Ramsar sites
Ramsar sites

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ramsar sites
  • Ramsar Convention
  • The process for designating Ramsar sites
  • Ramsar site considerations
  • Managing Ramsar Sites
  • Ramsar sites in England

UNESCO estimates that 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since the beginning of the last century. In most regions across the world, wetlands continue to decline compromising the benefits that wetlands provide to people.

Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance, designated under the Ramsar Convention.

Ramsar sites may also incorporate riparian (banks of a stream, river, pond or watercourse) and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands.

Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Convention is an international agreement signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, which provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation and good use of wetlands. The UK Government ratified the Convention and designated the first Ramsar sites in 1976.

The Ramsar Convention and the World Heritage Convention are the only two global conventions with a focus on site-based conservation. Since 1999 there has been a Memorandum of Understanding between the two conventions to leverage the benefit of co-operation and co-ordination of efforts between them in terms of biodiversty conservat

Popular documents