Ramsar Site

The Ramsar Convention or Convention on Wetlands is an inter-governmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the wise use of wetlands and their resources. Its mission is the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national action plans and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world. Wise use of wetlands is the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystems approaches, within the context of sustainable development. Thus “wise use has at heart the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources, for the benefit of humankind.

Under the “three pillars” of the Convention, the Member countries have committed themselves to work towards the wise use of all their wetlands through national land-use planning, appropriate policies and legislation, wise action, and public education, designate suitable wetlands for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List) and ensure their effective management, and, cooperate internationally concerning transboundary wetlands, shared wetland system, shared species, and development projects that may have effects on wetlands.

To date, the Convention has 163 member countries with 2,062 sites included in the list as wetlands of international importance or Ramsar sites with a total surface area of 197,541 ha. The Philippines has five Ramsar sites namely the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, the Naujan Lake National Park, the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.