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Valuing, conserving and restoring internationally important wetlands through global action

News Item 2018

Valuing, conserving and restoring internationally important wetlands through global action

In October 2018, the 13th triennial Conference of the Parties (CoP13) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, where 143 Contracting Parties and others worked to establish international approaches that will further value, conserve and restore vitally important wetlands. The theme of ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’ set the context for the meeting and global action on ‘sustainable urbanisation, climate change and wetlands in urban and periurban wetlands’ was agreed.

The UK Government was represented by Defra and JNCC, who worked proactively to achieve strong outcomes for the future governance and international role of the Convention.  Input to the resolutions adopted supported UK commitments to meet local-to-global biodiversity targets associated with wetlands, including for wetland species and habitat protection.  Implementation of many resolutions will support UN Sustainable Development Goals, through food provision, improved water quality, protection from natural disasters, and increasing resilience to climate change.

The launch of the Convention’s ‘Global Wetland Outlook’ provides an evidence-based synthesis on the status and trends of wetlands and their biodiversity internationally.  It highlights the urgent need for all to realise their value, and to conserve and restore them.

The meeting therefore provided a critical opportunity for the international community to take unified action to address this desperate situation by developing common commitments through practical action and policy implementation.

The UK was elected to the Ramsar Convention’s Standing Committee for the next three years, to oversee the work of the Convention’s Secretariat and to work alongside colleagues from Sweden, Armenia and Azerbaijan to co-ordinate the European Region’s input to intersessional work.

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