Exactly 50 years ago, in February 1971, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The convention enshrines the obligation to protect the most valuable territories in this respect: sea bays, lakes, river deltas, swamps and their habitats all over the world. The countries agreed to defend water areas included in the international list from negative impacts, and to use wetlands wisely. Today 60 countries participate in the convention, including Russia.
The Soviet Union joined the Ramsar Convention in 1977; Russia officially took over the responsibility for the preservation of the wetlands in the country in 1994; 35 valuable natural sites was included in the Ramsar list; unfortunately, the matter stopped there.
Meanwhile, the wetlands are the objects of the utmost importance playing their incomparable role among all other natural-territorial complexes in preserving the ecosystems of the planet. Swamps and wetlands are so unique that they can rightfully be considered a frontier territory, a border, a meeting place and a collision of different worlds, both in time and space.
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