Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness Program
The Ramsar Convention's Program on Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) was established to help raise awareness of wetland values and functions. The CEPA Program calls for coordinated international and national wetland education, public awareness and communication. The Program also encourages the promotion of training in the fields of wetland research, management and wardening.
Learning about wetlands
World Wetlands Day
World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.
WWD was first celebrated in 1997. Since this time government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups across the world have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Primary school classroom kit
For World Wetlands Day 2011 and the fortieth anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, the Australian Government has produced a primary school classroom kit. This activity kit includes a unit plan, fact sheets, a DVD, origami and subject book stickers.
The Australian Government produces a biannual publication, Wetlands Australia - National Wetland Update. The magazine aims to bring attention to Australia's achievements and continuing challenges in wetland conservation and wise use.
The Australian Government has produced a number of resources about wetlands and their management.
- Publication: Celebrating Australia’s wetlands: A showcase of Australian Ramsar sites
- Brochure: Australia's amazing wetlands
- Video: Australia's amazing wetlands
- Fact sheet: Wetlands and Agriculture
- Fact sheet: Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention
- Fact sheet: Australia's Ramsar sites
- Fact sheet: Planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands in Australia
- Fact sheet: Wise use of wetlands in Australia
- Fact sheet: Wetlands in Australia – roles and responsibilities
- Fact sheet: Notification of change in ecological character
- Fact sheet: Limits of acceptable change
- Fact sheet: Australia's obligations under the Ramsar Convention: Legislative support for wetlands
- Australian National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands
- Issues paper: The role of wetlands in the carbon cycle
- Australian Water Education Toolkit
Queensland Wetlands Program
The Queensland Wetlands Program has delivered a range of new mapping, information and decision-making tools that will enable government agencies, landowners, conservationists and regional land care bodies to protect and manage wetlands for future generations. Details of all Queensland Wetlands Program products can be found on WetlandInfo.
Wetland Link International - Australia
Wetland Link International (WLI), an initiative of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK, is a major platform of the Ramsar Convention's Program on CEPA. WLI aims to improve links between wetland educators at all levels.
Australian wetland education centres
There are many centres across Australia dedicated to wetland education or with a strong focus on wetlands. They are associated with many types of wetlands, including, in some cases, Ramsar sites. They range from small, non-staffed interpretation facilities to staffed, highly developed centres. The World Wetland Network contact for Oceania, including Australia, is Wetland Care Australia.
The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Environmental Ecosystem Research Foundation (Republic of Korea) has released the Handbook on Best Practices for the Design and Operation of Wetland Education Centres. The Handbook presents a range of key lessons learnt from a variety of wetland education centres around the world to inform people involved in the development of new or existing centres.The Handbook can be accessed from the Ramsar Convention website.
If your wetland education centre would like to be listed here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Capital Territory
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Off Paddy's River Road, via Cotter Road (Weston Creek) or Point Hut Crossing (Gordon), Australian Capital Territory
Phone: (02) 6205 1233
New South Wales
Bicentennial Park Education Centre
Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales
Phone:02 9714 7888
The Aquatic Environment Education Centre at Wonga Wetlands
Riverina Highway (Howlong Rd), Albury, New South Wales
Phone: 02 6023 8111
Bowali Visitors Centre, Kakadu National Park
Arnhem Highway, Jabiru, Northern Territory
Phone: 08 8938 1121
Window on the Wetlands
Off the Stuart and Arnhem Highways, Northern Territory.
Phone: 08 8988 8188
Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre
31 Paperbark Drive, Boondall, Taigum, Queensland
Phone: 07 3403 1490
Clancy's Lagoon Visitor Centre
Pickford Road, Mareeba, Queensland
Phone: 07 4093 2514
Brisbane Forest Park, 60 Mount Nebo Road, The Gap, Queensland
Phone: 1300 723 684
Ingham, North Queensland
Phone: 07 4776 4600
St Kilda Mangrove Trail and Wetlands
Point Wakefield Road, Salisbury, South Australia
Phone: 08 8208 8172
Tamar Island Visitor Interpretation Centre
West Tamar Highway, Riverside, Tasmania
Phone: 03 6327 3964
Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre
Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, Cnr Flynn St & Selby St, Wembley, Western Australia
08 9387 6079
There are also a number of Marine Discovery Centres across Australia that use hands-on education to inspire visitors, and to help them discover and learn about Australia’s extensive marine environments. Each centre is unique in origin: some are part of schools, while others are community or government-funded. Further information on the centres and their locations can be found on the Marine Discovery Centres Australia website.