Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

Adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971, the Ramsar Convention 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. 

SER is an observer organization on the Science and Technical Review Panel (STRP) for the current triennium (2009-2012) of work leading up to the Ramsar COP 11 in July 2012. The Panel is charged with preparing proposals for updating and expanding existing Ramsar guidance on the restoration and rehabilitation of lost or degraded wetlands, in the context of Resolution X.16, A Framework for processes of detecting, reporting and responding to change in wetland ecological character. Below is a brief summary of SER’s contributions to Ramsar.

Briefing Note on the Benefits of Wetland Restoration

The primary objective of this Briefing Note is to raise awareness, across all sectors, of the potential benefits of wetland restoration. Its inten­tion is to catalyse efforts that stem the loss and degradation of wetlands, enhance ecosystem functioning, and thus increase wetland benefits. By highlighting the linkages with existing Ramsar documentation, this Brief­ing Note expands upon the existing guidance on wetland restoration while referencing other examples of publicly available documents in the last section.


Memorandum of Cooperation between SER and Ramsar

The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce the recent signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation designed to strengthen the developing linkages with SER’s global network of ecosystem and wetland restoration practitioners in supporting scientific and technical implementation of the Convention. SER has already been contributing significantly to the work of Ramsar’s STRP, particularly in the review of current restoration guidance and the development of a framework for avoiding, mitigating and compensating for wetland losses, which will be considered at Ramsar COP11. Amongst areas of future collaboration identified in the MoC are: further contributions to STRP’s work on issues such as ecological character and climate change; development of proposals for a joint work programme on ecosystem restoration guidance for the Chairs of the Scientific Advisory Bodies (CSAB) of the biodiversity-related conventions; and developing a joint wetland restoration case study database that builds on SER’s existing Global Restoration Network database. The Ramsar Secretariat looks forward to continuing the fruitful collaboration with SER.



Chairs of the Scientific Advisory Boards (CSAB) – February 13, 2011

At the invitation of the Ramsar STRP Chair, SER partnered with Ramsar to produce a draft discussion paper and proposal for joint work activities on ecosystem restoration among the biodiversity-related conventions.

Discussion Paper: Towards a Multi-Convention Collaboration on Ecosystem Restoration

The proposal outlined in this document suggests specific measures to address both the immediate and long-term needs of the Contracting Parties and MEA signatories, many of which currently lack the appropriate, science-based tools and guidance to assist them in designing, implementing, and monitoring ecosystem restoration projects/programs that are effective, efficient and engaging. The outline presented here for a collaborative work programme includes potential measures to translate increased knowledge into practical tools and guidance for ecosystem restoration:

  • To support informed policy decision-making, and
  • To promote successful design, implementation, and monitoring of restoration projects/programs.


Letter from the Society for Ecological Restoration to CSAB 4

This letter of support was addressed to the CBD Executive Secretary and Ramsar Secretary General for distribution to the CSAB on the occasion of their 4th meeting concerning the subject of possible joint work activities on ecosystem restoration guidance.