The 59th Meeting of the Standing Committee officially started on 22 June as a virtual meeting.
More than 110 participants representing 39 countries joined the 59th Meeting of the Standing Committee on 22 June using a digital platform Kudo. The meeting will continue until 25 June, from 13:00 to 16:00 CET each day.
Chair of the Standing Committee, Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, opened the first plenary session saying “It is my great pleasure to welcome you at this very special Standing Committee as we convene thanks to the digital technology. I hope everyone is safe and well. I wish you all a very efficient virtual meeting and look forward to the day we can all meet in person at the COP14 in China.”
Stewart Maginnis, IUCN Global Director Nature-Based Solutions Group welcomed members of the Standing Committee saying “More than ever we need an energised coalition of actors to help the world leave behind old mind-sets and paradigms, to better recognise and communicate the value of wetlands and ultimately ensure that they are protected, better managed, and expanded many times over. We hope to help many of you, as Parties to the Convention and IUCN State Members to achieve the commitments your governments have made to wetland conservation.”
Chris Rostron of Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) delivered a statement on behalf of Convention’s six International Organisation Partners (IOPs). “The IOPs remain fully committed to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention and, to this end, we pledge our continued support to the Contracting Parties and the Secretariat. We strongly believe that the Convention on Wetlands has an instrumental role to play in helping to address the global ecological and climate crises and we sincerely hope that together we can meet the challenges they pose for humanity.”
Secretary General, Martha Rojas Urrego stated in her welcome remarks “I am honoured to welcome you all in these very unique circumstances. Thank you to Contracting Parties, members of the Standing Committee, our partners for your commitment. The Secretariat is here to support you in the best way possible. This year we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands. Like never before wetlands and the work of the Convention are relevant to the Post2020 biodiversity framework, climate change and the UN Decade on Restoration. We are in the key year to raise the awareness about wetlands to build back better.”