20 May 2011

BirdLife renews its commitment to work for wetlands

By Karina Ugarte

BirdLife and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to continue their ongoing partnership to further develop and implement the Convention. The agreement was formalised in Gland, Switzerland during the 42nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands. "BirdLife has been a passionate advocate for the Ramsar convention since its inception and we remain so 40 years later. This is because wetlands are such crucial habitats and their conservation is key to achieving our mission of conserving biodiversity and achieving sustainable use of natural resources", said Marco Lambertini, BirdLife's Chief Executive.

The Ramsar Convention's mission is the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world. This year, Ramsar celebrates its 40th anniversary , as one of the International Organisation Partners, BirdLife International has worked closely with Ramsar since the Convention’s inception. During the last 40 years, BirdLife Partners have been involved at all levels helping to implement and develop global policy, legislation, training, research, water resources planning, local awareness-raising and site management. The MoC aims to continue the cooperation between the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention and BirdLife. It also presents a valuable opportunity for BirdLife Partners to contribute at all levels to shaping the progress, development, progress of the Convention together with its Contracting Parties and governing and expert bodies. "Despite the efforts and successes in these past forty years, including a much greater recognition of the importance on wetlands for biodiversity and for people, many wetlands around the world remain threatened and many are not even recognised as Ramsar sites as they should deserve. In congratulating Ramsar on the 40th anniversary BirdLife also urges all governments signatory to the convention to address ever more vigorously the many conservation issues wetlands still face around the world." Partners around the world are already working at national level and a publication recently developed shows a few of many of the conservation actions they are carrying out. This new agreement provides an ideal basis for growing and consolidating constructive co-operation between BirdLife Partners and national Governments. The actions included in the Memorandum’s annex will contribute to achieve BirdLife’s and Ramsar’s Strategic Plans and will be soon available for the Partnership. If you would like more information about BirdLife and its work in wetlands, please write to