IWMI & Ramsar

The Convention:

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and now has nearly 160 contracting parties worldwide. Presently, the Convention has designated 1918 sites as Wetlands of International Importance.

The Ramsar Convention’s relationships with its five International Organization Partners (IOPs) were strengthened through the signing of a new Memorandum of Cooperation on May 19 for 2011-2017 during a session of the Standing Committee meeting. The representatives of the five IOPs : Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International; Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International; Deborah Bossio, team leader at IWMI; Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN; and Marco Lambertini of BirdLife International gathered to sign the new MoC in front of the Regional Representatives on the Standing Committee.

The aim of the new memorandum is to maximize the synergies between partners and the secretariat, to be even more effective in wetland conservation.

“It’s not practical to have a detailed management plan for every wetland, but you can educate people so they value wetlands and manage them in a way that balances the needs of the environment and agriculture,”

-Matthew McCartney. Hydrologist, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), East Africa and Nile Basin office.

IWMI’s role in Ramsar:

IWMI has been one of five International Organization Partners (IOPs) of the Convention since 2005, with representation on its Science and Technical Review Panel. This role allows IWMI to highlight issues of importance and increase the Convention’s focus on the links between wetlands, livelihoods, poverty and agriculture. At the 2008 Convention of Parties, IWMI scientists contributed directly to a number of resolutions including those relating to the links between wetlands and human health, biofuels, poverty reduction, biogeographic regionalization and biodiversity in rice paddies. These resolutions have the potential to influence policies and strategies implemented in the 160 signatory countries.

Finding ways to effectively manage wetlands to support essential ecosystem services and local livelihoods is an important goal for the future.
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