In October 2018 the conservation world looked to the tri-ennial meeting of Ramsar, the Wetlands Convention, which happened in Dubai. We went there with a momentum that started strong and got even stronger!
Our main activities were:
- NGO Pre-COP Meeting
- NGO Opening Statement
- Youth Forum and visioning workshop
- Youth closing statement
- WWN Exhibition Stand and display
We started by facilitating NGOs coming together before the COP, to find out how we could amplify each voice. Through this we produced an opening statement, and negotiated its presentation to the whole convention.
We also championed Youth Engaged in Wetlands, a group which made a great impact on the COP. Their Forum led on a slot in the closing session of COP13, and the sugestion quickly grew that the next COP, in three years time, should be themed on youth and wetlands.
We held other side events, including on the health of the world’s wetlands, and the direction it is taken, which we uncovered through our citizen-science surveys. Our members and partners in northeast Asia led a side event on natural flow of water and whether the relevant Resolutions and Guidelines are being well implemented. Also in that region, our official support for the city of Busan’s efforts to have its local wetlands recgnised as a Ramsar site.
We also provided a platform for Tunisian NGO Réseau Enfants de la Terre (RET) to advocate for protection of Sebkhet Sejoumi wetland.
We had an exhibition stand for the first time, where we hosted daily meetings for NGO delegates. The stand provided a networking space for members and guests, and was a hive of activity throughout the COP.
We have produced an eight page report looking at what we did and the overall key messages from Ramsar COP13.