The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty on the conservation of important wetlands.
Australia was among the first five member countries of the Ramsar Convention, and the first to nominate a wetland for listing.
Currently, 168 countries and agencies have designated 2,178 wetland sites, totalling over 208 million hectares, to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Australia has 65 Ramsar sites, covering more than 8.3 million hectares.
Being a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, Australia has undertaken to ensure our internationally important wetlands are conserved.
The federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, protects Australia's Ramsar wetlands by applying consistent management principles and arrangements between the Australian Government (Department of the Environment) and the states.
Any activity that may have a significant impact on a Ramsar wetland goes through a rigorous environmental assessment and approvals process.
There are 12 Ramsar wetland sites in Western Australia.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife has the lead role in recommending suitable wetlands to the state government for nomination on the List of Wetlands of International Importance via the Australian Government and the Ramsar Bureau.
This process involves consulting with key stakeholders and preparing nomination documents containing details of the values and other features of each wetland.
|Site (and further information)||Ramsar information sheet||Map||Description||Management plan|
|Becher Point398.54 KB||102 KB||
|Rockingham Lakes Regional Park2.38 MB|
|Eighty-mile Beach193.1 KB||188.77 KB||Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park3.51 MB|
|Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes||Thomsons Forrestdale308.72 KB||30 KB|
|Lake Gore||Lake Gore393.02 KB||Esperance Lakes Nature Reserves2.28 MB|
|Lake Warden System||Lake Warden246.97 KB||267 KB||Lake Warden System4.29 MB||Esperance Lakes Nature Reserves2.28 MB|
|Lakes Argyle and Kununurra||Argyle Kununurra151.67 KB||669 KB||Lakes Argyle and Kununurra 4.23 MB|
|Muir-Byenup System||Muir Byenup254.88 KB||298 KB||Muir-Byenup System2.2 MB||Perup4.35 MB|
|Ord River Floodplain195.96 KB||669 KB||Ord River and Parry Lagoons Nature Reserves5.27 MB|
|Peel-Yalgorup System||Peel-Yalgorup 300.05 KB||1.3 MB|
|Roebuck Bay||Roebuck Bay261.82 KB||238 KB||Roebuck Bay 4.63 MB||In preparation|
|Toolibin Lake||Toolibin Lake372.19 KB||835 KB||Toolibin Lake1.39 MB||Toolibin Lake278.46 KB|
|Vasse-Wonnerup System||Vasse-Wonnerup 521.77 KB||1005 KB||Vasse-Wonnerup System7.76 MB||Tuart Forest National Park2.84 MB|
On 2 February each year, World Wetlands Day, the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre holds the Annual Western Australian Management Conference to exchange information and ideas between wetland practitioners, with a focus on the latest developments on managing and restoring wetlands.
As a key part of their commitment to recognising Australia's most important wetlands, all state, territory and commonwealth governments have jointly compiled a Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.
The Directory identifies more than 800 nationally important wetlands, and provides a substantial knowledge base of what defines wetlands, their variety, and the many plants and animals that depend on them.
It includes information about their social and cultural values, and some of the benefits they provide to people. It is a valuable tool for managers and others interested in Australia's important wetlands.
Visit the Australian Wetlands Database for up-to-date information on nationally important wetlands.
Wetlands are identified as nationally important if they:
Of the 904 currently listed nationally important wetlands, 65 are recognised as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention.
Western Australia has 120 nationally important wetlands and wetland systems covering more than 2.5 million hectares.