At the 48th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, at the IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, a Ramsar draft resolution has been approved by the Standing Committee, to take to the Ramsar COP 12, which will be held in Uruguay in June 2015.
The Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation (SC-48-29) will encourage a positive relationship between the city and its wetlands by rewarding awareness-raising, education activities, and a participatory approach, as well as the consideration of wetlands in planning and decision-making processes.
This is exciting news for cities that contain Ramsar sites, or other wetlands, within or on their boundaries, as it offers the opportunity for recognition by Parties and the international wetland community. The Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation will be awarded by Ramsar, and supported by an Independent Advisory Committee – which will oversee the nominations for the award. The Independent Advisory Committee will include ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, relevant international UN organisations, representative Parties of the Ramsar Standing Committee from the 5 regions, as well as the Ramsar Secretariat and Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP).
The Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation is designed to support the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2021 and the identified goals within this plan, encouraging CEPA (communication, education, participation and awareness), wise use of wetlands, and good management practices at the local level. The activities at the city level with Ramsar Wetland sites and other wetlands, will therefore support the Parties to reach their national Ramsar objectives, and strengthen partnerships across government levels. Proposed by Tunisia and the Republic of Korea, WWF International and ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center have supported and advised this Draft Resolution on Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation – here’s hoping that it will be accepted at the Ramsar COP 12!