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Australia’s Wetlands: Exploring Our Wetlands of International Importance

Australia’s wetland systems are world-renowned for their beauty and provide countless avenues for tourism, recreation, jobs and cultural enjoyment.

There are more than 66 notable wetlands in Australia that are recognised as Wetlands of International Importance – these occupy over 8.3 million hectares of land.

These ecologically vital areas are crucial to the wellbeing of our local ecosystems.

Wetlands improve water quality, provide habitats for flora and fauna – and have a natural ability to help remove pollutants through physical, biological and chemical processes.

Wetlands help to mitigate floods and provide areas for natural infiltration. They are also a valuable environment for biodiversity and healthy waterways.

Australia's Internationally Recognised Wetlands

Our significant wetlands are known as ‘Ramsar sites’. This list is named after the Ramsar convention – established in 1971.

The aims of this agreement were to halt the worldwide loss of loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, and sustainable practices.

The Ramsar Convention supports the selection of unique wetlands sites for conserving biological diversity. These sites are added to the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

As one of the founding nations to sign the original wetlands convention, in Ramsar in 1971, Australia has a privileged position at the forefront of sustaining these environments for future generations.

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day is held in February each year. In 2023, this year’s message is that it’s ‘Time for Wetlands Restoration’ and calls on us to revive and restore our degraded wetlands.

As a collective effort, this goal requires the combined energy of individual awareness through to big-picture thinking which mobilizes political infrastructure and financial investment.

The following strategies are recognised as key goals of this year’s World Wetlands Day –

  • Restore our wetlands areas
  • Address the causes of degradation
  • Clean-up our wetlands
  • Develop a restoration plan
  • Involve the Community
  • Restore native flora & fauna

Stormwater Shepherds is committed to clean-up events that help to restore and protect riverine environments and wetlands. Clean-ups are a great opportunity to clean up our waterways, and wetland environments.

The correct treatment of stormwater is also crucial to maintaing our wetlands. These interventions can prevent the conveyance of pollution from our stormwater catchments into downstream environments.

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