Kuijken of Belgium
with Ramsar documents
In Plenary, Ramsar Secretary General Nick Davidson read
out amendments to COP8 DR 34 Rev. 1 as agreed by the Contact
Group. He noted that two references to other international
agreements remained bracketed in paragraphs intended to
ensure consistency between agricultural policies and other
international agreement, including trade-related agreements.
The Philippines said wetland management
and conservation should not be subject to trade-related
agreements and proposed deleting paragraphs reflecting this
sentiment, and adding text affirming the resolution is intended
for wetland management and conservation.
Brazil said this issue should be debated in the
WTO, not in this forum, and said some language could be
construed as supporting subsidies and incentives if not
implemented under the WTO rules. He opposed the resolution
and asked that his statement be registered in the report
of the meeting. Delegates adopted the resolution as amended
by the contact group by consensus, with Brazil's reservation
put on record.
to Nick Davidson
Delegates had before them a revised version of the draft
resolution on culture and wetlands (COP8 DR 19 Rev. 3).
Brazil opposed adoption of the resolution, stating
that it went beyond the mandate of the Ramsar Convention.
Malaysia also expressed concern with the resolution.
Other countries, including Suriname, Spain,
the EU, Guatemala, Burkina Faso, Nepal,
India, Algeria, for the African countries, Slovenia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Syria, Iran, the US and others supported
adopting the resolution.
Denmark asked those opposing the resolution whether
they would still block consensus given the overwhelming
display of support for the resolution, or whether they would
be willing to express their reservations in the report of
the meeting. The resolution was adopted by consensus, with
Brazil registering his concern in the report of the meeting.
Canada informed delegates of the death of James Patterson,
noting the significant contribution he made to wetlands
conservation and protection.
CLOSE OF THE MEETING
Ramsar Secretary General Delmar Blasco recognised the longstanding
contribution of Eckhart Kuijken of Belgium
to wetlands conservation by presenting him with a “Wetlands
Person of International Importance” award.
Spain thanked participants for their hard work, and said
he expected that it would be able to implement its Strategic
Plan and ensure its compatibility with the Ramsar Strategic
Secretary General Blasco thanked Spain and Valencia for
hosting this “successful, useful and pleasant experience.”
Observing that Ramsar is now a stronger and more mature
Convention, he said the resolutions adopted at COP8 were
extremely valuable in terms of Ramsar’s future.
Participants thanked Secretary General Blasco with a standing
ovation, and President Martorell presented him with a traditional,
locally-made ceramic ornament. Thanking participants for
their spirit of hard work, dedication and good will, President
Martorell declared COP8 closed at 7:20 pm.
to Delmar Blasco
Koester (Denmark) on Behalf of the European Union
Delegates (left to right): Maria Carolina
Hazin, José Augusto Ferra de Lima, Augusta Rosa
Scanlon and Elroy Bos of IUCN