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10 November 2008

Ramsar COP10 Adopts Resolution on Wetlands and Biofuels

Children from the 10 countries which have hosted Ramsar COPs presented the message of COP 10. 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 potential impacts of biofuel production and use on the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Delegates adopted a resolution that focuses on the wetland-related aspects of biofuel production, and places a strong emphasis on further study of benefits and costs, as well as on impacts of biofuel production on different types of wetlands. In the final resolution, the Ramsar COP calls upon parties to: assess the potential impacts, benefits and risks of proposed biofuel crop production schemes affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands; and seek to avoid negative impacts and, where such avoidance is not feasible, to apply as far as possible appropriate mitigation and/or compensation/offset actions, for example wetland restoration.

The resolution also contains references on the development of land use policies for the sustainable production of biofuels, and to promoting sustainable biofuel production and use through strengthened development cooperation, the transfer of technologies and information exchange. Furthermore, the COP strongly urges parties to ensure that any policy for biofuel crop production should consider: the full range and value of ecosystem services and livelihoods provided by wetlands; the biodiversity they support; and the trade-offs between these services alongside cost-benefit analysis.

Finally, the COP instructs the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel to: review the global distribution of biofuel production in relation to impacts on wetlands; review and collate existing best management practices guidance and social and environmental sustainability appraisals for growing biofuel feedstocks in relation to wetlands; and, where appropriate, develop such guidance and appraisals in collaboration with other international organizations. [Revised Draft Resolution] [(The final resolution will be available on the Ramsar website shortly)] [ENB coverage of Ramsar COP 10]


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