Denmark was one of the 18 countries signing the Ramsar Convention on 3 February 1971. Denmark has since the start taken an active part in the continuous development of the Ramsar Convention. The shallow waters of Jutland and the Danish islands are situated as part of the large estuary connecting the Balic Sea with the Atlantic. In total 28 wetlands have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) originally most were designated for their importance as staging areas for water birds, however, at a update in 2012 qualifying under a number of the other designation criteria, which have been added since. In 2013 Denmark submitted the first wetland site ever in the history of the Convention to take into account a Ramsar criterion on climate regulation namely the raised peatland of Lille Vildmose. This area was designated in August 2013 and the main point being to use this criterion for as many wetlands as possible around the world. All the Danish Ramsar sites are protected by the Natura 2000 network and the boundaries follow the boundaries of the corresponding EU Bird Areas. The Danish support to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention as well as the management of the Ramsar sites support the efforts to meet the globally agreed 2020 biodiversity targets and e.g. the Program of Work on Protected Areas of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). In the Faroe Islands the first three Ramsar sites were designated in 2012 covering islands with internationally important seabird colonies and moreover, 12 internationally important sites have been designated in Greenland. Denmark has historically supported the Ramsar convention and the concept of wise use of wetlands through country-to-country support in other regions in the world especially in East Africa and South East Asia.


Wetland types

Denmark has roughly a 7000 km long coastline and two-third of the Danish territory is covered by shallow marine waters. The shallow Danish waters have a high variation in salinity and are important for biodiversity including more than 7 million staging waterbirds of more than 30 species. Along the coast about 440 km2 of salt marshes are located formerly among others important grazing areas for cattle. Among the sites is the  important tidal flats of the Wadden Sea shared with the Netherlands and Germany and of which 12% is situated in Denmark perhaps comprising the largest tidal flat in the world. More than 7200 lakes are contained in inland the majority being smaller ponds less than 2 ha and just about 72 lakes having a size above a 100 ha. Many lakes are threatened by eutrophication, however, more recently there are signs of the situation being improved. About 64000 km of streams are leading inland water to the sea the majority smaller rivulets. About 90% of the Danish streams have been modified in the last couple of centuries. In recent years a number of barriers have been removed. The total area of bogs along the Danish water courses covers about 900 km2 and 22 raised bogs are identified including what is believed to be the largest intact raised bog surface in North-western Europe comprising 20 km2 in Lille Vildmose. A major restoration project is being implemented at that place re-establishing raised bog habitat in adjacent former raised bog areas. A number of related wetland types include springs, wet heath and meadows, various types of lakes as well as other inland waters and Denmark is part of both the Baltic and Atlantic Marine regions including a number of different coastal wetland types.

Ramsar sites in Denmark

Overview map of the Danish Ramsar sites. A new Danish Ramsar site in Lille Vildmose which was designated in 2013 is not shown on the map.

Overview map of the Danish Ramsar sites


 List of Ramsar sites in Denmark

Further information about the Ramsar Sites in Denmark:

Ramsar Sites Information Service


Wetland Centres

Access to information on wetland values and in Danish wetland sites is provided on a case to case basis. In particular two sites have extensive developed information systems on location due to the support from the private foundation (the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation).

The extensive wetland area of Vejlerne in northern Jutland comprises extensive areas of meadows, reed beds and shallow lagoons and is renowned for its international importance in particular for water birds. A large number of bird hides have been established in the area as well as board walks and a visitor centre centrally in the area.

The largest raised bog in Denmark of Lille Vildmose has a number of bird hides, board walks and a modern exhibition and visitors centre located centrally in the area.

Moreover, a nature management plan has been developed for the Danish Ramsar sites as part of the implementation of the Danish EU nature directives programme of  Natura 2000. These plans are updated on a six years rolling basis.


Ramsar organization in Denmark

AA: Ministry of the Environment in Denmark, Henrik Kundby,

NFP: Lars Dinesen, Danish Nature Agency,

CEPA GOV: Inge Thaulow, Kalaallit Nunaata Sinniisoqarfia, Grønlands Repræsentation, The Ministry of Domestic Affairs,

Nature and Environment,

CEPA NGO: Knud Flensted, BirdLife Denmark,

STRP NFP: Lars Dinesen, Danish Nature Agency,