The 20 Ramsar Regional Initiatives (RRIs) support cooperation and capacity-building on wetland-related issues in specific regions.
A group of Contracting Parties in a region, which may also share a common thematic goal, can apply for endorsement as a “Ramsar Regional Initiative” under the Convention.
The Administrative Authorities responsible for implementing the Convention in their countries drive the development and activities of RRIs. The RRIs give them – and often their ministers – a platform for collaborating with technical experts and representatives of intergovernmental bodies, International Organization Partners, NGOs, local communities and private companies.
There are two types of regional initiatives: regional Ramsar centres for training and capacity building, and Ramsar networks for regional cooperation.
The four regional Ramsar centres promote scientific and technical cooperation and exchange of knowledge in their region. They have shown that the professional training and capacity building they provide can fulfil a significant role in increasing Ramsar implementation in countries covered by their activities. Established centres currently cover the Western Hemisphere, West and Central Asia, Eastern Asia and and Eastern Africa.
Ramsar Regional Initiatives are endorsed by the Conference of the Contracting Parties and by the Standing Committee between meetings of the COP. To maintain their formal recognition, they must be in line with principles listed in paragraph 8 of Resolution XIII.9.
RRIs are independently governed and are not authorized to speak or act on the Convention’s behalf, but they work in close contact with the Secretariat. Some initiatives receive start-up financial assistance from the Secretariat’s core budget.
Resolution XIV.7: Ramsar Regional Initiatives
Operational Guidelines for Ramsar Regional Initiatives to support the implementation of the Convention
Diplomatic Note 2023/3
Template for proposed new Ramsar Regional Initiatives
Reporting format for Ramsar Regional Initiatives
SC55 Doc.9 Review of the legal status of Ramsar Regional Initiatives and the implications for the Convention
West African Coastal Zone Wetlands Network (WACOWet)
Ramsar Centre for Eastern Africa (RAMCEA)
Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of the Plata River Basin
Regional Initiative for the Integral Management and Wise Use of Mangroves and Coral Reefs Ecosystems
Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands (HAW)
Caribbean Wetlands Regional Initiative (CARIWET)
Partnership for the East Asian-Australasian Flyway
Noridc-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet)
Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet)
Carpathian Wetland Initiative (CWI)
Black Sea Coastal Wetlands Initiative (BlackSeaWet)
Ramsar Regional center for Central and West Asia (RRC-CWA)
Ramsar Regional Center-East Asia (RRC-EA)
Ramsar Regional Centre for Training and Research in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO)
Indo-Burma Ramsar Regional Initiative (IBRRI)
Ramsar Regional Initiative for Central Asia (RRI-CA)
Regional Initiative for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in the Amazon River Basin