The Ramsar Convention's Small Grants Fund 2005 Allocations Report

26/01/2006

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

Allocations Report for the 2005 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.

2005 Allocations

In the 2005 cycle of project proposals, a total of 52 completed proposals were evaluated by Ramsar staff and presented to the Standing Committee, with the Secretariat's recommendations, at its meeting in November 2005. From the funds available, a total of six project proposals were approved for funding in this year's cycle, for a total of 196,602 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 2005 cycle have been made by Japan, Sweden (SIDA) and the United Kingdom (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

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BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Restoration, rehabilitation and Ramsar site designation. "Pilot Project on the Restoration and Rehabilitation Wetland Region Bardacha." A precondition for implementation of the main part of the project is the capacity building, which enables a larger public and staff to elaborate a practical mechanism and scheme of setting up new Ramsar sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina, using the Ramsar site designation of the region Bardacha as a model territory. The project aims also to promote public awareness for the value of the Bardacha wetlands for a balanced wise use management (several publications such as leaflets and video). The designation of this wetland as a Ramsar site would be the first in the Srpska Republic with strategic importance for the country. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 36,493.

BRAZIL

"Strengthening institutional capacity for compilation of actions needed for consolidation of Brazilian Ramsar sites." The project sets out to consolidate the existing information on the Ramsar sites in the country, while incorporating local knowledge. A management strategy for each site and other CEPA documentation will be produced. The project will promote cooperation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and several other local organizations. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.

GHANA

"The Regeneration, Sustainable Use And Management Of Mangrove In The Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site." The project addresses a Ramsar site which has become degraded due to mangrove over-harvesting, with subsequent negative impacts on fishing resources and turtle breeding grounds. There are two main components: awareness creation and capacity building among local communities to enable mangrove restoration and sustainable use, and creation of alternative income-generating activities. Mangrove plantations and woodlots will be established and workshops on goat, crab and grass-cutter rat rearing, as well as fish farming, will be offered. An important project on a 'sustaining livelihoods and poverty reduction' theme, it will provide tangible outputs. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 39,862.

JORDAN

"Water Enhancement of Azraq Wetland reserve for restoration purposes." The Azraq Oasis has been listed on the Montreux Record since 1991 because of severe degradation due to excessive water abstraction. This project aims to improve the situation through activities including: four water bodies will be re-excavated, mosaic habitats will be prepared for restoration, and endemic plants & killifish will be re-introduced. The project is focused on the water-users of Azraq and restoration of wetland habitats and should work with all stakeholders to ensure achieving its objectives. The project will be funded in the amount of CHF 40,000.

SURINAME

"Participatory Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Coronie." This project fulfills one of the priority actions recommended by the management plan sponsored for North Coronie by an SGF project in 1997. The project has three main components: a Participatory Community Appraisal, a Stakeholder Analysis, and a community-based scenario workshop on potential future developments. The overall objective is the integration of poverty alleviation practices with the wise use of wetlands. An excellent quality proposal, and one that constitutes a critical element in the implementation of the wise use principle in the site. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 21,150.

TAJIKISTAN

"Water Ecosystem of Pamir: Modern State and Perspective of their Wise Use." The purpose is to determine and assess the current level of pollution in the main lakes (Bulurkhul, Jashilkul, Turmlaikul & Drumkul) in the Pamir region, and to assess the immediate impact of channel construction on the lake's biodiversity, especially fish, with stakeholder participation in collecting information on pollutants. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 19,097.

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