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18-26  Nov. 2002
The Eighth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 
Date  | Photos & Audio
Mon 25
Sat 23
Fri 22
Thu 21
Wed 20
Tue 19
Mon 18

Sun 17



TUESDAY, 26 NOV. 2002

Ramsar COP8 finished its work on Tuesday evening, 26 November, having finalized resolutions on all remaining issues, including such contentious topics as agriculture, invasive species, climate change, and culture.

Parties decided that the next COP would be held in 2005 in Uganda. Cop8 President Martorell presented Delmar Blasco, the outgoing Secretary General.with a traditional, locally made ceramic ornament.

-Listen to Uganda

Blasco receiving a present from Martorell




Clay Rubec, Canada

Eckhart Kuijken of Belgium

Dealing with Ramsar documents

Dwight Peck of Ramsar

In Plenary, Ramsar Secretary General Nick Davidson read out amendments to COP8 DR 34 Rev. 1 as agreed by the Contact Group. He noted that two references to other international agreements remained bracketed in paragraphs intended to ensure consistency between agricultural policies and other international agreement, including trade-related agreements.

The Philippines said wetland management and conservation should not be subject to trade-related agreements and proposed deleting paragraphs reflecting this sentiment, and adding text affirming the resolution is intended for wetland management and conservation.

said this issue should be debated in the WTO, not in this forum, and said some language could be construed as supporting subsidies and incentives if not implemented under the WTO rules. He opposed the resolution and asked that his statement be registered in the report of the meeting. Delegates adopted the resolution as amended by the contact group by consensus, with Brazil's reservation put on record.

-Listen to Nick Davidson
-Listen to Brazil
-Listen to Philippines

Delegates had before them a revised version of the draft resolution on culture and wetlands (COP8 DR 19 Rev. 3).

opposed adoption of the resolution, stating that it went beyond the mandate of the Ramsar Convention. Malaysia also expressed concern with the resolution.

Other countries, including Suriname, Spain, the EU, Guatemala, Burkina Faso, Nepal, India, Algeria, for the African countries, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Syria, Iran, the US and others supported adopting the resolution.

asked those opposing the resolution whether they would still block consensus given the overwhelming display of support for the resolution, or whether they would be willing to express their reservations in the report of the meeting. The resolution was adopted by consensus, with Brazil registering his concern in the report of the meeting.

Canada informed delegates of the death of James Patterson, noting the significant contribution he made to wetlands conservation and protection.

Ramsar Secretary General Delmar Blasco recognised the longstanding contribution of Eckhart Kuijken of Belgium to wetlands conservation by presenting him with a “Wetlands Person of International Importance” award.

Spain thanked participants for their hard work, and said he expected that it would be able to implement its Strategic Plan and ensure its compatibility with the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

Secretary General Blasco thanked Spain and Valencia for hosting this “successful, useful and pleasant experience.” Observing that Ramsar is now a stronger and more mature Convention, he said the resolutions adopted at COP8 were extremely valuable in terms of Ramsar’s future.

Participants thanked Secretary General Blasco with a standing ovation, and President Martorell presented him with a traditional, locally-made ceramic ornament. Thanking participants for their spirit of hard work, dedication and good will, President Martorell declared COP8 closed at 7:20 pm.

Listen to Canada
Listen to Spain
Listen to Delmar Blasco




Veit Koester (Denmark) on Behalf of the European Union

Belgium and WWF

Brazilian Delegates (left to right): Maria Carolina Hazin, José Augusto Ferra de Lima, Augusta Rosa Gonçalvez

John Scanlon and Elroy Bos of IUCN

Panel members pose for a final photo

Local Support Staff for the Ramsar Convention with Delmar Blasco

Earth Negotiations Bulletin Staff: (Left to Right)
Chris (New Zealand), Leila (U.S.A), Charlotte (France), Tamilla (Uzbekistan), Yael (Israel), Brandy (U.S.A.), Leslie (Canada).

Links to further information:

*ENB Summaries of COP-7

*ENB Linkages site of COP-7 (photos and audio)

*RAMSAR COP 8 Homepage:


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