21st Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel

21st Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel

30 January 2018


"COP13 comes at a critical juncture. Our planet’s wetlands are disappearing faster than our forests—at the alarming rate of one percent every year. And the decisions and actions taken at this Convention will be instrumental in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)." - Martha Rojas Urrego

The 21st Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP21) took place at the Secretariat’s headquarters in Gland, Switzerland from 13-17 January 2017.

36 participants including STRP members, observers and STRP NFPs from Austria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Oman, Senegal and the United Kingdom attended the meeting. It was the last meeting of the triennium and of STRP Chair Professor Royal Gardner.

Key outcomes:

Significant progress with high priority and other tasks, including:

  • consideration and integration of comments from external reviewers to the Global Wetland Outlook, which is on track to be launched prior to or at COP13;
  • progress on finalizing a draft Ramsar Technical Report on Best practice guidelines for the use of Earth Observation for wetland inventory;
  • finalization of a draft resolution on Guidance on identifying Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites) for global climate change regulation as an additional argument to existing Ramsar criteria and submitted it to the Secretariat;        
  • finalization of a draft Policy Brief on Implementing environmental flows with benefits for society and different wetland ecosystems in the river system;
  • progress with a draft Policy Brief and Briefing Note derived from a comprehensive review and analysis of Ramsar Advisory Missions reports;
  • refinement of a draft Briefing Note on The potential and rationale for wetland restoration in a climate change context;
  • finalization of a draft resolution on Restoration of degraded peatlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change and enhance biodiversity, as well as progress with a Ramsar Technical report on peatland restoration/rewetting; and methodologies

The Panel also finalized the draft resolution on future scientific and technical priorities of the Convention, recommending keeping the current thematic work areas, with slight refinements, and the following priorities for the next triennium (2019-2021):

  • Provide guidance to Contracting Parties relating to the national reporting on wetland inventories, which will contribute to reporting under Sustainable Development Goals target 6.6.1;
  • Undertake a review of, and compilation of data and information from, national wetland inventories, so as to update the 1999 Global Review of Wetland Inventory (GRoWI), building on the information provided by Contracting Parties in their National Reports to COP13 and other sources such as the Global Mangrove Watch;
  • Advise on how wetlands can act as natural capital to encourage investment on wetland restoration and wise use and to promote wetlands as natural solutions/ natural infrastructure;
  • Provide guidance on carbon sequestration accounting methodologies, which would contribute, among other things, to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) reporting under UNFCCC;
  • Provide advice related to Resolution XII.2’s request to submit a thematic assessment request to IPBES;
  • Advise on the focus of future editions of the Global Wetland Outlook, taking into account the work of International Organization Partners and other organizations