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COP 8 Decision VIII/20

Biological diversity of inland water ecosystems: reporting processes, improving the review of implementation and addressing threats

The Conference of the Parties,

Having examined the notes by the Executive Secretary (UNEP/CBD/COP/8/26/Add.3, UNEP/CBD/COP/8/INF/15 and UNEP/CBD/COP/8/INF/42),

Recalling that in its decision III/21, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity recognised the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as the lead implementing partner on wetlands for the Convention on Biological Diversity,

Noting that the definition of “wetland” used by the Ramsar Convention includes all categories of inland water ecosystems,

Recognizing that the close cooperation between the two conventions sets a good example in building synergies between conventions to effectively deliver the objectives of both conventions,

Bearing in mind the joint work plan between the two conventions,

Welcoming the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, particularly on progress on revised Ramsar Site designation criteria, and clearly recognising the important relationships between the wise-use of wetlands and poverty reduction,

Noting the UNEP Issue-based Modules for Coherent Implementation of Biodiversity-related Conventions as a useful tool to facilitate synergies in reporting and implementation of biodiversity-related conventions; and the “Mountains to the Sea” initiative of WWF-International as a useful contribution to assist Parties in a more coherent implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level using the ecosystem approach,

Recalling that, in its decision VII/4, paragraphs 2 and 3, the Conference of the Parties requested, inter alia, the development of a proposal on streamlining and improving the effectiveness of national reporting on inland water ecosystems,

1. Invites Parties, other Governments, relevant international organizations and regional initiatives to promote the recognition, and implementation, of the programme of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems by relevant stakeholders, using, inter alia, the information to be provided by the processes identified in recommendation X/9 of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

2. Also invites Parties, other Governments and international organizations and the private sector, on a voluntary basis and in accordance with identified needs, to contribute financial and other resources to continue assisting the work of the Executive Secretary and the Secretary ‑General of the Ramsar Convention on these matters;

4. Calls upon Parties to ensure the fullest cooperation and communication between national focal points for the biodiversity related conventions and between them and representatives of those sectors or groups that are responsible for the drivers of change in the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems;

5. Requests the Executive Secretary to:

(a) Review the technical requirements under the programme of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems and compare them with the ongoing and planned activities of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention in order to identify inconsistencies and propose ways and means to address them to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

(b) Invite the Ramsar Convention to take the lead in developing a draft national reporting framework on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems, taking into consideration, inter alia:

(i) The needs of both conventions, including their respective needs for reporting on other matters;

(ii) Additional guidance in, inter alia, decisions VIII/14, on national reporting, and VIII/8, on the outcomes of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Review of Implementation;

(iii) The information available from outcome-oriented indicators of progress towards the 2010 target;

(iv) The reporting activities of other stakeholders and processes;

(v) The priority information needs bearing in mind the capacity for national reporting; and

(vi) As appropriate, the UNEP Issue-Based Modules for Coherent Implementation of Biodiversity-related Conventions;

(c) In order to ensure that national reports generate essential and meaningful information in a cost effective manner avoiding duplication of effort;

(d) Ensure that due recognition is made in the development of the joint reporting framework of decision VII/4, paragraph 11, which recognizes the presence of inland water ecosystems within ecosystems addressed by the other programmes of work, and accordingly encourages cross-referencing to, and coherence with, these other thematic programmes;

(e) Also invite the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention to explore, jointly and avoiding duplication of effort, through appropriate means and subject to available resources:

(i) Further ways and means to improve mechanisms for assessing the extent, distribution and characteristics of inland water ecosystems, considering the guidelines for review of the programmes of work of the Convention (decision VIII/15, annex III) in particular paying attention to ecosystem considerations and the assessment and monitoring of drivers of change, noting the long-term need for such assessments at the national, regional and global level, including for wetlands not designated as Ramsar Sites; and

(ii) The capacity needs at national level in relation to such assessments;

(f) Develop proposals for further ways and means for:

(i) A strategic approach to identify key stakeholders and promote, where appropriate, their full involvement in reducing drivers of negative change and increasing drivers of positive change; and

(ii) Involving stakeholders in monitoring and reporting on the drivers of change, status and trends of biological diversity and implementation of the programme of work on the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems,

and to present the proposals to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

(g) Consider, as appropriate, when undertaking this work, the relevant time-lines in relation to the review of the implementation of the programmes of work as indicated in the annex to decision VII/31;

(h) Invite, as appropriate, regional and international bodies responsible for, or representing, the drivers of change of the biological diversity of inland water ecosystems to fully implement the programme of work; and

(i) Improve information dissemination between the national focal points of biodiversity‑related conventions on these and related matters.