The international Convention on Wetlands, more commonly known as the Ramsar Convention, was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. Norway was one of the first countries to ratify the convention in 1974. The Ramsar Convention came into force in 1975.
The Ramsar Convention’s definition of wetland areas is broad. It includes both mires and freshwater, as well as brackish water and marine areas up to a depth of six metres. The convention was originally designed to protect wetlands habitats for water birds. Today the Ramsar Convention covers wetlands, integrated management of water resources, and poverty.


So far there are over 60 wetlands with Ramsar status in Norway.

The convention has 169 member states. 2260 internationally important wetland areas are included as Ramsar areas. These areas cover an area roughly 2.15 million km2. Norway has so far contributed with 63 of these wetland areas. There are three Ramsar areas in Oppland: the Dokka Delta, Hynna and Fokstumyra. The Norwegian Environment Agency is the Norwegian managing authority for the convention.


Obligations of the Ramsar Convention.

The member countries are obligated to follow commitments agreed to in the original convention, as well as commitments agreed to during conferences held every third year. These commitments are connected especially with:

- managing wetlands of international importance (Ramsar areas) such that they continue to perform their ecological functions.

- ensuring the reasonable and sustainable use of wetlands is considered in any decisions affecting wetland areas. This should include surveying and conservation plans.

- participating in international partnerships concerning wetlands, for example development cooperation.


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