IUCN welcomes outcomes of Ramsar CoP11
15 July 2012 | News story
Following the closing of the recent Ramsar CoP, held in Bucharest from 6-13 July, IUCN welcomes the conference outcomes and is confident decisions made will further strengthen the Convention’s mission to conserve wetlands and promote wise use.
Over 2000 participants representing the 162 parties to the Ramsar Convention, as well as the International Organization Partners (IOPs), UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs attended the 11th Conference of the Parties (CoP11) in Bucharest.
A total of 22 resolutions were adopted during the week-long conference. These included resolutions on the institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat, the status of Ramsar sites, climate change and wetlands, as well as partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements.
During the conference, the Ramsar Secretary-General Anada Tiega, reported a 7% increase in national policies on wetlands since the previous CoP in 2010. However, he stressed this increase did not reflect policies including climate change considerations, which should be more widely adopted. “Wetlands fulfil vital roles in carbon storage and protection from natural hazards such as floods, storms, and extreme weather events. Safeguarding healthy wetland ecosystems is therefore a key component in the portfolio of climate change adaptation strategies”, said Mark Smith, Director IUCN Global Water Programme.
Over 2040 wetland sites are currently included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Another 217 wetlands, covering over 14.6 million hectares, have been designated and added to the Ramsar list since the previous CoP in 2010.
One of the main debates during CoP11 centred around the institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat. “We welcome the CoP decision for IUCN to remain the host of the Ramsar Secretariat and we are grateful for the hard work of the Ramsar Parties in building consensus on this decision. We acknowledge the renewal of confidence in IUCN, and look forward to continued strengthening of this partnership and further collaboration for the protection of wetlands”, said Mark Smith.
During the Opening Ceremony, IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre, had reminded participants that strong global alliances in combination with local collaboration in the field, are key ingredients for concrete results for wetland conservation and wise use implementation. These partnerships have been at the core of the Ramsar-IUCN 40 years of successful achievements in wetland conservation.