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LINKING FRESHWATER TO OCEANS Peter Bridgewater Secretary General Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Key phrases in the conference brochures • Integrated management; • ecosystem approach; • networks; • interagency mechanisms; • synergy; • international policy frameworks. • extensive science discussion but little policy dialogue • emerging and unresolved issues So how can we explain what was urgent in 2002 is still “under active discussion?
Ramsar Convention Oldest of the global environmental conventions; covers very wide range of wetlands – from coral reefs to mountains to vast inland swamps Why the “Ramsar” Convention?
150 Contracting Parties • 1558Wetlands of International Importance • - “Ramsar sites” more than1/3 coastal • Largest global protected area network • totaling 130.5 million hectares • size: from <1 ha to >6 million ha
Contracting Parties deliver the Conventions • actions through 3 “pillars”: • Wise use of all wetlands, with • Wetlands of International Importance (protected wetlands) at the heart, and • International cooperation All emphasising catchment management and integrated management across systems, through the ecosystem approach
The convention is also fully committed to synergies with other agencies in order to implement integrated management it is a simple truism but : no one agency can implement the strategies of integrated management
Example from Africa • Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine Ramsar site in Tanzania • a complex of coastal and marine habitats covering 596,908 hectares, comprising the delta of the Rufiji River; the Mafia Island about 25km offshore and surrounding smaller islands, sandbars, and coral reefs, all thought to be ecologically interlinked with the flow of the river. • 7,000 fishermen produces about 4,500 tonnes of finfish per annum, and mangrove resources, rice cultivation, seaweed farming, and tourism are other sustainable activities
Example from Asia • China –Mai Po & Inner Deep Bay • management plan divides the Ramsar site into five different management zones, i.e. • Core Zone, • Biodiversity Management Zone, • Wise Use Zone, • Public Access Zone, and • Private Land Zone. Each management zone has its specific management objective and monitoring regime.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH The ecosystem approach of the Convention on Biological Diversity is a framework for integrated management of land, water and biological resources. This approach is about our approach to ecosystems, rather than an approach which says we need to understand all about all ecosystems.. It has 12 principles.
THE KEY PRINCIPLES • Management objectives are a matter ofsocietal choice • Management should be decentralised to the lowest level • Management must recognise that change is inevitable
A way forward: sustainability and reversibility Integrated management Using zones Inevitable change Societal choice Decentralised ways of working Ecosystem approach All relevant sectors and disciplines International and national Cultural, technological and environmental