National dataset of Australia's Ramsar Wetlands. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) was signed in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971. The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain. The Convention encourages member countries to nominate sites containing representative, rare or unique wetlands, or that are important for conserving biological diversity, to the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites). Australia was one of the first countries to become a Contracting Party to the Convention and designated the world's first Ramsar site, Cobourg Peninsula, in 1974. This project was initiated by the Wetlands Section of the Australian Government Department of the Environment. Spatial data was sourced from the relevant State and Territory agencies and compiled into a single national coverage.