The Convention on Wetlands, 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
It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was
signed in 1971.
Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as
the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of
The most recent COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015.
COP13 will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2018.
The Ramsar Convention works closely with six other organisations known
as International Organization Partners (IOPs).
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
These organizations support the work of the Convention by providing
expert technical advice, helping implement field studies, and providing
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.
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.
The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of
Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character
have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of
technological developments, pollution or other human interference. It is
maintained as part of the Ramsar List.