IUCN building

The Secretariat

2024 Staff Photo

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.

The functions of the Secretariat are to:

  • maintain the List of Wetlands of International Importance and note any additions and changes to the List and the Ramsar Sites Database;
  • assist in recruiting new Contracting Parties;
  • help convene and organize the Conferences of Contracting Parties (COP) and regional pre-COP meetings, the meetings of the Standing Committee and of the STRP;
  • publish the Decisions, Resolutions, and Recommendations of the COP and the Standing Committee;
  • provide administrative and communications support to the STRP;
  • provide administrative, scientific, and technical support to Contracting Parties, especially in relation to the implementation of the Strategic Plan;
  • organize Ramsar Advisory Missions at the request of Contracting Parties and contribute to follow-up of RAM reports;
  • develop cooperation with other conventions, intergovernmental institutions, and national and international NGOs;
  • administer funding programmes set up to support the implementation of the Convention, seeking financial contributions, inviting and evaluating project proposals, and overseeing expenditure;
  • inform the Contracting Parties and the public of developments related to the Convention.

Funding Secretariat activities

The Convention’s core funding is based on contributions from Contracting Parties to the Convention. These contributions are based on the United Nations scale of assessment adjusted to take account of the fact that not all members of the United Nations are Contracting Parties to the Convention. The status of assessed contributions to the Convention on Wetlands is shown here. This information is updated on a monthly basis.

Secretariat staffing

The Secretariat follows IUCN procedures and policies on staffing and recruitment. The structure of the Secretariat and the current postholders are shown in this organizational chart. Any vacancies are advertised on the Convention website here.

Secretariat Staff