The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (RAMSAR)

The Ramsar Convention entered into force in 1975, making it the oldest MEA in the world, and now has 159 Contracting Parties (as of March 2009) in all parts of the world. It is has the largest number of contracting parties in relation to MEAs.

The Ramsar Convention came into force in Malaysia in 1994. As a demonstration of its commitment to conservation of wetlands, Malaysia adopted the National Wetland Policy in June 2004. To date, we have six Ramsar designated sites in the country – – Tasik Bera in Pahang, Pulau Kukup, Tanjung Piai, and Sungai Pulai in Johor, Kuching Wetlands National Park in Sarawak, and most recently, the Kinabatangan River in Sabah.

However, 18 wetlands sites in Malaysia (about 32% of the total IBA sites in Malaysia) qualify as Ramsar Sites.

Under the Ramsar Convention, the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) components plays a major role bringing the conservation message across. CEPA is now one of the major techniques available to wetland managers in addressing the ever increasing threat to wetlands. MNS was appointed the official national Ramsar CEPA-NGO Focal Point in 2002.

For more information about RAMSAR go to