The Ramsar regional pre-COP meeting for Europe was hosted and organised by the Czech Republic in Olomouc, from 19 to 23 March 2018, with the assistance of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention.
This regional “PreCOP” meeting provided the 48 European Contracting Parties with an opportunity to prepare themselves for the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 21-29 October 2018. The European meeting focuses on the goals and targets of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2024 and how their implementation contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participants were expected to consider the major issues regarding the work of the Convention, and to consider draft resolutions (DRs) which will subsequently be reviewed at the 54th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC54) in April 2018, for eventual submission to COP13.
The provisional agenda for the SC54 can be found here.
The Agendas and lists of participants of the 9th European Ramsar Meeting are below:
Focus on Draft Resolutions (DR) for the COP 13
The participants have looked at and discussed substantial aspects of the draft texts for Resolutions to be submitted by Standing Committee for final negotiation and adoption during the COP 13. The Programme and Agenda also provides a link to download the DR texts from the Ramsar website for the preparation to report on a specific DR during Standing Committee 54 (23-27 April 2018) or for preparation for COP13 (21-29 October 2018).
The DRs were discussed in interactive sessions, and the conclusions from the group discussions were summarised by the rapporteur. The Standing Committee members, and any other European Parties participating in SC54, will decide during that meeting how to report back on progress with the DRs to all European Parties, notably to those who will not attend the SC54. This will allow an optimal preparation of each European Party for the COP13.
The European wetlands projects and policies
The European meeting aimed to identify areas of successful cooperation between different sectors of society, administration and private business. The Ramsar Convention National Focal Points (NFPs) from the Ministries, experts on scientific, technical and site management issues, and those in charge of communication, education, awareness and capacity building from the Ramsar International Organisation Partners (IOPs) and other organisations have considered and discussed together the progress made with the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, and how to support the efforts of the Ramsar Parties, partners and other stakeholders in preventing, stopping, and reversing the global decline of wetlands.
A congenial Euro Mediterranean atmosphere
Several euro Mediterranean partners presented their projects during the meeting, ensuring a collaborative Euro Mediterranean overview of projects. An important delegation from the MedIsWet project presented the implementation of Ramsar Resolution XII.14 and the small islands DR.
See their presentation here.
PANACeA, the science policy platform for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean, together with MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, and the MAVA coastal wetlands projects, speaking for the Mediterranean community, presented a poster during an interactive session “How does the Mediterranean community contribute to the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-24”.
The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, with MedWet, presented the first results of its second monitoring report: “the Mediterranean Wetland Outlook 2”, with indicators of wetland status and trends, provides science-based evidence for decision makers to enhance wetland conservation. This report together with the Global Wetland Outlook will be officially presented at Ramsar COP 13 in October 2018 in Dubai.
The Horizon-2020 EU project “the Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service” (SWOS) provides services and freely available tools for wetland monitoring, management guidance, and for national reporting on the extent of wetlands according to the indicator 6.6.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, a big thanks to the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the Ramsar Secretariat for the perfect organization of these days which allowed enriching and constructive exchanges between the different participants.
Assistant – Advisor for Europe