Launch of our last photo mosaic to mark the end of Ramsar’s 40th anniversary


On 2 February 2011, the Ramsar Convention reached a special milestone in its history: 40 years of conserving wetlands. The numerous activities launched by the Secretariat during 2011 were an invitation to all those who care about wetlands to join in and contribute to the festivities. Here at the Secretariat we have been delighted to see how many Ramsar friends and partners contributed to the wave of activities planned throughout the year.

To bring attention to the wonders of wetlands and the urgent need to protect them, the Secretariat launched last year an online gallery showcasing the beauty of wetlands in the world. Today, to mark the end of our 40th anniversary year, we would like to share with all of you our last photo mosaic.

Dragonfly (Anisoptera) in Tlalnepantla y G A Madero, Mexico © Jesus Guerrero Martinez

The many activities and projects organised throughout the year by the Contracting Parties and partners demonstrate that we are all united in our commitment to protecting wetlands. You can see here how actively our Contracting Parties have celebrated Ramsar and wetlands in 2011. 

Throughout the 40th anniversary year, we’ve shared with you key messages on important worldwide issues affecting wetlands. We hope you were able to make good use of them, and we count on your help to spread widely our last key message about wetlands and tourism.

Wetlands and Tourism is this year’s theme for our annual World Wetlands Day campaign on 2 February, providing an opportunity to organise activities aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular. But Ramsar’s engagement on the issue of wetlands and sustainable tourism will not end with World Wetlands Day. The slogan for the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11), which will take place in July 2012, in Bucharest, Romania, is “Wetlands: home and destination” with a special focus on wetland tourism and recreation.

Despite the 40 years of global efforts to implement the Ramsar Convention, wetlands continue to be in serious trouble and their capacity to deliver many benefits to people is declining. Our urgent priority, now and for the future, must be to maintain the natural systems on which we all depend. In 2013, the theme for the next World Wetlands Day is "Wetlands and Water Management", an opportunity for the Ramsar Convention to join forces with all actors in the water sector to stop wetland loss and degradation. 

Our actions and messages are obviously not ending with our anniversary year. We hope you will continue to use them to take care of wetlands at the international, national and local level during the next 40 years at least! 

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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