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Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

6-13 July 2012 | Bucharest, Romania

Ramsar COP11The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands convened in Bucharest, Romania, at the Palace of Parliament, from 6-13 July 2012, on the theme “wetlands: home and destination” to highlight the tourism and recreation opportunities provided by wetlands. COP11 allowed member states to assess implementation of the Ramsar Convention and discuss a variety of issues including: sustainable use of wetlands; knowledge and best practices on technical issues; and work by member states and the Secretariat for the next triennium. The COP was preceded by the 44th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee on 4 July 2012, and additional days of regional meetings on 5-6 July 2012.

During the meeting, delegates discussed and adopted a number of resolutions including on: institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat; financial and budgetary matters; adjustments of the Strategic Plan 2009-2015 for the 2013-2015 triennium; the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; regional initiatives 2013-2015; partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements and other institutions; tourism and wetlands; streamlining procedures for describing Ramsar Sites; Ramsar Site Information Sheet; strategic framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance of Ramsar Convention; an integrated framework for avoiding, mitigating and compensating for wetland losses; wetlands and energy issues; planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands; wetlands and health; linking wetland conservation and wise use with poverty eradication; climate change and wetlands; agriculture-wetland interactions; efficient delivery of scientific and technical advice and support; future implementation of scientific and technical aspects of the Convention; adjustments to the modus operandi of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP); adjustments to the composition, roles and responsibilities of the Standing Committee; promoting responsible investment; and wetlands and sustainable development.

Throughout the conference, participants also heard special presentations on wetland conservation and sustainable use in Romania, outcomes of Rio+20 and their implications for the Ramsar Convention, sustainable tourism and the value of wetlands, the TEEB synthesis report on the value and economics of water and wetlands. Over forty lunchtime and evening side events were also presented, and field trips on Wednesday provided delegates with the opportunity to tour the city of Bucharest or visit any of several different wetlands throughout Romania.
Palace of Parliament
A view of the Palace of Parliament, venue for Ramsar COP 11.
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Friday, 6 July

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands convened on Friday, 6 July, at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. Traditional Romanian music headlined the opening ceremony, which included presentation of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards. COP 11 was preceded by the 44th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee on 4 July, and regional meetings on 5-6 July.

Full web coverage available here: 6 July

Magor Csibi, WWF Romania
Magor Csibi, Director, WWF Romania.
Yeon-Chul Yoo, Korea
Ramsar Standing Committee Chair Yeon-Chul Yoo, Republic of Korea.
Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc, Romania
Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Romania.
Ovidiu Silaghi, Romania
Ovidiu Silaghi, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Romania.
Bogdan Aurescu
Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romania.
Remus Cernea, Romania
Remus Cernea, Prime Minister’s Counselor on Environment, Romania.
Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute
Pan flute master Gheorghe Zamfir played during the opening ceremony.
Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute
Pan flute master Gheorghe Zamfir imitated bird songs during his performance.
Anada Tiéga
Ramsar Convention Secretary General Anada Tiéga presented Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards.
Award for Leadership in Wetlands Education
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association received the award for leadership in wetlands education.
Augusta Henriques
Augusta Henriques received the award for leadership in wetlands management.
Tatsuichi Tsujii
Tatsuichi Tsujii received the award for leadership in wetlands science.
Thymio Papayannis
Thymio Papayannis received a Recognition of Achievement Award for his contributions to wetlands conservation.
Luc Hoffmann
Luc Hoffmann, a founding father of the Ramsar Convention, received the 40th Anniversary Honorary Ramsar Award.
View from the Palace of Parliament

A view down Bulevardul Unirii from the Palace of Parliament.

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Saturday, 7 July

On Saturday, 7 July, Ramsar COP 11 met in plenary throughout the day. The plenary adopted the agenda and considered rules of procedure, elected the President and Vice-Presidents, appointed the Credentials Committee and established the Finance and Budget Committee, addressed admission of observers, and considered the reports of the Standing Committee (SC), the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), implementation of the Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) Programme, a statement from the World Wetlands NGO Conference, and the report of the Ramsar Secretary General. The Credentials Committee met in the afternoon. The day concluded with a special presentation on wetland conservation and sustainable use in Romania.

A number of side events took place during lunch and in the evening, including on: wetlands and livelihoods; eco-tourism; STRP work on procedures for describing Ramsar Sites; new Ramsar Sites in Asia; restoration of wetlands; wetland conservation challenges; enhancing biodiversity in rice paddies; presentation of Wetland Global Awards by the World Wetland Network; protecting and restoring ecosystem services provided by bivalve reefs; and culture and wetlands.

Full web coverage available here: 7 July

Dais shot

The dais during plenary.

Eiji Hatano
Eiji Hatano, Japan.
Raymundo Santos Rocha Magno
Amb. Raymundo Santos Rocha Magno, Brazil.
Abdou Salam Kane
Abdou Salam Kane, Senegal.
Petruta Moisi
Petruta Moisi, Eco-Counselling Centre Galati, Romania.
Heather MacKay
Heather MacKay, STRP Chair, presented the STRP report.
Sandra Hails
Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat, presented the report on implementation of the CEPA Programme 2009-2015.
Conservation Challenges Side Event
JICA presented an evening side event on challenges and experiences in wetland conservation.
Grigore Baboianu
Grigore Baboianu, Executive Director, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority, Romania.
Sibylle Vermont
Guillermo Lingua
Fang Yan

Before the day's session, delegates gestured while chatting. L-R: Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland, Guillermo Lingua, Argentina and Fang Yan, China.

Headsets

Conference staff provided headsets as delegates entered the plenary chamber.

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Sunday, 8 July

On Sunday, 8 July, COP 11 met in plenary throughout the day. The day commenced with a special presentation on the outcomes of Rio+20 and their implications for the Ramsar Convention. The plenary addressed issues arising from Resolutions and Recommendations of the previous meetings of the COP, the financial report for 2009-2012 and the proposed budget for the triennium 2013-2015, and election of parties for the Standing Committee (SC) 2013-2015. The COP began consideration of the draft resolutions and recommendations submitted by parties and the SC including the institutional hosting of the Secretariat, adjustments to the Strategic Plan for 2013-2015, and the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The Credentials Committee and the Finance and Budget Committee also convened.

A number of side events took place during lunch, including on: wetlands monitoring by Earth observation satellites; responsible management of wetland agro-ecosystems for food security and biodiversity; the MedWet Initiative; an STRP briefing on wetlands in a changing climate; and the launch of the Waterbird Population Estimates V and report of the first Global Inter-Flyway Network meeting.

Full web coverage available here: 8 July

Mihail Fâcă
COP 11 President Mihail Fâcă, Romania.
Brice Lalonde
Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20, UNDESA.
Brice Lalonde and Anada Tiéga
Brice Lalonde and Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiéga shook hands.
Mehmet Gölge
Mehmet Gölge, Turkey.
Catherine Debruyne
Catherine Debruyne, Belgium.
Marisol Dimas
Marisol Dimas, Panama.
Norwegian delegates
Norwegian delegates read brochures about ecotourism in Romania.
Secretariat conferring
Secretariat staff conferred before a vote.
Tiina Niikkonen
SC Subgroup on Finance Chair Tiina Niikkonen, Finland.
Serge Hervé Ondoua
Serge Hervé Ondoua, Cameroon.
Grégoire Nkeoua
Grégoire Nkeoua, Congo.
María Cristina de la Garza Sandoval
Amb. María Cristina de la Garza Sandoval, Mexico.
Sibylle Vermont and Krishna Roy
Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland, conferred with Krishna Roy, United States.
Vote Tally
Staff tallied the results of a vote.
Wetland Agro-Ecosystem Side Event

Wetlands International and FAO presented a side event on management of wetland agro-ecosystems for food security and biodiversity conservation.

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Monday, 9 July

On Monday, 9 July, COP 11 met in plenary throughout the day. The day commenced with a special presentation on sustainable tourism and the value of wetlands. The plenary then continued consideration of the draft resolutions and recommendations submitted by parties and the Standing Committee, including the draft resolutions on: institutional hosting of the Secretariat; regional initiatives 2013-2015 in the framework of the Ramsar Convention; partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements and other institutions; tourism and wetlands; and climate change and wetlands.

A number of side events took place during lunch, including on: wetlands in the Maghreb countries; a demonstration of the IUCN freshwater species datasets; sustainable management of fish resources in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve; enhancing synergies among multilateral environmental agreements; and screening and discussion of the film "The Great Flight." In the evening a reception celebrated the launch of the joint Ramsar/World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report "Destination Wetlands - Supporting Sustainable Tourism."

Full web coverage available here: 9 July

Taleb Rifai
Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO.
Sidharth Kaul
Sidharth Kaul, India.
Sidi Mohamed Lehlou
Sidi Mohamed Lehlou, Mauritania.
Chuma Simukonda
Chuma Simukonda, Zambia.
Elena Stylianopoulou
Elena Stylianopoulou, Cyprus.
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Hassan
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Hassan, United Arab Emirates.
Fish Poaching Side Event

Save the Danube and the Delta Association presented a case study on fish poaching in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

Gordon Paterson
Gordon Paterson, Grenada.
Ana Veiga
Ana Veiga, Cape Verde.
Khonesavanh Louangraj
Khonesavanh Louangraj, Laos.
Abdulghani Al-Bokwali
Abdulghani Al-Bokwali, Yemen.
Tobias Salathé
Tobias Salathé, Ramsar Secretariat.
Nicola Crockford
Nicola Crockford, BirdLife International.
Anada Tiéga

Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiéga addressed participants at the evening reception.

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Tuesday, 10 July

On Tuesday, 10 July, COP 11 met in plenary throughout the day. The day commenced with a special presentation on the value and economics of water and wetlands - The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) synthesis report. A special presentation on water security and the importance of wetlands and natural infrastructure in water resource management also took place.

The plenary then continued consideration of the draft resolutions and recommendations submitted by parties and the Standing Committee (SC), including the draft resolutions on: streamlining procedures for describing Ramsar Sites at the time of designation and subsequently; an integrated framework for avoiding, mitigating and compensating for wetland losses; wetlands and energy issues; principles for the planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands; institutional host of the Ramsar Secretariat; wetlands and health - taking an ecosystem approach; an integrated framework for linking wetland conservation and wise use with poverty eradication; climate change and wetlands - implication for the Ramsar Convention; agriculture-wetland interactions - rice paddy and pesticide usage; ensuring efficient delivery of scientific and technical advice and support to the Convention; future implementation of scientific and technical aspects of the Convention for 2013-2015; adjustments to the modus operandi of the STRP for the 2013-2015 triennium; adjustments to the terms of Resolution VII.1 on the composition, roles and responsibilities of the SC and regional categorization of countries under the Convention; promoting responsible investment by government and the private sector to ensure the maintenance of the benefits of people and nature gain from wetlands; and wetlands and sustainable development.

A number of side events took place on: principles for the planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands; valuing wetlands - capturing economic beneftis from wetlands wise use; business, water and wetlands - the role of the private sector in conserving and restoring wetland areas; peatlands - global challenges and opportunities for the Ramsar Convention; water security for people and wetlands; GlobWetland II, a software toolbox for the assessment and monitoring of wetlands from space; experience in applying ecosystem approaches and implementing integrated management plans for Iranian wetlands and rollout at national and regional levels; wetlands wise use and oil and gas development; and sharing beneftis of transboundary cooperation in managing wetlands through a joint implementation of the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

Full web coverage available here: 10 July

Andrew Farmer
Andrew Farmer, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), gave a presentation on TEEB.
Michael Scoullous
Michael Scoullous, Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean.
Royal Gardner
Royal Gardner, STRP.
David Stroud
David Stroud, STRP.
Hugh Robertson
Hugh Robertson, New Zealand
Sangdon Lee
Sangdon Lee, Republic of Korea.
Greg Manning
Greg Manning, Australia.
Surapol Pattanee
Surapol Pattanee, Thailand.
Presentation dais shot

A view of the dais during the special presentation.

Rob McInnes
Rob McInnes, STRP Observer.
Essam Bourass
Essam Bourass, Libya.
Edward Netshithothole
Edward Netshithothole, South Africa.
Rebecca D'Cruz
Rebecca D'Cruz, STRP.
Boniface Yehouetome
Boniface Yehouetome, Benin.
Pierre Horwitz
Pierre Horwitz, STRP.
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Wednesday, 11 July

On Wednesday, July 11, while the Secretariat worked to produce revised documentation for Thursday's resumed Ramsar COP11 plenary, delegates went on field trips provided by their Romanian hosts to various wetland sites. Trips included: a tour of Bucharest; the Dumbraviƫa Ramsar Site; Comana Natural Park; Small Island of Brălia; Balta Abla, Amara and Jirlau; confluence of the Olt River; Middle Arges River floodplain, and Fusea Wetland; confluence of the Jiu River; Iezer Calarasi; Ciocăneşti; and mud volcanoes.

Full web coverage available here: 11 July

Wetland
Studying a wetland.
Observation Tower
Descending an observation tower.
Herons

Herons looked for lunch in a wetland.

Large oaks
A group followed tour guides through an area of large oaks near a wetland.
Stepping Stones
Balancing while using stepping stones to cross a flooded path.
Wetland chat
Delegates chatted at the edge of a wetland.
Dragonfly

A small dragonfly, head-on. (Product enlarged to show detail.)

Mosquito avoidance
Trying to avoid mosquitoes.
Frog
A frog in a wetland.
Boat Ride
Relaxing on a Danube boat ride.
Horse-drawn cart
A rural family traveling in a horse-drawn cart.
Abbot
The abbot of Comana Monastery explained its history.
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Thursday, 12 July

On Thursday, 12 July, COP 11 met in plenary throughout the day. The plenary addressed the reports of the Credentials Committee and on the discussions, conclusions and recommendations in the preceding sessions. The plenary discussed the draft resolution on the institutional host of the Ramsar Secretariat. The plenary then commenced adopting conference resolutions and recommendations, including on: financial and budgetary matters; adjustments to the strategic plan 2009-2015 for the 2013-2015 triennium; the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other institutions; wetlands and health - taking an ecosystem approach; an integrated framework for linking wetland conservation and wise use with poverty eradication; ensuring efficient delivery of scientific and technical aspects of the Convention for 2013-2015; and adjustments to the modus operandi of the STRP for the 2013-2015 triennium. The plenary also began consideration of the revised draft amendment on Wetlands and Sustainable Development. The contact group on climate change and wetlands also met.

A number of side events convened in the afternoon and evening, including: conserving the "Amazon of Europe" towards a penta-lateral UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube; attuning infrastructure development and preservation of peri-urban wetlands in the Bay of Panama Ramsar Site; the disappearing tidal flats of the East-Asian-Australasian flyway; "For Peat's Sake" - arctic wetlands in a changing world; integrated management in the Tigris and Euphrates basins; a national action plan for wetlands and an association of Ramsar Site managers; synergies and cooperation - options for the biodiversity-related agreements; how to link wetlands conservation and wise use with poverty alleviation; and "My home, my island and my wetlands."

Full web coverage available here: 12 July

Erick Fernando Cabrera Castellanos
Erick Fernando Cabrera Castellanos, Guatemala, delivered the report of the Credentials Committee.
Elizabeth Roberts
Elizabeth Roberts, Canada.
Nana Aboubakar Djalloh
Nana Aboubakar Djalloh, Cameroon.
Kenneth Uiseb
Kenneth Uiseb, Namibia.
Catalina Ionescu
Catalina Ionescu, Romfilatelia, presented a special collection of postal stamps and items celebrating Ramsar wetlands in Romania.
Angela Patricia Rivera
Angela Patricia Rivera, Colombia.
Plenary dais shot

A view of the dais during plenary.

Tidal Flats Side Event
BirdLife International and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership presented a side event on disappearing tidal flats of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
Synergies Side Event
UNEP-WCMC and the Ministry of Environment of Finland presented a side event on options for synergies and cooperation between the biodiversity-related agreements.
Kathleen Kutschenreuter
Kathleen Kutschenreuter, United States.
Peter Pouplier
Peter Pouplier, Denmark.
Louise Duff and Christine Prietto
Louise Duff, WetlandCare Australia, interviewed Christine Prietto of the Ramsar CEPA panel, for WetlandCare's Vox Pops series of short videos.
AEWA-CAFF Agreement

At the end of the side event on synergies, Bert Lenten, UNEP/CMS, and Tom Barry, CAFF, signed an agreement between the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and CAFF while Barbara Ruis, UNEP, looked on.

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Friday, 13 July

On Friday, 13 July, Ramsar COP 11 delegates met in the morning and adopted resolutions on: Tourism, recreation and wetlands; Wetlands and energy issues; Principles for the planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands; Agriculture-wetland interactions - rice paddy and pest control; and Future implementation of scientific and technical aspects of the Convention for 2013-2015. Delegates also discussed Regional initiatives 2013-2015 in the framework of the Ramsar Convention, which was referred to informal consultations to reach consensus. A second Friends of the Chair group was convened to continue efforts at resolving outstanding disagreement on the issue of institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat.

In the afternoon, delegates continued adopting resolutions, including on: Adjustments to the terms of Resolution VII.1 on composition, roles, and responsibilities of the Standing Committee and regional categorization of countries under the Convention; An integrated Framework for avoiding, mitigating, and compensating for wetland losses; Promoting sustainable investment by the public and private sectors to ensure the maintenance of the benefits people and nature gain from wetlands; Regional initiatives 2013-2015 in the framework of the Ramsar Convention; Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance; Climate change and wetlands - implications for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Insitutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat; and Wetlands and Sustainable Development. The plenary also adopted a resolution thanking Romania for hosting COP 11.

After closing the agenda item on adoption of resolutions and recommendations, Ramsar COP 11 discussed the date and venue of the next ordinary meeting of the COP, with Uruguay offering to host COP 12 in 2015. Delegates then adopted the report of COP 11. Ramsar COP 11 closed at 8:39 pm.

Full web coverage available here: 13 July

Marisa Aramaki
Marisa Aramaki, Japan.
Jenny Lonnstad
Jenny Lonnstad, Sweden.
Victoria Gobbi
Victoria Gobbi, Argentina.
Hazim Al Dalli
Hazim Al Dalli, Iraq.
Alejandra Figueroa Fernandez
Alejandra Figueroa Fernandez, Chile.
Clare Hamilton
Clare Hamilton, United Kingdom.
Brazilian Delegates
Brazilian delegates reviewed a document during plenary.
Applause
Delegates applauded the adoption of a resolution.
Pedro Mo Amaro
Amb. Pedro Mo Amaro presented on Uruguay's plans to host Ramsar COP 12 in 2015.
Chris Rostron
Chris Rostron, Wetland Link International/World Wetland Network, gave a statement on behalf of NGOs.
Matthew McCartney
Matthew McCartney, International Water Management Institute, gave a statement on behalf of Ramsar's International Organization Partners.
Herb Raffaele and Anada Tiéga
Herb Raffaele, United States, was named a Wetland Person of International Importance by Ramsar Secretary General Anada Tiéga.
Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc#
Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Romania, made closing remarks.
Mihail Fâcă
COP 11 President Mihail Fâcă declared the COP closed at 8:39pm.
Volunteers and Cameraman
Conference volunteers and cameramen kept watch to see which delegations intervened.
A/V Technicians
Technicians kept audio and video functioning smoothly in the plenary hall.
Bucharest view
A view of Bucharest from the north balcony of the palace.
Ramsar COP11 Team
Your COP 11 Earth Negotiations Bulletin team (L-R): Kate Harris, Writer, Canada; Laura Russo, Writer, Italy; Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, Writer, Netherlands; Anna Schulz, Team Leader, United States; Delia Paul, Writer, Malaysia; Dan Birchall, Digital Editor, United States; Nancy Williams, Logistics Coordinator, United States.
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Related Links
Meeting resources
*Ramsar Convention website
*Ramsar COP11 website
*Ramsar COP11 provisional agenda
*Ramsar COP11 documents
*Draft resolutions
*Fortieth Anniversary booklet
*Convention introductory brochure
*Convention brief history
*Host Country web site

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*IISD RS coverage of the Second African Water Week, 9-13 November 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the IHA World Congress 2009, 23-26 June 2009, Reykjavik, Iceland
*IISD RS coverage of the 5th World Water Forum, 16-22 March 2009, Istanbul, Turkey
*IISD RS coverage of Ramsar COP10, 28 October - 4 November 2008, Changwon, Republic of Korea
*IISD RS coverage of the First African Water Week, 26-28 March 2008, Tunis, Tunisia
*IISD RS coverage of the IHA World Congress 2007, 29-31 May 2007, Antalya, Turkey
*IISD RS coverage of Ramsar COP9, 8-15 November 2005, Kampala, Uganda
*IISD RS coverage of Ramsar COP8, 18-26 November 2002, Valencia, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of Ramsar COP7, 10-18 May 1999, San Jose, Costa Rica
*IISD RS archive of meetings on water, oceans, and wetlands; and backgrounder
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*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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