Ecological Character Concept of the Ramsar Convention

  • Dave PritchardEmail author
Reference work entry


The Ramsar Convention requires every Contracting Party to arrange to be informed about change or potential change in the ecological character of its listed Ramsar Sites. Definitions of “ecological character” and “change” were agreed in 1996, then revised in 1999 and 2005. These definitions emphasise the interrelationships between all the processes and attributes that characterise a given wetland, and the latest version includes ecosystem services provided by the wetland as part of the character. Maintenance of ecological character is now the conceptual basis for obligations under the Convention applying to all wetlands, whether listed or not; and extensive guidance and commentaries have been published to support implementation of this.


Ecological character Obligation Maintenance Adverse change Ecosystem services Definitions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HexhamUK

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