World Wetlands Day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.

The international theme for 2023 is ‘It’s time for wetlands restoration’, raising global awareness on the value of many wetlands as a source of freshwater, encouraging actions to restore wetlands and halt their loss.Highlighting the urgent need to prioritise wetland restoration.

World Wetlands Day 2021 logo wetlands and water

Victoria's wetlands

Victoria has 12 Ramsar-listed wetlands.This means we have some of the most important wetlands in the world.

  • Traditional Owners and Aboriginal people have used wetlands over tens of thousands of years. They are an important part of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Victoria has over 37,000 wetlands with two-thirds of these being natural. Of these natural wetlands, two-thirds are located on private property.
  • Supporting 499 (24%) of Victoria’s threatened native species.
  • Acting as sediment traps and filter nutrients from catchments. Helping protect the water quality of rivers, estuaries and marine areas.
  • Providing habitat for native plants and animals and  refuge in periods of drought.
  • Rducing flood impacts  by holding and slowing floodwater.
  • Wetlands create a range of recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing and bird watching. Helping to support tourism and local economies.
  • Victoria’s alpine peatlands and coastal wetlands store high amounts carbon.
  • Vegetation in coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, protect communities from storm surges that erode coastlines and damage property.

The Victorian Government plays an important role in protecting and managing Victoria's wetlands and the values they support. The Victorian Government is committed to meeting our obligations under the Ramsar Convention. Investing $11.5 million  towards the management of our 12 Ramsar sites as part of the $224 million in the 2020-2021 budget to improve the management and monitoring of our rivers, creeks and waterways. A further $5 million was allocated for Ramsar site management through the 2021-22 State Budget.

World Wetlands Day events

      Help us celebrate World Wetlands Day this year by visiting some wetlands near you or #WorldWetlandsDay on social media bringing attention to this important event.

More information

Find out more about Australian wetlands

Photo: Kerang Wetlands, credit: Genevieve Smith

Page last updated: 02/02/23