Global Wetland Outlook: State of the world’s wetlands and their services to people 2018

The Ramsar Secretariat has just published a new report named ”Global Wetland Outlook: State of the world’s wetlands and their services to people 2018”. The report provides a current overview of global wetlands: their extent, trends, drivers of change and the responses needed to reverse the historical decline in wetland area and quality.



The Global Wetland Outlook (GWO) emphasizes the necessity of developing effective wetland management plans and integrating wetlands into the planning and implementation of national plans on sustainable development, climate change and other key global commitments.

The report also stresses good governance and effective institutions at local, national and regional levels as a crucial factor in preventing, ending, and reversing trends in wetland loss and degradation.  More accurate data on wetland extent and wetland inventories is needed to help countries identify priority sites for restoration. Indigenous and local knowledge as well as citizen scientists are already invaluable resources on the state of wetlands and can be used more.



Drawing on successful examples across the world, the report recommends using existing funding mechanisms to apply economic and financial incentives for communities and business to protect wetlands through tax benefits. Perverse incentives for farmers and business such as subsidies to agriculture that encourage wetland conversion or pollution should be ended.

Additional recommendations include identifying solutions for wise use of wetlands that draw upon all expertise, ranging from hard science to traditional knowledge, to secure wide engagement on wetland protection and wise use and ensure sound decision-making. The GWO’s findings are expected to inform discussions and decisions at the Ramsar COP13 (21-29 Oct).

Download the Executive Summary here.

To download the full report, click on the links below: