Preparatory meeting for the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was held in Sri Lanka
The Asia preparatory meeting for the 13th Conference of the Parties took place from 26 February to 2 March in Sri Lanka. The meeting was attended by 28 Asian Contracting Parties, including Central Asian countries. The Conference of the Parties is to be held in October 2018 in Dubai.
The representative of the Department of Wildlife Conservation of the host country made opening remarks highlighting that today recognition of the importance of wetlands is increasing because of their role for flood prevention, recreation and biodiversity in Sri Lanka. Lew Young, Ramsar Senior Advisor for Asia and Oceania, stressed the need to mainstream wetland conservation and wise use into national policies, such as for sustainable development, climate change, disaster risk reduction and biodiversity conservation.
The following draft resolutions were reviewed at the meeting:
· Urbanization, climate change and sustainable wetlands [Download]
· Promoting conservation, restoration and sustainable management of coastal blue carbon ecosystems [Download]
· The rapid assessment of wetland ecosystem services [Download]
· Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (R-METT) [Download]
· Conservation and Management of Small and Micro Wetlands [Download]
· Restoration of degraded peatlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change and enhance biodiversity” [Download]
· Cultural values, local communities and climate change mitigation and adaptation in wetlands [Download]
· Agriculture in wetlands [Download]
Scope and modalities for the review of the 4th Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2024, work of Ramsar regional Initiatives in 2019-2021 and enhancing the effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention were among the discussed issues as well.Also, some part of the event was dedicated to Central Asia. The meeting was attended by the national focal point in Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Akulov, the member of the working group on implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Turkmenistan Eldar Rustamov, the nominated participant from the State Committee for environmental protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan Alisher Yunusov and Ramsar Regional Initiative for Central Asia technical secretary Zhanel Karina.
The main objective of the RRI-CA is to strengthen cooperation and interaction between the parties to the Initiative to effectively implement the Ramsar Convention at the national and regional levels. At the moment the participants of this Initiative are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
The Technical Secretary of the RRI-CA provides direct support to the Coordinating Committee in fulfilling its obligations to ensure the effective functioning of the initiative, it is based in the head office of Reginal Environmental office for Central Asia.
At the event, Zhanel Karina presented the preliminary results of the project "Update on the status of wetlands in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan by collection and dissemination of good practices for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands by local communities".
At the internal working meeting, the participants from the Central Asian countries discussed the existing problems in implementing the Ramsar Convention and RRI-CA promotion in the region. They also considered the possibility of establishing a partnership on the Central Asian Flyway (flight path used in bird migration) and stressed the need for preparation for the 13th Conference of the Parties.
This year the theme of the 13th Conference of the Parties coincides with the theme of the World Wetland Day - "Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future". The program of the Conference is available on the website of the Ramsar Convention.