World Wetlands Survey 2020, 2017

WWN helps run a participatory science survey of the state of the world’s wetlands. On this page you can find out the findings from 2017 and 2020. To take part in the 2024 survey, follow this link.

One third of wetlands are in a good state, with the rest being fair or poor.

Local community awareness, and conservation measures, benefit wetlands the most.

Wildlife disease and damming or water regulation are driving down the quality of wetlands most.

From May to December 2020, people assessed their local wetland, to help this global survey, run by WWN, the Society of Wetland Scientists, Cobra Collective, Charles Sturt University, and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Thank you to all WWN members who took part in the survey!

Thank you as well to the three lead scientists who analysed the data. Nick Davidson, Rob McInnes, Matt Simpson and Max Finlayson produced an academic summary with more findings and methodology in Wetland Science and Practice, the quarterly publication from the Society of Wetland Scientists. If you cannot access the journal, please contact the authors via ResearchGate.

2020: More than 1/5 are in a poor state

2020: North America’s wetlands are in the best state; Africa and LAC the poorest

2020: Change in the area of a wetland since the citizen science first visited

See more charts in the summary.

We will share the findings as widely as possible; we hope to inform the Ramsar Convention and other multilateral environmental agreements. Members of the Society of Wetland Scientists will also learn about the survey through their publication and communications from the authors.

You can also download the summary in French and Spanish. To arrange a local translation, get in touch and we will provide the base text.

You can also read the findings of the previous 2017 survey

Case studies

News about the survey