The ‘wise use’ approach of Ramsar Convention is globally recognized. Notably, the wise use approach was coined in 1972, much before the hallmark 1992 Rio Conference wherein the term sustainable development was rendered a definition. The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention was adopted in 1971 at the Iranian City of Ramsar.
As endorsed by Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention, the wise use of wetlands is “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development”. The wise use approach recognizes that stemming wetland loss and degradation requires the incorporation of linkages between people and wetlands, and thereby emphasizes that human use of these ecosystems on a sustainable basis is compatible with conservation.