The Oceania Regional Meeting in preparation of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP12) was convened in Nadi, Fiji from 18 to 20 August 2014.
Contracting Parties represented included Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Samoa. The Ramsar Convention’s International Organization Partners were represented by BirdLife Pacific and WWF Pacific. Observers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Nature Fiji, Rivers Fiji, the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas and community representatives from two of Fiji’s nominated Ramsar Sites also participated in the meeting.
The meeting provided an opportunity for Oceania Ramsar Contracting Parties and partners to share experiences, challenges and case studies on their implementation of the Convention and wetland initiatives since COP11 in 2012. They also discussed regional issues and priorities ahead of COP12.
Participants identified opportunities for increasing synergy and cooperation between the biodiversity-related MEAs in the region, including the Ramsar Convention; they discussed input into the draft Ramsar Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 and updates to the Regional Wetlands Action Plan for Pacific Islands.
They agreed on plans for the next edition of the ‘Pacific voyage’ campaign, aimed at increasing the Oceania presence at COP12 through a variety of awareness raising initiatives, including a side event and an information booth.
The meeting was co-organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, and hosted by the Government of Fiji. The Government of Australia and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat provided voluntary funding assistance.
Report by Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania