Thank you Chair and good morning colleagues,
BirdLife International is making this statement on behalf of all six International Organization Partners of the Convention.
Following the success of COP14 last year, the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework with new emphasis on ‘inland waters’ as well as the expected launch of the ‘Water Agenda’ focused on conserving and restoring freshwater ecosystems at the Climate Change COP28 later this year, we are eager to see work under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands accelerate delivery and action for wetlands from local to global scale.
We wish to highlight three main streams of work we consider critical during this triennium:
- First: Ensuring we have a strong vision for a future where wetlands are conserved, restored, and valued and we use the best scientific and technical advice to guide the rapid and practical implementation of that vision.
This means agreeing on an ambitious and inclusive new Strategic Plan, as well as fully supporting the STRP in its delivery of priority tasks to support Parties and key stakeholders in tackling some of the urgent challenges facing wetlands globally.
- Second, stepping up the implementation of action for wetlands by increasing synergies with other processes:
- We must champion the role of wetlands as a solution to the joint climate and biodiversity crises and position the Convention at the forefront of the delivery of multiple targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: both to tackle the drivers of wetland loss, and to secure vital water resources.
- We can harness the tremendous potential of including quantitative targets on wetlands in NBSAPs between now and CBD COP16 next year and highlight the important role of wetlands for nature-based solutions in national climate commitments. And we can work to raise the profile of freshwater ecosystems in the ongoing review of SDG 6.
- Increased synergies also include collaboration with the World Heritage Convention and others to leverage more effective management and to promote connectivity throughout our wetlands of international importance – with the Freshwater Challenge to unlock the restoration of rivers and wetlands at scale; and with the Mangrove Breakthrough alongside the new Ramsar Regional Initiative and other collective action approaches.
- And finally third: working better together as a Ramsar wetland community to deliver the resources needed to match our necessary level of ambition. This includes looking beyond institutional funding to collectively engage and mobilise other resource streams – to truly bring about urgently needed improvement to the status of all wetlands.
As your IOPs we look forward to continuing our support to all Contracting Parties, the STRP, and the Secretariat to deliver science for wetlands, synergies with other MEAs and impactful initiatives, and most importantly ambitious on-the-ground implementation of the Convention during this intersessional period – including through mobilising our own organisations to better demonstrate our commitment and action on wetlands in support of the Convention.
Let’s use this Standing Committee meeting to have those critical conversations that will support making this triennium a success as we look forward to COP15 in Zimbabwe.