Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention
About the document
Concerns about the loss of wetlands and waterbirds throughout Europe in the 1960s led to the creation of the first modern international treaty aimed at managing natural resources sustainably. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) was signed in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971. The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of all wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain.
The Convention encourages member countries to nominate sites that are important for ecological, botanical, zoological, limnological or hydrological significance, to the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites). Member countries are obliged to promote the conservation of Ramsar wetlands and wise use of all wetlands and work to ensure that Ramsar sites are managed to protect their ecological character. To mark the anniversary of the signing of the treaty, World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February each year to raise public awareness about wetlands and promote their conservation and wise use.