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The title for my project is “Wetlands Convention” – Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 came into force in 1975, 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. Background and significance The initial call for an international convention on wetlands came in 1962 during a conference which formed part of Project MAR (from “MARshes”, “MARécages”, “Marianas”), which was organized by Dr Luc Hoffmann ,a programme established in 1960 following concern at the rapidity with which large stretches of marshland and other wetlands in Europe were being “reclaimed” or otherwise destroyed, with a resulting decline in numbers of waterfowl. Finally, at an international meeting organized by Mr. Eskander Firouz, Director of Iran’s Game and Fish Department, the text of the Convention was agreed on 2 February 1971 and signed by the delegates of 18 nations the next day. The Convention entered into force in December 1975, upon receipt by UNESCO, the Convention Depositary, of the seventh instrument of accession to or ratification of the Convention, which came from Greece.
Since its adoption, the Ramsar Convention has been modified on two occasions: by a protocol (a new treaty which amends the original treaty) in December 1982, and by a series of amendments to the original treaty, known as the “Regina Amendments” of 1987. Convention’s Mission "The conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world". Originally, the Convention was set up to protect wetland habitats for the conservation of waterfowl but it now seeks to ensure the protection of all important wetlands. The significance of the wetlands are-: Wetlands provide fundamental ecological services and are regulators of water regimes and sources of biodiversity at all levels – species, genetic and ecosystem. Wetlands constitute a resource of great economic, scientific, cultural, and recreational value for the community.
Wetlands play a vital role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Progressive encroachment on, and loss of, wetlands cause serious and sometimes irreparable environmental damage to the provision of ecosystem services. Wetlands should be restored and rehabilitated, whenever possible. Wetlands should be conserved by ensuring their wise use.
Research methodology For the purpose of this project, I have taken resort to the methodology of secondary sources. A secondary source of research methodology incorporates the use of books, articles, journals as well as the use of online resources and websites. Wetlands provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. This research paper will focus on a successful aspect of the implementation of the Ramsar Convention. The paper will describe the significance of wetlands and the role played by different nations in the convention.
The paper will discuss the mission and working of the convention. It will also suggest that how the international implementation of the Ramsar Convention is better linked with the implementation of other multilateral environmental agreements. The paper will also highlight the urgent need for geospatial information on wetland extent, type, and change.
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