Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia

The Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) is one of the regional initiatives formally recognized by the Ramsar Convention. As a Ramsar Regional Initiative (RRI), the RRC-EA was established through the initiative of the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea to serve as a regional platform for capacity building, information exchange, and cooperation among governments, Ramsar Site and wetland managers and stakeholders, international and national non-government organizations, technical experts and business organizations.

In 2009, the RRC-EA officially started operations in Changwon City with support from the MOE and the Gyeongnam Provincial Government. In January 2016, the RRC-EA office relocated to Suncheon City, after the signing of a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding between the MOE, Suncheon City and the RRC-EA.


The RRC-EA works with the 18 countries in East, Southeast and South Asia that are Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam) and collaborates also with non-Contracting Parties in the region for further implementation of the Ramsar Convention.

Governance and Institutional Arrangements

The RRC-EA Steering Committee provides guidance in the development of policies and programs for the Center. It is comprised of the Heads of the Ramsar Administrative Authorities or their appointed representatives from RRC-EA countries. The Executive Director leads the day-to-day operations of the Center with support from technical and administrative officers.

The RRC-EA maintains close coordination with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and Ramsar Administrative Authorities to ensure complementarity of its activities with national initiatives and the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

Organizational Structure

Vision, Mission and Objectives


By 2024, the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) will have supported and raised the capacity of countries in East, Southeast and South Asia to effectively implement the Ramsar Convention’s Strategic Plan 2016-2024 through improved delivery of wetland conservation and wise use, designation and management of Ramsar Sites, and greater international collaboration.


Through sound governance and effective planning and management, the RRC-EA provides strategic coordination and implementation for international cooperation, networking, funding and capacity building across East, Southeast and South Asia.


  • Pro-actively contribute to the implementation of the strategic goals and targets of the Ramsar Convention through direct support to member countries in East, Southeast and South Asia

  • Enhance and coordinate international cooperation and networking with a focus on the East, Southeast and South Asian region

  • Develop, facilitate and lead the implementation of a prioritized program of capacity building, training and awareness-raising for member countries

  • Facilitate and improve communications among the member countries and the diversity of wetland stakeholders in East, Southeast and South Asia

  • Assist with the funding of strategic priorities for the conservation and wise use of wetlands

History and Milestones

  • 2016

  • Relocation of RRC-EA office to Suncheon City, Jeollanam Province, Republic of Korea

  • 2015

  • Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment, Suncheon City, and RRC-EA

  • 2009

  • Establishment of the RRC-EA in Changwon City, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea

  • First Regional Training Workshop for Wetland Managers organized by the RRC-EA

  • Launch of the RRC-EA Wetland Fund

  • Conduct of the First Youth Model Ramsar Convention