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A party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands must designate at least one site within its territory as a Wetland of International Importance. To assess the benefits associated with these international designations, the authors conducted a survey of 26 Ramsar sites in 18 countries in Africa. After a brief introduction to the Ramsar Convention, the article describes the sites that were surveyed, focusing on the ecosystem services they provide and the challenges they face. The article then examines how the sites are identified with the Ramsar Convention and found that designation provided benefits such as: increased support for protection and management of the sites; increased scientific studies; increased funding opportunities; increased ecotourism; and poverty alleviation. The article concludes with recommendations on how to strengthen the Ramsar Convention in Africa.

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Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

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