Secretary General


Martha Rojas Urrego is the Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands. Her commitment to conservation, sustainable development and social equity are running themes throughout her career from grassroots level to the highest levels of international policy making.

Before joining the Ramsar Convention on 22 August 2016, she was Head of Global Advocacy and Acting Deputy Secretary General of CARE International, a development and humanitarian organization, where she led local to global policy work on fighting poverty, development and humanitarian aid, with a strong focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Between 1994 and 2008, Martha Rojas-Urrego worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), first as a Senior Biodiversity Policy Advisor and then in 2002 as Head of Global Policy. In the latter position she coordinated IUCN’s global policy work, leading the Union’s engagement with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). She managed the UN Representation and EU policy function in both CARE and IUCN.

Prior to joining IUCN Martha Rojas-Urrego was Executive Director of National Parks of Colombia and represented the Government in several multilateral environmental agreements. She also worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and Natura Foundation in Colombia. She is a Colombian and French national. 


22 May 2021: Statement on International Biodiversity Day 2021: Life thrives in Wetlands

22 March 2021: Statement: Valuing water and wetlands: World Water Day 2021

Project Syndicate article: Overcoming water scarcity naturally

4 March 2021: Thomson Reuters Foundation OPINION: Why the Convention on Wetlands matters more than ever

2 February 2021: VIDEO Statement World Wetlands Day: Water, Wetlands and Life

26 November 2020: VIDEO Keynote for the Flyway Youth Forum

5 October 2020: VIDEO Statement World Migratory Bird Day

30 September: VIDEO Statement at the UN Biodiversity Summit 2020

14 September 2020: Secretary General speaking on behalf of the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions: Building Back Better: protecting biodiversity, combating land degradation and   climate change to reduce the risks of future pandemics, and the importance of a coherent approach

8 June 2020: Statement World Oceans Day

4 June 2020: Statement World Environment Day 

20 May 2020: Statement International Day for Biological Diversity

20 March 2020: Statement World Water Day

2 February 2020: VIDEO Statement World Wetlands Day: Wetlands biodiversiity matters for life

1 Ocotber 2019: Secretary General speaking at the World Water Week 

5 June 2019: Statement World Environment Day: Beat Air Pollution

22 May 2019: Statement International Day for Biological Diversity

10 May 2019: Statement World Migratory Bird Day: Plastic pollution

2 February 2019: VIDEO Statement World Wetlands Day: Harness the power of wetlands to tackle climate change 

15 October 2018: Article "A decisive moment for our wetlands and our future"

11 September 2018: Article: Sustainable development for a viable future: The pivotal role of wetlands

22 August 2018: Article: Our dangerous indifference to the world’s richest ecosystem: Natural wetlands

18 July 2018: Interventions at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development

22 May 2018: Statement World International Day for Biological Diversity: Celebrating 25 years of action for biodiversity 

9 May 2018: Statement World Migratory Day 

20 March 2018: Statement World Water Day 

2 February 2018: VIDEO Statement World Wetlands DayWetlands are essential for sustainable urbanization

6 December 2017: Statement to UN Environment Assembly: Wetlands; a sustainable solution for water purification and security

15 November 2017: IGO Statement to UNFCCC COP23: Wetlands crucial in addressing climate change

26 June 2017: Interventions at the UN Ocean Conference

8 June 2017: Statement World Ocean Day 

7 June 2017: Interventions at the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14

22 May 2017: Statement International Day for Biological Diversity 

2 February 2017: VIDEO Statement World Wetlands Day: Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction

12 December 2016: VIDEO message: Wetlands for the Future Fund: Celebrating 20 years of the Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands in Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

17 November 2016: Opinion piece for Project Syndicate "Mother Nature vs Climate Change" by Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

17 November 2016: IGO Statement to UNFCCC COP22: Wetlands crucial in adressing climate change

2 September 2016: Interventions at the IUCN Congress: Healthy wetlands essential for sustainable development