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Published on January 9, 2008

Author: Davide

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The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands :  The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Hans Nieuwenhuis, Ministry Agriculture, Nature, Food Quality Directorate for Nature Structure of presentation:  Structure of presentation Wetlands The Ramsar Convention: the Ramsar List; wise use; capacity building Developments in the Ramsar Convention: from “green” to “blue” The European context for NL wetlands policy Assessment of the Convention Why worry about wetlands? (lakes, rivers, swamps, peatlands, coastal zones, karst,…..):  Why worry about wetlands? (lakes, rivers, swamps, peatlands, coastal zones, karst,…..) Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005: Provide wide range of ecosystem services Together wetlands account for approx 45% of the value of the world’s ecosystems The world’s ecosystem under most severe presssure Some ecosystem services provided by wetlands:  Some ecosystem services provided by wetlands Water supply (quantity) For multiple uses: drinking water, irrigation Buffering, retention, groundwater recharge Water purification (quality) Protection from natural hazards Habitat for species Transportation and communications Food resources: fish (capture and aquaculure), feeding grounds Recreation, Cultural services, Energy production Structure of presentation:  Structure of presentation Wetlands The Ramsar Convention: the Ramsar List; wise use; capacity building Developments in the Ramsar Convention: from “green” to “blue” The European context for NL wetlands policy Assessment of the Convention Ramsar Convention on wetlands of international importance:  Ramsar Convention on wetlands of international importance 1971, Ramsar, Iran First multilateral nature agreement Development over time: focus waterfowl >>> water resources management Some key terms in the Ramsar Convention:  Some key terms in the Ramsar Convention The Ramsar List Wise Use (Change in) Ecological character Capacity building and training The Ramsar List:  The Ramsar List Each Ramsar Part designates at least one site (art 2.4) The Ramsar list accounts for the largest network of nature reserves in the world >1500 sites 130 million hectares Criteria for identification and selection 9 criteria, e.g. waterfowl, life stages, international significance New criteria: megafauna, cultural characteristics International Responsibility (art 2.6) and Cooperation (art 6) Change in ecological character (art 3.2) Urgent national interest (art 4.2) Montreux Record: negative list Ramsar Site designation criteria: a wetland is internationally important if it….:  Ramsar Site designation criteria: a wetland is internationally important if it…. Is a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural wetland type supports vulnerable or endangered species or ecological communities supports populations of species important for biological diversity supports species at a critical stage in their life cycles regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of waterbird species supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish species, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks depend it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland-dependent non-avian animal species Wise Use:  Wise Use Complements Ramsar List: applies to ALL wetlands New concept in 1971 Art 3.1 and 3.2 Change in ecological character Implemented in technical guidance from Ramsar Follow-up: sustainable use Wise Use?:  Wise Use? Capacity Building and Training:  Capacity Building and Training Key component for DC involvement and implementation of any MEA (together with technology transfer and funding) NL plays key role; WETCAP (RIZA, IAC, UNESCO-IHE, ITC, Wetlands International) RIZA wetland training; IAC Training of Trainers Ramsar Capacity Building Advisory Board Regional training centers Network of devoted wetland specialists! Key factor in facilitating implementation Ramsar Governance :  Ramsar Governance Conference of the Parties (COP): decision making, meets once every 2/3 years Ramsar Secretariat: executes COP decisions Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP): technical and scientific advice Standing Committee (SC): regional representation; Secretariat is accountable to SC in intersessional periods (meets twice a year) Regional Meetings Structure of presentation:  Structure of presentation Wetlands The Ramsar Convention: the Ramsar List; wise use; capacity building Developments in the Ramsar Convention: from “green” to “blue” The European context for NL wetlands policy Assessment of the Convention Developments in Ramsar: “wetlands for birds” >“water for people”,:  Developments in Ramsar: “wetlands for birds” >“water for people”, Developments in Ramsar: wetlands > water resource m’ment :  Developments in Ramsar: wetlands > water resource m’ment Ecosystem services for human use (~MEA) (Economic) valuation Wetlands integrated into the “wider” water agenda: Poverty alleviation Agricultural Production Fisheries resources Sanitation Drinking Water Natural disaster preparedness Flooding, Tidal surges Developments in Ramsar: Some recent decisions:  Developments in Ramsar: Some recent decisions COP 9: Kampala, Uganda “Wetlands and water: supporting life, sustaining livelihoods” Key decisions on Wider scope of designation criteria Wetlands and inland fisheries Wetlands and disaster management Wise use of wetlands for poverty alleviation Initiation of work for balanced interaction wetlands-agricultural production Regional initiatives for enhancing implementation Structure of presentation:  Structure of presentation Wetlands The Ramsar Convention: the Ramsar List; wise use; capacity building Developments in the Ramsar Convention: from “green” to “blue” The European context for NL wetlands policy Assessment of the Convention European Context for wetland policy: Natura 2000 and WFD:  European Context for wetland policy: Natura 2000 and WFD EU has adopted very strict legislation to protect European wetlands: 1979 Birds Directive 1992 Habitat Directive 2000 Water Framework Directive Ramsar inspired these directives - ahead of the game; Ramsar has now been “overtaken” in terms of binding and enforceable legislation by BHD BHD consititute Natura 2000 network Same development as Ramsar: from “birds” to IWRM, as contained in Water Framework Directive European Context for wetland policy: Ramsar no longer needed?:  European Context for wetland policy: Ramsar no longer needed? A quick comparison of Ramsar and EU legislation could lead to the conclusion that Ramsar is not really needed Ramsar is binding, but not enforceable BHR are binding AND enforceable (European Court of Justice) European Context for wetland policy: Ramsar IS needed!!!!:  European Context for wetland policy: Ramsar IS needed!!!! Migratory waterbirds Not just “nature” issue: Avian Influenza Relevant flyways for NL West Africa Arctic Efficiency of national policy Purperreiger: Nieuwkoopse plassen and Sahel :  Purperreiger: Nieuwkoopse plassen and Sahel Structure of presentation:  Structure of presentation Wetlands The Ramsar Convention: the Ramsar List; wise use; capacity building Developments in the Ramsar Convention: from “green” to “blue” The European context for NL wetlands policy Assessment of the Convention Assessment of the Convention :  Assessment of the Convention Enforcement vs Facilitation Implementation of soft law Capacity Building Initiator for regional policies, e.g. in European region Effectiveness of national policies Growth model vs Framework Convention Initiator for MEAs and sustainable use Thank you!!:  Thank you!!

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