Wetland ecosystem services


Wetland ecosystems are part of our natural wealth. At a worldwide scale they provide us with services worth trillions of US dollars every year – entirely free of charge – making a vital contribution to human health and well-being. With the global population set to increase to nine billion by 2050, increasing pressure on water resources and the threats posed by climate change, the need to maximise these benefits has never been greater or more urgent.

The set of Ramsar Factsheets profiles the ‘ecosystem services’ – the benefits people obtain from ecosystems – provided by wetlands. They illustrate the great diversity of ecosystem services delivered by wetlands and their values. The factsheets do not cover valuation techniques; a few references to further information on such techniques can be found in the data sources document.

 Wetland Ecosystem Services -- an introduction 
1Flood control 
2Groundwater replenishment 
3Shoreline stabilisation and storm protection 
4Sediment and nutrient retention and export 
5Water purification 
6Reservoirs of biodiversity 
7Wetland products 
8Cultural values 
9Recreation and tourism 
10Climate change mitigation and adaptation 
 Sources of information 

Higher-resolution PDFs suitable for printing and photocopying and the design files for translating and customising these sheets are also available on request from the Ramsar Secretariat: ramsar@ramsar.org.

All of this is available in ArabicFrench and Spanish as well as English.

For more information, please contact:

Sandra HAILS
CEPA Programme Officer

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

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
E-Mail: ramsar@ramsar.org
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe