Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The 1971 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Wetlands are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems. They provide essential ecosystem services including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and plant and animal habitat. However, they continue to be degraded and converted to other uses.

The Ramsar Convention uses a broad definition of wetlands, including all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and salt pans. Under the three pillars of the Convention, States commit to: work toward the wise use of all their wetlands; designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management; and cooperate on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.


Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results

14th Session of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP14) of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention)

Delegates adopted 21 resolutions, including several intended to increase the scope and diversity of engagement in the work of the Wetlands Convention. These included promoting the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in wetland management, connecting with youth, and expanding synergies and cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 5 November 2022 - 13 November 2022

13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13)

COP13 adopted 25 resolutions, including on a language strategy with a step-by-step plan to add Arabic as the fourth Convention language, gender, peatlands, blue carbon ecosystems, sustainable urbanization, agriculture, intertidal wetlands, wetlands in West Asia, and Arctic and sub-Arctic wetlands. The release of the Global Wetland Outlook provided a touchstone for discussions on challenges ahead to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 22 October 2018 - 29 October 2018

12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP12)

COP12 adopted 16 resolutions by consensus, including the Strategic Plan 2016-2024, a new framework for the delivery of scientific and technical advice and guidance on the Convention, peatlands, disaster risk reduction, and a wetland city accreditation of the Ramsar Convention. In the face of dramatic loss and degradation of wetlands, and notwithstanding organizational difficulties, the meeting was considered successful in charting the way for the Convention to link up to other international processes, as well as guide work on the ground.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 2 June 2015 - 9 June 2015

11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP11)

COP 11 adopted 22 resolutions, including on: institutional hosting of the Ramsar Secretariat; the status of sites in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; regional initiatives; partnerships and synergies with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other institutions; tourism, recreation and wetlands; climate change and wetlands; and more
Conference of the Parties (COP) 6 July 2012 - 13 July 2012

10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP10)

Most participants expressed satisfaction with the COP 10 outcomes. While many delegates welcomed the fact that the decisions on wetlands and climate change and on wetlands and biofuels remained focused on aspects relevant to wetland conservation and wise use rather than broadening the issues beyond the Convention’s scope, some felt that COP 10 had missed an opportunity to make the Convention more visible at the global level.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 October 2008 - 4 November 2008

9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP9)

COP9, the first Ramsar COP held in Africa, adopted 25 resolutions on a wide range of policy, programme and budgetary matters, including: additional scientific and technical guidance for the implementation of the Ramsar wise use concept; engagement of the Convention in ongoing multilateral processes dealing with water; the Convention’s role in natural disaster prevention, mitigation and adaptation; and more.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 8 November 2005 - 15 November 2005

8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP8)

Delegates considered and adopted more than 40 resolutions addressing a broad range of policy, technical, programme and budgetary matters, including wetlands and agriculture, climate change, cultural issues, mangroves, water allocation and management, and the Report of the World Commission on Dams.  
Conference of the Parties (COP) 18 November 2002 - 26 November 2002

7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP7)

While some thought that the overriding COP7 theme of “People and Wetlands: The Vital Link” was somewhat lost in a plethora of resolutions and political tugs-of-war, COP7 did make good progress in adopting a variety of tools to enable better implementation of the Convention.   
Conference of the Parties (COP) 10 May 1999 - 18 May 1999