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The second in the series, the "Overview" presents a thematic and graphically illustrated analysis of the world''s Wetlands of International Importance at 31 December 1998, including information on: the regional distribution of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands and their designated Ramsar sites; the kinds of wetlands represented in the Ramsar List of sites; the reasons why these wetlands have been designated as internationally important; the principle of ''wise use of wetlands'' and the land uses recorded in Ramsar sites; and the factors of change challenging these and other wetlands.

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