Indicator: IW-48 Ramsar wetlands with implemented management plans

Data

Australia’s national report to the Ramsar Convention meeting in 2002 included the following key achievements:

  • Ramsar wetlands and habitat of listed migratory waterbirds have been given statutory protection under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 along with new standards for managing Ramsar wetlands
  • all States and Territories have passed new water management legislation designed to provide water for the environment, including wetland ecosystems
  • wetland policies are being implemented in the majority of the States, with and the remaining States/Territories making progress in this direction
  • Natural Heritage Trust funding is available for a variety of wetland rehabilitation and conservation projects around Australia and is largely being implemented by community groups
  • wetland site monitoring increasingly involves community, Indigenous and private sector groups
  • partnerships between corporate/private sector and non-government conservation organisations are being developed to deliver wetland conservation and rehabilitation projects (eg Revive our Wetlands partnership between BHP-Billiton and Conservation Volunteers Australia)
  • a national project to develop improved descriptions of ecological character of Ramsar sites has been initiated.
Management of Australia's Ramsar sites
Jurisdiction Number of sites Number of sites where changes or potential changes in ecological character have been detected/predicted Number of management plans in place Number of management plans in preparation or under review Number of management plans being implemented
ACT 1 0 1 1
Aust Govt 5 3 5 2 review 5
NSW 9 2 8 2 review 1 preparation 4
NT 1 1 1 review
Qld 4 3 4 1 review 3
SA 4 4 4 2 Review 1
Tas 10 4 0 5 preparation
Vic 11 4 11 10 preparation 10
WA 12 2 4 2 Preparation 1 Planned 2 Completed 4

Adapted from Source: Department of the Environment and Heritage 2003, Australia's National Report: Eighth Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), viewed 17 Nov 2005, http://www.deh.gov.au/water/wetlands
/ramsar/report8/index.html#download, Table 5.1, p. 99

What the data mean

Of the 57 Ramsar sites in Australia, 38 have management plans in place, 28 of which are being implemented. Most jurisdictions are in the process of preparing or reviewing management plans.

Issues for which this is an indicator and why

Inland Waters — Human response - policy and management - Habitat management (including wetland management) 

Number of sites with implemented management plans is indicative of the seriousness and likely effectiveness of the policy and management response to the needs of important wetlands.

Other indicators for this issue:

Inland Waters — Human response - policy and management - Management of aquatic biota and biodiversity 

The Ramsar Convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types, or that are important for conserving biological diversity. These sites need to be managed to ensure their special ecological values are maintained or improved. Number of sites with implemented management plans is indicative of the seriousness and likely effectiveness of the policy and management response to the needs of wetlands and their biodiversity.

Other indicators for this issue:

Inland Waters — Habitat scale influences - Wetlands 

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971(more commonly known as the Ramsar Convention) is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation and "wise use" of wetlands. The Convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types, or that are important for conserving biological diversity. Effective management responses under Ramsar should result in a reduction of pressures currently impacting on wetlands.

Other indicators for this issue:

Inland Waters — Response of biota - Waterbirds 

Ramsar wetlands are very important sites for many waterbird species. Effective management responses under Ramsar should result in a reduction of pressures currently impacting on wetlands and the waterbirds that inhabit them.

Other indicators for this issue:

Inland Waters — Human response - policy and management - Management of surface and groundwaters 

Wetlands are often fed by groundwater so their management needs to consider both surface water and groundwater aspects. Number of Ramsar sites with implemented management plans is indicative of the seriousness and likely effectiveness of the policy and management response to the needs of important wetlands, including their surface and groundwater sources.

Other indicators for this issue:

Biodiversity — Species, habitats and ecological communities - Condition of wetlands and riparian vegetation 

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation and "wise use" of wetlands. The Convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types, or that are important for conserving biological diversity. Management plans outline measures required for the conservation of the wetlands. Effective management responses under Ramsar should result in a reduction of pressures currently impacting on wetlands and riparian vegetation.

Other indicators for this issue:

Natural and Cultural Heritage — Responses to conserve heritage - Heritage legislation 

Conservation of wetlands under Ramsar management plans has a natural heritage dimension since inclusion of heritage in the EPBC Act.

Other indicators for this issue:

Further Information

  • Australia's National Report - Eighth Conference of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (RAMSAR, Iran, 1971)
  • DEH Fact sheet - Australia's RAMSAR Sites