CEPA National Focal Points are recognised experts in Communication, Capacity development, Education, Participation and Awareness, one from within the government and one representing an NGO. Together they lead the development and implementation of national and local wetland CEPA programmes and action plans.
The roles and responsibilities of the CEPA Focal Points can include some or all of the following:
- Providing a supportive environment in which wetland CEPA planners and practitioners can develop their work;
- Providing leadership for the development and implementation of a wetland CEPA programme at an appropriate level (national, subnational, local);
- Being the main points of contact on CEPA matters;
- Assisting in the practical CEPA implementation at the national level and in national reporting on CEPA activities to the Convention on Wetlands' Conferences of the Parties;
- Ensuring a high, positive public profile for the Convention and its conservation and wise use goals;
- Being active spokespersons for wetland CEPA;
- Establishing and maintaining any contacts, networks, structures and mechanisms necessary to ensure the efficient communication of information between relevant actors at all levels and in all sectors.
The nomination of Government and NGO CEPA National Focal Points by every Contracting Party is regarded as the starting point for an effective review of CEPA needs within each country, leading ultimately to a CEPA Action Plan. The National Focal Points (NFPs) are also the main points of contact within and between countries for wetland CEPA.