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''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

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P.M. Roget, lexicographer, 1779-1869

Monday, 7 February 2011

Ramsar Convention anniversary

Level: Upper intermediate / B2

This year is a big anniversary for the Ramsar Convention.
But how much do you know about this important agreement?
Read this article and then answer the questions:

1: Where is the city of Ramsar?
2: When was the Ramsar agreement signed?
3: When is World Wetlands Day?
4: How many countries have signed the Ramsar Agreement ('contracting parties')?
5: In which country is the Ramsar Secretariat based?
6: Which country has the largest number of Ramsar sites? (You may have to look around to find the answer to this one!)

Finally, what do you think of the Convention? Has it been successful? Let me know what you think.

Answers below!


1  Iran
2  2nd February 1971
3  2nd February, every year
4  160
5  Switzerland
6  The United Kingdom


  1. Wow, I would never have guessed it is THAT country which has the most RAMSAR sites. Same applies to the country with the secondmost sites.
    And though having a protection status and really being protected are two different kettles of fish sometimes, I think that the long list of designated areas is a sign that the Convention has been successful.

  2. how many sites is not a true reflection of wetlands protected because many countries have their own environmental projects which are independent of Ramsar and secondly, it is false impression to count sites.Some wetland projects are huge. Everglades is enormous. So number of projects might not be relative to actual conservation efforts ongoing or projects within a country or state.

  3. Christiane
    Yes, it is a surprise. But when you look at the list you will see why - it includes at lot of island around the world!

    Very true! Do the numbers mean anything?
    ''Lies. damn lies and statistics''!
    Canada has by far the largest area of Ramsar sites, and Congo has one which is twice as big as Belgium!
    But it is the quality of protection that counts.