The Ramsar Convention

In 1971, an international treaty entitled “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitats“ was proposed by the UNESCO in the town of Ramsar in Iran. In short, the Convention is referred to as the Ramsar Convention. Since 1975 (the year of its ratification), the Convention has been signed by 169 countries around the world (January 1, 2016). Former Czechoslovakia became a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention in 1990, the Czech Republic then on 1 January 1993.

The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.

Under the “three pillars” of the Convention, the Contracting Parties commit to:

  • work towards 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;
  • cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.

Number of Contracting Parties: 169
Number of Ramsar Sites: 2,225
Total surface of designated sites: 214,290,985 ha