Ramsar Convention: Transboundary Ramsar Sites

  • Royal C. Gardner
Reference work entry


A transboundary Ramsar Site refers to “an ecologically coherent wetland [that] extends across national borders” when “the Ramsar Site authorities on both or all sides of the border have formally agreed to collaborate in its management, and have notified the [Ramsar] Secretariat of this intent.” Such a cooperative management arrangement is one way that contracting parties to the Ramsar Convention may implement their duty of international cooperation, including the responsibilities related to Article 5 of the Convention, which requires contracting parties to consult with one another in the case of shared wetlands or water systems. A site’s designation as a transboundary Ramsar Site acknowledges the existence of a cooperative management arrangement, but it is not a distinct legal status for the Ramsar Sites involved. Accordingly, such a designation does not create additional international legal obligations beyond those already imposed by the Ramsar Convention.


Ramsar convention Ramsar sites Transboundary 


  1. Ramsar Convention Secretariat. The Ramsar convention manual: a guide to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971). 4th ed. Gland: Ramsar Convention Secretariat; 2006.Google Scholar
  2. Ramsar Convention Secretariat. Transboundary Ramsar sites. 2014.

Further Reading

  1. Griffin P. The Ramsar convention: a new window for environmental diplomacy? Burlington: Institute for Environmental Diplomacy & Security, University of Vermont; 2012.Google Scholar
  2. Sadoff C, Greiber T, Smith M, Bergkamp G. Share – managing water across boundaries. Gland: IUCN; 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Verschuuren JM. The case of transboundary wetlands under the Ramsar convention: keep the lawyers out! Colorado J Int Environ Law Policy. 2008;19(1):49–127.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Biodiversity Law and PolicyStetson University College of LawGulfportUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  3. 3.UNESCO-IHEDelftThe Netherlands

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