Wetland conservation in Central Asia – time for action

12.05.2017

Wetland conservation in Central Asia – time for action

On 11th of May, 2017, CAREC hosted a working meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Ramsar Regional Initiative for Central Asia.


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Experts in the field of wetland conservation from the three countries – members of the Initiative (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan) met to discuss joint actions and sustainable use of wetlands in Central Asia.

Mr. Llewellyn Young, the representative of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, shared information about upcoming event – the 53rd Standing Committee meeting (May 29-June 2, Gland, Switzerland) and 13th Conference of Parties (October 2018, Dubai, UAE). He also expressed expectations of the Secretariat regarding the further RRI-CA development. In particular, he highlighted the importance of the update of wetland inventory in the region, integration of wetlands issues into national strategies and action plans, establishment of a regional education and awareness programme and assistance in the preparation of the National Reports to COP13.

Participants of the meeting presented an overview of the relevant activities in the area, discussed the results of RRI-CA work activities and approved the workplan until the end of 2017.  Since the beginning of this year, events dedicated to World Wetland Day have been held, two project proposals have been prepared, one of which was supported by the Government of Japan. The implementation of a new joint project to update the status of wetlands in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan and prepare guidelines on best practices for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands by local communities is one of the main upcoming tasks of the Initiative.

One of the main objectives of the meeting was to discuss new project on the update of information on wetlands in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan and development of the guidelines on good practices for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands by local communities.

Members of the RRI-CA Coordination Committee underlined the importance of that Uzbekistan and Tajikistan join the Ramsar regional initiative of Central Asia, and expressed their gratitude to CAREC for supporting this initiative within the framework of the internal agreement between CAREC and RRI-CA.


Background

- The Convention on Wetlands, which is also called the Ramsar Convention, has the mission of conservation and rational use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world.

- Currently 169 countries are Parties to the Convention. The amount of wetlands of international importance is 2,243 with a total area of ​​216,338,080 hectares.

- The Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In November 2015, three of the contracting parties (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan) agreed with the official proposal for the creation of the Ramsar Regional Initiative of Central Asia, which was approved at the 52nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention in June 2016.

- Currently 21 wetlands in Central Asia have the status of wetlands of international importance - Ramsar sites, work is underway to include new wetlands in this list.


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