The Secretariat does not operate on-the-ground conservation projects directly, but the Convention does maintain three funding assistance programmes for small projects (or parts of larger projects) for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
The Secretariat staff evaluate project proposals, make recommendations on their suitability, and perform the monitoring and follow-up to ensure that chosen projects are implemented successfully. The Small Grants Fund supports projects from around the world, both through direct assistance and through seeking donors for additional proposals. The Wetland for the Future initiative, funded by the United States State Department and Fish and Wildlife Services, supports small capacity building projects in Latin America. The Swiss Grant for Africa assists the Secretariat's Africa regional team in facilitating specific activities in that region.
The secretariat is currently reviewing the purpose and approach for funding assistance programmes and will present options and recommendations to the next Conference of Parties.