The Bodies of the Convention

The Contracting Parties implement the Ramsar Convention in their territories and collaborate on shared projects. The government agency responsible for its national application is known as the country’s Administrative Authority. This agency appoints a National Focal Point to coordinate national implementation and act as the daily contact point. 

Every three years the Parties meet at the Conference of the Contracting Parties (the COP), where they adopt decisions to administer the Convention and guide its implementation. 

Between the COPs, the Parties are represented by the Standing Committee, which meets yearly. The Standing Committee is guided by the framework of the decisions made by the COP.

Two advisory bodies develop technical guidance to help the Standing Committee and the COP formulate policies: the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (the STRP) and the Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) Oversight Panel. 

They are all supported by the Convention's Secretariat and the International Organization Partners (IOPs) which the Parties have formally recognized as official partners of the Convention.

The scope and focus of the Convention’s work is coordinated by means of a Strategic Plan and associated work plans which set out priority objectives and the actions expected or requested of the various bodies of the Convention. 

The Conference of the Contracting Parties

Every three years, representatives of the governments of each of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), to agree on a work programme and budgetary...

The Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention oversees Convention affairs and the activities of the Secretariat. It represents the Conference of the Contracting Parties (the COP) between its three-yearly meetings,...

The Scientific and Technical Review Panel

The Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) was established by Resolution 5.5 in 1993 to provide scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, and...

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat

The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day coordination of the Convention’s activities. It is based at the headquarters of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland...