The Ramsar Convention's Small Grants Fund 2008 Allocations Report
Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF)
Income and Allocations Report for 2008
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.
In the 2008 cycle of project proposals, a total of 23 completed proposals were evaluated by Ramsar staff and presented to the Standing Committee at SC38 in October 2008, with the Secretariat’s recommendations. From the funds available, a total of eight project proposals were approved for funding in this year’s cycle, for a total of 286,207 Swiss francs.
Voluntary contributions to the Small Grants Fund in the 2008 cycle have been made by Hungary, Korea, Japan, Italy and Austria.
Inventory, designation and management of a new Ramsar site. Cape Verde is keen to add to its already designated 3 sites. This project proposes to carry out surveys on the wetlands of Maio Island focusing on Salina Porto Ingles. The threats facing this and other wetlands in Cape Verde come from increasing pressure from mass-tourism and changing land use driven by agriculture. The project proposes the use of Salina Porto Ingles as a case study for: biodiversity assessment; setting up a monitoring network; developing a plan for sustainable resource use involving the local community and authorities and continued work of an already existing project to develop a comprehensive wetland-conservation project. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 37,119.
Site designation and public awareness. The project aims to raise awareness of values and threats to wetlands, to survey the site according to the needs of the Ramsar Information Sheet and bring together various stakeholders for consultation for site designation. This site is one of the important clusters of lakes of the country. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 27,015.
Implementing a management plan and stakeholders awareness. In 2003 Turkey adopted the National Wetland Strategy and with that also the management plans for six Ramsar Sites. It has been experienced that, for effective site management, it is necessary to involve local communities through a participatory process. The project aim will be to use Kizilimark Delta Ramsar Site as a pilot site to implement its recently finalized management plan through local monitoring and local management system. At the same time, leaflets and posters on the wise use of wetlands and Turkish Ramsar Sites will be produced for raising environmental awareness amongst stakeholders and communities. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 40,000.
Management plan, participatory approach and conservation in a Ramsar site. The project will developa management plan to maintain the ecological character of Ramsar Site Bahía Lomas, through participative management, in order to identify, coordinate and implement necessary actions and strategies for the protection and conservation of this site. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 34,566.
Development of management plans, ecotourism. Cameroon aims to put in place a management plan for its 3 designated Ramsar sites as well as other newly identified wetlands that are rich in biodiversity, support a multitude of people and industries. The degradation of these wetlands is due to anthropogenic actions and climate change. The purpose of this project is to: put into action the Ramsar Strategic Plan of 2009-2014; ensure participation and coordination of activities in wetlands at the local and national level; develop ecotourism and increase the surface area of designated wetlands in Cameroon. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 34,000.
Site designation and participative management plan. The project aims to designate a second Ramsar Site in Marshall Islands using a participatory approach with all the stakeholders and the baseline inventory biodiversity of atoll's wetlands. It also plans to develop a management plan for the site. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 37,900.
CEPA and site designation. The project aims at publishing booklet, poster, leaflet, etc to disseminate Ramsar Convention messages among local communities and to promote wetland wise use. The objective is also to design a website describing tools, activities and projects relevant to Sundarban wetlands and to update information to promote the site designation. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 37,969.
Public awareness and capacity building. The project aims at raising public awareness and capacity building about the Lake Shkodra and River Buna Ramsar Site in the region throughout a conference that will bring together all different stakeholders including the private sector, government bodies and universities. The site is the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, and is shared between Albania and Montenegro. The project will strengthen the cooperation and cross border exchange between these two countries. Other activities such as a study tour to the Butrint Ramsar Site for exchanges on the best lessons learnt and the promotion of a better network between site managers are also planned. The project was approved for an amount of CHF 37,638.