The Ramsar Convention’s scientific advisory body STRP met for its 16th session from 14-18 February in the Ramsar/IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. Over 50 Panel members, observer organization representatives, STRP National Focal Points and invited experts worked intensively on three broad issues: a) further drafting and finalizing scientific and technical draft Resolutions and guidance to be transmitted to Standing Committee and Ramsar COP11 in June 2012; b) review of progress and products under each of the Panel’s 10 Thematic Work Areas; and c) identification of emerging issues and recommendations for future scientific and technical priorities for the panel for the 2013-2015 triennium.
Key issues and guidances for COP11 draft Resolutions from the Panel’s current priority tasks will include: the status of the world’s wetlands and their services to people; consolidation and updating of the Strategic Framework for Ramsar Designation and the Ramsar Information Sheet; wetlands and energy issues; wetlands and poverty eradication: a Ramsar framework and indicators; a framework for avoiding, mitigating, and compensating for Wetland Losses; developing enhanced tools to support implementation of the Strategic Plan; overarching principles for urban planning and wetlands; a guide and toolkit for managing wetlands and wildlife diseases; wetlands, human health and disease; and wetlands and water resource storage.
The Panel is also working to finalise a number of more detailed Ramsar Technical Reports and supporting information papers. A follow-up workshop on 19 February began work on developing a COP11 draft Resolution and supporting materials on wetlands and tourism, which will be the 2012 World Wetlands Day and COP11 theme.
On Thursday 17 February the Panel had highly successful working day out at the Champ-Pittet centre on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, splendidly hosted by our colleagues from ProNatura, and visited the Rive sud du lac de Neuchâtel Ramsar Site – the largest area of lacustrine marshes in Switzerland.
A follow-up workshop on 19 February began work on developing a COP11 draft Resolution and supporting materials on wetlands and tourism, which will be the 2012 World Wetlands Day and COP11 theme. The report of STRP16 is currently being finalized and will be made available shortly.