Suggested citation: 
Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia. (2017). The Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites – A practitioner’s guide. Available at and

The Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites – A practitioner’s guide

This guide is aimed primarily at those involved in the management of Ramsar Sites, to help promote better understanding of the processes involved based on guidance provided by the Ramsar Convention and good practices identified by the Convention’s experts and partners. The guide also includes simplified information on the process to designate Ramsar Sites in order to highlight the various linkages between the designation and management stages. It is written in a simple, non-technical language so that it can reach out to, and be adapted by the many Ramsar stakeholders working on the ground.

The document provides guidance on how management of Ramsar Sites can contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016 – 2024 and other international processes. It also identifies key information sources, including non-Ramsar publications, to help site managers, administrators and partners.

The process to designate then manage Ramsar Sites is depicted in Figure 1 in this document. The process includes three designation steps and a cyclical four-step management stage. There is also one continuous step that is applicable throughout the designation and management process.