The Bodies of the Convention

The implementation of the Ramsar Convention is a continuing partnership between the Contracting Parties, the Standing Committee, and the Convention Secretariat, with the advice of the subsidiary expert body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and the support of the International Organization Partners (IOPs). Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties, the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives. 

The scope and focus of the Convention's work is coordinated by means of a Strategic Plan and associated Work Plan which set out, in the context of the priority objectives, the actions expected or requested of the Parties, the Standing Committee, the Secretariat, the STRP, the IOPs, and other collaborators. The Convention is presently operating under its third Strategic Plan, for the period 2009-2015.

The Conference of the Contracting Parties

The Conference of the Contracting Parties is the policy-making body of the Convention.

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The Standing Committee

The Standing Committee oversees implementation between meetings of the COP.

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Scientific & Technical Review Panel

The STRP is the Convention's scientific advisory body.

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The Ramsar Secretariat

The Secretariat in Switzerland carries out the day-to-day work of the Convention.

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
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