A review of the adequacy of reporting to the Ramsar Convention on change in the ecological character of wetlands

We review the mechanisms established by the Ramsar Convention for reporting on the status and change in the ecological character of wetlands. We assess the extent of their implementation and compliance, but not issues of the adequacy of their design nor the consequences of their extent of implementation. We conclude that, with the exception of qualitative national-scale reporting in triennial Contracting Party National Reports, there is inadequate implementation and compliance with most of these mechanisms, notably concerning required reporting under Article 3.2 of the Convention and the updating of the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS). This limits the ability of the Convention to assess the status, and trends in status, of designated Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), and to inform future decision-making and priority-setting for the wise use of all wetlands. As has been recognised by the Ramsar Convention, unless compliance with these mechanisms is improved, sufficient information will not be gathered through the mechanisms of Ramsar Convention to assess fully the Sustainable Development Goal 6.6.1 indicator supported by the Convention on change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time.