Ramsar Convention

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Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat
Ramsar logo.svg
Ramsar logo
Signed2 February 1971
Location Ramsar (Iran)
Effective21 December 1975
ConditionRatification by 7 states
Parties170 [1]
DepositaryDirector General of UNESCO
LanguagesEnglish, French, Spanish and Persian
www.ramsar.org

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. [2] It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

Treaty Express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law

A treaty is a formal written agreement entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an international agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all these instruments may be considered treaties subject to the same rules under international law.

Wetland A land area that is permanently or seasonally saturated with water

A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it. Methods for rapidly assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.

Ramsar, Mazandaran City in Mazandaran, Iran

Ramsar is the capital of Ramsar County, Mazandaran Province, Iran. In 2012 its population was 33,018, in 9,421 families. Ramsar lies on the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Contents

Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives. [3] COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015. COP13 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October 2018.

Punta del Este City in Maldonado, Uruguay

Punta del Este is a city and resort on the Atlantic Coast in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay. Punta del Este is also the name of the municipality to which the city belongs. Although the city has a year-round population of about 9,280, the summer season greatly adds to this number.

Uruguay republic in South America

Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometers (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname.

Dubai Metropolis in United Arab Emirates

Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.

The Upper Navua Conservation Area Ramsar Site in Fiji Upper Navua Ramsar Site, Fiji.jpg
The Upper Navua Conservation Area Ramsar Site in Fiji
Sustainable fishing in India, an example of wise use. Wise use.jpg
Sustainable fishing in India, an example of wise use.

List of Wetlands of International Importance (the "Ramsar List")

Archipel Bolama-Bijagos Ramsar Site in Guinea-Bissau Archipel Bolama-Bijagos Ramsar Site in Guinea-Bissau.jpg
Archipel Bolama-Bijagos Ramsar Site in Guinea-Bissau

The List of Wetlands of International Importance included 2,331 Ramsar Sites in May 2018 covering over 2.1 million square kilometres (810,000 sq mi). The country with the highest number of Sites is the United Kingdom with 170, and the country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia, with over 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi). [4]

The Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS) is a searchable database which provides information on each Ramsar Site. [5]

International cooperation

Wadden Sea is a Transboundary Ramsar Site covering 13 Ramsar sites in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands Ramsar transboundary Site Wadden Sea.jpg
Wadden Sea is a Transboundary Ramsar Site covering 13 Ramsar sites in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands

As of 2016 there are 18 Transboundary Ramsar Sites, and 15 Ramsar Regional Initiatives covering regions of the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and South America.

International organization partners

The Ramsar Convention works closely with six other organisations known as International Organization Partners (IOPs). These are:

BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats, and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. It is the world's largest partnership of conservation organisations, with over 120 partner organisations.

International Union for Conservation of Nature World organisation

The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".

International Water Management Institute organization

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit research organisation with headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and offices across Africa and Asia. Research at the Institute focuses on improving how water and land resources are managed, with the aim of underpinning food security and reducing poverty while safeguarding vital environmental processes.

These organizations support the work of the Convention by providing expert technical advice, helping implement field studies, and providing financial support. The IOPs also participate regularly as observers in all meetings of the Conference of the Parties and as full members of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.

Other partners

The Convention collaborates with a network of partners:

Convention on Biological Diversity International treaty

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The Convention has three main goals including: the conservation of biological diversity ; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification International treaty on environmental protection

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals treaty

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges. The Agreement was signed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and is concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.

Bodies established by the Convention

Conference of contracting Parties (COP)

This is the Convention's governing body consisting of all governments that have ratified the treaty. This ultimate authority reviews progress under the Convention, identifies new priorities, and sets work plans for members. The COP can also make amendments to the Convention, create expert advisory bodies, review progress reports by member nations, and collaborate with other international organizations and agreements.

The Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the intersessional executive body which represents the COP between its triennial meetings, within the framework of the decisions made by the COP. The Contracting Parties that are members of the Standing Committee are elected by each meeting of the COP to serve for the three years until the next one.

The Ramsar Secretariat offices in Gland, Switzerland Ramsar Convention.jpg
The Ramsar Secretariat offices in Gland, Switzerland

The Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)

The Scientific and Technical Review Panel provides scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Ramsar Secretariat.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day coordination of the Convention’s activities. It is based at the headquarters of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland.

The implementation of the Ramsar Convention is a continuing partnership between the Contracting Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Convention Secretariat, with the advice of the subsidiary expert body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and the support of the International Organization Partners (IOPs).

Martha Rojas Urrego is the sixth Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

World Wetlands Day

A wetland clean-up in Oman on World Wetlands Day World Wetlands Day.jpg
A wetland clean-up in Oman on World Wetlands Day

The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971. Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably since then. In 2015 World Wetlands Day was celebrated in 59 countries.

See also

Related Research Articles

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.

Ouse Washes nature reserve in the United Kingdom

Ouse Washes is a linear 2,513.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest stretching from near St Ives in Cambridgeshire to Downham Market in Norfolk. It is also a Ramsar internationally important wetland site, a Special Protection Area under the European Union Birds Directive, a Special Area of Conservation, and a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I. An area of 186 hectares between March and Ely is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, and another area near Chatteris is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust manages another area near Welney.

Transboundary protected area protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity, where the political border sections that are enclosed within its area are abolished

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks.

International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River International Organization

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an international organisation with its permanent secretariat in Vienna. It was established by the Danube River Protection Convention, signed by the Danube countries in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994.

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day occurs annually on February 2, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971.

Central Asian Flyway organization

The Central Asian Flyway (CAF), Central Asian-Indian Flyway, or Central Asian-South Asian Flyway is a flyway covering a large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean and the associated island chains. The CAF comprises several important migration routes of waterbirds, most of which extend from the northernmost breeding grounds in Siberia to the southernmost non-breeding wintering grounds in West Asia, India, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory.

World Database on Protected Areas largest assembly of data on the worlds terrestrial and marine protected areas

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the largest assembly of data on the world's terrestrial and marine protected areas, containing more than 200,000 protected areas as of October 2017, with records covering 245 countries and territories throughout the world. The WDPA is a joint venture between the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas.

Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award

The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award honours the work of governments, organisations and individuals in promoting the wise use and conservation of wetlands.

West African Aquatic Mammals Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia is a Multilateral Environmental Memorandum of Understanding and entered into effect on 3 October 2008 under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention. The MoU covers 29 range States. As of August 2012, 17 range States have signed the MoU, as well as a number of cooperating organizations.

References

  1. "The Ramsar Convention enters into force for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea". Ramsar Convention Secretariat. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. "The Ramsar Convention and its Mission". Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  3. "The Conference of the Contracting Parties". RAMSAR. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. "Ramsar Sites Information Service".
  5. Using the Ramsar Sites Information Service.