International cooperation and development aid

Thaya floodplains
Photo: BMLRT / Ruth Maria Wallner

All Ramsar Contracting Parties are obliged to cooperate with other countries in the field of wetland conservation.

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that establishes the framework for international cooperation for the preservation of wetlands. All Ramsar Contracting Parties are obliged to cooperate with other countries in the field of wetland conservation.

Wetlands are international systems that often extend across the borders of two or more countries. Their status depends on the quality and the amount of the water supplied. This water often comes from transboundary rivers, brooks or groundwater bodies. Wetlands represent a resource that has a high economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value for humans.
Numerous examples show that coordinated, international acting is necessary to properly manage the natural resources of wetlands and of the species depending on them. Article 5 of the agreement provides that the contracting parties negotiate and endeavour to coordinate and support their policies concerning the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna.
In order to counteract the progressive degradation and loss of wetlands, joint intergovernmental action is often required:

  • Promoting the conservation of wetlands by linking forward-looking national policies with coordinated international action;
  • Consultation of other contracting parties in the fulfilment of the obligations associated with the Convention, especially with regard to transboundary wetlands and water systems and common species;
  • Promotion of wetland protection issues with development aid organisations;
  • Wetland restoration projects.

The Contracting Parties have also recognized the need for cooperation in development aid, which is provided in accordance with the Convention and for the conservation and balanced use of wetlands.

Austria's international cooperation with other countries (selection)

Trilateral Ramsar Commission Morava-Dyje-Danube

The Morava-Dyje-Danube Floodplains in Austria, the Czech Republic and the Czech Republic have been declared a common, cross-border protected area according to the Ramsar Convention.

Four non-governmental organizations have contributed significantly to the success of this cooperation: Distelverein (“Thistle Association”, Austria), Daphne (Slovakia) and Veronica (Czech Republic) as well as WWF International within the framework of its Danube-Carpathians Programme.

Ramsar Centre Waldviertel - Trebon

In the cooperation agreement, the city of Schrems and the WWF base Waldviertel as well as the city of Trebon (representative for the Czech Republic) commit themselves to cooperate in a joint project. This project consisted of the PHARE project "Visitor information centre on the subject of man and nature" and the Interreg IIIa project "Focus on Ramsar Center Waldviertel". The Ramsar centre "UnterwasserReich" was opened in April 2006.

Lake Neusiedl - Seewinkel

In the cross-border Ramsar and National Park site "Neusiedler See-Seewinkel" the most important development steps are coordinated. With the establishment of the national park in 1994 the Austro-Hungarian National Park Commission was created.