WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray has hinted that a new ‘wetland city’ accreditation scheme could be a reality by the end of this year.
The news was included in a speech to the Ramsar Convention in Switzerland this week, which he delivered on behalf of WWT, WWF, IUCN, Birdlife International, Wetlands International and the International Water Management Institute.
Wetland city nominees include Suncheon and Colombo where WWT and WWT Consulting have been involved in the creation and protection of wetland environments. They also include Changshu, where along with the Chinese government, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands staff and Nanjing University, we co-hosted a conference on integrating wetlands and city development.
Martin Spray said:
“This is an important year for Ramsar. The forthcoming Conference of Parties, to be held in the United Arab Emirates in October, will be an opportunity for Parties to consider and discuss the challenges we together face in a complex world where environmental degradation continues. We welcome the choice of Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future as the theme for COP13, as the world population keeps growing at an unprecedented pace. Closely related to the theme of the COP is the expected announcement of the first series of accredited Wetland Cities.”
More than 140 participants from 57 countries attended this week’s meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention in Gland.
The Ramsar Convention on Wetland Conservation was the first global convention for the environment and 170 countries’ governments are signatories. WWT is one of six non-governmental partners.
This is the last Standing Committee before the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP13) which will be held in Dubai from 21 to 29 October, this year.