Ramsar Wetlands: Detecting Change in Ecological Character

06.11 - 08.11.2013
Queenscliff, Australia
Contact person:
Peter Gell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
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The 2013 Ramsar Conference will be hosted by the Collaborative Research Network into Self-Sustaining Regions:


Contracting Parties (member states) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands commit to the "€œwise use"€ of wetlands through the maintenance of their ecological character, particularly in the context of managing many of the world€™s most important wetlands which have been designated by governments for the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). Under the auspices of IGBP PAGES Focus IV, this workshop will bring key paleoecological researchers together with limnologists and ecologists to explore means of better understanding the nature of change and variability in key Ramsar wetlands across the globe. This meeting will engage directly with members of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) with a view to encouraging ecological character assessment processes to better utilize and take into account the palaeoecological record.

The workshop and its outputs will support delivery of one of the Top Priority 2013-2015 Ramsar STRP tasks mandated by the recent Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 11: Resolution XI.17). This is on €œDetecting, reporting and responding to change in ecological character- further guidance€, which specifically includes the following: €œUpdate and rationalize guidance on issues relating to Article 3.2 of the Convention, including the role and operation of the Montreux Record: approaches to establishing the range of natural variability of wetland sites and defining Limits of Acceptable Change: the need for and scope of guidance on determining confidence limits and degree of likelihood in cases of €œlikely€ change in the context of Article 3.2: and the need for and scope of guidance on the application of a precautionary approach in the Ramsar Convention€.

The meeting will also bring into the focus of paleoecologists the opportunities of engaging with the Ramsar wetland community to increase the impact of their research through the adoption of emerging evidence directly in wetland management.


It is envisaged proceedings of this workshop will be submitted to a limnological or wetlands journal such as Hydrobiologia, Marine & Freshwater Research, Wetlands or Aquatic Sciences to inform the wetland research and management community of opportunities to engage with palaeoecological approaches in describing and monitoring ecological character change.

Also, so as to specifically bring the relevance of palaeoecological approaches to the Ramsar Site ecological character description and management community, from the proceedings a Ramsar €œScientific & Technical Briefing Note€ will be prepared and widely circulated through Ramsar mechanisms.


8.50am on Wednesday 6th November and close at 6pm

8.30am on Thursday 7th November, closing at 12.45pm