Oceania Regional Meeting Prepares for Ramsar COP 11

12 April 2012: The fifth Oceania Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 11th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) brought together government representatives and regional partners to share experiences and information, as well as to highlight national case studies of best practice in wetlands conservation.

The meeting, which took place in Koror, Palau, from 26-30 March 2012, was attended by 30 representatives from the Governments of Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. Also attending were representatives from, inter alia: Birdlife International; the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Oceania Regional Office; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Palau Office; Micronesia Challenge Regional Office; Palau Conservation Society; and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – Micronesia.

Participants discussed regional priorities for wetlands conservation in light of the Regional Wetlands Action Plan for the Pacific Islands 2011-2013 and the upcoming Ramsar COP 11. They also took part in a field visit to the Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve, Palau's first Wetland of International Importance. The meeting concluded with training on Convention processes and mechanisms for both Contracting Parties and non-Contracting Parties.

The fifth Oceania Regional Meeting for Ramsar COP 11 was co-organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Ramsar Secretariat, with financial support from the Governments of Australia and France.

COP 11 will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from 6-13 July 2012. [Ramsar Press Release]  [SPREP Press Release]