The Convention on Wetlands


Background: The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.  There are presently 152 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1604 wetland sites, totalling 134.7 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The current “Regional Strategy for Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands” was formulated within the Ramsar Convention framework, with the active participation of the countries that enclose High Andean wetlands and related areas.



Regional Strategy for the

Conservation and Sustainable Use of High Andean Wetlands


This strategy is a guiding framework for regional cooperation among the countries involved, within a ten year projection period (2005-2015). Its purpose is the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and wetland complexes in páramos, jalca, puna, and other High Andean ecosystems that include glaciers, lakes, lagoons, wet meadows, bofedales, mallines, highland vegas, salt pans and peatlands, rivers, water streams and other water bodies, defined as wetlands within the Ramsar Convention classification, including catchments, located at the Andean Range and other mountain systems in Latin America.

The strategy firmly recommends participation of national and local government bodies; indigenous, peasant and black communities; productive sector, NGOs, and academic and research institutions, in coordination with supranational instances such as the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), The Andean Development Corporation (CAF), MERCOSUR, international organizations related to the Ramsar Convention, and the technical networks that work at páramos and punas, as well as other interested actors.

The goal of this project is to complete and implement a regional strategy that covers the countries that are crossed by the Andean Range (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), as well as Costa Rica, which includes a páramo ecosystem complex within its territory, with the same ecological characteristics of the Andean páramos.   Implementation of the strategic plan will significantly enhance the conservation of high Andean wetlands strengthening institutional capacity, political commitment, international cooperation, and public-private partnerships at regional, national and local levels.

Project objectives include:

  • Develop a shared vision of the High Andean wetlands through coordination mechanisms and strengthening of regional capacities

  • Complete and improve scientific and technical knowledge on High Andean wetlands, and other functionally related ecosystems, in order to support their sustainable use and conservation

  • Promote conservation, management and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources of High Andean wetlands and the goods and services related to them.

  • Strengthen education and communication processes to increase public awareness on the importance and value of High Andean wetlands.

  • Implement conservation policies of High Andean wetlands among the countries in the region

  • Design and secure financing, follow-up, and assessment mechanisms for the wetland strategy, in order to guarantee sustainability in the medium and long terms

  • Facilitate the sharing of resources available for network-building to more effectively build partnerships among what might otherwise be isolated national implementations.

  • Ensure coordination with other regional efforts such as WHMSI, IABIN, as well as global efforts such as CMS, Ramsar, CBD, and CITES.  

  • Digitize and translate relevant data to allow searching and retrieval and increase the amount of data on high Andean wetlands available to all interested stakeholders.





This page was last updated on Wednesday July 14, 2010.