63rd Standing Committee Meeting of the Ramsar Convention

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The 63rd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands took place in Gland, Switzerland this week (3-7 June 2024).

The CIC took part in the proceedings with CIC Director General Sebastian Winkler in attendance, fulfilling the organisation’s role as an Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO) Observer to the Convention which was granted last year.

Among the key items of discussion at the Standing Committee Meeting was the upcoming Ramsar COP15, which will take place from 23-31 July 2025 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The CIC previously committed to supporting Ramsar COP15 at the Scientific And Technical Review Panel (STRP) Meeting that took place in February 2024. It was there that the CIC also gave technical input into the development of the 5th Strategic Plan of the Convention on Wetlands, which is due to be adopted in Zimbabwe next year.

The current draft version of Ramsar’s Strategic Plan is fully aligned with the 2030 CIC Strategic Plan, which was recently adopted at the 70th General Assembly in Portugal.

The 2030 Strategic Plan was developed in support of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), providing a path for the CIC’s work in support of the global conservation agenda on the road towards the end of this decade which will also mark the centenary of the CIC.

In particular, six GBF Targets have been identified as critical areas of focus for the CIC as part of the 2030 Strategic Plan.

Target 3: Protect & Conserve 30% of Land by 2030 (“30×30”)

Target 4: Halt Species Extinction and Manage Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Target 5: Sustainable, Safe and Legal Harvest / Trade of Wild Species

Target 6: Reduce Invasive Species by 50%

Target 9: Manage Wild Species Sustainably to Benefit People

Target 21: Ensure Knowledge Is Available / Accessible to Guide Biodiversity Action

Parallels can therefore be drawn between the CIC and Ramsar, with both organisation’s contributing towards these GBF Targets as part of their wider scope of work.

A focus on wise and sustainable use are particular areas of commonality, as well as alignment on the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats, including nesting sites often found in wetland areas.

Other issues addressed ranged from implementation and procedural matters; the full agenda can be found online.