Wise Use Concept of the Ramsar Convention
The term “wise use”, as it relates to wetlands, originates in the text of the Ramsar Convention adopted in 1971. Initially the term was not defined; but early discussions made clear that it expressed an aim to combine conservation and sustainable use of resources, making Ramsar the first Convention to embrace what later became the widely accepted concept of “sustainable development”. A first formal definition of “wise use” was adopted in 1987 by the Convention’s Parties, who then modified it in 2005. This later definition emphasises “maintenance of wetland ecological character” as the central tenet of the concept. A quantity of guidance material has been published to support the implementation of wise use for all wetlands.
KeywordsRamsar convention Wise use Sustainable development Ecosystem approaches Definitions
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