- The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
- There are presently 158 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1758 wetland sites, totaling 161 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
- Ramsar Convention is the only global environment treaty dealing with a particular ecosystem.
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was developed as a means to call international attention to the rate at which wetland habitats were disappearing, in part due to a lack of understanding of their important functions, values, goods and services.
Major obligations of countries which are party to the Convention are:
- Designate wetlands for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
- Promote, as far as possible, the wise use of wetlands in their territory.
- Promote international cooperation especially with regard to transboundary wetlands, shared water systems, and shared species.
- Create wetland reserves.