November 12th, 2022, Ramsar COP14
Closing statement from the IOPs on the importance of protecting and conserving Ramsar sites, and meeting our global goals on nature, climate, and people.
Thank you Chair.
The ‘Partners for Wetlands’, your six science-based International Organisation Partners (IOPs) – BirdLife International, the International Water Management Institute, IUCN, Wetlands International, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and WWF – would like to thank the Secretary-General, Secretariat, Conference President and Contracting Parties for their efforts and collaboration at Ramsar COP14 and congratulate China and Switzerland on their successful hosting of the event.
We have achieved notable progress in wetland conservation, including strengthening the involvement of youth in the Convention, positioning wetlands as critical solutions to the climate and nature crises, and the accreditation of 25 new Wetland Cities.
But now is the time for action. In the immediate future, there are crucial events where the role of wetlands needs to be significantly strengthened. The final few weeks before CBD COP15 are critical to ensuring the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework goals, targets and indicators give wetlands and Ramsar sites the priority they deserve. This includes championing wetland restoration and requesting numerical targets in the Framework: at least 300,000 kilometres of rivers, and at least 350 million hectares of inland waters should be under restoration by 2030 to help reverse wetland biodiversity and ecosystem loss. In turn, there is great scope to scale up investment and accelerate efforts to identify, demarcate, list and legally protect or conserve more sites that meet the Ramsar criteria in order to contribute to wider area-based conservation goals.
Climate is a game changer for wetlands. The resolution adopted on this will help secure a much stronger role for all wetlands in climate mitigation and adaptation action and finance.
We’ve also heard Contracting Parties emphasise the importance of wetlands for water security and drinking water. For the UN Water Conference, being held in March, to achieve its vision of being a watershed moment for the world, we need high-level political commitments to wetland ecosystems at the centre of sustainable development.
More generally, together we must reinvigorate the role of wetlands and this Convention on the global stage of nature, climate and water, to help deliver an equitable, carbon-neutral, nature-positive world. The IOPs are ready to support and collaborate with Contracting Parties, the Convention, and the wider NGO and civil society wetland community to achieve this. This includes supporting key operational activities, including STRP and the 5th Strategic Plan, where these synergies are vital.
Thank you everyone for your efforts and collaboration to make COP14 a success; we look forward to continuing the hard work needed for wetland recovery in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Thank you Chair.
Delivered by Priyanie Amerasinghe, International Water Management Institute
Briefing for Contracting Parties at COP14 Wetlands Internationaldownload