MOC with Ramsar

MEMORANDUM OF CO-OPERATION

between the

SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION
AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT OF THE
WIDER CARIBBEAN (Cartagena, Colombia, 1983)

and the

BUREAU OF THE CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)


WHEREAS, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has a global mandate to
provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring,
informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without
compromising that of future generations, to its Member States as well as other non-member
States;

WHEREAS, the Action Plan of the Caribbean Environment Programme of the United
Nations Environment Programme promotes regional co-operation for the protection and
development of the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region;

WHEREAS, the Regional Co-ordinating Unit of the United Nations Environment
Programme for the Caribbean Action Plan (CAR/RCU) serves, amongst other functions, as
the Secretariat of the CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT
OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT OF THE WIDER CARIBBEAN (hereinafter referred
to as the Cartagena Convention), adopted in Cartagena in 1983 and having entered into force
in 1986, to facilitate the direction and co-ordination of the legal implementation of the
Action Plan;

WHEREAS, the Contracting Parties to the Cartagena Convention work to develop plans,
programmes and measures for the sustainable development of the marine environment of the
Wider Caribbean Region (as defined by the Cartagena Convention);

WHEREAS, CAR/RCU provides information, advice, training and guidance to the
Contracting Parties and other Governments and entities regarding the protection and
development of the coastal and marine environment in the Wider Caribbean Region;

WHEREAS, the protocol to the Cartagena Convention on Specially Protected Areas and
Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) provides for the protection of special coastal and marine areas
and wildlife and the protocol Concerning Marine Pollution from Land-based Sources and
Activities (LBS Protocol) proposes to prevent, reduce and control marine pollution in the
Wider Caribbean Region;

WHEREAS, by their entry into force, the SPAW and the LBS Protocols will, for their
further implementation, provide for Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committees to meet
periodically under the guidance of their Contracting Parties;

WHEREAS, the CONVENTION ON WETLANDS, signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar on
2 February 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the Ramsar Convention), whose Instrument is
safeguarded by UNESCO, entered into force in 1975, and its mission is the conservation and
wise use of wetlands by national action and international co-operation as a means to
achieving sustainable development throughout the world;

WHEREAS, the Ramsar Convention works through a global network of policy and decision
makers, scientists and practitioners in its Contracting Parties and those scientists and experts
from international and national partner organisations, and has established an inter-sessional
Standing Committee, a Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and a variety of programmes
and projects, under the guidance of its Conference of the Contracting Parties;

WHEREAS, the Ramsar Convention established a secretariat known as the Ramsar Bureau
co-located with the IUCN - The World Conservation Union at their Headquarters in
Switzerland to administer and co-ordinate the day-to-day implementation of the decisions of
the Conference of the Contracting Parties and the Standing Committee;

WHEREAS, the Ramsar Convention maintains a List of Wetlands of International
Importance that includes a number of sites which are located in the Wider Caribbean Basin;
and

WHEREAS, the Conference of the Contracting Parties to Ramsar in its Resolutions VII.4,
VII. 18 and VII.27 (Action 7.2.8) recognises the strategic importance of mutual co-operation
between the Regional Seas Conventions and the Ramsar Bureau in the conservation and wise
use of wetlands at the regional level, as well as of extending participation in the Ramsar
Convention to the small island developing states;

PRESENTLY, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mandate of the Parties to both the
Cartagena and the Ramsar Conventions, the Regional Co-ordinator of the CAR/RCU and the
Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, in the interest of the mutual advantages in the
cost-effective attainment of the objectives of the Conventions and performance of the work
required by the Intergovernmental Meetings, the Conferences of the Contracting Parties and
the Ramsar Bureau, wishing to avoid duplication of effort in areas of common interest and to
formalise and strengthen their co-operation in the spirit of an efficient and effective
partnership, mutually agree as follows:

Article I. OBJECTIVE

CAR/RCU and the Ramsar Bureau agree to co-operate with a view to enabling the
Contracting Parties to the Conventions to identify and strengthen conservation of those sites
of international importance which are relevant to both Conventions.

Article II. STATEMENT OF WORK

The activities to be undertaken as part of this MOC will be based on the respective work
programmes of each Secretariat as approved by their Contracting Parties and will be discussed and developed by the CAR/RCU and the Ramsar Bureau and may, amongst
others, include:

  1. Exchange of information on a regular basis on specific aspects of the work of the
    Cartagena and the Ramsar Conventions which are of mutual interest and benefit;
  2. Sharing of information with the view to identification of potential wetland sites that
    may meet the criteria for nomination as Wetlands of International Importance under
    the Ramsar Convention or as protected areas under the SPAW Protocol, in cases where
    not yet designated. Potential Ramsar sites may include areas protected under the
    SPAW Protocol or habitats of species protected under the SPAW Protocol.
    Consideration will also be given to transboundary sites and habitats that may be critical
    for the protection of watersheds and catchments and/or home ranges of migratory
    species that may have outstanding global significance and which are shared by two or
    more Contracting Parties to both Conventions;
  3. Sharing of information and co-operation to encourage Contracting Parties to the
    Cartagena Convention to, where appropriate, designate as Wetlands of International
    Importance under the Ramsar Convention those sites which meet the criteria for
    listing;
  4. Sharing of information and co-operation to encourage Contracting Parties to the
    Ramsar Convention to, where appropriate, designate and manage protected areas and
    habitats of protected species for those areas meeting the criteria for protection under
    the SPAW Protocol and species listed in the Annexes;
  5. Sharing of information, databases, staff mission reports and other materials to enable
    early detection of threats to Ramsar sites or areas and species protected under the
    Provisions of the SPAW Protocol and to facilitate the necessary studies and analyses to
    identify measures for the mitigation of such threats, issues and needs;
  6. Co-ordination and/or joint development of programmes and projects for strengthening
    conservation of specific sites which are recognised by the two Conventions, and for
    identifying and mobilising human and financial resources and the knowledge to
    implement such programmes and projects, including emergency actions to mitigate
    potential and ascertained threats, including in particular those sites included in the so-called Montreux Record of Ramsar sites where the ecological character has changed, is changing, or may change;
  7. Efforts by each Secretariat, in the course of its own promotional activities, to promote
    recruitment of additional Contracting Parties to the other Convention and, in the course
    of work to implement its own Convention’s obligations, to promote implementation of
    the other Convention by existing Contracting Parties; and,
  8. Informing of, in the spirit of partnership, and inviting each other’s participation, and
    concurrence as appropriate, in meetings, including statutory meetings, studies and
    review, field visits to sites, design, organisation and conduct of training, education and
    information dissemination activities, and other activities to promote the Parties’
    awareness of the relationships between the application of the two Conventions.

Article III. IMPLEMENTATION

Nothing in this MOC shall constitute a legal or financial obligation of either party. Any
financial or legal commitments that arise from measures taken to implement this MOC will
be made on a case-by-case basis and agreed to by both parties.

This MOC shall enter into force upon signature by the two parties. It may be reviewed at any
time agreed upon by the parties in the development of the work programme and may be
amended at any time by mutual agreement.

Either party may terminate this MOC by giving notice in writing to the other not less that six
months in advance.

On behalf of the Ramsar Bureau,

Delmar Blasco
Secretary General
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Signed in GENÈVE

Date : 1/05/00

On behalf of CAR/RCU,

Nelson Andrade
Regional Co-ordinator, CAR/RCU
UNEP
Signed in GENÈVE

Date : 1/05/00

For further information, please contact the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Rue Mauvemey 28,
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland (Tel ++41 22 999 0170, fax ++41 22 999 0169, e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org

or

the Caribbean Regional Co-ordinating Unit (CAR/RCU), 14-20 Port Royal Street, Kingston,
Jamaica, W.I. (Tel: ++876 922 9267, fax: ++876 922 9292, email:
rcu@cep.unep.org