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Ramsar’s STRP Makes Progress on Guidance for COP 11

19 February 2011: The Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) met for its 16th session from 14-18 February 2011, in Gland, Switzerland. The session was followed by a workshop on 19 February to develop a draft resolution for the 11th session of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP 11) and supporting materials on wetlands and tourism.

The session brought together over 50 Panel members, observer organization representatives, STRP National Focal Points and invited experts. Participants worked on: drafting and finalizing scientific and technical draft resolutions and guidance to be transmitted to the Ramsar Standing Committee and COP 11 in June 2012; reviewing progress and products under each of the Panel's 10 Thematic Work Areas; and identifying emerging issues and recommendations for future scientific and technical priorities for the Panel for the 2013-2015 triennium.

Key issues and guidance for COP 11 draft resolutions from the Panel's current priority tasks will include: the status of the world's wetlands and their services to people; consolidation and update of the Strategic Framework for Ramsar Designation and the Ramsar Information Sheet; wetlands and energy issues; wetlands and poverty eradication: a Ramsar framework and indicators; a framework for avoiding, mitigating and compensating for Wetland Losses; developing enhanced tools to support implementation of the Strategic Plan; overarching principles for urban planning and wetlands; a guide and toolkit for managing wetlands and wildlife diseases; wetlands, human health and disease; and wetlands and water resource storage. The Panel also worked on finalizing a number of more detailed Ramsar Technical Reports and supporting information papers.

During the session, the Panel held a working day at the Champ-Pittet centre, on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, hosted by ProNatura, and visited the Rive sud du lac de Neuchâtel Ramsar Site – the largest area of lacustrine marshes in Switzerland.

On 19 February, a follow-up workshop began work on developing a COP 11 draft resolution, as well as supporting materials on wetlands and tourism. Wetlands and Tourism will be the theme of 2012 World Wetlands Day and COP 11. The report of STRP 16 will be available shortly on the Ramsar website. [IISD RS Sources] [Ramsar Press Release]