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New Ramsar Secretary General Outlines Vision for the Future of Wetlands

briggs24 January 2014: The Ramsar Convention's new Secretary General, Christopher Briggs, outlined his vision for the future of wetlands during a webinar that brought together 24 participants from nine countries, including Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) National Focal Points, STRP members, representatives of observer organizations and wetland experts.

During the webinar, the Secretary General underlined the vital role that wetlands play in the water cycle, as well as their role as natural water infrastructure. He reminded listeners that despite the many ecosystem services they provide, wetlands continue to be degraded and destroyed. Explaining the broad definition of wetlands under the Ramsar Convention, Briggs noted that wetlands, due to the cultural, provisioning and regulatory services they provide, have or will have an impact at some stage of most people's lives.

He noted that at the heart of his vision for the Ramsar Secretariat is the wise use of wetlands supported by the following areas: communications and marketing; capacity building; measuring and valuing water; and partnerships.

The webinar was the third in a series of these virtual conferences prepared by the STRP with the assistance of the Ramsar Secretariat. They are delivered to raise awareness of the different activities being carried by the Ramsar Administrative Authorities, STRP National Focal Points, the STRP and other stakeholders to implement the Convention in the different Ramsar regions. The webinars also seek to help STRP National Focal Points and Ramsar National Focal Points interact. Technical support for the webinars is provided by the Information Technology team of Stetson University College of Law, with which the Secretariat has a memorandum of cooperation (MOC).

A recording of the webinar is available on the STRP web portal. The Ramsar Secretariat invites all stakeholders to submit, through the STRP web portal, ideas on wetland-related topics for future webinars. [IISD RS Sources] [Ramsar Website]