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The Ramsar Convention and the Conservation and wise use of forested wetlands


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The Ramsar Convention and the Conservation and wise use of forested wetlands

  1. 1. The Ramsar Convention and theConservation and Wise Use ofForested WetlandsClaudia FenerolSenior Advisor to Secretary GeneralCoordinator, Partnership ProgrammeRamsar Convention Secretariate-mail:
  2. 2. Today’s presentation• Discuss wetland forests• Provide overview of the Ramsar Convention• Discuss the value of wetland forests and why they are important in the context of the Convention and its mission• Highlight special aspects of the Convention and Forested Wetlands and the ecosystem services derived from wetlands
  3. 3. Introduction Wetlands under RamsarCWetlands are ‘water relatedecosystems, including a widerange of wetland types, found‘from the mountains to the seaInland WetlandsSnowfields, lakes, marshes,rivers, streams, flooded caves,aquifers, chott, oasis, wadisCoastal WetlandsSabkhas, mangroves, tidal flats,sea grass beds, coral reefs,estuaries, up to 6m at low tideHuman-made wetlands:Rice fields, fish ponds,reservoirs, ditches and canals
  4. 4. Wetland ecosystem servicesNatural infrastructures: Provision: water, food, biodiversity,• important part of the water cycle• stores and delivers water Support: soil formation, nutrient• Natural purification role cycling, Regulate: floods and drought Culture: recreation, spiritual, education, tourism and business
  5. 5. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands• Adopted on 2 February, 1971• First of the modern intergovernmental environmental agreementsMissionThe conservation and wise use of wetlandsthrough national actions, and internationalcooperation as a contribution towardsachieving sustainable development.3-pillars• Wise use (sustainable) use of all wetlands;• Designation of priority wetlands as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites);• International cooperation for shared wetlands and their resources, including transboundary sites
  6. 6. Ramsar and forested wetlandsWise use (sustainable) use of wetlands• The Ramsar Convention has many practical guidelines and COP resolutions on the conservation and wise use of wetlands;• Well-known independent scientific and technical panel produce handbooks and guidelines• Members of the Ramsar family have significance experience in the conservation and management of wetlands, particularly forested wetlands.• Large programme on communication, education public awareness and training• World Wetlands Day 2010 - Wetland Forests
  7. 7. Forested wetlandsOften - think of forests as normally dry, butsome are wet always, or at particular times.Ramsar Convention on Wetlands recognizesthree types of suchforested wetlands:•Intertidal forested wetlands;•Forested peatlands/peat bogs;•Freshwater, tree dominated wetlands.
  8. 8. Ramsar Sites with forested wetlands Number with Area with Number of Area of wetland type wetland type Ramsar Sites Ramsar Sites dominant dominantIntertidal forested wetlands, e.g. mangroveswamps, nipah swamps and tidal freshwater 250 27,087,928 91 9,103,810swamp forests.Forested peatlands, e.g. peat forests. 218 18,728,640 57 1,094,832Freshwater, tree-dominated wetlands, e.g.includes freshwater swamp forests, 416 55,688,464 82 12,928,113seasonally flooded forests, wooded swampson inorganic soils. Total (%) 716 83,546,275 214 22,786,503 (containing any one type of forested wetland) (35.8%) (43.5%) (10.7%) (11.9%) TOTAL Ramsar Sites 2,000 192,138,388
  9. 9. Convention today• 160 governments designated2000 sites• 192,138,388 hectares – 43 % wet forest• Only global network of wetland ecosystems• Many sites jointly World Heritage and Man and Biosphere (UNESCO)
  10. 10. 1. Intertidal forested wetlands• The Convention defines intertidal forest wetlands as: mangrove swamps, nipah swamps and tidal freshwater swamp forests…• Values: Mangroves forests estimated to generate US$ 2,000 – 9,000 /hectare/year;• Impact/loss: From 1980 to 2005, the area of mangroves worldwide decreased by 20% for aqua- and agriculture, and urban expansion; Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta Ramsar Site ( Columbia)• Vietnam has invested US$ 1 million to plant 12,000 ha of mangroves and so saved US$7 million annually on coastal protection• NB Rate of loss declining due to greater awareness of their value in acting as a carbon sink helping to mitigate impacts from climate change; along with their intrinsic value as spawning ground for fisheries; supplying fish and timber products; protecting shorelines etc.
  11. 11. 2. Forested peatlandsForested peatlands•Unique habitats formed by a deep layer of softorganic material, formed over thousands of years inwaterlogged conditions;•Peatlands cover only 3-4% of global land area butare a very important carbon sink holding 25-30% ofthe carbon in terrestrial ecosystems, twice as muchas the world’s forests; on the other hand theirdrainage and conversion to other uses is animportant source of carbon emissions;•Forested peatlands are valuable for:-Supporting biodiversity. Berbak Ramsar Site(Indonesia) has flagship species such as Sumatrantiger and Malay tapir;-Maintaining water quality and in water storage. Losiny Ostrov National Park (Russia)
  12. 12. 3. Freshwater, tree dominated wetlandsFreshwater, tree dominated wetlands•Found worldwide•Forests that are either permanently orseasonally flooded with freshwater; • At certain times of year, the Orinoco River overflows its banks and forms ‘Várzea’ swamp forests that supports fisheries (>1,000 species of fish), and many are threatened species. • On the seasonal retreat of the water, the fertile land is used by cattle ranchers and farmers. Cypress swamp (USA)
  13. 13. Carbon storage capacity
  14. 14. Economic value of forests
  15. 15. Forested wetlands in BruneiIn 2010, Mahmood Yussof (Deputy Director,Forestry Department), was quoted as saying(Brunei Times) that Brunei supported:•wetland forests covered 121,000 ha;•equivalent to 30% of total forest cover inBrunei.•Value of research, tourism, ecosystemservices Selirong Forest Recreation ParkArea of forested wetlands include about:•20,000 ha of mangrove forests, and;•100,000 ha of peatlands.•This covers 17% of the land area and isprobably the best quality, intact peat swampin SE Asia.•Valuable wetlands – long term value notshort term gains ‘International Symposium on the Conservation and Wise Use of Mangroves in Southeast Asia’ (2003, Bander Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam)
  16. 16. Tourism and Wetlands• World Wetlands Day 2012 Wetlands and Tourism• About 60 percent of tourism is on or around a wetland• 11th Conference of the Parties theme is Wetlands – Recreation and Tourism• The Conference will take place in Bucharest, Romania, 6-14 July 2012
  17. 17. Ramsar and forested wetlandsDesignation of priority wetlands as Ramsar Sites•Ramsar’s 160 Contracting Parties have designated2,000 Ramsar Sites;•Largest network of protected sites worldwide;•> 35% of these sites contain forested wetlands and > 10% are dominated by forested wetlands.International cooperation•Opportunities for regional cooperation on theconservation and wise use of forested wetlands;•8 of the 10 ASEAN countries are Ramsar ContractingParties;•MoU with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
  18. 18. ”Failure to plan is a plan for failure” anonymous quote Vision 40+Defined 3 core values for future1. Wetlands are a key infrastructure for ecosystem services – Particularly water-related services – Vital services provided by water should be conserved – Strategic goal: need to mainstream wise use of wetlands to other sectors and throughout society – Operationally – communication and awareness raising....
  19. 19. Vision 40+ RoadmapPriorities for Partnerships set out on basis of knowledge and experience of Secretariat1. Wetlands – water and agriculture (water and food security and water use and quality)2. Wetlands/water and the extractive /energy industry3. Wetlands/water and climate change mitigation (carbon storage) and adaptation4. Wetlands – water and social protection (human health and disaster prevention/management)5. Scientific partnerships – eg GWOS - state of the world’s wetlands6. Wetlands/water and urbanization7. Wetlands and integrated water management
  20. 20. Vision 40+3. Wetlands make a concrete and measureable contribution to human societies• Goal: Need to clarify link between healthy wetlands and quantity and quality of water • Operationally: develop tools - metrics and valuation of wetlands to demonstrate value and cost of the loss – TEEB of Wetlands – and economics of wetlands – Identifying state of world wetlands – GWOS...