List of parties to the Ramsar Convention

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This is a list of parties contracting to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, which is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. The Convention's mission is "“the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”. It calls upon contracting parties to recognize the interdependence of humans and the environment as well as the ecological functions of wetlands, such as wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling, and flood control.

The Ramsar Convention is the oldest multilateral international conservation convention and the only one to deal with one habitat or ecosystem type, wetlands. The Convention's headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland, and it works closely with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.[1][2][3]

The Convention was held in the city of Ramsar, Iran in February 1971 and was originally contracted by seven countries when it came into force on 21 December 1975. As of February 2018 there are 170 contracting parties and over 2,000 designated sites covering over 200,000,000 hectares (490,000,000 acres). Every contracting country has at least one Ramsar site, and 31 of the contracting countries have only one site. The country with the most sites is the United Kingdom with 170. To become a Ramsar site, a site must be nominated by a contracting country, meet at least one of nine criteria, and undergo scientific review. The Convention was most recently ratified by North Korea in 2018.

The table lists the countries contracting to the convention, the entry date of each country to the convention, the number of Ramsar sites in each country, and the total area of all Ramsar sites in each country.

Ramsar Convention contracting parties[4]
Country Entry date[5] Ramsar sites Area
hectares acres
Albania 29 February 1996 4 98,181 242,610
Algeria 4 March 1984 50 2,991,013 7,390,950
Andorra 23 November 2012 3 6,870 17,000
Antigua and Barbuda 2 October 2005 1 3,600 8,900
Argentina 4 September 1992 22 5,625,407 13,900,680
Armenia 6 November 1993 3 493,511 1,219,490
Australia 21 December 1975 65 8,320,157 20,559,560
Austria 16 April 1983 23 124,968 308,800
Azerbaijan 21 September 2001 2 99,560 246,000
Bahamas 7 June 1997 1 32,600 81,000
Bahrain 27 February 1998 2 6,810 16,800
Bangladesh 21 September 1992 2 611,200 1,510,000
Barbados 12 April 2006 1 33 82
Belarus 25 August 1991 20 684,739.94 1,692,029.2
Belgium 4 July 1986 9 46,944.06 116,001.3
Belize 22 August 1998 2 23,592 58,300
Benin 24 May 2000 4 1,179,354 2,914,250
Bhutan 7 September 2012 2 256 630
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 27 October 1990 11 14,842,405 36,676,380
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 March 1992 3 56,779 140,300
Botswana 9 April 1997 1 5,537,400 13,683,000
Brazil 24 September 1993 12 7,225,687 17,855,060
Bulgaria 24 January 1976 11 49,912.75 123,337.1
Burkina Faso 27 October 1990 15 652,502 1,612,370
Burundi 5 October 2002 4 78,515 194,010
Cambodia 23 October 1999 4 75,942 187,660
Cameroon 20 July 2006 7 827,060 2,043,700
Canada 15 May 1981 37 13,086,771 32,338,120
Cape Verde 18 November 2005 4 535 1,320
Central African Republic 5 April 2006 2 376,300 930,000
Chad 13 October 1990 6 12,405,068 30,653,590
Chile 27 November 1981 13 361,761 893,930
China 31 July 1992 49 4,112,423.56 10,162,019.9
Colombia 18 October 1998 6 708,683.91 1,751,196.1
Comoros 9 June 1995 3 16,030 39,600
Congo 18 October 1998 13 13,758,740.91 33,998,589.2
Costa Rica 27 April 1992 12 569,742 1,407,860
Côte d'Ivoire 27 June 1996 6 127,344 314,670
Croatia 25 June 1991 5 94,358 233,160
Cuba 12 August 2001 6 1,188,411 2,936,630
Cyprus 11 November 2001 1 1,107 2,740
Czech Republic 1 January 1993 14 60,207 148,770
Democratic Republic of Congo 18 May 1996 3 7,435,624 18,373,830
Denmark 2 January 1978 43 2,315,386 5,721,440
Djibouti 22 March 2003 1 3,000 7,400
Dominican Republic 15 September 2002 4 135,096.63 333,831.0
Ecuador 7 January 1991 18 286,651 708,330
Egypt 9 September 1988 4 415,532 1,026,800
El Salvador 22 May 1999 7 207,387 512,460
Equatorial Guinea 2 October 2003 3 136,000 340,000
Estonia 29 July 1994 17 304,778 753,120
Fiji 11 August 2006 1 615 1,520
Finland 21 December 1975 49 799,518 1,975,650
France 1 December 1986 44 3,567,384.46 8,815,199.0
Gabon 30 April 1987 9 2,818,469 6,964,590
Gambia 16 January 1997 3 31,244 77,210
Georgia 7 June 1997 2 34,480 85,200
Germany 26 June 1976 34 868,226 2,145,430
Ghana 22 June 1988 6 176,134.48 435,237.8
Greece 21 December 1975 10 163,501 404,020
Grenada 22 September 2012 1 518 1,280
Guatemala 26 October 1990 7 628,592 1,553,280
Guinea 18 March 1993 16 6,422,361 15,870,000
Guinea-Bissau 14 May 1990 4 1,189,633.18 2,939,647.6
Honduras 23 October 1993 9 270,224 667,740
Hungary 11 August 1979 29 256,948 634,930
Iceland 2 April 1978 6 128,666 317,940
India 1 February 1982 26 689,131 1,702,880
Indonesia 8 August 1992 7 1,372,976 3,392,700
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 21 December 1975 24 1,486,438 3,673,070
Iraq 17 February 2008 4 537,900 1,329,000
Ireland 15 March 1985 45 66,994 165,550
Israel 12 March 1997 2 366 900
Italy 14 April 1977 52 60,223 148,810
Jamaica 7 February 1998 4 37,847 93,520
Japan 17 October 1980 50 148,002 365,720
Jordan 10 May 1977 1 7,372 18,220
Kazakhstan 2 May 2007 10 3,281,398 8,108,510
Kenya 5 October 1990 6 265,449 655,940
Kiribati 3 August 2013 1 1,033 2,550
Kuwait 5 September 2015 1 50,948 125,900
Kyrgyzstan 12 March 2003 3 679,408 1,678,850
Lao People's Democratic Republic 28 October 2010 2 14,760 36,500
Latvia 25 November 1995 6 150,318 371,440
Lebanon 16 August 1999 4 1,075 2,660
Lesotho 1 November 2004 1 434 1,070
Liberia 2 November 2003 5 95,879 236,920
Libya 5 August 2000 2 83 210
Liechtenstein 6 December 1991 1 101 250
Lithuania 20 December 1993 7 65,581 162,050
Luxembourg 15 August 1998 2 17,213 42,530
Madagascar 25 January 1999 10 1,347,628.5 3,330,063
Malawi 14 March 1997 1 224,800 555,000
Malaysia 10 March 1995 6 134,158 331,510
Mali 25 September 1987 4 4,204,640 10,389,900
Malta 30 January 1989 2 16 40
Marshall Islands 13 November 2004 2 70,119 173,270
Mauritania 22 February 1983 4 1,240,600 3,066,000
Mauritius 30 September 2001 3 401 990
Mexico 4 November 1986 142 8,643,579.52 21,358,750.1
Monaco 20 December 1997 1 23 57
Mongolia 8 April 1998 11 1,439,530 3,557,200
Montenegro 3 June 1996 2 20,150 49,800
Morocco 20 October 1980 24 272,010 672,200
Mozambique 3 December 2004 2 4,534,872 11,205,910
Myanmar 17 March 2005 2 58,243.38 143,922.5
Namibia 23 December 1995 5 676,564 1,671,830
Nepal 17 April 1988 10 60,561 149,650
Netherlands 23 September 1980 54 903,731.2 2,233,168
New Zealand 13 December 1976 6 55,512 137,170
Nicaragua 30 November 1997 9 406,852 1,005,350
Niger 30 August 1987 12 4,317,869 10,669,690
Nigeria 2 February 2001 11 1,076,728 2,660,650
North Korea 16 January 2018
Norway 21 December 1975 63 889,504 2,198,010
Oman 19 August 2013 1 106.83 264.0
Pakistan 23 November 1976 19 1,343,627 3,320,170
Palau 18 February 2003 1 500 1,200
Panama 26 November 1990 5 183,992 454,650
Papua New Guinea 16 July 1993 2 594,924 1,470,090
Paraguay 7 October 1995 6 785,970 1,942,200
Peru 30 March 1992 13 6,784,042 16,763,730
Philippines 8 November 1994 6 154,409 381,550
Poland 22 March 1978 13 145,075 358,490
Portugal 24 March 1981 31 132,487 327,380
Republic of Korea 28 July 1997 21 18,624 46,020
Republic of Moldova 20 October 2000 3 94,705 234,020
Romania 21 September 1991 19 1,156,448 2,857,650
Russian Federation 11 February 1977
(ratified as Soviet Union)
35 10,323,767 25,510,580
Rwanda 1 April 2006 1 0 0
Saint Lucia 19 June 2002 2 85 210
Samoa 6 February 2005 1 470 1,200
Sao Tome and Principe 21 December 2006 1 23 57
Senegal 11 November 1977 5 99,993 247,090
Serbia 27 April 1992
(ratified as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
10 63,919 157,950
Seychelles 22 March 2005 3 44,025 108,790
Sierra Leone 13 April 2000 1 295,000 730,000
Slovakia 1 January 1993 14 40,697 100,560
Slovenia 25 June 1991 3 8,205 20,270
South Africa 21 December 1975 22 555,678 1,373,110
South Sudan 10 October 2013 1 5,700,000 14,000,000
Spain 4 September 1982 74 303,090 749,000
Sri Lanka 15 October 1990 6 198,172 489,690
Sudan 7 May 2005 3 2,489,600 6,152,000
Suriname 22 November 1985 1 12,000 30,000
Swaziland 15 June 2013 3 0 0
Sweden 21 December 1975 66 651,683 1,610,340
Switzerland 16 May 1976 11 14,688 36,290
Syrian Arab Republic 5 July 1998 1 10,000 25,000
Tajikistan 18 November 2001 5 94,600 234,000
Thailand 13 September 1998 14 399,714 987,710
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 8 September 1991 2 21,616 53,410
Togo 4 November 1995 4 1,210,400 2,991,000
Trinidad and Tobago 21 April 1993 3 15,919 39,340
Tunisia 24 March 1981 41 840,363 2,076,580
Turkey 13 November 1994 14 184,487 455,880
Turkmenistan 3 July 2009 1 267,124 660,080
Uganda 4 July 1988 12 454,303 1,122,610
Ukraine 1 December 1991 33 744,651 1,840,070
United Arab Emirates 29 December 2007 5 20,278 50,110
United Kingdom 5 May 1976 170 1,278,923 3,160,290
United Republic of Tanzania 13 August 2000 4 4,868,424 12,030,140
United States of America 18 December 1986 38 1,860,760.77 4,598,040.0
Uruguay 22 September 1984 3 435,837 1,076,980
Uzbekistan 8 February 2002 2 558,400 1,380,000
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 23 November 1988 5 263,636 651,460
Viet Nam 20 January 1989 8 117,813 291,120
Yemen 8 February 2008 1 580 1,400
Zambia 28 December 1991 8 4,030,500 9,960,000
Zimbabwe 3 May 2013 7 233,794.35 577,718.4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A brief history of the Ramsar Convention". The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 27 October 2011. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Heinen, Joel (20 June 2007). Hite, Kirsten, ed. "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat". Encyclopedia of Earth. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands". The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 13 February 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  5. ^ This is the date the Convention came into force for the state, not the date of the ratification of the treaty.