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Ramsar Culture Network

People are at the heart of wetland conservation. For this reason, the Ramsar Convention supports governments to safeguard the cultural values of wetlands, the livelihoods they provide, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to participate in their management.

Our lakes, rivers, marshes, coastal areas and other wetlands are often associated with long-standing cultural practices that allow human societies to thrive, adapt to environmental change, and to continue using nature in a sustainable way. In fact, wetlands are central to the lives and livelihoods of more than a billion people around the world, including indigenous peoples.


Cultural practices and traditions can play a powerful role in wetland conservation and wise use. The Ramsar Convention works through the Ramsar Culture Network (RCN) to promote the integration of cultural values and practices within wetland management.

The RCN is a global community of over 120 concerned individuals and organizations worldwide. It provides leadership on wetland culture and livelihoods, works in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and acts as the delivery mechanism for Ramsar’s Culture, Livelihoods and Wetlands Partnership

The Network is intended to incubate new ideas and opportunities for improved management and wise use of wetlands, particularly within the five thematic areas listed below:

Join the network

Interested individuals and organisations are invited to join the Ramsar Culture Network. To learn about how you can get involved, please contact the Manager, Culture & Livelihoods at The...

Thematic Groups

The Ramsar Culture Network’s work includes activities in five Thematic Groups. The work of each Thematic Group is planned and managed by a Lead. RCN Thematic Groups: Bio-Cultural Diversity (Lead,...

Rapid Cultural Inventories

The Secretariat’s Culture & Livelihoods Team has launched an initiative to stimulate the undertaking of Rapid Cultural Inventories around the world. The first inventories will begin in Spring 2016 and...

Partnerships for culture

The Ramsar Culture Network promotes the integration of cultural values and practices in wetland management through a partnership approach.


You will find key documents related to culture, livelihoods and wetlands below, including Ramsar guidance documents, Resolutions, the RCN Update and other resources. © Image courtesy of the Tourism Authority...


The Ramsar Culture Network's webpages and the RCN Update provide a platform for information and exchange among the Network's members and all others with an interest in the subject. We...


Ramsar's Culture & Wetlands Team includes the RCN Coordinator, the Senior Advisor on Culture & Wetlands, and the Manager, Culture & Livelihoods. If you are interested in collaborating on the...