International conventions

Table 1 (below) summarises the most important ¹ of the international conventions regarding the conservation of wildlife and nature.

Table 1: International Conventions

Convention/Directive Description
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 1971 (the Ramsar Convention) Parties to the convention are required to designate qualifying wetland sites (Ramsar sites) with particular regard to their importance as wildfowl habitat and to promote the wise use of wetlands.
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972 (the World Heritage Convention (WHC)) Parties to the convention are required to put forward features and sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to be considered for designation by the World Heritage Committee, which maintains a list of those accepted as World Heritage Sites.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animal 1979 (the Bonn Convention) Parties are required to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for endangered migratory species; concluding multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species which require or would benefit from international cooperation; and by undertaking cooperative research activities.
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats 1979 (the Bern Convention ) Parties are required to protect all wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats; to increase cooperation with each other; and to afford special protection to the most vulnerable or threatened species (including migratory species). Applies to Europe only.
Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 (one of the 3 Rio Conventions arising from the 1992 Earth Summit) Parties are required to develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Part of the UK response to the convention is the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework for habitats and species of conservation concern. This is the convention which gave rise to the UK BAPs and Ireland National Biodiversity Action Plan. The UK BAP has now been succeeded by the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework and the biodiversity strategies produced by the four countries of the UK.

¹ Important here means those conventions which may have an effect on the way wildlife is managed on site. There are three further international conventions which relate directly to biodiversity, These are (i) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); (ii) The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and (iii) the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

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