Recommendation 4.2: Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance


4th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Montreux, Switzerland
27 June-4 July 1990

RECALLING that the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties approved Recommendation 3.1 which called for the establishment of a Working Group "to examine the ways in which the criteria and guidelines for identifying wetlands of international importance might be elaborated, and the wise use provisions of the Convention applied, in order to improve the worldwide application of the Convention";

NOTING that a "Working Group on Criteria and Wise Use" was established by the Standing Committee at its Third Meeting on 5 June 1987, with the participation of seven Contracting Parties (Australia, Chile, Iran, Mauritania, Norway, Poland and USA - one from each of the Standing Committee's regions);

AWARE that the Working Group met on the occasion of the Fourth Meeting of the Standing Committee in Costa Rica in January 1988 and elected Norway as Chairman of the Working Group, and that observers from many other Contracting Parties took part in this meeting of the Working Group, as well as in subsequent deliberations;

TAKING NOTE of the Report of the Working Group, circulated to all Contracting Parties with Bureau Notification 1989/3 (31 March 1989), and revised according to comments received from Contracting Parties;

EXPRESSING ITS APPRECIATION to the Working Group and its Chairman for their work in clarifying the criteria and developing the guidelines on wise use;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

RECOMMENDS that the "Criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance", contained in Annex I of the Working Group's report, discussed at the present meeting of the Conference and appended as Annex I to the present document, be used for identification of wetlands to be designated for the List under Article 2 of the Convention;

FURTHER RECOMMENDS that, as far as possible, further amendments to these Criteria be avoided so as to facilitate establishing a definite basis for uniform application of the Convention; and

DRAWS SPECIAL ATTENTION to Annex II of the Working Group's report, also discussed at the present meeting of the Conference and appended as Annex II to the present document, and recommends that the Contracting Parties focus particularly on subsequent action after designation which will maintain the ecological character of designated wetlands.



[* Note: This link is to the most up-to-date version of the Criteria, not to the version that was adopted by this recommendation in 1990. For the original, see the PDF version. The best historical study of the evolution of the Criteria for Identifying Wetlands of International Importance is Cyril de Klemm, The Legal Development of the Ramsar Convention, Ramsar, 1995.]

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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