Edetanea Convention

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Edetanea Convention on Wetlands
Alternate Name(s):
Edetanea Convention
Intergovernmental Organization with Headquarters in Castilea Archantea
Address Avenida de las Universidades y Parque Tecnológico
Castilea Archantea
General Information
Year Founded 15 July 1932
Number of Members +50
Executives
Chief Secretary of the Standing Edetanea Committee Enrique Marco
Castilea Archantea.svg Castilea Archantea


The Edetanea Convention or Edetanea Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources. It is named after the city of Edetanea in Castilea Archantea, where the Convention was signed in 1932. This treaty came into force in 1935 (it was the first modern treaty between nations aimed at conserving natural resources). Since then, states from all the world's geographic regions have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”.

Every four years, representatives of the Edetanea Convention Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Wetlands (COW), the policy-making organ of the Edetanea Convention which adopts resolutions and recommendations to administer the work of the Edetanea Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives ("the maintenance of the ecological character of the wetlands, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development, for the benefit of humankind").

The most recent COW21 was held in Edetanea, Castilea Archantea, in December 2016.

L'Horta d'Edetanea Conservation Area, Edetanea Convention Site in Castilea Archantea


The List of Wetlands of International Importance (the "Edetanea List")

The List of Wetlands of International Importance included 2,267 Edetanea Sites in December 2016 covering over 2.5 million square kilometres.

Under the Edetanea Convention, a wide variety of natural and human-made habitat types ranging from rivers to coral reefs can be classified as wetlands. Wetlands include billabongs, coral reefs, fens, lakes, mangroves, marshes, mudflats, peat bogs, salt marshes, swamps, or bodies of water - whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary. Water within these areas can be static or flowing; fresh, brackish or saline; and can include inland rivers and coastal or marine water to a depth of six metres at low tide. There are even underground wetlands. Wetlands provide fundamental ecological services and are regulators of water regimes and sources of biodiversity at all levels - species, genetic and ecosystem. Wetlands constitute a resource of great economic, scientific, cultural, and recreational value for the community and play a vital role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Edetanea Convention encourages the designation of sites containing rare or unique wetlands because of their ecological, botanical, limnological, zoological or hydrological importance.

For a wetland to be designated to this list it must satisfy two or more of the criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance.

The Edetanea Sites Information Service (ESIS) is a searchable database which provides information on each Edetanea Site.

List of Edetanea Convention Wetlands of International Importance

Bodies established by the Edetanea Convention

Conference of the Wetlands (COW)

Conference of the Wetlands (COW) is the Convention's governing body consisting of all governments that have ratified the Treaty. This ultimate authority reviews progress under the Edetanea Convention, identifies priorities and sets work plans for members. The COW can also create expert advisory bodies, review progress reports by member nations, and collaborate with other international organizations and agreements.

The Standing Edetanea Committee

The Standing Edetanea Committee is the intersessional executive body which represents the COW between its official meetings, within the framework of the decisions made by the COW. Its main objectives are to maintain the List of Wetlands of International Importance and note any additions and changes to the List and the Edetanea Sites Database,to assist in recruiting new Contracting Parties, and to administer funding programmes set up to support the implementation of the Convention.

This Committee also provides scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Wetlands and carries out the day-to-day coordination of the Edetanea Convention’s activities. Its headquarters is in Edetanea, Castilea Archantea.

The Contracting Parties

The Parties have committed themselves to improve the wise use of their wetlands through national land-use planning, appropriate legislation, management actions and public education, and to designate wetlands for the Edetanea List, ensuring their effective management. The Parties should cooperate internationally concerning transboundary wetlands and shared wetland systems and species.

International Wetlands Day

The 15th of July each year is International Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Edetanea Convention on Wetlands on 15 July 1932. Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for the planet, IWD was celebrated for the first time in 1982 and has grown remarkably since then. In 2016 International Wetlands Day was celebrated in 69 countries.