Current efforts to integrate heritage practices in the sustainable management of wetlands in postcolonial nation-states assume that these practices have always existed in the forms they are now. The colonial order, whether deliberately or otherwise, suppressed many local traditional practices. The postcolonial authority’s adoption of Western science invariably continued the suppression, albeit in a more liberal form. In the Ramsar Convention, natural scientists were assigned the role of conserving wetlands ‘‘for the benefit of humankind in a way compatible with the maintenance of natural properties of the ecosystem.’’ This became known as the wise use principle. This article highlights the history of the Keta wetlands and proposes an integration of key knowledge holders into management plans for a wise use of wetlands in postcolonial states. The colonial and postcolonial regimes made the knowledge holders invisible. Modern imaginaries – Western legal institutions, Western science and Christianity – were privileged over local heritage practices. It therefore requires historical and heritage expertise to uncover local sustainable knowledge for integration into the Ramsar management plan, hence a wise use of wetlands in postcolonial states.