18-26  Nov. 2002
The Eighth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 
Date  | Photos & Audio
Mon 25
Sat 23
Fri 22
Thu 21
Wed 20
Tue 19
Mon 18

Sun 17


Javad Amin Mansour (Iran), Ramsar COP8 Vice-President

Maria del Carmen Martorell Pallás (Spain), Ramsar COP8 President

MONDAY, 25 NOV. 2002
Delegates met in Plenary to begin finalizing and adopting some of the numerous resolutions on the agenda, completing their work on 21 of these. Contact groups were held to help delegates reach agreement on the remaining contentious issues, including agriculture, climate change, culture, future COPs, the Strategic Framework, and the World Commission on Dams (WCD).

On the resolution on a Ramsar Framework for wetland inventory (COP8 DR 6 Rev.1), delegates agreed to a proposal by JAPAN requesting Parties to give priority to wetlands inventory projects for submission to the Small Grants Fund. The COP adopted the resolution, as amended.

In the draft resolution on under-represented wetlands (COP8 DR 11 Rev.1), references were added to sandflats in the section on mangroves and to sustainability of commercial exploitation. Following consultations involving Norway, Australia and the UK, delegates agreed that the resolution should not focus solely on warm water coral reefs.

Regarding the draft resolution on mangroves (COP8 DR 32 Rev.1), the PHILIPPINES supported the resolution and the inclusion of language on sustainable use of mangrove resources. WWF commended inclusion of, inter alia, unsustainable aquaculture as a major threat.


During the Afternoon plenary session, the WWF made a surprise entry and presented "gold" and "dead" duck awards to 5 countries.

According to the WWF, countries receiving gold ducks were chosen on the basis of number of wetland sites protected, size of sites and successful restoration of sites; dead ducks were given to countries who failed to protect wetlands in accordance with public pledges to do so or who have been planning to destroy wetlands for unsustainable development.

Spain and Russia received "dead ducks". Algeria, Bolivia and the United Kingdom received the Gold Duck Awards.


Peter Schei

Parties considered a revised draft resolution (COP8 DR 3 Rev.2), agreeing to replace the annex with an interim executive summary in the background document (COP8 DOC.11).

, supported by AUSTRIA and BURKINA FASO, proposed additional text requesting the STRP to continue assessing new information on climate change and make it available as an information paper. The US expressed its reservations, and agreed to consult informally on the issue.

Delegates worked through the text paragraph-by-paragraph, resolving most of the remaining differences. Closing the meeting, Contact Group Chair Peter Schei (Norway) indicated that the two remaining disputed issues would be taken up in Plenary.

Members of the Climate Change Panel

South Africa



In an afternoon meeting, delegates could not agree on AUSTRALIA’s proposal to delete text on the contribution of traditional activities to wetland conservation and use, or to add a reference to the WTO. They removed a reference to the prior informed consent principle, inserting instead references to the CBD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. MEXICO stressed difficulties with references to
“managing cultural values.”

After reconvening in the evening, delegates agreed to text recognizing that sustainable use of wetland resources has created cultural landscapes of significant value to wetland conservation, deleting language referring to the contributions to conservation by maintaining wetlands and “wise use.” Delegates also agreed to text encouraging Parties to consider using the Guiding principles to take into account “exclusively” the conservation of cultural values of wetlands. The Group agreed to accept the principles, and concluded its work.

Australia (left)

Culture and Wetlands Contact Group Panel


Trinidad & Tobago

Participants: Implementation of the Strategic Framework Group

Chair of the Contact Group

African delegates participating in the Contact Group on the Implementation of the Strategic Framework agreed to withdraw the region’s proposal for extensive changes to the draft resolution (COP8 DR 10 Rev.2). The Group adopted WWF’s proposal to extend appreciation to additional International Partner Organizations, and discussed inclusion of socio-economic and cultural criteria in designation of Ramsar sites.

A participant makes an intervention


Links to further information:

*ENB Summaries of COP-7 http://enb.iisd.org/vol17/

*ENB Linkages site of COP-7 (photos and audio)

*RAMSAR COP 8 Homepage: http://www.ramsar.org/index_cop8.htm


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