Assessment of the French Ramsar sites network

Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in France: analysis of the Ramsar site network and proposals for updating the national policy


Wetlands are varied ecosystems, which return essential services to the society thanks to their numerous functions. Nevertheless they are still unrecognized and threatened today by degradation and disappearance all around the world. France has been committed, by ratifying the Ramsar Convention in 1986, to preserve and to manage sustainably its wetlands, as well as to appoint on its territory at least one wetland of international importance, named « Ramsar site ».

Today the national Ramsar network extends to 44 sites and the Convention is implemented in particular through the circular of December 24th 2009, which concerns more precisely the modalities of Ramsar sites appointment, governance, management and monitoring. The specific situation of each French Ramsar site is not well known enough to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea, which is the French administrative authority of the Convention. Furthermore the implementation of the circular needs an assessment. That is why a survey was led towards Ramsar site coordinating bodies and state departments in charge. The Ministry willing in particular relaunch a dynamics in the national Ramsar policy, suggestions of updating the circular were realised from the survey results and from the discussions within the working group established especially for this project. Recommandations given in the circular are globally respected and appropriate, but require precisions in particular concerning the Ramsar sites animation : a more effective implementation on territories would permit to improve their valorisation thanks to the Ramsar label, and to highlight this label which is often erased behind existing preservation or management measures. It would also take part to the better spreading ideas supported by the Convention.

Reference : La mise en œuvre de la convention de Ramsar en France : analyse du réseau de sites Ramsar et propositions de mise à jour de la politique nationale ; Eve Alcoulombre, Auteur . – Nancy (France) : AgroParisTech, 2016 . – 1 vol. (208p.)




Download the full document (French version only): La mise en oeuvre de la convention de Ramsar en France : analyse du réseau de sites Ramsar et propositions de mise à jour de la politique nationale


Download the synthesis (French version only) : Etat des lieux d’un réseau de sites Ramsar français