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World Bank Group and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Pledge to Protect Wetlands

February 18, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. February 18, 2010 – The World Bank Group and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR) on February 16 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in a program of scientific and technical exchange including technical expertise and capacity building related to wetlands and climate change.
The MoU was signed by Hartwig Schafer, Acting Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank and Anada Tiéga, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.  The MoU became effective upon signing and will run until 2015.
In his address at the signing ceremony, Schafer noted: "The cooperation with RAMSAR represents precisely the type of partnerships the World Bank seeks to complement its resources with specialized sources of knowledge and information.  By signing of this MoU we hope to signal to a wider audience our joint commitment to address the challenges that climate impacts represent for these unique ecosystems."
 “This MoU enables both institutions to work together on a priority area that touches both on climate and biodiversity” said Tiéga at the conclusion of the signing ceremony.
The MoU complements a series of MoUs previously signed by the World Bank Group with leading research institutions and information providers to assist and complement the Bank Group's involvement in different aspects of the climate change agenda.
Specifically, the MoU provides for cooperation between the two institutions on the following aspects:
a)     The assessment, formulation, and development of climate change projects in wetlands.
b)    The development of tools and methodologies to assess the magnitude of carbon sinks in mangroves.
c)     The assessment of biomass density in wetlands.
d)    The development of the wetlands typology and protocol for assessing net carbon storage or CO2 emissions under  different conditions.
e)     The formulation of “carbon sink assets” in wetlands.
f)     Joint reporting in the technical scientific literature of the results of the cooperation; and
g)    Exchange of scientific and technical support for the purposes of the points referred above.
While initially intended to support ongoing projects in the Caribbean, Mexico and Colombia, this MoU has a much wider scope with an intention to provide support to any projects dealing on issues of climate change adaptation and or mitigation on wetlands, worldwide.

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