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II Meeting Report - Wetlands PDF Print E-mail

II Meeting TABLE 4 WETLANDS

Phoenix, Arizona
February 11-12, 1997

Introduction

This session was conducted back to back with the preceding Migratory Birds Table. Hence, a number of Wetland Table agenda items were dealt with through the Migratory Birds Table. It was felt insufficient time was allocated to the Wetland Table Future meetings would benefit from more detailed preparation as well as scheduling of the meeting so as not to conflict with sessions such as Migratory Birds.

ACTION 1: Future meetings of the Trilateral Committee should ensure more detailed advance preparation of Table agenda and documentation as well as scheduling of sessions to avoid conflicts for Delegation members.

Summary of Agenda Item discussions

(a) NAWMP Update Consultations

This item was dealt with in the Migratory Birds Table.

(c) NAWCA Solicitation Packages

It was noted that the US Solicitation Package is updated annually in the USA" and periodically as needed in Canada. A revised Mexico Solicitation Package has been circulated for final review and is expected to be published in the near future for distribution in Mexico.

(d) Monitoring and Evaluation

Mexico noted its considerable interest in developing effective program monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure resources remain well targeted and program managers and staff are directly involved in assessing their performance. Mauricio Cervantes noted the general focus is on a case-by-case approach, using learning as a key program tool. This is a key aspect to ensure ongoing positive support under evaluation requirements for NAWCA funding.

The linkages for this proposal to the activities of the NAWMP Continental Evaluation Team (CET) were summarized by Clayton Rubec of CWS noting Mexico could benefit from the six years of direct experience of the CET to date. He noted this applies at many levels from projects to joint ventures and a continental perspective. It was noted that the CET has expressed interest in seeing Mexico directly involved in the CET's meeting and projects. The CET has an evolving mandate to not only provide advice to Joint Venture evaluation and monitoring initiatives but is also examining opportunities to address broad policy and economic pressures on the continental delivery of NAWMP.

ACTION 2: The Table recommends Trilateral support for effective evaluation at both the project and regional level for NAWMP projects, in particular noting the interest of Mexico in establishing such mechanisms for its program. NAWCC support for Mexico's initiative and the input of Continental Evaluation Team advice and expertise where approproiate should be encouraged.

(e) NAWCA Projects Status Report

Doug Ryan of the USFWS summarized the status of projects that have received NAWCA funding in the three nations, noting the availability of a Summary report for the 1994 and 1995 years. He also tabled a copy of projects funded to date in the current fiscal year. It was noted that support for Mexican projects continues to grow and the orderly manner in which Canadian proposals are received, while US projects undergo a highly competitive process.

The Table discussed the distinctions between the focus of projects funded and differences between Joint Venture and program operations in each country. Mexico noted that many of it projects now work with numerous^ollaborators and are examining a stronger geographic focus for program delivery. It was noted by Canada that Canadian Joint Ventures operate in a different style than US counterparts reflecting a different range of partnership interests and financial relationships. Mexico noted its interest in exploring program linkages between wintering/breeding habitat initiatives on a north-south basis.

The Table noted that the NAWMP should recognize that there are different forms of program operation in Mexico that may stimulate establishment of effective linkages with Joint Ventures in Canada and the USA.

ACTION 3: The Wetland Table recommends that the NAWMP should look at program structures in Mexico as a way to facilitate interaction between Mexican projects and Joint Ventures in Canada and the USA.

(g) Mexico National Wetland Program

It was noted that Mexico is addressing wetland conservation at many levels simultaneously through the development of program infrastructure, training initiatives, a national wetlands initiative tied to the national Wildlife Program and a proposal for a National Wetland Congress.

A proposal for development of a National Wetland Program in Mexico is being prepared by an Interagency Committee. This is working towards an integrated national wetland policy outlining the Government's priorities and plans for each interest in a coordinated manner.

A proposal has also been developed for a National Mexican Wetland Congress to be held in the Fall of 1997. It was noted this is strongly directed to integrating many of the current initiatives by cooperating government and non-government partners in Mexico and to elevating support for program implementation within senior levels of the Government of Mexico. Interesting parallels were drawn to similar national wetland policy forums held in Canada and the United States.

A discussion focused on wetland classification noted that considerable progress has been made through Ducks Unlimited Mexico (DUMAC) in inventorying Mexico's wetlands and developing an adapted classification system. This system could be used in the development of a Mexican Wetland Classification System.

ACTION 4: Recognizing ongoing efforts to develop and implement the National Wetland Program in Mexico, the Wetland Table recommends Trilateral encouragement and support for these efforts. In particular, support is needed for the expansion of a national training course/program for wetland managers: for a National Wetland Congress proposed for the Fall of 1997, and for compilation of a standardized National Wetland Classification System in cooperation with Wetlands International and Ducks Unlimited Mexico.

(h) Mexico Training Workshop

Mauricio Cervantes of Wetlands International summarized its recent and highly successful Mexican Wetland Training Workshop and presented a preliminary report and manual for the Workshop. The course involved 45 students from a range of disciplines and management levels. The two week program involved course instructors from three countries and was presented over a two week period. The course will be offered several more times during the next two years. A proposal has been submitted to the NAWCC including DUMAC participation for future workshops. This course is a component of Mexico's National Wetland Plan. DUMAC suggested a module on wetland inventory and classification be developed and incorporated.

(i) Regional Ramsar Issues

The Table discussed the need to establish an ongoing mechanism for wetland conservation initiatives between Canada, USA and Mexico to complement the mechanisms now in place for the NAWMP. The ability to promote a continental view particularly in the context of the Ramsar Convention and the Commission on Environmental Cooperation was identified.

The Wetland Table recognized there is a need for regular interaction on wetland conservation issues continentally beyond the activities of NAWMP Plan Committee and NAWCC. This discussion focused on the potential for establishment of a Wetland Working Group of the Trilateral Committee as stipulated under Article II (4) of the Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding. This Working Group could promote Canada-USA-Mexico common interests in wetland conservation. In particular, this Working Group could serve continental interests under the Ramsar Convention and develop advice to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation on wetland conservation and related habitat issues.

SUMMARY OF ACTION ITEMS FROM WETLAND TABLE

(1 ) Future meetings of the Trilateral Committee should ensure more detailed advance preparation of Table agenda and documentation as well as scheduling of sessions to avoid conflicts for Delegation members.

(2) The Wetland-Table recommends Trilateral support for effective evaluation at both the project and regional level for NAWMP projects, in particular noting the interest of Mexico in establishing such mechanisms for its program. NAWCC support for Mexico's initiative and the input of Continental Evaluation Team advice and expertise where appropriate should be encouraged.

(3) The Wetland Table recommends that the NAWMP should look at program structures in Mexico as a way to facilitate interaction between Mexican projects and Joint Ventures in Canada and the USA.

(4) Recognizing ongoing efforts to develop and implement the National Wetland Program in Mexico, the Wetland Table recommends Trilateral encouragement and support for these efforts. In particular, support is needed for the expansion of a national training course/program for wetland managers: for a National Wetland Congress proposed for the Fall of 1997, and for compilation of a standardized National Wetland Classification System in cooperation with Wetlands International and Ducks Unlimited Mexico.

 

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