The Department of Conservation of New Zealand has published a set of ‘National guidelines for the assessment of potential Ramsar wetlands in New Zealand’ [link to download].
These guidelines are intended to assist those nominating or assessing candidate Ramsar Sites in the country, by providing information about each of the three phases of site assessment: ‘Identify’, which includes defining the boundaries of the site; ‘Describe’, which involves determining the relevant biogeographic region, classifying wetland types and collating information on ecological values; and ‘Assess’, whereby the level of compliance of the site with the Ramsar criteria is assessed to determine the importance of the site. A standardised approach for assessing sites against each of the Ramsar criteria is presented.
These guidelines will ensure a strategic approach to future site nominations, and will provide a transparent and systematic process for assessing the national and international importance of potential Ramsar sites in New Zealand.
New Zealand acceded to the Ramsar Convention in 1976 and has currently six Ramsar Sites