, Volume 118, Issue 1–2, pp 3–16 | Cite as

Classification and inventory of wetlands: A global overview

  • D. A. Scott
  • T. A. Jones


Classification of wetlands is extremely problematical, definition of the term wetland being a difficult and controversial starting point. Although considerable effort has gone into the development of national and regional wetland classifications, the only attempt at establishing a global system has been under the auspices of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. In view of the fact that the Ramsar Convention has 70 Contracting Parties world-wide, it is suggested that the Convention's definition and classification system should be adopted generally for international purposes. Much of the world has been covered by preliminary wetland inventories, but there is an urgent need to extend coverage to those areas not yet included. It is essential that all inventory projects give adequate attention to meeting the real information needs of agencies and individuals which have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Attention should also be given to providing for wide dissemination and regular updating of information and establishment of procedures for monitoring ecological change at the sites identified.

Key words

Ramsar Convention Wetland classification Wetland inventory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Burgis, M. J. & Symoens, J. J. (Eds.). 1987. African Wetlands and Shallow Water Bodies. ORSTOM, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  2. Carp, E. 1980. A Directory of Western Palearctic Wetlands. UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya & IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  3. Cowardin, L. M., Carter, V., Golet, F. C. & LaRoe, E. T. 1979. Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. 140 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Dugan, P. J. 1990. Wetland Conservation — a Review of Current Issues and Required Action. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 100 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Dugan, P. J. (Ed.). 1993. Wetlands Under Threat. Mitchell Beazley, London.Google Scholar
  6. Environmental Problems Foundation of Turkey. 1989. Wetlands of Turkey. EPFT, Ankara, Turkey. 178 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Finlayson, M. & Moser, M. 1991. Wetlands. IWRB. Facts-on-File, Oxford & New York.Google Scholar
  8. Grimmett, R. F. A. & Jones, T. A. 1989. Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9. ICBP, Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  9. Heliotis, F. D. 1988. An inventory and review of the wetland resources of Greece, Wetlands, Vol. 8. 18 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Hepburn, I., Oldfield, S. & Thompson, K. (in press). UK Dependent Territories-Ramsar Study Stage 1. Report to UK Department of the Environment. IWRB/NGO Forum for Dependent Territories.Google Scholar
  11. Hughes, R. H. & Hughes, J. S. 1992. A Directory of African Wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  12. Jones, T. A. (compiler). 1993. A Directory of Wetlands of International Importance, Volumes I–IV. Ramsar Convention Bureau, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  13. Karpowicz, Z. 1985. Wetlands in East Asia — A Preliminary Review and Inventory. ICBP Study Report No. 6. ICBP. Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  14. Luther, H. & Rzoska, J. 1971. Project Aqua; a source book of inland waters proposed for conservation. IBP Handbook No. 21. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  15. Matthews, G. V. T. 1993. The Ramsar Convention; its History and Development. Ramsar Convention Bureau. Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  16. National Wetlands Working Group, Canada Committee on Ecological Land Classification. 1987. The Canadian Wetland Classification System. Ecological Land Classification Series No. 21. Lands Conservation Branch. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. 20 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Official Journal of the European Communities. 1992. L 206, Vol. 35. 54 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Olney, P. (Ed.). 1965. Project MAR. List of European and North African Wetlands of International Importance. IUCN New Series 5. IUCN, Morges, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  19. Patten, B. C. 1990. Wetlands and Shallow Continental Water Bodies: Volume 1-Natural and Human Relationships SPB Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Ramsar Convention Bureau. 1990. Directory of Wetlands of International Importance. Ramsar Convention Bureau, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  21. Saenger, P., Hegerl, E. J. & Davie, J. D. S. 1983. Global Status of Mangrove Ecosystems. IUCN Commission on Ecology Papers No. 3. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  22. Scott, D. A. 1980. A Preliminary Inventory of Wetlands of International Importance for Waterfowl in West Europe and Northwest Africa. IWRB Special Publication No. 2. IWRB, Slimbridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  23. Scott, D. A. & Carbonell, M. 1985. The IWRB/ICBP Neotropical Wetlands Project: a report on the completion of ‘A Directory of Neotropical Wetlands’. In: Scott, D. A., Smart, M. & Carbonell, M. (Eds) Report of the XXXI Annual Meeting of IWRB, Paracas, Peru, 10–16 February 1985: 51–65. IWRB, Slimbridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  24. Scott, D. A. & Carbonell, M. (Eds.) 1986. A Directory of Neotropical Wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 713 pp.Google Scholar
  25. Scott, D. A. (Ed.) 1989a. A Directory of Asian Wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K. 1198 pp.Google Scholar
  26. Scott, D. A. 1989b. Design of Wetland Data Sheet for Database on Ramsar Sites. Photocopied report to Ramsar Bureau, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  27. Scott, D. A. 1992. Inventory of Wetlands of the Middle East: Project Proposal. Unpub. report.Google Scholar
  28. Scott, D. A. (Ed.). 1993. A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania. IWRB, Slimbridge, UK & AWB, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 461 pp.Google Scholar
  29. Scott, D. A. & Poole, C. M. 1989. A Status Overview of Asian Wetlands. Asian Wetland Bureau Publication No. 53. AWB, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Google Scholar
  30. Silvius, M. J., Djuharsa, E., Taufik, A. W., Steeman, A. P. J. M., Berczy, E. T. (compilers). 1987. The Indonesian Wetland Inventory — a preliminary compilation of information on wetlands in Indonesia, Volume I. PHPA-AWB/Interwader, Indonesia & EDWIN, The Netherlands. 169 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Walmsley, R. D. & Boomker, E. A. (Eds.). 1988. Inventory and Classification of Wetlands in South Africa. Proceedings of a Workshop. Occasional Report No. 34. Foundations for Research Development, CSIR, Pretoria.Google Scholar
  32. Whigham, D. F., Dykyjkova, P. & Hejny, S. (Eds.). 1993. Wetlands of the World. I. Inventory, ecology and management. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 768 pp.Google Scholar
  33. UNEP/IUCN. 1988. Coral Reefs of the World. 3 Vols. UNEP Regional Seas Directories and Bibliographies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland/Cambridge, U.K./UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya.Google Scholar
  34. Usback, S. & James, R. (compilers). 1993. A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Canberra ACT, Australia. 717 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Scott
    • 1
  • T. A. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research BureauSlimbridgeUK

Personalised recommendations