The Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. It recognizes the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
http://www.ramsar.org/


The educational standpoint is that conservation and/or recovery of landscapes with their ecosystems and species depends upon the preparation and implementation of action plans. For such plans to be effective, they need to clearly define the processes which are threatening the site's biodiversity and have adequate research techniques to address the identified problems. The need to manage threatening processes is particularly acute in an urban/nature interface. Educational resources should deal with the biggest threats of Habitat Loss, Invasive Species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting (HIPPO).


The UK model to present this educational standpoint is the Gower Peninsula of South Wales. It is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a Ramsar site. Both share a boundary with the Swansea city urban conurbation. The urban area has a population of around 300,000 inhabitants. In addition, about 4 million tourists visit the AONB each year. The management of the Ramsar site is guided by the UK Government's Biodiversity Planning Toolkit.


The Australian model is the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetland system. This is situated 105 km south of Perth in Western Australia. It is adjacent to a coastal urban population getting on for 2 million, which is expected to double by 2050. A management plan has been published for this site.

A comparison is made of these two sites with a similarly threatened urban/nature interface in the far East. This is the recently classified Ramsar site of Nalsarovar lake in north western India. Nalsarovar is about 60 km east of the city of Ahmedabad which has a population of more than 5.8 million. Currently, it is said that the Nalsarovar attracts about 80,000 visitors a year. The Ramsar declaration was only made in 2012 but a pdf flip book is available which describes the ornithological riches of the lake.

http://www.worldlakes.org/uploads/management_of_lakes_in_india_10mar04.pdf


All three sites have great natural beauty expressed as a set of visually pleasing landscape resources which need to be protected with conservation strategies expressed as action plans. They also have indigenous communities that derive a living from the ecosystem services.