Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites

Under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands the two concepts of wise use and site designation (as Wetlands of International Importance, or Ramsar Sites) are fully compatible and mutually reinforcing. Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention are expected to manage their Ramsar Sites so as to maintain their ecological character and retain their essential functions and values for future generations.

The Convention recognizes that the designation of Wetlands of International Importance constitutes just the starting point for securing the sustainability of wetlands and the maintenance of the ecosystem services they provide, and that development and implementation of a management planning process, involving all stakeholders, is necessary to achieve this.

To facilitate this process, the Ramsar Secretariat has produced a new guidebook, “The Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites”, for those involved in the process, based on materials identified by the Secretariat and the Convention’s experts and partners.


The guidebook includes simplified information on the process for designating Ramsar Sites. It also provides guidance on how their management can contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2016 – 2024 and other international processes.

The publication was developed by the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA), in collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat, the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), and WWT Consulting.


Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia. (2017). The Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites – A practitioner’s guide. Available at  and

To download the guidebook please click on the link below: