Wetlands International presses for action on the drivers of wetland destruction at the Ramsar Conference of Parties on Environmental Expert

11th meeting of the Ramsar Convention (COP11) 6-13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania -- Wetlands International will press for adoption of resolutions at the Ramsar Conference of Parties that call upon countries to take action on some of the most pressing challenges facing wetlands, such as energy production and pesticide use in rice fields. As an International Organisation Partner (IOP) we will also urge for a climate change resolution that commits Contracting Parties to take up the newly available incentives to invest in the protection, restoration and sustainable use of their peatlands, as part of their strategies to address climate change.
Wetlands on the frontline of development pressures
If Ramsar Contracting Parties fail to take sufficient action, the pressures created by energy development, climate change and expanding agricultural production will continue to accelerate the loss and degradation of wetlands, with increasingly serious impacts on biodiversity and human well-being.
“The Ramsar Convention was created to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands as a contribution to sustainable development. It needs now to increase its relevance to the issues of the day in which wetlands are in the frontline”, says Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International.
Key resolutions
Therefore, we urge governments to strengthen and adopt key resolutions addressing these issues in Bucharest:
  • Draft Resolution 10 (energy) preventing increased greenhouse gas emissions from energy production - in particular biofuels - in wetlands.
  • Draft Resolution 14 (climate change) stimulating uptake of the new incentives created under the Kyoto Protocol and opportunities under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA), to restore and better manage peatlands.
  • Draft Resolution 15 (agriculture & pesticides) to reduce the overuse of pesticides in rice paddy ecosystems.
  • Draft Resolution 20 (responsible investment in land) to ensure wetlands and their underlying freshwater are protected from the growing impacts of foreign-based land investment.
Delivering a global update of numbers and trends of waterbird populations
During the COP, we will also launch the Fifth Edition of the Waterbird Population Estimates, in the form of a summary report and online resource, which sets the global standard in presenting estimates of the numbers and trends of waterbird populations throughout the world.
This fifth edition provides a comprehensive update on information last provided in 2006 and summarises waterbird population data on over 800 waterbird species. It provides the authoritative source for the 1% threshold used to identify Ramsar’s Wetlands of International Importance.
Wetlands International and the Ramsar Convention
was instrumental in establishing the convention in 1971 and has played a key guiding and implementing role as an International Organisation Partner for the past 40 years. Together with partners and contracting parties (national governments), we provide crucial information on wetlands and waterbirds.
We remain on the cutting edge of management approaches and research and provide information on Ramsar sites through our Ramsar Site Information Service. We have also been instrumental in amplifying the health, livelihoods and poverty, as well as climate dimensions involved in wetland conservation within the convention.

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