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The Ramsar Convention Manual, 3rd edition (2004)
A Guide to the Convention on Wetlands
Thursday 10 June 2004, by Web Team

When the Ramsar Manual was first compiled by T. J. Davis and published in 1994, it was enthusiastically welcomed as an essential vade mecum through the sometimes bewildering world of Ramsar resolutions, guidelines, and terminology. It grew out of date quickly, however, especially because the work completed by the Conference of the Contracting Parties at its 6th meeting, held in Brisbane in 1996, added a large number of new tools to the Convention’s armamentarium.

Accordingly, a second edition was published in 1997, incorporating all of the institutional changes of the preceding three years and including as annexes all of the major documents associated with the Convention.

Following COP7 in San José in 1999, however, it was felt that the volume of Ramsar documentary material had simply grown too large to be included as appendices to the Manual, and that the growing use by the public of the Ramsar Web site had made the descriptive body of the Manual less necessary. At that time, then, the Ramsar Manual was let go out of print, and the 9-volume "Ramsar Toolkit" (The Ramsar Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands) was published separately in January 2000 in order to make available all of the major guidance adopted by the COP.

The Handbooks have proved to be invaluable, and a second edition, including the guidance documents emerging from COP8 in Valencia in 2002, will be available on CD-ROM in early 2004. The judgment about the explanatory body of the Manual, however, turned out to be wrong, and many people have argued that there is still a need for a brief, printed introduction to the Convention and its processes.

Thus this third edition contains a thorough update of the second, taking account of all that has changed since 1997. In place of the 2nd edition’s 17 documentary appendices, however, in this edition we have substituted merely a list of references to the Web addresses of all of the documents mentioned in the text and a list of the contents of the forthcoming 14-volume Handbooks series. For Ramsar documents and resources mentioned that the text without references, those links can be found in Appendix 3.

Suggestions for additions and improvements to this Manual in an eventual fourth edition will be very welcome.

Note: Parts of the following text have been cross-referenced to other sections of the text by use of the symbol § to indicate section numbers.

This manual is available both in french and english (PDF format)

Source : Ramsar website

Copyright © Ramsar Convention Secretariat 2004

Reproduction of material from this publication for educational and other non-commercial purposes is authorized without prior permission from the Ramsar Secretariat, providing full acknowledgment is given. Reproduction of material for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without the prior written permission of the Ramsar Secretariat.

Note: The designation of geographical entities in this Manual, and the presentation of the material, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Citation: Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 2004. The Ramsar Convention Manual: a Guide to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), 3rd ed. Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Gland, Switzerland.

Le Manuel de Ramsar, 3e édition (2004)
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The Ramsar Convention Manual, 3rd edition (2004)
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