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 Ramsar 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.