About the document
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) was signed in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971. The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain. The Convention encourages member countries to nominate sites containing representative, rare or unique wetlands, or that are important for conserving biological diversity, to the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites). Australia was one of the first countries to become a Contracting Party to the Convention and designated the world's first Ramsar site, Cobourg Peninsula, in 1974.
Australia's 65 Ramsar sites cover more than 8.3 million hectares, forming an impressive estate of diverse wetland types; freshwater and marine; permanent and ephemeral; in every climatic zone. More information on Australia's wetlands and the Ramsar Convention in Australia is available from www.environment.gov.au/wetlands or the Ramsar Convention website at www.ramsar.org.