What is Ramsar?
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance came into being in the township of Ramsar in Iran in 1971. It is the only international Convention to focus on a single ecosystem type and recognises wetlands as one of the most threatened habitats globally.
The Convention seeks to promote conservation and wise use of wetlands by listing wetlands of international importance. Australia was one of the first countries to sign up to the Convention, which is now currently referred to as the Ramsar Convention.
The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management of those that remain. Currently 169 countries are signatories of the Convention with over 2,200 wetlands listed. Australia has 65 sites, the last listed being Piccaninnie Ponds in 2013, with 11 sites located in Victoria.
Nomination for Ramsar listing
In January 2014, the Victorian Government announced at a community function in Nelson that Glenelg Hopkins CMA will use its winnings from the Australian Riverprize to complete the necessary listing documentation to nominate the Glenelg Estuary and Long Swamp Wetland Complex as the next Victorian Ramsar site.
Listing of the Glenelg Estuary and Long Swamp area as a new Ramsar site provides benefits in protecting highly significant wetland values, raising the profile of the wetlands and increasing the level of support for the use of this area. Additional benefits include enhancing tourism and contributing to wider local and regional economic sustainability.
The Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay is Victoria and Australia’s newest Ramsar site – Glenelg Ramsar. This recent listing provides additional protection for highly significant wetland values, raises the national and international profile of these wetland values and increases the level of management and funding support for this area. The Ramsar site includes the majority of Lower Glenelg National Park and Discovery Bay Coastal Park.
The Ramsar nomination has no effect on how you currently use the Parks and manage you adjoining private property.
Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay Ramsar Management Plan (Glenelg RMP) guides the range of activities for the site. The Glenelg RMP provides a focus for management strategies to protect site values and that support the unique ecological character of the area. Parks Victoria, as the Site Manager, will work on behalf of Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, the Crown Land Owner, through collaboration with Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, the Ramsar Site Coordinator. Together with a community representative and other agencies (Gunditj Mirring TOAC, Southern Rural Water and Glenelg Shire Council) these agencies will implement management requirements for the Glenelg Ramsar site.
Thank you for your continued interest in the Glenelg Estuary and Discovery Bay Ramsar site.