40 years of the Ramsar Convention

We are now at the start of 2011 – a very special year for the Ramsar Convention. On 2nd February, World Wetlands Day, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary as a Convention. At the Ramsar Secretariat we hope that the whole Ramsar family will join hands in celebrating wetlands on this day but we wish for more: we hope that together we can build momentum and create a global wave of activity throughout the year.

Here at the Secretariat we have been working hard to organize our celebrations and provide materials to help you join with us in anniversary activities. We have developed a special 40th anniversary logo, prepared a 40th anniversary booklet about the Convention, its past, present and future, to be formally launched on the 2nd February, planned a special anniversary celebrations with the international community in Ramsar city, Iran in March and in Geneva, Switzerland in May, penned 12 key messages about Ramsar and wetlands to be shared from the 2nd February 2011 to the 2nd February 2012 – and more.

Of course our celebrations will have a limited impact without your help. We are a Convention of 160 Contracting Parties. While a number of countries have committed to special 40th anniversary activities at regional, national and local levels, and Ramsar Secretariat staff will be travelling the world to join some of these celebrations, I want to encourage others who have yet to make firm plans, to think about how to celebrate Ramsar and wetlands in 2011. How can you use this year as an opportunity to place wetlands and Ramsar centre stage in your country?

To find out about the Secretariat’s plans and the materials we have made available, please visit the special section of our web site dedicated to the 40th anniversary here www.ramsar.org/40-Anniversary/. In this area you will also find a list of activities from governments and NGOs around the world – if you are not already part of this list, please join with these countries in making 2011 a gala year for wetlands and Ramsar.

With best wishes,

Anada Tiéga, Secretary General
Ramsar Convention



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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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