The International Organization Partners

The Convention works very closely with four global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been associated with the treaty since its beginnings and which, in Resolution VII.3 (1999), were confirmed in the formal status of International Organization Partners of the Convention. In Resolution IX.16 (2005), the Parties judged that IWMI meets the qualifications for Ramsar IOP status that were outlined in 1999 and endorsed the addition of that organization as the fifth official partner of the Convention. 

The IOPs provide invaluable support for the work of the Convention at global, regional, national, and local levels, chiefly by providing expert technical advice, field level implementation assistance, and financial support, both from their headquarters units and from their national and regional offices and affiliates and from their expert networks. In addition, they themselves embody the philosophy of the Ramsar Convention and its wise use concept and support the use of the Ramsar guidelines in their own work around the world. The IOPs also participate regularly as observers in all meetings of the Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee, and as full members of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.

BirdLife International

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide.   More Information »


IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.   More Information »


The International Water Management Institute is one of 15 international research centers supported by the network of 60 governments, private foundations and international and regional organizations collectively known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is a non-profit organization with a staff of 350 and offices in over 10 countries across Asia and Africa and Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka. IWMI's Mission is to improve the management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods and nature.   More Information »

Wetlands International

Wetlands International is a global organisation that works to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity. It is an independent, not-for-profit, global organisation, supported by government and NGO membership from around the world. Based mostly in the developing world, there are 20 regional, national or project offices in all continents and a head office in Ede, the Netherlands.   More Information »

WWF International

WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. With almost 5 million supporters, WWF has offices in over 90 countries and can safely claim to have played a major role in the evolution of the international conservation movement.   More Information »
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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

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