The Ramsar Convention's Small Grants Fund 2007 Allocations Report

18/07/2008

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

Allocations Report for the 2007 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.

2007 Allocations

In the 2007 cycle of project proposals, a total of 47 completed proposals were evaluated by Ramsar staff and presented to the Standing Committee, with the Secretariat’s recommendations, by correspondence in September 2007. From the funds available, a total of five project proposals were approved for funding in this year’s cycle, for a total of 180,000 Swiss francs, subject to the receipt of adequate reporting on previous SGF projects in those countries from which reports were pending.

Voluntary contributions to the Small Grants Fund in the 2007 cycle have been made by the Czech Republic, Japan, and Sweden (SIDA).

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China
Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA).
Although some governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China have conducted public awareness activities, there has been inadequate coordination of CEPA activities amongst the various sectors and NGOs. The project aims to develop a focused, comprehensive and systematic approach for the planning, coordination and integrity of CEPA activities at the national scale, and to establish efficient communication and coordination among and between various sectors and NGOs. The output will be National Action Plan on CEPA activities of wetland conservation in China based on the preliminary survey of the situation, participatory approach and consolidating the various CEPA programmes. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.

Colombia
Management Plan as a strategy for the Conservation and Wise Use of the Baudó river as a Wetland of International Importance.
The project aims to elaborate the Management Plan as a strategy for the conservation and wise use of the Baudó River (Ramsar site no. 1387). It is one of the most important deltas of the east coast of South America and includes different types of wetlands, which allow a wide biological diversity. The site is currently threatened and altered because of human activities, including inadequate management practices, illegal hunting and over-harvesting of forest products. Although it was designated as a Ramsar site in 2004, the site still doesn’t have a Management Plan. The elaboration of the Joint Management Plan would involve different actors, including environmental authorities, local communities (black and indigenous) and the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Colombia. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.

Fiji
Capacity building, policy elaboration and site management planning.
Limited consultation and coordination between government and non-government stakeholders as well as regulatory bodies, illegal logging and safe access to the site are the main threats to Upper Navua Conservation Area, the first Ramsar site of Fiji. The project intends to broaden consensus among various stakeholders such as government departments, logging contractors, regulatory bodies and local landowners on logging regulation surrounding the site. This objective is carried out through interviews, facilitated workshops, and meeting and awareness programs. In addition, physical demarcation of UNCA boundary is delineated to ensure that loggers are made aware of the boundaries. The project plans to revise and improve the current management plan and build a foot bridge allowing safe access to the site to promote ecotourism. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.

Malawi
Wise use and conservation of wetland resources on Lake Chilwa; capacity building, monitoring, management plan, and participatory approach.
This project will contribute to the wise use of Lake Chilwa, Malawi’s only Ramsar site, through capacity building among the local population (mainly Bird Hunters Association, a community based organization) and with the Ramsar Administrative Authority. Capacity building aims at monitoring the site and developing a management plan, as one condition to obtain communal custodianship of the wetland resources. The BHA should become the lawful site management authority, with the possibility of Lake Chilwa becoming a Community Conservation Area. BHA has established 29 village waterfowl sanctuaries (covering over 3500 hectares). Currently, the management of these sanctuaries depends on the traditional authorities and is not yet stable. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 20, 000

Moldova
Baseline Inventory of priority wetlands in the Moldovan part of the Danube River Basin which should be a part of the DRB management plan towards integrated management of water resources in line with EU WFD.
Wetlands inventory and National policy. The project seeks to develop an inventory of priority wetlands to be considered in the Danube River basin management plan in line with the EU Water Framework Directive, followed by a primary evaluation of their ecological value and restoration needs. It also aims to develop a clear understanding for the public about the importance of wetlands and actions to be taken to ensure wetland conservation/ restoration and to establish a dialogue among the main stakeholders (environmental, agricultural, local authorities, local people, etc.). The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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