Meeting Obligations to Protect Ramsar Wetlands

Tabled: 14 September 2016

Appendix B. Victorian Waterway Management Strategy policies

Improving our Waterways: Victorian Waterway Management Strategy, prepared by the former Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now DELWP), integrates wetland management into an overall waterway management framework. Figure B1 outlines the policies and actions that relate to Ramsar sites.

Figure B1 Victorian Waterway ManagementStrategy Ramsar policies and actions



12.1: The Victorian Waterway Management Strategy will provide the leading statewide strategic direction on the management of the environmental condition of wetlands.

Regional management of wetland condition will be integrated with that for rivers and estuaries through the regional Waterway Strategies.

12.1: Endorse the ecological character descriptions and updated RISs for Victoria's Ramsar sites that are being developed by the Australian Government.

12.2: The Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning will work in partnership with Ramsar site managers and the Australian Government to maintain and report on the ecological character of Ramsar sites and the status of Ramsar site documentation. Ramsar sites in Victoria will be monitored to detect change in ecological character.

12.2: Monitor the ecological character of Ramsar sites and provide information to the Australian Government on the status of ecological character and Ramsar site documentation for inclusion in three‑yearly national reports to the Ramsar Convention.

12.3: Regional Waterway Strategies will incorporate Ramsar site management planning, unless the complexity of management arrangements for the site warrants an individual management plan. Ramsar site management planning documents will set out the range of management activities required to maintain the ecological character of Ramsar sites and address emerging risks. The maintenance of the ecological character of Ramsar sites will be given high priority in the management of environmental water.

12.3: Evaluate and renew management planning for Victoria's Ramsar sites.

12.4: The Victorian Government will continue to require all necessary approvals for actions with the potential to cause long‑term change to the ecological character of Ramsar sites.

12.4: Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate management response strategies for any Ramsar sites where monitoring indicates that a change in ecological character has occurred or is likely to occur.

12.5: If monitoring indicates the ecological character of a Ramsar site is likely to change or has changed, the Victorian Government will notify the Australian Government and develop a response strategy for the site and monitor the effectiveness of its implementation. If there are no feasible or cost-effective management response options to maintain the site's ecological character, Victoria will engage the Australian Government to agree on a process to review management objectives for the site. This will be done in consultation with the community and will be aimed at facilitating adaptation to a new ecological regime that maximises existing and likely future values.

Deleting or restricting the boundary of a Ramsar site will only be investigated where irreversible change results in a loss of critical values to the extent that the Ramsar site fails to meet any of the Ramsar criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance.

None listed.

12.6: Investigations to list a new Ramsar site or extend the boundaries of an existing site may be initiated in response to proposals by the community or other parties and will consider the following factors:

  • the Ramsar Convention criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance met by the wetland
  • the Ramsar Convention Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Convention on Wetlands and any national strategic direction on priorities for Ramsar site listing
  • agreement by the land manager and key stakeholders involved in the management of the wetland and the actions they propose to meet relevant Ramsar obligations
  • the current degree of protection of the wetland and the opportunities for increasing the level of protection by listing the wetland as a new Ramsar site
  • alternative legislative and management frameworks for management of the wetland
  • the level of threat to the wetland, and the contribution that listing would make to improving the management of threats
  • the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of maintaining the ecological character of the wetland in the long term
  • the contribution that listing would make to awareness raising and community education in relation to the values of the wetland and wetland conservation in general
  • the level of community support for listing
  • the national and international documentation and administrative requirements.

None listed.

Source: VAGO based on the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy 2013.

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