The Convention works very closely with six global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which, in Resolution VII.3 (1999), were confirmed in the formal status of International Organization Partners of the Convention. Birdlife International, IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, Wetlands International and WWF have all been associated with the Convention since its beginnings.
In Resolution IX.16 (2005), the Parties endorsed the addition of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as the fifth International Organization Partner of the Convention, and in Resolution XII.3 (2015) they approved the status for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).
The IOPs provide invaluable support for the work of the Convention, by providing expert technical advice, field level implementation assistance, and financial support, both from their headquarters units and from their national and regional offices and affiliates and from their expert networks.
In addition, they embody the philosophy of the Ramsar Convention and its wise use concept and support the use of the Ramsar guidelines in their own work around the world. The IOPs also participate regularly as observers in all meetings of the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.