP

Channa Bambaradeniya is an ecologist by training, with 20 years of international experience related to biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability. He guided five Ramsar wetland designations in Sri Lanka. He served as Sri Lanka’s NGO focal point for Ramsar CEPA (2002-2007). He provided technical supervision and guidance for the preparation of the National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka.  He has supervised eight post-graduate research dissertations, and published over 50 scientific research papers, articles, book chapters, and biodiversity guides.

Abdou Salam Kane (Senegal)

Chair of the Standing Committee Subgroup on Finance

Molefe Mokhatla (Lesotho)

CEPA Government NFP

Molefe Mokhatla has been leading CEPA activities for more than four years in the Lesotho’s Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, in the department of Water Affairs.  He has been working on awareness raising campaigns about wetlands wise use and mobilizing local communities taking actions for wetlands. 

Ms Sari Airas (Finland)

CEPA Government NFP

Sari Airas has served as the Government CEPA NFP for six years and has been a member of the Panel in 2012-2015, while contributing to the Ramsar Convention's Programme on communication, capacity building, education, participation and awareness (CEPA) 2016-2024. She is project manager of  the Enhancig CEPA -project (2011-2013), which  is funded by Nordic Council of Ministers. The aim of the project is to enhance the visibility the Ramsar wetlands and to build capacity in CEPA and encourage parties among Nordic Baltic Wetlands Initiative to plan and implement their CEPA Action Plans. 

Christine Prietto (Australia)


Christine Prietto has served as the NGO CEPA Focal Point for the Australian Government since 2001 representing Hunter Wetlands Centre.  During this time she has worked with a number of Government Focal Points. She has served on the CEPA Oversight Panel since its creation at COP5. She has made significant contributions to the work of the Panel in monitoring work plans and identifying strategic opportunities. Recently she was closely involved in the development of the newly approved CEPA programme. 

Pyae Phyo Aung (Myanmar)


Pyae Phyo Aung is a marine biologist, graduated from Moulmein University. In 2008 he joined Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) as a member and has taken a key role in conservation in marine ecosystem in the delta region of Myanmar. He was involved in establishing the Gulf of Mottama to become a Ramsar Site in Myanmar. Currently he is the focal point for Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation task force and enhances coordination and conservation efforts within the Asia Australia Flyway Network. 

Chris Rostron (United Kingdom)

IOP representative, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT)

Chris Rostron is the Head of Wetland Link International and has been the UK National NGO Focal Point for the past seven years. WLI is a support network for those working in wetlands centres delivering education and engagement. Chris is involved in organizing and delivering international workshops on best practice in design and operation of wetlands visitors centres. The output of these workshops is the “Handbook of Best Practices for the Planning, Design and Operation of Wetlands Education Centre” available in several languages. 

Arturo Dominici (Panama),


Arturo Dominici

Regional Ramsar Centre representative, Ramsar Regional Centre for Training and Research in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO)

Dr. Arturo Dominici holds a Bachelor and Master Degree in Biology and a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences with specialization in marine ecosystems of coastal wetlands, ecology and molecular phylogeny in reef fishes.  Among his areas of expertise are the Financial Management and Environmental Projects, Institutional Management and Public Administration, Science and Research, Teaching and Scientific Communication. Arturo was Deputy Director of Ordination and Integrated Management and Head of the Environmental Unit in the Aquatic Authority Resources of Panama (ARAP), Senior Coordinator of the Marine Conservation Program at the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Panama (FUNDESPA), Professor of Environmental Sciences, Marine Ecosystems, Conservation and Sustainable Development at the University of Panama.