Options for enhancing synergies among biodiversity-related conventions

Note by the MedWet Secretariat

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the oldest of the biodiversity-related conventions. Ramsar is the only treaty that is not administered by the United Nations (either the UN Headquarters or the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Ramsar Secretariat is provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN). This fact has, at times affected the Ramsar ability to establish synergies with the other Conventions. Nevertheless, since the mid 1990s Ramsar have signed Memoranda of Cooperation with the other biodiversity-related Conventions and have been participating in the Environment Liaison Group established by UNEP to bring around the table the Secretariats of all Conventions.

At present Ramsar is about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP, which should also facilitate the synergies with the Conventions administered by the Programme. MedWet, as part of Ramsar should also actively promote the synergies with the other Conventions in its member countries.

publiDownload the publication (PDF)UNEP (2016) Elaboration of options for enhancing synergies among biodiversity related conventions.

© United Nations Environment Programme, 2016

Publication: Elaboration of options for enhancing synergies among biodiversity related conventions.

Published in March 2016

ISBN No: 978-92-807-3525-3

Job No: DEL/1948/NA

Produced by UNEP Division for Environmental Law and Conventions

Executive summary

Over the past decades, countries have negotiated and agreed to be bound by a number of biodiversity-related conventions and other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). These efforts have put in place a comprehensive governance regime addressing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. As, however, the number of obligations under such legal instruments has grown, so have concerns about how to implement them effectively and coherently, and about the possibility that there might be duplication of efforts. As a result, significant efforts have already been made to improve alignment among the biodiversity-related conventions, and to identify and build on opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and coordination, and this work continues.

The options for enhancing synergies between the biodiversity-related conventions (focusing on the global level) set forth in the present paper respond to calls by the governing bodies of conventions, the United Nations and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to explore opportunities for synergies, in order to achieve more coherent and effective implementation of the biodiversity-related conventions.

The present paper is one of several outputs being delivered by the UNEP project on improving the effectiveness of and cooperation among biodiversity related conventions and exploring opportunities for further synergies.

Through seven linked thematic areas, the paper provides 28 options, under which 88 actions have been identified for various actors, including Governments, convention secretariats, UNEP and other relevant United Nations bodies. These options and actions take into account relevant completed, existing and planned initiatives undertaken by a number of actors.

The options are proposed to achieve two main outcomes: first, implementation of the biodiversity-related conventions in an increasingly coherent manner, involving greater collaboration and cooperation among convention parties, convention secretariats and key partners, leading to more efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the aims of those conventions; and, second, increased collaboration and cooperation in the implementation of the biodiversity-related conventions at all levels, facilitated engagement with other sectors, and improved opportunities for mainstreaming biodiversity objectives into other policies and sectors (including through the United Nations development assistance frameworks and in furtherance of the Sustainable Development Goals).

For more information

Collaborative TOOLS: online reporting and information management systems:

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The MEA Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Initiative brings together Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) to develop harmonized and interoperable information systems for the benefit of Parties and the environment community at large. The Initiative is facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. The MEA IKM initiative currently includes 43 international and regional legally binding instruments from 18 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Initiative invites and welcomes the participation of observers involved with MEA data and information, such as the Environmental Management Group (EMG), the European Environment Agency (EEA),The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO),  IUCN, the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

InforMEA is the first project established by this Initiative. InforMEA harvests COP decisions and resolutions, news, events, MEA membership, national focal points, national reports and implementation plans from MEA secretariats and organizes this information around a set of agreed terms.



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