Side event details
Sustainable development of South Asia is closely linked to the health of the region’s wetlands. These ecosystems are cradles of several of the region’s civilizations, and play an important role in ensuring water, food, and climate security; supporting livelihoods and cultural identities, and securing habitats for a range of biodiversity. However, complex development dynamics, coupled with limited awareness of the contribution wetlands make to societal well-being, have led to severe pressure on wetlands.
The Contracting Parties to Ramsar Convention within the region have committed to the wise use of wetlands and a suite of guidelines has been adopted for the purpose. However, continued degradation of wetlands in the region indicates challenges in the application of available guidance, as well as the need to tailor implementation approaches considering specific regional contexts. Regional homogeneities in the wetlands regimes, their influencing drivers and pressures, policy environment, and capacities indicate possibilities of benefitting from regional collaboration and exchange while seeking wetlands wise use outcomes.
Through plenary presentations and panel discussions, this side-event will seek to identify priorities that need to be addressed at the regional level to create an enabling environment for wise use of wetlands in South Asia, as well as the mechanisms for enhancing learning, experience sharing and technology exchnage within the region. The discussion around the establishment of a “South Asia platform” for wetland managers, initiated at Ramsar CoP 13 will be re-visited. This side event is structured around the CoP theme and will contribute to the discussions on Resolutions 18.3, 18.4 18.9, 18.15, 18.19 and 18.20.
The side event is structured in two panel discussions. In the first session, national focal points from South Asia will discuss Ramsar Convention implementation activities in their respective countries and suggest major opportunities and challenges that can be addressed through regional collaboration. In the second panel of discussions international organizations, wetlands managers, and experts, will discuss ways in which regional collaboration can enhance aims and objectives of the Ramsar Convention and meet the wise use commitments.