About IRWC

What do Contracting Parties do?

The convention has five formally recognized International Organization Partners –
BirdLife International, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Wetlands International, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
– which help parties by providing expert technical advice at global, national, and local levels, as well as field level assistance.Under the “three pillars” of the Convention, the Parties have committed themselves to:

  • Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands through national land-use planning, appropriate policies and legislation, management actions, and public education;
  • designate suitable wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance (“Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management;
  • cooperate internationally concerning transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems, shared species, and development projects that may affect wetlands.

Wise Use of Wetlands

Wise use of wetlands is defined as “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development”.

“Wise Use” therefore has at its heart the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources, for the benefit of humankind.

Take a Breath of Fresh Air

Key Message 12: “Wetlands, Leisure and Tourism”

With their natural beauty and biodiversity wetlands make ideal locations for tourism. The income can be significant and support livelihoods locally and nationally. Wetlands provide other ‘services’ , too, such as water, food, water purification, erosion control ,etc., for the benefit of tourists and tourist accommodation. The income generated by tourism for national and local economies in and around wetlands can be substantial: the Broads in the UK supports the equivalent of 3,000 full-time jobs; over 1.6 million people visit the Great Barrier Reef every year, generating an income of over 1 billion AUS$. But – unsustainable tourism may bring short-term benefits but long-term losses to wetland health, compromising ecosystem services and sometimes local livelihoods.