Fifth Pan-American Regional Meeting of the Convention on Wetlands

Fifth Pan-American Regional Meeting of the Convention on Wetlands

20 December 2011

The fifth Pan-American meeting of the Convention on Wetlands was hosted by the Ministry of Housing, Environment and Water and the National Environment and Planning Agency-NEPA in Kingston, Jamaica, from 6-10 December 2011.

The meeting focused on the key issues for the region to be addressed by the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to be held in Bucharest, Romania, from 6-13 July 2012. The meeting was an important opportunity to assess the progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2009-2015 of the Convention in the Americas but also to address the main challenges to the next triennium.

Panel on tourism, wetlands and recreation

During the meeting, issues such as the management of Ramsar Sites, wetlands and climate change, wetlands and the business sector, regional initiatives and wetlands, tourism and recreation were addressed. Many experts from the region as well as from the Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel took part in the discussions. 

In discussing the results, participants provided inputs for the Contracting Parties’ discussions on draft resolutions to be considered at COP11 as well as on how to address challenges and set priorities. In addition to the discussions, an exhibition showed some wise use projects that could be implemented thanks to Wetlands for the Future Fund as well as experiences of the business sector and interpretative centres.

Another significant outcome of the meeting was the Kingston Declaration that draws attention to the importance of wetlands in the western hemisphere and the relevance of the Convention’s regional initiatives as a tangible tool for the implementation of the Convention. About 100 people among country delegates and observers participated in the meeting. A full report will be available in the upcoming weeks. 

A report by Maria Rivera, Ramsar Senior Advisor for the Americas