Ramsar Wetlands

Ramsar Wetlands

Values, Assessment, Management

1st Edition - April 1, 2023

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  • Editors: Peter Gell, Nick Davidson, Max Finlayson
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128178034

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Ramsar Wetlands: Values, Assessment, Management addresses the approaches, successes and limitations of the Ramsar Convention in a changing world, how recent approaches to wetland monitoring and management can contribute to improving wetland state, what the future holds for wetlands and their wise use, and what the Ramsar Convention needs to do to achieve future successes. The book presents a unique outlook on a range of issues, addressing considerable advances in our understanding of wetlands, their great environmental, social, cultural and economic importance, their role in maintaining the global water-cycle, and in mitigating and adapting to changing climates. No other book has yet taken this broad look at the past, present and future of wetlands and the Ramsar Convention. From aquatic ecologists, environmental scientists and engineers, to water resource managers, conservation agencies, and land management planners, this comprehensive guide is a beneficial tool in understanding wetlands.

Key Features

  • Answers questions on the responsibilities and roles of signatory nations to the Ramsar Convention, including how it may deal with ongoing and emerging causes of wetland change
  • Addresses ongoing challenges of reporting and managing wetland change
  • Provides a multidisciplinary approach and details the wise use principle that underpins the convention


University researchers/students in the fields of aquatic ecology, geography, general ecology, environmental science/engineering, botany and biology, as well as environmental policy. Water/soil resource managers, land management planners, conservation agencies and environmental management/protection agencies

Table of Contents

  • A. Introduction
    1. Introduction: the Ramsar Convention
    2. The World’s Most Significant Wetlands
    3. Wetland Ecosystems: Evolution
    4. Threatening Processes; State of World’s Wetlands
    5. Ecosystem Services; wise use

    B. Monitoring Wetland Change
    6. Long Term Wetland Change
    7. The Anthropocene
    8. Wetland Monitoring; Understanding variability and change in ecological condition
    9. Remote sensing of changing extent
    10. Trajectories in condition; Setting Limits of Acceptable Change

    C. Managing the World’s Wetlands
    11. Law, policy and Science under the Ramsar Convention
    12. Reporting and mitigating Changes
    13. The CoP; understanding a diverse management community; reach and sphere of influence
    14. National obligations to the Convention
    15. Management effectiveness of wetland protected areas

    D. The Future
    16. Emerging threats
    17. Investment in wetland restoration; recovery; setting targets, novel ecosystems
    18. Cultural Considerations
    19. International contests for water
    20. Future Climates: Hydroclimate and sea-level rise
    21. Implications for Socio-ecological Systems

Product details

  • No. of pages: 360
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2023
  • Published: April 1, 2023
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128178034

About the Editors

Peter Gell

Professor Gell is a paleoecologist who examines change in the condition of wetlands over culturally relevant timelines. He has a particular interest in contributing to a better understanding of natural ecological character under the Ramsar Convention. He specialises in the use of diatoms as indicators of present, and past, river and lake condition, particularly in coastal systems and across Australia's Murray Darling Basin. An emerging interest is the use of paleoecological approaches to reveal past instances of regimes shifts and tipping points in wetland ecosystems. He also continues his interests in the use of birds as indicators of ecosystem health. Professor Gell has written over 140 journal articles, books, book chapters and reports, is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Future Earth Global Change Project PAGES (Past Global Changes) and leads its ‘Aquatic Transitions’ working group.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor, Future Regions Research Centre, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia

Nick Davidson

Professor Nick Davidson is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia, and an independent consultant on wetland conservation and wise use. His work focusses on improving the science knowledge-base for policy-relevance and decision-making at national and international scales and the implementation of wetland wise use. His current research interests focus on wetland status and trends and the status, migrations and ecophysiology of migratory waterbirds. Nick was the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2000 to 2014, with overall responsibility for the Convention's global development and delivery of scientific, technical and policy guidance and advice and communications, as the Convention Secretariat’s senior advisor on these matters. Prior to his Ramsar Convention post he worked for the UK's national government conservation agencies on coastal wetland inventory, assessment, information systems and communications, and as International Science Coordinator for the global NGO Wetlands International. He currently chairs the Society of Wetland Scientists’ (SWS) Ramsar Section, is an SWS International Fellow and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Affiliations and Expertise

Gulbali Institute for Agriculture, Water and Environment, Charles Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia Nick Davidson Environmental, United Kingdom

Max Finlayson

Professor Max Finlayson is an internationally renowned wetland ecologist with extensive experience internationally in water pollution, mining and agricultural impacts, invasive species, climate change, and human well-being and wetlands. He has participated in global assessments such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the Global Environment Outlook 4 & 5 (UNEP). Since the early 1990s he has been a technical adviser to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and has written extensively on wetland ecology and management. He has also been actively involved in environmental NGOs and from 2002 - 07 was President of the governing council of global NGO Wetlands International. He is currently on the scientific committee of the International Lake Environment Committee. Professor Finlayson has contributed to over 400 journal articles, reports, guidelines, proceedings and book chapters on wetland ecology and management. He has contributed to the development of concepts and methods for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, and undertaken many site-based assessments in many countries.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute for Water Education, IHE Delft, Netherlands Gulbali Institute for Agriculture, Water & Environment, Charles Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia

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