Side Events

Scaling up coastal conservation and restoration for humans and biodiversity

– plans for a multistakeholder science and evidence-based World Coastal Forum


Time: 12:30-14:00, 30 June 2022 Thursday (UTC+1, Lisbon Time)



Summary Report: 

Expected Outcomes

  • To further promote the establishment of the WCF and seek guidance and support from all major stakeholders to shape an effective forum.
  • To encourage countries & other stakeholders to engage with the WCFEG and/or its Task Teams (on Institutional Framework & Resource Mobilisation, International Engagement, Local and Subnational Engagement; Stakeholder Mapping; Science and Evidence), and provide a sound basis for the official establishment of the WCF to be announced by national leaders on the occasion of Ramsar COP14 in Wuhan, China, November 2022.



BirdLife International, Eco Foundation Global, Ministry of Natural Resources of China

Thematic focus

This event will bring together representatives of relevant treaties, governments, international, national & subnational organisations & experts/academics with a stake in coastal conservation to discuss an innovative new mechanism to accelerate - in line with the Conference Dialogue Theme 2, managing, protecting, conserving and restoring coastal ecosystems as a significant contribution - scaling up coastal action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.


This innovative international cooperation mechanism, the World Coastal Forum (WCF) (, with a focus on biodiversity conservation of coastal ecosystems, especially wetlands, is being establishment in response to calls via resolutions/ decisions of the global conventions on Migratory Species (CMS in 2017), Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar in 2018) and Biological Diversity (CBD in 2018), and IUCN (in 2020). 


This multi stakeholder platform focussed on the protection, conservation management, restoration and sustainable use of coastal wetlands and ecologically associated habitats is expected to be launched during Ramsar COP14 in Wuhan, China in November 2022. 


Enabled by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, with engagement of many other international organizations and institutions, the establishment phase of the WCF was launched on 10 January 2022; the global voluntary World Coastal Forum Establishment Group (WCFEG) began its work in February.


The WCF is likely to become an independent platform focused on supporting implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, UN Decade of Restoration, UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021 CBD COP15 Kunming Declaration, 2021 UNFCCC COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact, as well as the resolutions/decisions of the treaties & IUCN, and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to be adopted by CBD COP15 Phase Two in 2022.


The WCF aims to catalyse, facilitate and upscale local and national evidence-based coastal conservation efforts including: protection - identifying potential coastal wetland World Heritage and/or Ramsar sites to deliver ecological connectivity; management - developing evidence-based global guidance on wise use and management of working coastal ecosystems such as shellfisheries and saltpans, for people and wild species, including waterbirds; and restoration - supporting national prioritisation of coastal sites for restoration & provision of tools to support nature- based restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems.