Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Convention, where it was first signed.

On 2 February 1971, the text of the Convention on Wetlands was signed by the delegates of 18 nations in the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The treaty entered into force in December 1975 as the first of the modem global intergovernmental treaties on the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

50 years later, the 171 countries which are “Contracting Parties” to the Convention are committed to work towards the wise use of all their wetlands, and to cooperate on the protection of shared wetland systems and species. They have also designated over 2,400 of the world’s most significant wetlands as “Wetlands of International Importance”, also known as Ramsar Sites.

The term “wise use” expressed an aim to combine conservation and sustainable use of resources, making the Convention the first such treaty to embrace the concept of sustainable development. Wise use can be seen as the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and all the services they provide, for the benefit of people and nature.

On 16 February 2021, the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted an international ceremony on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Convention. The event, celebrating five decades of efforts to preserve and use wetlands wisely, was hosted by the Vice President of the Islamic Republic. During the event, a memorial stamp was unveiled to commemorate the anniversary.

“We all depend on healthy wetlands,” Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of the Convention, told the participants. “Wetlands are among the most valuable ecosystems for life on Earth. In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Convention, let us accelerate actions that conserve and restore wetlands, and promote their wise use.”