International Cooperation

The Ramsar Convention provides the single most global framework for intergovernmental cooperation on wetland issues.

Article 5 of the Convention establishes that “the Contracting Parties shall consult with each other about implementing obligations arising from the Convention especially in the case of a wetland extending over the territories of more than one Contracting Party or where a water system is shared by Contracting Parties. They shall at the same time endeavour to coordinate and support present and future policies and regulations concerning the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna.”

By setting international standards for wetland conservation and providing a forum for discussing global wetland issues, the Convention enables Contracting Parties to share information on wetlands and address issues together.

Transboundary Ramsar Sites

Increasingly, Contracting Parties are designating their new and existing Ramsar Sites as Transboundary Ramsar Sites. These are ecologically coherent, shared wetlands extending across national borders, which are managed collaboratively by the authorities on all sides of the border under a formal agreement.

Ramsar Regional Initiatives

Groups of Contracting Parties with a common geographical focus or goal can also work together as “Regional Initiatives operating within the framework of the Ramsar Convention”. There are two types of regional initiatives: Ramsar Regional Centres for training and capacity building, and networks for regional cooperation.