Side event details

Developing a global network of Professional Wetland Scientists to support the Ramsar Convention
Day and time
08.11.2022 18:30
Lead organization
Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Programe (SWS PCP)
Partner organization(s)
Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS)


The Global Wetland Outlook stated that the solutions to the challenges to wetland wise use need to draw on a range of opinions and expertise, ranging from hard science to traditional knowledge. Article 7 of the Convention text recognises the importance of experience gained in scientific capacities in the delivery of the conservation, management and wise use of wetlands.

Knowledge and understanding of wetland ecosystems can take many forms. However, in addition to accessing indigenous knowledge and citizen science, across the globe, there is a genuine need for robust science, and more pressingly, well-qualified and knowledgeable wetland scientists to support the Ramsar Convention.


The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) has a long-standing relationship with the Ramsar Convention, particularly as an organization invited to participate as observers in the meetings and processes of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP). In the early 1990s, SWS developed a program for certification of wetland science training and experience as a separate not-for-profit corporation, SWS PCP, to meet the needs of professional ecologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, educators, agency professionals, consultants, and others who practice wetland science. This program is aimed at serving the public's need to identify qualified individuals to assess and manage wetland resources around the world.

Certification signifies that the academic and work experience of a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) meets the standards expected of a practicing wetland professional and provides acknowledgment of adherence to standards of professional ethics with regard to the conduct and practice of wetland science. Certification will enhance recognition of wetland science within other disciplines, especially in multi-disciplinary work environments. SWS PCP also develops Wetland Professionals in Training (WPITs) as a preliminary step for persons who meet the basic educational requirements but not the experience requirements. PWS certification is awarded for those meeting both educational and experience requirements.

The mission of SWS PCP is to certify wetland professionals who meet the highest standards for education, experience, and ethics in the practice of wetland science. Whilst the vision is to be the globally recognized authority on certification of wetland professionals, requiring adherence to the highest standards in education, experience, and ethics in protecting and managing wetland resources and elevating the profession of wetland science.


The side event will discuss the needs of the Ramsar Convention with regards to accessing a network of professional wetland scientists; explain the process of certification; promote the mutual benefits of developing a global network of certified wetland professionals; and consider mechanisms for SWS PCP to support the implementation of the Ramsar Convention through education, training, mentorship and certification.


The side event will develop a road map that will scope out the approach to closer working and cooperation between SWS PCP and the Ramsar Convention.


The event will be moderated by Robert McInnes, SWS PCP President. Speakers will include inter alia Gillian Davies SWS PCP Past-President; Nick Davidson SWS Ramsar Section Chair; National Focal Points (TBC) and representatives of IOPs (TBC).