Ramsar Convention at the World Water Week

Ramsar Convention at the World Water Week

1 October 2019


High-level panel on bringing together oceans and freshwater.

Hosted and organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Water Week is the leading annual global event for concretely addressing the planet’s water issues and related concerns of international development. World Water Week 2019 was carried out under the theme "Water for society: Including all", and took place from 25 until 30 August 2019.

Ramsar Secretary General, Martha Rojas Urrego and Director of Science and Policy, Francisco Rilla, attended and spoke at following events:

High-level panel on bringing together oceans and freshwater. Secretary General Martha Rojas Urrego (Panellist)

The Swedish Agency for Marine, Water Management, and UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility hosted the event.


  • Healthy and productive marine and freshwater ecosystems require better coordination and understanding of the linkages of the freshwater, delta, coastal, marine and land-based systems;
  • The session investigated how different sectors (multi-lateral institutions, private sector, government and NGOs) can take a coordinated strategic action in reaching SDG 6 and 14 and their associated targets;
  • Building on recent policy advances, the focus was on strengthening implementation of source-to-sea management and committing to take action on pressing issues such as climate change, land-based pollution including plastics, resource security and inclusive development.

Freshwater Biodiversity: Linking Biodiversity with Inclusive Development to Achieve the 2030 Agenda, Secretary General Martha Rojas-Urrego (Panellist)


  • Freshwater biodiversity is pivotal in meeting the SDGs. While strong evidence demonstrates the return on investment for nature and people, these linkages are often not seen or understood;
  • The session highlighted the importance of improved communication and mobilization of political will to achieve a strong post-2020 global biodiversity framework;
  • Panellists discussed the implementation of post-2020 CBD targets.

Locking Carbon in a Water Vault: Wetlands as Ecosystem-based Mitigation, Francisco Rilla (Panellist)


  • The session highlighted the relevance of wetlands for reaching global climate change mitigation and adaptation goals;
  • Despite their high carbon storage capacity, few countries address the role of wetlands for reaching climate goals in their NDCs;
  • The event explored ways that national and global policies can connect climate mitigation goals and the conservation and management of healthy wetlands systems.
  • During a session statement was made that Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) remain central to the Paris Agreement and that wetlands and peatlands should be prominently featured in the post 2020 climate action. The statement was made by Aga Khan Foundation, Alliance Global water Action (AGWA), IUCN, German Corporation for International Development (GIZ), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Wetlands International and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Tools for integrated conservation and development partnership around freshwater wetland, Francisco Rilla (Spokesperson)

  • The aim of the event was to show the application of tools adopted by the conservation and development sectors to ensure integrated community-based wetlands conservation projects make tangible and lasting contributions to both SDG and MEAs targets.

Inland Fisheries, Freshwater governance and the 2030 Agenda, Francisco Rilla (Spokesperson)


  • The session highlighted the role of inland fisheries in meeting a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals;
  • The session referred to the 2015 Rome Declaration: Ten Steps to Responsible inland Fisheries as an important set of preliminary recommendations that can be developed into a more detailed set of guidelines to help shape sustainable inland fisheries.