Convention on Wetlands

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance or Ramsar Convention is the international treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Is an international treaty that does not belong to the United Nations system. The Convention was adopted in February 1971, and entered into force on December 1975.

The subsidiary bodies of the Convention are:

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the body of the Convention responsible to formulate policy decisions, adopt decision (Resolutions and Recommendations) to manage the work of the Convention and improve the capacity of the Parties to achieve their goal. It meets every three years. The Twelfth COP will take place in June 2015 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The Standing Committee was established by Resolution 3.3 of the COP in 1987. Is the executive body that represents the COP between its sessions. The next meeting of the Standing Committee will be held in Gland, from 26 to 30 January of 2015.

The Scientific & Technical Review Panel (STRP) provides scientific and technical guidance to the COP, the Standing Committee, and the Secretariat, was established by Resolution 5.5 in 1993. 

The Secretariat carries out the coordination of the Convention’s activities. It is based at the headquarters of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland.

Colombia and RAMSAR

The Convention was adopted by Law 257 of 1997,  declared enforceable by the Constitutional Court, trough Sentence C-582/97 and entered into force on October 1998.Colombia has registered in the list of wetlands of international importance, the following places:



Date of register

Estuario del Río Magdalena

Ciénaga Grande Sta.Marta


Laguna de la Cocha

Departamento de Nariño


Delta del Río Baudó

Departamento del Chocó


Sistema de Humedales Laguna del Otún

Departamento de Risaralda


Sistema Lacustre de Chingaza

Cundinamarca y Bogotá


Estrella Fluvial del río Inírida

Departamento del Guainía


Colombia designated the “Estrella Fuvial del río Inírida” as its sixth wetland of international importance by Decree 1275 of 8 July 2014,. 

Colombia will host VI Pan-American Meeting, Preparatory for the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP), from 27 to 31 October 2014, in Bogotá.

The follow-up and implementation of the Convention is a competency of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development


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