The Convention’s CEPA Programme


Developing Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) as a powerful tool for the conservation and wise use of wetlands

Here we bring together some of the many activities associated with implementing the CEPA Programme, as adopted by Resolution X.8 at COP10 in 2008 (superseding CEPA Resolutions in 1999 and 2002). For a number of Contracting Parties (CPs), wetland Communication, Education, Participation, and Awareness (CEPA) is already a coordinated and targeted component of their programme on wetland conservation and wise use. For most CPs, however, implementing Resolution X.8 and the annexed Programme of Work is an opportunity to focus on developing wetland CEPA as a fundamental tool alongside the other more traditional management tools of the Convention. It’s a tool that should be used at national, regional and local levels, involving all sectors of society from key decision-makers, to the public at large, wetland users, the media, as well as teachers and schoolchildren.

These CEPA pages provide an open forum for the exchange of CEPA ideas and resource materials as well as identifying the diverse activities of the Ramsar Secretariat as well as the Contracting Parties and the many other wetland actors in implementing the CEPA Programme. This exchange is facilitated by the CEPA e-mail discussion list, which brings together the CEPA Focal Points, both government and NGO, and many others involved in CEPA activities. Without your input these few pages dedicated to the CEPA Programme will never fulfill their potential. So join the CEPA e-mail discussion list and let's hear from you!

Here’s how the CEPA site is organized

The CEPA email list

The Secretariat launched 3 unmoderated e-mail lists (in English, French and Spanish) in April 2001 devoted to the wide range of news, views, announcements, information requests and replies concerning wetland CEPA.  Join the CEPA List here.  Read a recent summary document  about a discussion on the elist concerning 'the role of 'wetland monsters' in communication Wetland Monsters
Government and NGO Focal Points

The nomination of Government and NGO CEPA National Focal Points by every Contracting Party is regarded as the starting point for an effective review of CEPA needs within each country, leading ultimately to a CEPA Action Plan - both principal components of Resolution X.8. The National Focal Points (NFPs) are also the main points of contact within and between countries for wetland CEPA.
Nominated CEPA Focal Points
Roles and responsibilities of the CEPA NFPs
Delivering the Ramsar Convention in your country: national focal points and their roles. 2014
Look here for reports on workshops that have been held for CEPA NFPs: workshop 1: in Ramsar, Iran, 2009; workshop 2: in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, April 2010; workshop 3: in Bari, Urmia Lake, Iran, August 2010 ; workshop 4: in Windhoek, Namibia, November 2010; workshop 5, specifically for the CEPA NFPs for the NorBalWet Ramsar Regional Initiative, held in Helsinki, Finland January 2012
CEPA Oversight Panel

A CEPA Oversight Panel was set up following COP9 in 2005. Its function is to monitor and report on the implementation of the Convention's CEPA Programme and to examine and set priorities for communication, education and capacity building in collaboration theAdvisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention and the Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel. Read more about the Panel's composition, current work plan, and meeting reports.

To reflect the new direction of capacity building within the Convention towards regional rather than international training, the Dutch government has replaced the RIZA Advisory Board with the Advisory Board on Capacity Building for the Ramsar Convention. Launched at COP11 in July 2012, the publication Enhancing the Wise Use of Wetlands: A Framework for Capacity Development was prepared through the Board to assist Ramsar's National Focal Points in developing and implementing capacity development activities to achieve the wise use of wetlands . Read more about the new Board and its relationship with the CEPA Oversight Panel here.
Implementing the CEPA Programme: action planning for wetland CEPA

At the global level
All Contracting Parties are expected to complete a National Report at the end of each triennium. A number of indicators in these reports refer to CEPA Programme implementation but of course since CEPA is a cross-cutting issue there are many other indicators that broadly refer to CEPA implementation. A report on the global implementation of the Programme is presented as an information paper to each Conference of the Parties. Read the report to COP11 here.

At the national level
A consultant has prepared a guide for Contracting Parties and other CEPA practitioners, to assist in the CEPA action planning process. It provides an easy-to-use practical tool that will guide practitioners in organising well-designed and well-run participatory action planning processes that employ a range of techniques for facilitating diverse multi-stakeholder groups. A Guide to Participatory Action Planning and Techniques for Facilitating Groups is available for download here.

Further assistance to CEPA practitioners comes from the CBD which has prepared a CEPA toolkit for its practitioners that complements the Ramsar guide. Here you will find tools concerning where, when and how to use a range of education and communication interventions. Available on a dedicated website here.

We hope CPs will share their National and sub-national CEPA Action Plans on these pages to assist other CPs in their task. Parties are expected to send their action plans - at whatever level, regional, national and sub-national - so that they can be made available on these web pages. These are available here: Wetland CEPA Action Plans

Read  here about the development of a CEPA Action Plan in Russia

Wetland CEPA resource materials                                                 

CEPA Methods: Best practice guide for rangers; communication strategy for a site recovery plan; ESD methods; techniques for working with stakeholders; and much more.

World Wetlands Day is the Convention's annual campaign day. First launched in 1997, the Secretariat hasdeveloped a very long list of WWD actors who make use of the WWD materials produced in hard and electronic copies each year. Actors are encouraged to use the design files to customize the Secretariat's materials for local, national and regional use. Reports on WWD events and customizations are uploaded each year. All materials are free. We have created a  'compendium' of children's activities and cartoons from all our WWD materials for easy reference and future use.

CEPA Stories: For the Convention's 11th COP we asked our CEPA National Focal Points to send us their 'best' CEPA intervention of the triennium - read their stories for information and inspiration and to see the breadth of CEPA.

Teaching Materials: the school curriculum presents a highly effective route for delivering information, raising awareness about wetland values and functions, and changing behaviour patterns. Here are some interesting materials for use in the classroom and during visits to local wetlands.

The Ramsar Board Game: Ramsar for 5-14 year olds
Wetland education centres

Wetland Education Centres are prime vehicles for enlightening the public and school groups about the functions and values of wetlands. Here are Web links to a few centres as well as some information about the role and future development of Wetland Centres in the CEPA Programme. Read more here
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