The first preparatory meetings for COP12 started today in glorious Punta del Este, Uruguay. Over one hundred delegates participated in the 49th Meeting of the Standing Committee (SC49) to finalize details one day before the official opening of the conference.
The Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention oversees Convention affairs and the activities of the Secretariat. As a smaller grouping, its role is to represent the Conference of the Contracting Parties (the COP) between its three-yearly meetings. The Standing Committee normally meets once a year, traditionally at the offices of the Secretariat in Switzerland. It also meets just before each meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, and regularly through the COP.
Ramsar Secretary General Christopher Briggs opened his address to the Committee with these words: “Wetlands are the source of sustainable development, they are the key to delivering sustainable goals”. Deputy Secretary General Dr Ania Grobicki added, “The effective management of wetlands is central to managing global demand for water.”
The theme for COP12 “Wetlands for Our Future,” seeks to highlight the great value of wetlands for humanity and calls for urgent action from countries to preserve and restore wetlands. Delegates meeting in Punta del Este from 1 to 9 June 2015 will decide on priority actions that will prevent, stop and reverse the drivers of wetland loss and degradation.
Find the Standing Committee meeting agenda here.
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