Parties continued making strong headway during plenary on Wednesday and by the end of the day had managed to complete their first round of discussions on all but two of the draft resolutions. Only one new contact group was established – on the proposed international mangrove center – with outstanding issues on the other draft resolutions to be resolved by informal consultations or working directly with the Secretariat.
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In the morning, parties engaged in lengthy discussions on whether the preferred actions for protection, management, and restoration for wetlands should be taken as “nature-based solutions” or “ecosystem-based approaches.” In the afternoon session, the topic taking up most time was the proposed establishment of an international mangrove center. While all could agree on the importance of conserving and restoring mangrove forests, some parties had reservations, including on lack of clarity on the legal mandate, governance, and funding of the proposed center.
Draft resolutions reviewed included:
- waterbird population estimates to support new and existing Ramsar Site designations;
- protection, management and restoration of wetlands as nature-based solutions (NbS) to address the climate crisis;
- updating the Wetland City Accreditation;
- establishment of an international mangrove center;
- status of Sites in the List of Wetlands of International Importance; and
- integrating wetland conservation and restoration into national sustainable development strategy.
Considerable work remains for COP14, with consensus yet to be reached on most draft resolutions. Delegates will reconvene on Thursday morning to begin discussions on the proposed resolution on damage to Ramsar wetlands in Ukraine stemming from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the non-controversial thanks to the host country, China.