Ramsar COP10 Adopts Resolution on Wetlands and Climate Change
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4 November 2008: The 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP10) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, held from 28 October-4 November 2008, in Changwon, Republic of Korea, adopted a resolution addressing the impacts of climate change on wetlands.

The resolution was subject to extensive debate in plenary and informal group sessions.

[…]

Lee Maanee, Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea, received the Ramsar flag from Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda 4 November 2008: The 10th meeting of the Conference of the
Contracting Parties (COP10) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, held from 28
October-4 November 2008, in Changwon, Republic of Korea, adopted a resolution
addressing the impacts of climate change on wetlands.

The resolution was
subject to extensive debate in plenary and informal group sessions. Contentious
issues included references to the role of wetlands in mitigating climate
change, adaptation policies, and reducing emissions from deforestation and
forest degradation in developing countries. Delegates eventually reached
agreement by ensuring that provisions apply only in the context of services
provided by wetlands. In the final resolution, the Ramsar COP calls upon
parties to manage wetlands in such a way as to remove existing pressures on
them and increase their resilience to climate change and extreme weather
events.
It urges parties to: ensure that the necessary safeguards and
mechanisms are in place to maintain the ecological character of wetlands,
particularly with respect to water allocations for wetland ecosystems, in the
face of climate-driven changes; take action to minimize degradation, promote
restoration and improve management practices of peatlands and other wetland
types that are significant carbon stores, or that have the ability to sequester
carbon; and increase the adaptive capacity of society to respond to the changes
in these ecosystems.
Furthermore, the COP reaffirms the need for parties to
make every effort in the implementation of the UNFCCC and, as appropriate, its
Kyoto Protocol, to consider the maintenance of the ecological character of
wetlands in national climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.
The
resolution also contains a reference on developing a working partnership with
the UNFCCC Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank and other
international conventions and agencies to investigate the potential
contribution of wetland ecosystems to climate change mitigation and adaptation;
and to develop guidance for the development of climate change-related
activities in collaboration with these bodies, while recognizing their mandates
and independent legal status, and the need to avoid duplication. [Revised Draft
Resolution
] [(The final resolution will be available on the Ramsar website shortly)] [IISDRS Coverage of Ramsar COP 10]