National Wetlands Update September 2012
Issue No. 21, September 2012
Report on the Ramsar Convention 11th Conference of the Contracting Parties
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Ramsar COP11 was held in Bucharest, Romania.
The eleventh Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) occurred in Bucharest, Romania from 6-13 July 2012. The theme of COP11 was "Wetlands: Home and Destination".
The Romanian hosts of the Conference took the opportunity to share aspects of their country's culture and environment. Mr Gheorghe Zamfir, the world's best-known pan flute player performed at the opening of the Conference. Information on Romania's many wetlands and Ramsar sites was provided throughout the Conference; with attendees to the Conference having the opportunity to visit nearby sites on organised field trips. The meeting was held in the world's second largest building, the Palace of Parliament.
The issue of whether the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is best placed to host the Ramsar Convention Secretariat dominated discussion in plenary sessions. The final resolution, XI.1, decided that the Ramsar Secretariat should continue to be hosted by IUCN. COP11 also agreed a substantial revision to the Ramsar Information Sheet template. The revision comes into effect in 2015 and will, in the longer-term, facilitate the online completion of the form.
The Ramsar Convention eleventh Conference of the Contracting Parties .
COP11 also considered several resolutions of a technical nature. Developed by the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), these resolutions provide guidance on issues including wetlands and energy, principles for planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands, and climate change and wetlands. COP11 also agreed to undertake a review of scientific and technical advice and guidance to the Convention. Australia anticipates being involved in the review and understands all users of STRP guidance will have an opportunity to provide input.
During COP11, Australia worked closely with other parties from the Oceania region. Papua New Guinea was the only Oceania region contracting party unable to attend COP11. Australia looks forward to continuing work with Oceania parties to the Convention to progress its implementation over the coming triennium.
To celebrate the COP11 theme, "Wetlands: Home and Destination", the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and United Nations World Tourism Organisation launched a joint publication Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism . The iconic Kakadu National Park is included as one of fourteen case studies in the publication. Facilitating appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of Kakadu's unique values are important elements of the management this Ramsar listed World Heritage Area.
The next meeting of Contracting Parties will be held in Uruguay in 2015.
For further information visit COP11 Bulletin .