The Ramsar Convention's Small Grants Fund 2006 Allocations Report

03/11/2006

Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF)

Allocations Report for the 2006 funding cycle

Background

The Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands established the Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF) in 1990 in order to provide assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The wise use concept has been defined as "the sustainable utilization of wetlands for the benefit of humankind and compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the ecosystem". The SGF Operational Guidelines put emphasis upon the implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan, and thus the objective(s) of project proposals should relate to the general and operational objectives of the Strategic Plan. In addition, under the Fund, emergency assistance can be provided to Ramsar sites which have suffered damage or are in imminent danger of damage. Countries which have signaled their intention to join the Convention may apply for preparatory assistance to support activities necessary for the designation of the first site to be included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

2006 Allocations

In the 2006 cycle of project proposals, a total of 41 completed proposals were evaluated by Ramsar staff and presented to the Standing Committee, with the Secretariat's recommendations, by correspondence in September 2006. From the funds available, a total of six project proposals were approved for funding in this year's cycle, for a total of 214,535 Swiss francs, subject to the receipt of adequate reporting on previous SGF projects in those countries from which reports were pending. Additional donations allowed us to fund six more projects for a total of 12 projects in the amount of 437,060 Swiss francs.

Voluntary contributions to the Small Grants Fund in the 2006 cycle have been made by the Czech Republic, Japan, Norway (DirNat), Sweden (SIDA), and the United Kingdom (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

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Antigua and Barbuda
Inventory of wetlands in Antigua & Barbuda. Having recently joined the convention, this country does not currently have either a comprehensive wetland inventory or a wetland policy. This project is intended to gather detailed information on all wetlands in the country in order to assess their status and values, and to produce a map. In turn, this information will assist in the identification of priority sites and management strategies to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands and significantly increase the capacity of the country to implement the Convention. Keywords: national wetland inventory. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 36,225.

Armenia
Development, formulation of implementation strategy, and launch of a National Wetland Policy in Armenia. The central objective of the proposal is the elaboration of a National Wetland Policy with an action plan and implementation time frame. Beginning with the definition of stakeholders and with enhancement of the communication and coordination amongst institutions and organizations, it will lead to public awareness campaigns and the elaboration of a feasibility study on Armenian wetlands (including the mapping of Ramsar sites). Keywords: wetland inventory; mapping; national wetland policy; CEPA; community participation. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 40,000.

Benin and Togo
Projet transfrontière d'appui à la gestion participative des ressources de mangrove du Chenal Gbaga au sud-est du Togo et au sud-ouest du Bénin (Transboundary project of support for participatory resources management of the Chenal Gbaga mangroves of southeast Togo and southwest Benin). A transboundary cooperative effort on the mangroves at the border of Benin and Togo, the objectives of which are to conserve the ecosystem's biodiversity, sustainably manage the mangroves and fish resources, and reduce the local people's poverty through alternative income activities. The main outputs will be 600 trained local community members, 100 hectares of regenerated mangroves, strengthened management institutions, reduced pressure on the resources, and alternative sources of revenue. Keywords: management; capacity building, wetland restoration; poverty reduction; mangroves. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 40,000.

Burkina Faso
Projet pilote d'atténuation de la pression sur les ressources de la mare d'Oursi par des activités de gestion rationnelle et de réduction de la pauvreté autour de la Mare (Pilot project to reduce the pressure on the nature resources of the Mare d'Oursi by promoting sustainable management and poverty reduction around the wetland). The project involves both local communities and government and aims to improve the environment, the use of the resources, and people's livelihoods around the Mare d'Oursi Ramsar site. Objectives are to develop communications, education, and public awareness (CEPA) tools for working with local stakeholders regarding resource use; to improve the cultivation around the wetland by women and teach ways to better conserve food; to grow bourgou grass for livestock; to improve fishing and fish availability; and at the same time to protect the local environment. Keywords: CEPA; local community management; poverty reduction. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 34,498.

Ecuador
Programa de monitoreo, vigilancia y estado de salud del complejo de humedales "Ñucanchi-Turopamba" propuesto como sitio Ramsar (Monitoring program, protection and health of the "Ñucanchi-Turopamba" wetland complex as a proposed Ramsar site). The integrity of the "Ñucanchi-Turopamba" candidate Ramsar site is essential to the water supply of Quito, the country's capital, and is currently threatened by the construction of water works. This project aims at elaborating a detailed assessment (model, GIS, map, database) to determine the "minimal flow" needed to maintain the ecological character of the site, establish monitoring programs, determine the closing seasons for hunting and fishing, and train park rangers. Regulated fishing would provide the financial resources for the long-term management of the site. Keywords: assessment; wetland management; environmental flows; Ramsar site designation. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 39,958.

Kenya
Developing awareness of and educational materials about Ramsar sites in Kenya. The project involves the preparation of educational and awareness materials (videos, posters and brochures) for different government and non-government stakeholders at Kenya's five Ramsar sites, with a view to developing a shared vision of the role of the sustainable use of the wetlands' resources in the life of the communities. Workshops will be held to create networks among wetland stakeholders, and a newsletter will be produced to raise awareness further. Keywords: CEPA; community awareness. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 30,405.

Kiribati
National preparatory activities for accession to the Ramsar Convention in Kiribati. The primary objective is to help the country to accede to the Convention, chiefly by mobilizing appropriate local and international consultants, liaison with relevant regional organizations, and a stocktaking exercise of existing information that is relevant to the proposed first Ramsar site. It plans to review and recommend on the legislation, policies and regulations appropriate to the site management. Keywords: preparatory assistance; Ramsar site designation. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 20,000.

Kyrgyz Republic
Development of the National Wetland Conservation Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic. The purpose of the project is the development of a National Wetland Conservation Strategy for the Krygyz Republic, through activities including active participation of stakeholders, review of national policies on land-use, and natural resource management. The project will identify stakeholders and working groups to organize workshops in order to define goals and objectives of the national strategy. Keywords: national wetland policy. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 40,000.

Madagascar
Wetland ecological assessment in the southeastern region of Madagascar between Andringitra National Park and Andohahela Park
. The project is intended to carry out an inventory of the wetlands in southeastern Madagascar in order to document their biological and socio-economic features and threats. It will recommend conservation actions and the wetlands that qualify as Ramsar sites will be put forward for designation. Local users' awareness of the wetlands' services and conservation values will be addressed through a series of five workshops. Keywords: wetland inventory; Ramsar site designation. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 38,700.

Nepal
Sustainable wetland management for wildlife and people at Jagdishpur Reservoir, central Nepal. The goals of the project are to improve local communities' understanding of the values of wetlands as well as the threats to their livelihoods and to disseminate information on best practice methods for the wise use of wetlands in the area. It will be done through conducting a participatory wetland valuation assessment and surveys to assess bird-human conflicts, water quality and quantity, and threats to the Reservoir and associated wetlands from invasive alien species. The project also aims to improve the skills of local communities for alternative income generation and establish micro-credit financing, chiefly by exploring the most efficient indigenous income-generating sources, training, and establishing a reserve fund. Keywords: wetland valuation; local community capacity building; CEPA; livelihoods. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 38,964.

Republic of Moldova
Management scenario development for the Unguri-Holosnita new Ramsar site and awareness raising of the Ramsar Convention's wise use policy. The objective of the project is the development of the zoning and management framework for this Ramsar site in the Dniester Basin in the northeastern part of Moldova, near the border with Ukraine. Based on the zoning and determination of regimes, the Convention's policies will be promoted at national level. Further to this the tourist potential will be assessed and discussed locally with the main stakeholders. At the same time, it is planned to initiate cooperation with Ukrainian partners to recognize the area as a transboundary Ramsar site and support the joint management of the river basin. At the national level, the management plan and recommendations will be introduced in forest organization documents and communicated to local authorities as well as the private sector. Keywords: wetland management; international cooperation; transboundary management. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 40,000.

Vietnam
Community-based wise use of the local wetland at Xuan Thuy Ramsar site, north of Vietnam. The project aims to improve the livelihoods of the local community through establishing and maintaining community-based organizations (CBO) or local interest groups such as mushroom growing or eco-tourism associations. It also proposes to establish a direct liaison between the site management authority and CBOs; raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands by group meetings using a participatory approach, open discussions and training; and improve the capacity of the local stakeholders to manage their resources sustainably. It is also intended to construct an ecological shrimp pond as an example of environmentally sound farming techniques in order to change the local shrimp farmers' aquaculture practices. The project experience could form a good demonstration case study for sharing with other mangrove areas. Keywords: community-based organizations; capacity building; livelihoods; aquaculture. This project has been approved for the amount of SFr 38,310.

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