Ramsar wetlands

The Ramsar Convention, or 'Convention on Wetlands of International Importance' aims to promote and protect wetlands throughout the world. To date, wetlands are the only type of habitat in the world to have a dedicated international convention.

The Ramsar Convention was first signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. Today, it covers thousands of wetlands throughout the world, providing protection and recognition to over 192 million hectares of internationally significant wetlands. Australia became a signatory in 1971 and now has 64 Ramsar sites, covering an area greater than the size of Tasmania.

The original intent of the Ramsar Convention was to protect waterbird habitats. The convention has broadened its scope to include the protection of all wetland biodiversity and the 'wise use' of all wetlands.

More about Ramsar

Ramsar sites in New South Wales

There are 12 Ramsar sites in New South Wales. They are located on a range of land tenures, including national parks and nature reserves, State forests, Crown land and private land. NSW's Ramsar sites range from the ephemeral Lake Pinaroo in the arid north-west, to Blue Lake in the alpine region of Kosciuszko National Park and to Towra Point Nature Reserve on the shores of Botany Bay.

Delivering the Ramsar Convention in NSW

This publication provides additional guidance about the roles and responsibilities of Ramsar site managers in maintaining the values of Ramsar sites. It also explains the roles and responsibilities of local, state and Australian government agencies in implementing the Ramsar Convention in NSW.

Ramsar sites throughout the world
Visit the Ramsar Convention website for a full list of internationally protected wetlands.

Nominating and protecting Ramsar sites

See how wetlands are nominated for the Ramsar list and find out what responsibilities this involves for the NSW Government.

NSW Ramsar Managers Network

The NSW Ramsar Managers Network is a group of private landowners and government agencies responsible for managing Ramsar sites in NSW. The network is supported by OEH and meets regularly to discuss management of their respective sites and to develop initiatives for communicating the important values of wetlands and Ramsar sites.


Page last updated: 08 May 2012