Ginini Flats Wetland Complex Ramsar Site

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance listed under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Ginini Flats Wetlands in Namadgi National Park is the only Ramsar site in the ACT.

The Ginini Flats Wetland Complex is the largest intact Sphagnum bog and fen community in the Australian Alps. It was first listed as a Ramsar wetland of international importance in 1996. In designating a wetland as a Ramsar site, countries agree to establish and oversee a management framework aimed at conserving the wetland and ensuring its wise use. Under Australia’s obligations to the Ramsar convention, every Ramsar site needs an individual plan of management in place, to be reviewed at intervals of at least seven years. Under provisions of the ACT Nature Conservation Act 2014, the ACT Conservator of Flora and Fauna must report to the Minister about a Ramsar wetland management plan at least once every five years.

Ramsar wetland management plan
The Conservator of Fauna and Flora has prepared a new management plan to replace the existing Ginini Flats Wetland Complex Ramsar Site Plan of Management (2001).  Following public consultation in late 2016, and on the recommendation of the Conservator, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage approved the new management plan on 31 March 2017 DI 2017-36.

The new management plan will guide management of the site, help us avoid or minimise the impact of threats such as fire and climate change, and meet our international obligations to halt and, where possible, reverse the worldwide loss of wetlands and conserve those that remain. The new management plan outlines management practices to conserve the wetlands as a sustainable natural ecosystem that provides habitat for its native wildlife and protects the cultural heritage significance and values associated with the site. At the same time, it provides for limited public use of the area for recreation, education and research.

Proposed actions are based around fire and water management, protecting and rehabilitating peatland damaged in the 2003 fires, managing invasive species, minimising any harmful effects of infrastructure and its management, mitigating climate change and continuing research and monitoring.

Climate change is the wetlands’ biggest threat. Predicted increased temperatures and altered rainfall patterns may create the conditions for more frequent and intense wildfires and alter the overall hydrology of the peatlands and reduce the peatbog area or increase erosion of disturbed peat surfaces. Related risks include impacts from feral animals and weeds entering the area. The Parks and Conservation Service and others within the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate will implement the plan.  The Conservator will monitor its effectiveness.

Further information on the Ginini Flats Ramsar Site