How can Ramsar and civil society help each other?

As a grouping of wetland NGOs, we all want to implement the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Earlier this year we asked you, the WWN members, how we can make that happen better. You showed us good examples to follow, and gaps that need attention.

From your input we have prepared recommendations, for the Ramsar Focal Points, the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and the Ramsar Secretariat. As NGOs and civil society, we can help these recommendations become real, provided governments engage.

  1. Government Focal Points should hold a forum twice a year to engage with wetland civil society. This should equal at least eight hours per year, and the format should ensure at least 50% of the duration is dedicated to free two-way exchange.
  2. The Convention should request Contracting Parties to increase their communication with in-country civil society. A Draft Resolution at COP15 should add a responsibility on Contracting Parties to this end.
  3. The Secretariat, Standing Committee, and Scientific and Technical Review Panel should set goals of increased awareness of their mechanisms among NGOs and civil society.
  4. Well in advance of preparing the National Reports, Contracting Parties should engage NGOs on the ground as well as their in-house experts to ascertain key data.
  5. Ramsar brand and name recognition should be used more widely to help acknowledge designated sites and the NGOs who work in them.

Our short report provides context and a case study in success. Read the report here.