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The Ramsar Convention and wetland assessment. Nick Davidson Deputy Secretary General Ramsar Bureau CBD/Ramsar Rapid assessment of inland water biodiversity Montreal, 2-4 December 2002. Background. significant attention under the Convention to inventory, assessment and monitoring

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The Ramsar Convention and wetland assessment


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    1. The Ramsar Convention and wetland assessment Nick Davidson Deputy Secretary General Ramsar Bureau CBD/Ramsar Rapid assessment of inland water biodiversity Montreal, 2-4 December 2002

    2. Background • significant attention under the Convention to inventory, assessment and monitoring • basic commitment to “maintain the ecological character of wetlands” • particularly Ramsar sites • assessing the status and trends of the wetland resource • existing guidance (COP6 & COP7) • much new guidance and future actions adopted by Ramsar’s COP8 last week • most guidance: general procedural frameworks • need recognised for more methodological guidance

    3. Ramsar COP8 Resolution VIII.8 • “Assessing and reporting status and trends of wetlands, and the implementation of Article 3.2 of the Convention” • Article 3.2: identifying and reporting “change in ecological character” • recognises need to improve levels of assessment and reporting • STRP report on status and trends of Ramsar sites, in wider context of regional and global status and trends • STRP prepare consolidated guidance on detecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character

    4. Ramsar’s existing guidance • Framework for designing a wetland monitoring programme (Res. VI.1) • Wetland risk assessment framework (Res. VII.10), includes: • step-wise model procedure • early warning indicators • rapid response toxicity tests • early warning field tests • rapid assessment • incorporate into rapid assessment guidance?

    5. Ramsar’s definitions of inventory, assessment & monitoring • adopted by COP8 Resolution VIII.6 “A Framework for Wetland Inventory” • inventory: collection and/or collation of core information for wetland management, incl. Information base for specific assessment and monitoring activities • assessment: identification of status of, and threats to, wetlands as basis for collection of more specific information through monitoring

    6. Ramsar’s definitions of inventory, assessment & monitoring • monitoring: collection of specific info. for management, hypothesis driven from assessment, and using results for management implementation • definitions recognise that distinction between inventory and assessment often blurred

    7. Inventory Framework • 13 design steps for decision-making, related to purpose (objectives) and available resources • equally applicable to wetland assessment • Steps: 1. State purpose and objective 2. Review existing knowledge and information 3. Review existing methods 4. Determine scale and resolution 5. Establish core/minimum data set 6. Establish habitat classification 7. Choose appropriate method

    8. Inventory Framework steps (cont.) 8. Establish data management system 9. Establish time schedule and resources required 10. Assess feasibility and cost effectiveness 11. Establish reporting procedure 12. Establish review and evaluation process 13. Plan a pilot study • test and adjust method, as needed

    9. An integrated Ramsar Wetland Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring Framework (WIAM) • COP8 recognised number of gaps and disharmonies in existing Ramsar guidance (Resolution VIII.7) • STRP will fill these, through developing integrated framework, based on outline in COP8 DOC. 16 • based on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) conceptual framework • recognises importance of scale, and developing multi-scalar approaches, and • use and value of remote sensing for wetland assessment

    10. Other relevant COP8 decisions • adopted CBD’s COP6 guidelines for environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment • adopted “New guidelines for management planning for Ramsar sites and other wetlands” • inventory/assessment needed for description and evaluation • features and factors • ecological features and processes • features: ecological, socio-economic and cultural

    11. Guidelines for rapid assessment of inland water biodiversity • will contribute to gaps in Ramsar’s ‘toolkit’ • Issues to consider/incorporate: • define inland waters wetland habitat coverage • cover all indicative components of CBD biodiversity • cover assessment of processes as well as features

    12. Guidelines for rapid assessment of inland water biodiversity • In methodology, include key precursors for choosing any assessment work: • establishing purpose and objective • compiling existing knowledge and information • incl. traditional knowledge through stakeholder and local community/indigenous people’s contribution (as appropriate) • scale issues • resource issues