Balancing Growth and Environmental Protection

Posted: 2012-09-24

Prof Michael ScoullosGWP participated in the “COP 11 of the RAMSAR Convention”, the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands entitled “Wetlands: Home and Destination” on 5-10 July in the Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

Prof. Michael Scoullos, Chair of GWP Mediterranean delivered a presentation as Invited Speaker in the Plenary on “Water security and the importance of wetlands as natural infrastructure in water resources management”. He emphasized that water security is part of the overall security since it is closely linked to food security, energy security, security of livelihoods, maintenance of biodiversity, and the reduction of natural risks such as floods, as part of the ecological services delivered by wetlands.

COP11 offers the opportunity to deal with the challenges of protecting wetland ecosystems around the world and to set the Ramsar Convention strategy for the next 40 years. It was observed that in a global world, it is counterproductive to overlook the interdependence of development, tourism and biodiversity. Efforts are required to reduce the effects of climate change and to secure the livelihoods of local communities. An important aim of national strategies is environmental protection, including the prevention of pollution, for example, by shipping on the Danube River and other waterways. There is a need to balance the growth of strong economies with the protection of the natural environment.

The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), called the "Ramsar Convention", is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use", or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories. Unlike other global environmental conventions, Ramsar is not affiliated with the United Nations system of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA), but works very closely with the other MEAs and is a full partner among the "biodiversity-related cluster" of treaties and agreements.

Presentations and a report from the meeting are available here.

More information: GWP Perspectives Paper “Water and the Green Economy”.

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