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Delegates adopted 21 resolutions, including several intended to increase the scope and diversity of engagement in the work of the Wetlands Convention. These included promoting the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in wetland management, connecting with youth, and expanding synergies and cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements.
COP13 adopted 25 resolutions, including on a language strategy with a step-by-step plan to add Arabic as the fourth Convention language, gender, peatlands, blue carbon ecosystems, sustainable urbanization, agriculture, intertidal wetlands, wetlands in West Asia, and Arctic and sub-Arctic wetlands. The release of the Global Wetland Outlook provided a touchstone for discussions on challenges ahead to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
COP12 adopted 16 resolutions by consensus, including the Strategic Plan 2016-2024, a new framework for the delivery of scientific and technical advice and guidance on the Convention, peatlands, disaster risk reduction, and a wetland city accreditation of the Ramsar Convention. In the face of dramatic loss and degradation of wetlands, and notwithstanding organizational difficulties, the meeting was considered successful in charting the way for the Convention to link up to other international processes, as well as guide work on the ground.
COP 11 adopted 22 resolutions, including on: institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat; the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; regional initiatives; partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other institutions; tourism, recreation and wetlands; climate change and wetlands; and more
Most participants expressed satisfaction with the COP 10 outcomes. While many delegates welcomed the fact that the decisions on wetlands and climate change and on wetlands and biofuels remained focused on aspects relevant to wetland conservation and wise use rather than broadening the issues beyond the Convention’s scope, some felt that COP 10 had missed an opportunity to make the Convention more visible at the global level.
COP9, the first Ramsar COP held in Africa, adopted 25 resolutions on a wide range of policy, programme and budgetary matters, including: additional scientific and technical guidance for the implementation of the Ramsar wise use concept; engagement of the Convention in ongoing multilateral processes dealing with water; the Convention’s role in natural disaster prevention, mitigation and adaptation; and more.
Delegates considered and adopted more than 40 resolutions addressing a broad range of policy, technical, programme and budgetary matters, including wetlands and agriculture, climate change, cultural issues, mangroves, water allocation and management, and the Report of the World Commission on Dams.
While some thought that the overriding COP7 theme of “People and Wetlands: The Vital Link” was somewhat lost in a plethora of resolutions and political tugs-of-war, COP7 did make good progress in adopting a variety of tools to enable better implementation of the Convention.