Piloting the Management Effectiveness Tracking tool in

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"Piloting the tracking tool for management effectiveness in wetlands
protected under the Ramsar Convention."
Archna Chatterjee and Jamie Pittock, WWF
Background and context
With about 1400 Ramsar sites, covering an area of 124 million hectares, barely 9.7% of the total estimated wetland area of 1280
million hectares is protected as Wetlands of International Importance. What percentage of this 9.7 % is achieving the objectives for
which these Ramsar sites were established is, however, not very well known. WWFs Global Freshwater Programme has planned, over
the next ten years, to champion the protection and management of 250 million hectares of freshwater wetlands, more than trebling the
number of protected freshwater wetlands worldwide. To secure long-term conservation benefits, it therefore, becomes imperative, that
WWF and Ramsar put in as much effort into achieving sound and effective management of existing Ramsar sites as into designating
new wetland protected areas.
Measuring this effectiveness is critical for learning, adapting and improving management actions to achieve the objectives set for any
area, and to help this process the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has developed a ‘framework’ for assessment. The
WCPA framework aims both to provide some overall guidance in the development of assessment systems and to encourage standards
for assessment and reporting. The WCPA framework is based on the idea that good protected area management follows a process that
has six distinct stages, or elements:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
context
planning
inputs
processes
outputs
outcomes
Table 1: Summary of the WCPA framework
Elements of
evaluation
Context
Planning
Inputs
Explanation
Where are we now?
Assessment of importance, threats and
policy environment
Where do we want to be?
Assessment of protected area design and
planning
What do we need?
Assessment of resources needed to carry
out management
Process
How do we go about it?
Assessment of the way in which
management is conducted
Output
What were the results?
Assessment of the implementation of
management programmes and actions;
delivery of products and services
Outcome
What did we achieve?
Assessment of the outcomes and the
extent to which they achieved objectives
Source Hockings et al. (2002)
Criteria that are assessed










significance
threats
vulnerability
national context
partners
protected area
legislation and policy
protected area system design
reserve design
management planning
Resourcing of agency
Resourcing of site
Partners
Suitability of management processes
Focus of evaluation
Status
Appropriateness
Resources
Efficiency
Appropriateness
Results of management actions
Services and products
Effectiveness
Impacts: effects of management in
relation to objectives
Effectiveness
appropriateness
WWF has drafted a wetlands protected areas management tracking tool that has been designed to fulfill the elements of evaluation
included in the WCPA’s framework.
Purpose
The Tracking tool has been developed to help track and monitor progress of management effectiveness in wetland protected areas,
particularly Ramsar sites, and more generally to help improve management effectiveness. The tool is based on the existing WWFWorld Bank forest alliance tracking tool (http://www.panda.org/downloads/forests/areprotectedareasworking.pdf
2.
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ESSD/envext.nsf/80ByDocName/ReportingProgressInProtectedAreaManagementEffectivenessTracking
ToolJuly2002/$FILE/PATrackingToolJune2003.pdf) and the World Bank’s MPA score card
http://www.icriforum.org/mpa/SC2_eng_nocover.pdf ).
Broadly the tracking tool is:








Capable of providing a harmonized reporting system for protected area assessments within WCPA framework
Suitable for replication
Able to supply consistent data to allow tracking of progress over time
Relatively quick and easy to complete by protected area staff, so as not to be reliant on high levels of funding or other
resources
Capable of providing a ‘score’ if required
Based around a system that provides for alternative text answers to each question, strengthening the scoring system
Easily understood by non-specialists, and
Nested within existing reporting systems to avoid duplication of effort
For many of these reasons the tracking tool assesses procedural outputs like preparation of management plans, rather than ecological
outcomes that required expensive scientific surveys to collect relevant data on trends.
(Source: Reporting progress in protected areas: a site- level management effectiveness tracking tool, Sue Stolton et al, World
Bank/WWF alliance for forest conservation and sustainable use, 2003)
The Tracking tool is designed as a multipurpose tool that would meet the needs of a variety of users and serve a number of purposes:
 Individual site managers could use the tool at regular intervals (1-2 years) to track progress of their sites. This also helps
maintain continuity in cases where site managers may change (for e.g. in countries like India)



Provincial and national governments could employ the tracking tool to assess progress of management programs in suites of
sites, thus helping them to identify gaps for corrective action
Ramsar, CBD and other multi- lateral processes could effectively use the tool to assess trends in site management and identify
gaps at a broader global scale
Global NGOs like WWF & multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank-GEF could use it as a handy tool to assess progress of
their management programs in suites of sites for identifying gaps for corrective action and to constructively respond to internal
and external queries on progress and outcomes of the investment of scarce resources.
The tracking tool’s optimal potential would be realized when it rolls up from individual site managers through national governments to
provide data through national reports, to feed into a global database. Comparison in trends over time at global, continent, country,
province, sites could then be made.
It is hoped that the development of this tool may contribute to measurements for the proposed protected areas management
effectiveness tracking indicators proposed for adoption by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and Convention on Biological
Diversity. In this context, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in partnership with the World Bank and WWF, among others, is
considering the establishment of a global database of these tracking tool assessments to monitor global trends in protected areas
management.
Limitations
The tracking tool has been designed to help report progress on management effectiveness and should not replace more detailed
methods of assessment of the ecological status of wetland protected areas.. The tracking tool needs to be completed and regularly used
by the site manager or other relevant site staff to be useful.. This ‘simple’ approach is useful for prioritization of issues and improving
the management process, but tells little about achievement of management objectives. The tool is not designed to allow detailed
evaluation of ecological outcomes, but rather serves to provide a quick overview of the status of management steps identified in the
WCPA framework.
The tracking tool’s ‘ scoring’ system is fraught with difficulties and possibilities for distortion, as it assumes, for example, that all the
questions cover issues of equal weight. Limitations of this simple approach should therefore, be recognized.
The tracking tool can be completed by the site manager with input from other staff and, ideally, local stakeholders to validate the
scoring. It has been designed to be easily answered without any field level research, but by referencing available reports and datasets.
Pilot Phase
In February 2005, WWF began preparations to field test the ‘tracking tool’ at Ramsar sites where WWF was undertaking a project or
providing support to facilitate the process. An email communication went out to the WWF network’s freshwater staff seeking
volunteers to test the tool. The official involvement of the Ramsar site manager in the testing of the draft tracking tool was required, so
that the management agency’s response to the tool, their comments for its improvement and their ‘comfort’ factor in completing the
formats could be judged and adequately incorporated in the revised version. The criteria for selection of sites for field testing were:
 listed Ramsar site
 agreement of the managing agency to jointly undertake the assessment;
 diversity of reserves in terms of number (preferably 3-5), habitats, and tenures (eg. national park, provincial park, private land, etc);
The pilot phase ran from April-July 2005.
The Ramsar Sites
The eight Ramsar sites selected for the field testing were:
Reserve/site
name
Danube-Drava
National
Park,(DDNP)
Hungary, BedaKarapancsa
Ramsar site #
Area (ha)
Land tenure(s)
901/3HU016
1,150 ha
Mainly state-owned, small parts
owned privately
Kopacki rit
Nature Park,
Croatia
583/3HR002
17,770 ha
A mixture of state and private
ownership
Habitat type(s)
(eg. lake, mangrove, etc)
Rivers, oxbow lakes and ponds in the
floodplain; marshlands, reedbeds, meadows,
willow bushes and gallery forests with ash,
elm, alder and oak trees.
Extensive Salix, Populus and Quercus
woodland which is subject to spring flooding,
together with numerous channels, oxbow
lakes, Kopacki lake, extensive Phragmites
beds and a large complex of fishponds.
Kilombero
Valley Ramsar
Site
1173/ ITZ003
14,400 ha
Agriculture land (small scale and
Flood plain
irrigated farming) – private land
Catchment Forest reserves – under the
Forest Department
Part of the Udzungwa National Park –
Under the Tanzania National Parks
Game Controlled Area – Kilombero linking with the Selous Game reserve
– under the Wildlife Division
Livestock keeping – communal land
50,720 ha. National park
Forests, lagoons, dunes sands, marshland and
wetlands
National Park of
Doñana (Parque
Nacional de
Doñana)
234/ 3ES001.
Área de
Protección de
Flora y Fauna
Cuatrociénegas
734/4MX004
84,347 ha
Lake Mikri Prespa
60/3GR008
5,078 ha
Small holdings and ejido [??]
property
(59% -41%).
Prespa National Forest (PNF). Despite its
being called a “forest” the PNF covers
the Greek part of both Micro (=Mikri)
and Macro Prespa and its surrounding
area. Its total area is 19,470 ha.
Inland wetland
Hundreds of small, spring-fed, travertinelined pools; and other aquatic habitat as
marshes, rivers, barial lakes and channels.
Long isolation in specialised habitats (incl.
unique gypsum dunes) has given
rise to high biological diversity and high
endemism, with the site providing habitat for
numerous threatened or vulnerable species.
Habitats types based on the Ramsar classification
listed in descending order of dominance:
O - Permanent freshwater lakes (> 8 ha);
N
Seasonal/intermittent/irregular
rivers
/streams/creeks,
Tp - Permanent freshwater marshes /pools,
Ramsar wetland. The Ramsar site called
Lake Mikri Prespa forms the core area of
absolute protection of the Prespa
National Forest
Site of Community Importance (EU
Habitats Directive) and a Special
Protection Area (EU Birds Directive)
Both are included within the PNF
Prespa Park: The Prespa Lakes have
been declared (February 2000) the
first transboundary protected area in
the Balkans by the prime ministers of
Albania, Greece and the FYR of
Macedonia.
Ts - Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes
/pools,
3 – irrigated land (irrigation channels)
The site is an inland lake separated from Lake
Megali Prespa by a narrow strip of alluvial
deposits. Extensive reedbeds occupy the margins
of the lake and there are extensive areas of
floating and submerged aquatic plants. There are
periodically flooded meadows within the site.
Landscape of exceptional beauty:
according to Greek national
legislation
Moreover several species of the flora and
fauna of Prespa are included in the
Annexes of the Bern Convention on the
Conservation of European Wildlife and
Natural Habitats
Public and Private land
Keoladeo
National Park,
Rajasthan, India
230/2IN002
2873 ha
Provincial/region / state



Water storage areas; reservoirs /barrages
/dams /impoundments; (generally over 8 ha)
Seasonal /intermittent freshwater
marshes/pools on inorganic soil; includes
sloughs, potholes, seasonally flooded
meadows, sedge marshes
Permanent freshwater marshes/pools; ponds

Chilika Lake,
Orissa, India
229/ 2IN001
116500 ha
Provincial/ region/ state

Some parts private owned



(below 8 ha), marshes and swamps on
inorganic soils; with emergent vegetation
water-logged for at least most of the growing
season
Seasonal/intermittent freshwater lakes (over 8
ha); includes floodplain lakes
Permanent rivers/streams/creeks; includes
waterfalls
Coastal
freshwater
lagoons;
includes
freshwater delta lagoons
Coastal brackish/saline lagoons; brackish to
saline lagoons with at least one relatively
narrow connection to the sea
Sand, shingle or pebble shores; includes
sandbars, spits and sandy islets; includes dune
systems and humid dune slacks (dominant)
The process
The tracking tool questionnaire (Annex 1) and the format for tracking tool assessment report (Annex 2) sent out to WWF contact
persons for each of the Ramsar sites. Field visit (s) were undertaken to the site to meet the site manager. In some cases there was no
specific manager, but the area was under a government department, and was managed in general along with area under the jurisdiction
of that particular department. The tracking tool questionnaire was completed jointly with the site manager. In all cases the WWF
project manager contributed to the assessment. The completed questionnaires and assessment reports were analiysed by WWF, based
on which the tracking tool is being revised. This report outlines the major inputs received from the Ramsar site managers, on the
practical utility of the tool, its usefulness in management planning and most of all the ease with which the tool could be completed.
The ‘Scores’ for the Ramsar Sites
Ramsar Sites and their ‘Scores’
Elements
Ma
xim
um
pos
sibl
e
sco
re
DDNP
Hungary,
BedaKarapancsa
Kopacki rit
Nature Park,
Croatia
Kilombero
Valley Tanzania
National Park of
Doñana, Spain
Área de
Protección de
Flora y Fauna
Cuatrociénegas,
Mexico
Lake Mikri
Prespa
Greece
Keoladeo
National Park,
Rajasthan,
India
Chilika lake,
Orissa, India
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max. score*
Your Score
Final score**(%)
Adj.max. score*
Your Score
25
96
17
65.4 11
26
20
26
76.9
18
26
69.2 13
26
50
16
61.5 23
Total score for 26
Context (A)
11
92
6
50
2
12
10
12
83.3
9
12
75.0 1
12
8.3
12
100 9
Total score for 12
Planning (B)
12
92
9
69.2 1
13
10
13
76.9
10
15
66.7 4
13
30.8 8
61.5 11
Total score for 13
Inputs (C)
19
79
8
33.3 2
24
14
24
58.3
15
20
75.0 5
20
25
9
37.5 21
Total score for 24
Process (D)
12
92
10
76.9
7
10
70
10
13
76.9 4
7
57.1 8
61.5 9
Total score for 13
Outputs (E)
23
85
9
33.3
13
22
59.1
16
27
59.3 14
27
51.9 16
59.2 17
Total score for 27
Outcomes (F)
115 102
75
107 69.2
78
113 69.0 41
105 39.1 69
90
88.7 59
51.3 16
21.3 74
60
Total
(A+B+C+D+E
+F)
* If some questions are not scored (e.g., not relevant), the maximum score should be changed to an adjusted (adj.) score (maximum possible score minus points
for question that are not applicable).
**Final score is the percentage of your score over the maximum (if all questions have been scored) or the adjusted maximum score.
88.5
75
84.6
87.5
69.2
62.1
78.3
The ‘score’ results are discussed only briefly, in as much as to show the utility of the tool, as the objective of the report is to analyse
the feedback on the tool itself. While the report does not reflect much on the information received from the completed formatssuffices to say that one who has not been to any of these sites would get a good picture of the ground realities at these sites. Some
interesting aspects emerge from studying these scores:




A wide variation in the final scores of DDNP, Hungary and Kopacki rit Nature Park, Croatia, both part of the transboundary
floodplains of the Danube, clearly shows the differences in management systems and indicate where the improvements are
needed. Management on DDNP side is much more efficient compared to Kopacki rit which is recovering from the vicious
conflicts of the 1990s and the political challenges which followed, although in terms of biodiversity Kopacki rit is much more
diverse. While both are Ramsar sites, Kopacki rit is not a national protected area, while DDNP is a national park, and this is
reflected in tracking tool scores. These floodplains represent a single ecological unit and there should be cooperative ecosystem
management applying the same high standards. The Middle Danube floodplains, with its different nature protection regimes
(Hungary, Croatia and Serbia), can thus potentially benefit greatly from the use of the tracking tool to identify and highlight
management issues to be addressed and to track progress over time.
Kilombero Valley Ramsar site, Tanzania, scores low, as it is still in the process of management planning. There is no dedicated
site manger and staff. Very low scores for the planning, inputs and process sections reflect this and should provide the
technical and financial investment avenues for the government and others. Till these are in place outputs and outcomes would
always score poorly. As Kilombero prepares its management plan and begins to implement it from 2006, practical tools such as
this would help steer the planning and its implementation in the right direction. Considering that Kilombero has a great many
organizations both public and private, involved in its management, the tracking tool would be a useful and easy catalyst
medium for action.
Doñana shows high scores for planning and inputs but the threats (namely illegal groundwater extraction, new highway
projects, and new infrastructure for Sevilla’s harbour) have stayed at same levels bringing down the score for outcomes. This
could be related to the fact that the wetland protected area is not integrated into the integrated river basin management plan.
Mechanisms for stakeholder participation exist and are encouraging but need to be improved for better results.
Cuatrociénegas, Mexico, is a federal protected area and a Ramsar site with an average score. Threats from the over exploitation
of water, exotic species and timber extraction have stayed at same levels, the unorganised tourism to the protected area has
increased, thereby increasing the threat level. An important aspect here is for management to focus on devising strategies for
tourism regulation and promoting responsible tourism so it becomes an asset instead of a threat. The site scores well on
stakeholder participation in decision making and management activities. Training opportunities could be made available to all
staff instead of only for senior managers.




Lake Mikri Prespa, Greece, scored surprisingly low, in spite of its prestigious status as part of the transboundary Prespa Park,
support by the heads of state of three nations namely, Albania, Macedonia and Greece. The site’s management planning does
not meet expectations for such a site. However the management work being done by the NGO Society for Protection of Prespa
is noteworthy and should be able to provide crucial support for a proper, long term management plan. The Prespa management
body was established in 2003, but it has no personnel, inadequate funding (allocated but not transferred), and no long-term
management plan. These elements are priorities for more effective management.
Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India is a World Heritage site and a National Park in addition to being a Ramsar site. It is
also better known as a bird’s paradise. Its scores are average in spite of scoring 100 percent in the planning section of the tool.
Being a National Park, it enjoys highest level of protection, which means that resource use by surrounding villages is not
legally permitted. Alienation of villagers with park is a long standing issue. The park is also seen as a competitor with
agriculture for water from the dam upstream. Drought years have seen worst expressions of public resistance to release of
allocated share of water to the park. This problem calls for integrating the wetland into broader scale planning and better
communication of the ecosystem services and livelihood security that KNP provides to the local people. Management planning
must take into consideration stakeholder views and communication channels need to be strengthened.
Chilika lake, Orissa, India scored well, in keeping with the Ramsar Award it received in 2002. A dedicated management
authority, a committed site manager at the helm, and progressive State policies have helped Chilika recover from its position
on the Montreux Record. To maintain this status over long-term, an effective monitoring and evaluation program, a suite of
performance indicators, agreed to by the stakeholders, must be put in place urgently, for measuring the outputs and the
outcomes and for the adaptive management. The tracking tool could be an important component in the monitoring and
evaluation protocol.
Ramsar sites which are also national level protected areas (eg DDNP, Keoladeo) have better scores as compared to sites which
are only Ramsar sites (e.g Kopacki rit, Kilombero). One exception is Prespa which in spite being a transboundary protected
area shows lower scores. Application of tracking tool on a regular basis could thus help national and provincial authorities in
prioritising allocation of funds and personnel, for sites which are not protected areas to improve their standard of management
to those sites that are protected areas.
Feedback from site managers
Comments and suggestions obtained from the site managers have been tabulated, based on the tracking tool assessment reports
received. Both DDNP and Kopacki rit assessments were carried out by WWF-Danube Carpathian Programme and thus the comments
are common.
The tracking
tool
Ramsar
sites
DanubeDrava
National
Park,
Hungary,
BedaKarapancsa,
and
Kopacki rit
Nature Park,
Croatia
Kilombero
Valley
Ramsar Site
Comments/ suggestions from Ramsar site managers and WWF project managers
Elements of evaluation
Context
Planning
Inputs
Process
Outputs
Outcomes
 Clear ,
 Include a
comprehensive
and useful
 Question on
stakeholder
awareness and
concern does
not differentiate
between the
larger and more
influential
stakeholders
and the smaller
stakeholders,
much more
numerous
question on
management
plan
following intl.
criteria
(Ramsar,
IUCN)
 Include
question on
involvement
of
stakeholders
through
public hearing
 Should make
clear distinction
between
wetland
protected area
and Ramsar site
which does not
 Include a
question
on inputs
and
evaluatio
ns from
independ
ent
researche
rs,
NGOs,
joint
universit
y-NP
prog.
 Comprehensi
ve
 Include a
question on
independent
monitoring of
management
processes
 A question
role of NGOs
 Communicati
on of threats
and objectives
to
stakeholders
 Include a
question on
encouraging
involvement
of volunteers,
NGOs,
educational
facilities
 Excellent
 Deal with
uneven
influence of
stakeholders
issue
General
 Easy to use
 Should be
conducted on
yearly basis
 Would be
excellent if
becomes a Ramsar
national report
requirement
 Tool does not
 User-friendly tool,
ask for
information
on the status
of species for
which the
Ramsar site
provides a quicker
and cheaper
method of
gathering useful
information
 Comprehensive- it
National Park
of Doñana
(Parque
Nacional de
Doñana)
have legal status
as protected
area
 Stakeholder
awareness on
wetland values
and threats
should be
measured
separately
instead of
clubbing in one
statement
has been
designated
 The term,
‘Resource’ is
not defined
clearly
covers a range of
issues and
therefore serves as
a reminder of
critical issues
which might have
been overlooked
in daily
management
operations
 Tool is biased
towards Ramsar
sites (which are
also PAs legally)
with site
managers, staff &
budget but does
not seem to apply
on Ramsar site
with no
management team,
staff, budget and
legal status
 Include
 Necessary to
 Tracking tool and
question(s) to
evaluate the
risk/threats/
situation in the
surroundings of
the Ramsar site
establish a
temporal
reference
point for the
evaluation
e.g. Have
resource
conditions
improved- but
‘since when’
is not clear
the assessment are
very useful,
because the tool is
simple to use and
gives a complete
view about the
national park
 In addition to the
score,
commentaries of
the assessor(s) are
valuable for
analysis and
reflection
 Emphasis on
Área de
Protección de
Flora y
Fauna
Cuatrociéneg
as
stakeholders
participation
and
community
welfare are
strong aspects
of the tool
which would
help the
manager to
adopt best
practices to
meet
conservation
goals by
involving all
stakeholders
and at same
time improve
the standards
of living of
the
communities
 Easy tool that




Lake Mikri
Prespa
 Address the
whole wetland
 Does not
clarify who is
 Under staff
training
 The term
‘resource’
 More
objective
allows us to keep
track of the
activities and
programmes
developed in the
PA
It does not require
extra workload for
the manager as it
can be completed
in 1-2 days
Would be useful if
can be made
mandatory to be
used regularly
over long period
of time
Recommend to
have a second part
of the tool- which
is more specific
and is capable of
providing detailed
information on the
management of
the site
Recommend the
involvement of
some stakeholders
in the
development of
the tool
 Considered useful
as it helps to
protected area,
not just the
Ramsar site
 Add question to
distinguish
situation in
Ramsar site and
the surrounding
wetland PA
 Not clear
whether
percentages
mentioned for
stakeholder
awareness and
concern refer to
groups (1 out of
4) or absolute
numbers
Keoladeo
National
Park,
Rajasthan,
India
 Legal status as a
National Park
might prevent
involvement of
local
stakeholders in
the planning
process, tool
provides a
constant
reminder to the
manager
setting
management
objectives and
who is
implementing
mgmt.
measures
 Agreed
objectives
may not
necessarily be
SMART, fine
tune the
question
shouldn’t
include
options 0 and
1 (i.e no
training or
insufficient
training
should be
defined in
guidance
notes
 Reference
point for ‘
outcomes’
need to be
explained in
guidance
notes
quantification
of
‘somewhat’
or
‘significantly’
required
clearly show
differences
between plans,
implementation
and results
 Needs fine tuning
for harmonized
reporting system
and be suitable for
replication
 Tracking tool
 Assessment gave a
provides
opportunity
for obtaining
periodic
comments
from the
stakeholders/
local
community,
which can
then be used
as a feedback
loop by the
manager for
the
management
plan
quick view of the
status of
management
Chilika Lake,
Orissa, India
 Measurement of
stakeholder
awareness does
not differentiate
between the
immediate
stakeholders
(fishermen,
villagers) and
the other
stakeholders
like tourists,
students etc.
 Along
with the
adequate
no. of
staff, the
capacity
of staff
must also
be
recorded
 Tool helps to
bring out the
importance of
immediate
stakeholders
for
management
as compared
to
stakeholders
as tourists,
students
 Format is user-
friendly, not
cumbersome to
complete and does
not take much
time
 Well-structured to
cover most of the
aspects of
management
 Helps to identify
management
issues and to some
extent quantify
them
The ‘revised’ tracking tool
Field testing the tool provided useful insights into the gaps and areas requiring clarification. The tool is now being revised based on
tool assessment reports from field testing sites. The revised tool would soon be available for wider application on Ramsar sites
specifically and other wetland protected areas in general.
The tracking tool and Ramsar
At a time when the importance of good management of Ramsar sites is being emphasized, WWF is of the view that the application of
the tracking tool to gauge the management effectiveness at Ramsar sites could be a catalyst for more resources and support for better
site management. The tracking tool would complement the management planning guide being developed for the Ramsar site
managers. The tool is capable of assessing each step of the management planning, and if used at regular intervals of 1-3 years,
provides crucial information to the manager, national policymakers, and Ramsar Convention on the conservation and management
trends in the Ramsar sites. The tool can help identify the bottlenecks for remedial action. The ‘tool’ does not specifically track the
ecological character of the sites, but indirectly addresses this through questions on ‘threats’, ‘meeting objectives’, ‘outputs ‘ ,
‘outcomes’ and the monitoring and evaluation plan of the site. The tool could also be used to track any improvements in the
management of the sites under Montreux Record. ‘Wise use of wetlands’ - the guiding principle of Ramsar Convention is reflected
aptly in the tracking tool with its emphasis on involving the stakeholders, communities and indigenous people in the various steps of
management planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The data generated from the use of tracking tool on an annual basis
at Ramsar sites would contribute to the Ramsar sites database and this would also help in updating the Ramsar information sheets. The
tool and the data generated through it would provide important inputs to the development of the indicator on Wetland management,
currently being developed with a suite of indicators for assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of Ramsar Convention. More
over, the tool is not static but an evolving one – responding to the emerging issues and concerns.
The Future Steps
Completion of the field testing phase is an important milestone in the development of this tracking tool. Linking it with Ramsar
processes and approaches is the next logical step. Ramsar is in the process of development of the Indicators of effectiveness of the
Convention. This is an aspect on which Ramsar STRP will be tasked to do further development work as a priority in the 2006-2008
triennium. The utility of the tool as a mechanism for acquiring information in relation to these indicators has already been recognized.
The coordinated approach for application of the tracking tool on the Ramsar sites, thus assumes great significance, as well as
developing linkages to similar assessments, e’g IBA monitoring by Birdlife International, Medwet qualitative assessment and the
WHSRN site assessment approach, becomes important.
WWF, Ramsar and other IOPs could play a crucial role in these assessments and developing the linkages by pooling together
resources and technical expertise. WWF could play a central role in coordination while Wetlands International could provide expertise
on creation of the database and Ramsar could host the database. The development of the proposed ‘headline indicator’ for Ramsar sites
could also be facilitated by data gathered from these assessments. This data could also be used as an indicator of wetland protected
area management effectiveness by both the Ramsar Convention and Convention on Biological Diversity. Some key components of the
analysis rolling up from site-level assessments could be:





Status of the Ramsar sites worldwide-correlation with factors like legal status, staff numbers, training, involvement of
stakeholders in planning and other factors
Trends in management of Ramsar sites over time
Identifying the most crucial threats to Ramsar sites globally and how to tackle these problems
Identifying key success factors for management activities
Analysing the success factors for maintaining the ecological character

Identifying a minimum or core set of requirements for an effectively managed Ramsar site
Key questions for the Ramsar Convention contracting parties to consider:
1. Is the tracking tool going to be helpful to the site managers in assessing progress and issues in the management planning for the
Ramsar sites and other wetlands protected areas?
2. Should the tracking tool be formally endorsed by the Convention in some form? COP9 DR2 will mandate the STRP to develop
the mechanisms for Effectiveness indicator data acquisition and analysis, could the tracking tool be formally endorsed by the
Convention as one of these mechanisms?
WWF would welcome feedback and advice from interested parties on the further revision and application of the tracking tool.
Contacts for feedback or more information:
Archana Chatterjee, Coordinator, Freshwater and wetlands Programme, WWF-India. Email [email protected]
Jamie Pittock, Director, Global Freshwater Programme, WWF International, Email: [email protected]
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