The 21st Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP21) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands took place at the Convention’s Secretariat in Gland, Switzerland from 15-19 January 2018. The meeting reviewed the progress made by the STRP since the last Conference of the Parties (COP).
The STRP serves as the “Scientific and Technical Advisory Board” to the Ramsar Convention. It was established in 1993 to provide scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Ramsar Secretariat.
The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory/ Tour du Valat (as a Permanent Observer) and MedWet (invited guest) participated in STRP21 with two presentations of the ‘Mediterranean Wetland Outlook 2’’ by Christian Perennou and the ‘’MedWet Scientific and Technical Network (STN)’’ by Flavio Monti.
The main part of the meeting was devoted to working group sessions, especially to advance further the Global Wetland Outlook: State of the World Wetlands and their Services to People, which is set to become the regular flagship publication of the Ramsar Convention.
Other sessions reviewed a number of technical documents and briefing notes (for decision-makers), e.g. on:
- Earth observation as a “best practice” tool for inventorying, mapping and monitoring wetlands, including Ramsar Sites;
- best practice guidelines for tropical peatland inventories for their designation as Wetlands of International Importance;
- peatland restoration and rewetting methodologie; and
- best practices in wetland restoration, etc.
Finally, a number of Draft Resolutions requiring scientific input were reviewed, e.g. on:
- identifying Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites) for global climate change regulation as an additional argument to existing Ramsar criteria;
- restoration of degraded peatland soils to mitigate and adapt to climate change and enhance biodiversity conservation; and
- future implementation of scientific and technical aspects of the Convention for 2019-2021.
The latter, when approved at COP13 in Dubai, will set the stage for STRP work in 2019-2021.
Dr. Flavio Monti
Manager of the MedWet/STN
Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, Tour du Valat