Wetlands of International Importance

The Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS) provides access to information on wetlands designated as internationally important under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, 1971). These wetlands are commonly known as Ramsar Sites. Wetlands International delivers the RSIS for the Ramsar Convention, under a contractual arrangement with the Ramsar Secretariat. Read more on RSIS

The RSIS includes the searchable Ramsar Sites Database, and a number of other utilities, including a Google Earth file displaying spatial information on Ramsar Sites, downloadable GIS data of the Ramsar sites (spatial boundary and/or location) and dynamic mapping as well as dynamic graph tools. 
The RSIS provides on-line access to all official Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), and increasingly it also includes links to other relevant but unofficial information sources concerning Ramsar sites in different countries, such as external Web sites, publications and management plans. All such links are clearly indicated as not being part of the official Ramsar Site information provided by Administrative Authorities.  Visit the Ramsar Site Information Service


Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. 

The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem. The treaty was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and the Convention's member countries cover all geographic regions of the planet. 

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".

The Convention uses a broad definition of the types of wetlands covered in its mission, including lakes and rivers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands and peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, near-shore marine areas, mangroves and coral reefs, and human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and salt pans. Read more