From 21 to 29 October 2018, the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Ramsar Convention is the first international environmental agreement aimed at the protection and sustainable use of wetlands. 170 countries of the world are members of the Ramsar Convention and 157 participated in the Conference.
At the conference presented reports on global results on the conservation of key wetland areas. It was noted that western wetlands are declining with high speed. Since 1970, 35% of these territories have been lost. Urgent actions are needed to prevent this trend.
At the plenary meeting of the Conference discussed the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, as well as the need to improve the effectiveness of the Ramsar Convention, its implementation at all levels, administrative and financial issues of the Convention Secretariat.
During the meeting made decisions on a series of issues related to the assessment of coastal ecosystems, restoration of rainfed lands for adaptation to climate change, sustainable management of various ecosystems, the agricultural sector, the importance of preserving suburban wetlands for the well-being of local communities, etc.
In addition, special attention was paid to assessing wetlands in areas closest to the city, because the theme of the Conference of the Parties this year is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”. 18 cities have taken additional measures to preserve water areas in cities and regions. Most of these cities are located in China and South Korea.
In addition, during the plenary sessions, separate thematic meetings were organized with the participation of representatives of various countries and organizations. With the support of the Ramsar Regional Initiative for Central Asia (RRI-CA), a separate event was organized for the first time to conserve the marshes of Central Asia, which took place on October 23, 2018.
The event was attended by 30 participants. General information on unique wetlands in Central Asia was presented as part of the WHOIS-CA program, the results of the first WHOIS-CA project and the involvement of local communities in practical initiatives in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan were reviewed.
During the conference, several meetings were held with the United Nations Environment Program, AEVA, CMC on the implementation of regional projects for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in Central Asia, including the protection of migratory bird species, and priorities for future initiatives and cooperation plans were discussed.