Highlights and images for 24 October 2018


COP13 participants trying out the virtual protected areas tour provided by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

On Wednesday, COP13 met in plenary throughout the day.

In the morning, delegates began working through the 26 draft resolutions and recommendations with discussions on:

  • inviting the UN General Assembly to designate 2 February as World Wetlands Day;
  • suggested changes to the Convention’s governance, as outlined in three proposed resolutions; and
  • the language strategy for the Convention, including adding Arabic as the fourth official Convention language.

In the afternoon, delegates considered draft resolutions on:

  • the importance of wetlands for peace and security;
  • the review of the fourth Strategic Plan;
  • enhancing implementation, visibility and synergies with other MEAs and international institutions;
  • wetlands in polar and subpolar regions;
  • Ramsar Regional Initiatives 2019-2021 and their operational framework; and
  • sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

 Contact groups met in the afternoon and evening on: credentials; finance and budgetary matters; governance issues; language strategy; wetlands for peace and security; and wetlands in polar and subpolar regions. A contact group on regional initiatives was also established. Key takeaways included:

  • agreement that changes to Ramsar’s governance are needed, but divergent views about the best approach will likely require extended discussions throughout the week; and
  • with six working groups established, it is evident that the parties are fully engaged in key substantive issues, but time and space limitations may pose scheduling challenges and create burdens for small delegations.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided a curtain raiser, daily web coverage, and a summary and analysis report from COP13.


Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

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COP13 Alternate President Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, Director General, Fujairah Municipality, UAE
Martha Rojas Urrego, Ramsar Secretary General
COP13 Alternate President Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, Director General, Fujairah Municipality, UAE
Justin Goungounga, Burkina Faso
Nancy Cespedes, Chile
S. M. Munjurul Hannan Khan, Bangladesh
Heli Suurkuukka, Finland
L-R: Obaid Ali Al Shamsi and Rashed Al Zaabi, United Arab Emirates
L-R: Cynthia Silva Maturana and Gustavo Rey, Bolivia
L-R: Jittinun Ruengverayudh and Wanlop Preechamart, Thailand
Elizabeth Hess, Canada
Abdou Salam Kane, Senegal
María Lorena Ortiz, Ecuador
Abdullah Al-Zaidan, Kuwait
Badar Al-Bulushi, Oman
Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland
Juliet Kabera, Rwanda
María Claudia Vélez Crismatt, Colombia
Carolina Montalván, Honduras
Eduardo Polo, Panama
Lisa Janishevski, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Dena Cator, BirdLife International
Hugh Robertson, New Zealand
Laura Bermudez, Colombia
L-R: Ana Paula Leite Prates and Luciana Melchert, Brazil
L-R: Malta Qwathekana, South Africa, and Lisa Janishevski, CBD


Yan Baohua, Shenzen Mangrove Wetlands Conservation Foundation (MCF), holding a black-billed spoonbill, the organization's mascot
Delegates from Africa visiting the Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia booth
Delegates from South Africa
Delegates from Australia, Colombia, and Uruguay in a conversation