Review of decisions of the Standing Committee of the Convention on Wetlands

Date: 28.05.2020

Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands, 

We have received your registration to participate in the intersessional process to address a number of time-sensitive decisions identified by the Standing Committee. Decisions to be taken by the Standing Committee have been divided into two categories, the first category being those to be discussed by a Standing Committee Working Group or Subgroup, with the Group’s recommendations then brought to the Standing Committee for decision. The second category are decisions to be considered via email directly by the Standing Committee. This communication provides further information on this second category only.

Standing Committee members and Contracting Parties which have expressed interest in participating in the process are invited to comment on the following issues in the agenda of SC58. (Note: Contracting Parties which are not Standing Committee Members were invited to participate in the process through Diplomatic Note 2020/6 sent on 19 May). The specific suggested decision text in the relevant SC58 documents is copied under each item for ease of reference. Please note that for some agenda items only those decisions that are time sensitive are included, with the other decisions postponed for the SC58 meeting to be held 26-30 October, 2020. The link to the relevant SC58 document in the Convention’s website is also provided.
  • Agenda item 13 - Review of all previous Resolutions and decisions;
    a)    in accordance with Resolution XIII.4 "consider the Secretariat’s recommendations on this subject at SC58, with a view to including, in a relevant draft resolution for COP14, the retirement of outdated Resolutions and decisions and the establishment of a practice for the Convention to retire outdated Resolutions and decisions automatically when they are superseded by new ones"; 
    b)    consider and approve the recommendations in paragraph 35; 
    c)    approve the use of the funds referred to in paragraph 37 (note – the Subgroup on Finance will discuss provisionally allocating the referred funds should the Standing Committee indicate its approval) ; and
    d)    provide to the Secretariat the feedback on the draft consolidated resolution on “Inventories” in Annex 2, as referred to in paragraph 38.
  • Agenda item 16 - Work plan of the Secretariat;
    a)    take note of and approve the integrated Secretariat Annual Plan for 2020 as part of the Triennial Plan for 2019-2021 approved by SC57-21 (Annex 1)
  • Agenda item 20.3 - The Ramsar Wetlands Conservation Awards;
    a)    review and approve the proposed procedures for the COP14 Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards
  • Agenda item 22.2 - Report of the Secretariat on the Ramsar Regional Initiatives;
    a)    provide the Secretariat with guidance on the process Parties would like followed in inviting proposals for new RRIs. In particular to confirm that according to paragraph 13 of Resolution XIII. 8 the Secretariat will open the call for proposals for new RRIs, to be endorsed by the Conference of the Parties at COP14 previously approved by the Standing Committee 59 at its meetings before COP14; 
  • Agenda item 23 - Report of the Co-chairs of the Independent Advisory Committee on Wetland City Accreditation;
    a)    endorse the allocation of 30 days of Secretariat time during the current triennium to provide the identified administrative services
  • Other matter – Elements of advice for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) concerning the funding to support the objectives and priorities of the Convention (this document will be published shortly);
    a)     Review and endorse the proposed elements of advice for the GEF concerning the funding to support the objectives and priorities of the Convention, for the eighth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund according to CBD Decision XIII/21 and Resolution  XIII.7 of the Convention on Wetlands. 
    b)    Instruct the Secretariat to transmit the elements of advice to the CBD Secretariat on the above matters for inclusion in documentation prepared for the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation and the Conference of the Parties to the CBD at its 15th meeting. 

The documents for all of the above agenda items can be found on the SC58 webpage under the agenda item numbers noted above. The document for “Elements of advice for the GEF” can be found on the same webpage, as will any further documents that are not included in the formal agenda.

The period for comments will end on 15 June. Proposed decisions on which no comments are received by this deadline will be considered approved. Comments received will be compiled and shared with all Standing Committee members and Parties which have registered to participate in the process. Based on the comments received, revised decision text will be proposed by the Chair and circulated to the Standing Committee by 19 June, for endorsement by June 22. If no comments or objections are received on an item by the 22 June deadline, it will be considered that the decision is agreed. If further discussion is required, the Chair may propose that the item be discussed during virtual Standing Committee sessions scheduled for June 23 and June 25 from 13:00 to 16:00 CET. 

All comments should be sent to with clear indication as to the agenda item which you are endorsing or commenting on. You are requested to keep comments brief so as to facilitate sharing and exchange with other Parties. 

The Executive Team has stressed that the process being put in place will be new for most of us and will thus require adaptability and patience. They also have stressed that the business of the Convention needs to continue with resolve and that this will be an opportunity to learn new ways of working that could be useful after the current crisis.

The Secretariat remains available to answer any questions or provide further information if needed.

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Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
28 rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 999 0365; fax +41 22 999 0169