Meeting Obligations to Protect Ramsar Wetlands

Tabled: 14 September 2016

Appendix A. Ramsar Convention criteria

The Ramsar Convention currently contains nine criteria, listed in Figure A1. To be listed under the Ramsar Convention, a wetland need only meet one criterion.

Figure A1
Criteria for listing under the Ramsar Convention

Ramsar Criteria

Group A: Sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types

Criterion one

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it contains a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found within the appropriate biogeographic region.

Group B: Sites of international importance for conserving biological diversity—criteria based on species and ecological communities

Criterion two

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.

Criterion three

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.

Criterion four

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.

Specific criteria based on waterbirds

Criterion five

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 20 000 or more waterbirds.

Criterion six

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1 per cent of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird.

Specific criteria based on fish

Criterion seven

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life‑history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.

Criterion eight

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it is an important source of food for fish, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.

Specific criteria based on other taxa

Criterion nine

A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland—dependent non-avian animal species

Source: VAGO from publicly available information from the Commonwealth Department of Environment & Energy.

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