The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's Synthesis Report for the Ramsar Convention is now available for comment
As part of its extensive work, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is preparing a report which synthesizes its key findings on issues of particular concern and interest to the Ramsar Convention, in response to a set of key questions prepared by the Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) early in the MA process. There are six MA synthesis reports in all, which focus on the needs of specific user audiences, namely, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, business and industry, the health sector, and a general audience. Each synthesis report is relatively short and is based entirely upon material found in the underlying technical assessment reports of the MA working groups (23 ecosystem and service-based chapters on Conditions and Trends; Scenarios, Response Options, and Sub-global Assessments; and the MA's first publication on Ecosystems and Human Well-being).
The Ramsar synthesis report, to be entitled "Wetlands and Water: Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being", has been drafted by a synthesis team co-led by STRP Chair Max Finlayson and Rebecca D'Cruz, former Coordinator for Asia in the Ramsar Secretariat, and including a number of other STRP members and observers.
A consultation draft of the MA Ramsar Synthesis Report has just been sent out by the MA Secretariat to all STRP members and observers for review and comment, as well as to all STRP National Focal Points and all Ramsar Contracting Party Administrative Authorities. The STRP members, focal points, and observers, and Ramsar AAs are being urged to read and provide comments on this important report.
In mid-January 2005 the Ramsar Synthesis Team will meet in the Netherlands to finalize the draft report in the light of the review comments, and the final draft will then be re-circulated to the STRP shortly before STRP12 (1-4 February 2005). At STRP12 the Panel will be invited to endorse the report, which will then be prepared for publication later in 2005. It is anticipated that the synthesis report will be formally launched at Ramsar COP9 in Kampala, Uganda, November 2005.
Members of the public are also invited to comment upon any of the Millennium Assessment's synthesis reports, and the "Wetlands Synthesis" (PDF 3.8mb) and guidelines for comment, as well as the other synthesis reports presently ready, are available on the MA Web site, http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/products.chapters.aspx.
General and up-to-date information about the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment can be found at http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx.
Max Finlayson and Rebecca D'Cruz at work on the Ramsar Synthesis Report, September 2004