Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Wetlands: home and destination"

5 July 2012, Bucharest, Romania - That’s the theme of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands hosted by Romania from 6 – 13 July.
Four Pacific islands are attending the global conference on Wetlands to raise local issues to strengthen the conservation of our regions wetlands.
Fiji, Marshall Islands, Palau and Samoa are at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention, they join Australia and New Zealand to make up the Oceania group at this event.
These, along with Papua New Guinea, are Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, named after the small town in Iran where the Convention was signed in 1971.

Vainuupo Jungblut, SPREP (middle)
“Our key issues are those such as the impacts of climate change on wetlands, the recognition of wetlands and their role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, along with the role of promoting sustainable tourism in wetland areas,” said Vainuupo Jungblut the Oceania Ramsar Officer based at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is one international environment agreement of many that Pacific Island countries are party to.  
For each Convention there are different reporting requirements and conditions to be implemented as part of protecting and conserving our environment at the global level.  
The capacity, resources and time required to fulfill each of the different Conventions can pose a challenge and it’s at the Ramsar COP11 that the Pacific region hopes this issue can be addressed.
“We’re also looking at strengthening synergies between the multilateral environment agreements (MEA)  at the global level which is also important at the national level as there is a lot of administrative work to meet MEA requirements and obligations, and this usually stretches environmental services in-country who typically have one or two people dedicated to such issues .”

Registration of conference participants at Ramsar COP11
The Ramsar COP11 will bring together over thousands of delegates, ranging from country representatives to international partners to donor agencies, to discuss issues relating to strengthening wetlands conservation and wise use in each of the six Ramsar regions.  This fora provides a timely opportunity for Pacific delegates to form and strengthen relations with potential partners and donors.
Read more information on the agenda and discussions at the 11th Conference ofthe Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The Ramsar COP 11 is held at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. 

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