It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and made an encouraging beginning. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community act to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials so that government agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation organizations, and groups of citizens can help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. 144 countries have joined the Ramsar Convention till now, and the total number of Ramsar sites exceeded 1400 with total area of 122 million of hectares.