Resolution 5.8: Future funding and operation of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Fund


5th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
Kushiro, Japan
9-16 June 1993

[Note: the Wetland Conservation Fund is now called the Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF)]

RECALLING that Resolution 4.3 of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, held at Montreux, Switzerland in 1990, established the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Fund ("the Fund") "to provide assistance to developing countries, upon official request from a competent national authority, for activities in furtherance of the purposes of the Convention";

FURTHER RECALLING that the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties decided that a token budgetary allocation of ten thousand Swiss francs (SFR 10,000) should be made to the Fund from the Convention’s budget each year in the 1991-1993 triennium and that this allocation was "to be augmented by substantial voluntary contributions";

EXPRESSING ITS THANKS to those Contracting Parties (Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America), non-governmental organizations (Soroptimist International of Kushiro and WWF), and individuals who have made voluntary contributions to the Fund since the Fourth Meeting;

EXPRESSING FURTHER THANKS to those Contracting Parties (Iceland and Japan), Japanese Non Governmental Organizations and Kushiro organizations (Kushiro Red Cross Volunteer Corps, the Rotor Act Club, and INAX Limited) which have made contributions or pledges of funding at the present meeting;

NOTING that these contributions amounted to approximately SFR 250,000 in 1991 and SFR 310,000 in 1992, and thus permitted the Standing Committee to approve six applications (from Congo, Chile, Kenya, Mauritania, Viet Nam, and - provisionally - Ecuador) at its November 1991 meeting, and twelve applications (from Argentina, China, Guatemala, Indonesia - two applications, Niger, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda) at its October 1992 meeting, as well as projects in Bolivia and Pakistan under the emergency approval procedure;

AWARE of the need to increase the amount of resources available to the Wetland Conservation Fund to at least US$ 1 million annually;

FURTHER NOTING that the Ramsar Standing Committee and Bureau have sought to identify other sources of funding for the many applications which could not be covered by the Fund;

EMPHASIZING that the Fund, as constituted and financed at present, is able to fund only small projects, up to about SFR 40,000 in value;

CALLING ATTENTION to the special problems of countries whose economy is in transition;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

STATES ITS CONVICTION that, if the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Fund is to fulfil its aims, there is a need for more Contracting Parties to join those Contracting Parties who are already making voluntary contributions to the Fund, and for the latter not merely to maintain, but to make substantial increases to their contributions;

REITERATES THE NEED for major contributions from other outside sources;

RESOLVES

    (a) that developing countries continue to be the main focus of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Fund, as was envisaged in Montreux; and

    (b) that countries whose economy is in transition be assisted and supported through voluntary contributions by developed countries (through bilateral arrangements) or multilateral agencies, and that funds so donated may be channelled through the Ramsar Convention for administrative purposes where appropriate;

EMPHASIZES the need for submission of applications for funding by 1 June each year, so that projects may be properly reviewed by the Standing Committee, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, the Convention Bureau, and their advisors; and

FURTHER EMPHASIZES the need for Contracting Parties to provide prompt reports on the execution of approved projects, so that the use made of funds may be fully documented.

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