The Ramsar Convention approved the resolution submitted by Mexico to Protect Wetlands of International Importance | WWF

The Ramsar Convention approved the resolution submitted by Mexico to Protect Wetlands of International Importance

Posted on 17 junio 2015
Foto: Los humedales son vitales para el sustento de muchas comunidades en México.
Wetlands are vital to the livelihoods of many Mexican communities.
© Octavio Aburto / WWF México
  • The world recognizes the Mexican model of water reserves for the present and future of these ecosystems
  • The DR12 resolution was the only one submitted by a Latin American country
MEXICO CITY Presented on the Ramsar Convention by the Mexican Government through the National Commission on Protected Areas and the National Water Commission and with the support of the Alliance WWF-Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation (WWF-FGRA) the DR12 resolution (which seeks to ensure the water needs of wetlands worldwide) was approved before 141 Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

The vote for the draft resolution was made within the framework of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12), which was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 1 to 9 June 2015. With the approval, countries will now work on the determination of environmental flows in order to devote a volume of water, the amount, quality and appropriate regime to conserve wetlands, (especially those of international importance) registered before the Ramsar Convention.

The resolution recognizes the National Water Reserves Program developed in Mexico as an example for other countries. This program is unique in its own scope, since in the first stage aims to establish 189 water reserves for the protection of 55 Ramsar sites and 97 naturally protected areas in Mexico, and to integrate the conservation of water and land to protect wetlands and water for the future.

Among the elements for success of the Mexican initiative are: clarity in the regulatory framework and its technical instruments, cooperation between different sectors and communication with society, said Nigerian Anada Tiéga, (former Secretary of the Convention), who participated in the parallel event in which the program was presented.
"Mexico's experience in developing the National Water Reserves Program for the Environment is exemplary due to it represents the collaboration between the National Water Commission, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and WWF-FGRA Alliance," said Eugenio Barrios, Director of the WWF-Mexico Water Program.

"It is particularly remarkable the active participation of the government water agency ‘CONAGUA’ and its advocacy of wetlands conservation. It is certainly a great example for the type of water management required by society in the 21st Century: sustainable, adaptable and protective of the natural capital of Mexico and the world", pointed out Barrios who is also a member of The Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention.

Likewise Omar Vidal, General Director of WWF-Mexico, said: "This approval is an important recognition for Mexico and proves the country is up to the major challenges such as the definition of the new Sustainable Development Goals, (post-2015 Development Agenda, one of them specifically devoted to the water), and the long awaited new climate agreement".

DR12 Resolution calls on all Contracted Parties to take responsibility for devoting water to wetlands conservation and for identifying opportunities to anticipate the negative impacts of anthropogenic activities on the water for nature. In this regard, national or regional plans will be established to consider:
  • Assembled with other global initiatives, (including the Millennium Development Goals.)
  • Evaluating wetlands status and their water requirements.
  • Strategies and tools for determining and devoting water to wetlands and monitoring their effects.
  • International cooperation to create and strengthen existing research networks and building capacities.
  • Communicating and educating the need to consider the environmental impacts on habitats and ecosystems, and the benefits they provide to the societies.
The Resolution approved version includes modifications and contributions suggested by 13 countries, including the United States and Brazil. Ramsar is an intergovernmental agreement on biodiversity and water. This treaty was negotiated in 1960, adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971, it was put into effect in 1975 and has been accepted by 168 Contracting Parties. Mexico has 142 ‘Ramsar sites’ and has been part of the Convention since November 4th, 1986.

Notes for the editors:

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About Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation
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For more information please contact:
Jatziri Pérez, Communications Director, WWF Mexico. Tel. +52 (55) 5286 5631 Ext. 223,
Valeria Cruz, Communications Consultant, WWF Mexico. Tel. +52 (55) 5286 5631 Ext. 243,
Foto: Los humedales son vitales para el sustento de muchas comunidades en México.
Wetlands are vital to the livelihoods of many Mexican communities.
© Octavio Aburto / WWF México Enlarge
Foto: Los ecosistemas proporcionan valiosos servicios ambientales que dependen del balance hídrico.
Ecosystems depend on water balance to provide their valuable environmental services.
© Octavio Aburto / WWF México Enlarge
Foto: Los humedales son cuna para una gran diversidad de plantas y animales que habitan en ellos. Playero alzacolita (Actitis macularius), Reserva de la Biosfera Marismas Nacionales, Nayarit, México.
Wetlands are home to a great diversity of animals and plants that inhabit them. Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius) in Marismas Nacionales Biosphere Reserve, Nayarit, Mexico.
© Santiago Gibert / WWF México Enlarge