Resolution IX.13: Evaluation of the Ramsar Endowment Fund as a mechanism to resource the Small Grants Fund

"Wetlands and water: supporting life, sustaining livelihoods"
9th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Kampala, Uganda, 8-15 November 2005

1. RECALLING paragraph 12 of Resolution VIII.29 establishing a Ramsar Endowment Fund to resource the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF), which was to become operational when the Standing Committee established its modus operandi;

2. NOTING WITH CONCERN that although the Ramsar Secretariat prepared a draft modus operandi for the Ramsar Endowment Fund, consensus by the Standing Committee on that modus operandi could not been obtained;

3. FURTHER RECALLING paragraph 13 of Resolution VIII.29 which established the following principles, taking into account the views expressed by Contracting Parties, as the basis for the establishment of the modus operandi of the Ramsar Endowment Fund:

a) the contributions to the Ramsar Endowment Fund shall be voluntary;
b) the operation and management of the Ramsar Endowment Fund shall be under the authority of this Conference of the Parties;
c) the Ramsar Endowment Fund shall become operational when the Standing Committee has agreed the Fund's modus operandi and when a certain threshold level of capital has been guaranteed;
d) there shall be an interim review of the Endowment Fund at COP9 based on recommendations from the Standing Committee, and a comprehensive review at COP10 where, if the threshold capital has not been guaranteed by that time, the continued existence of the Endowment Fund shall be re-examined; and
e) the Standing Committee shall create a body of financial experts to manage the finances of the Endowment Fund;

4. RECOGNIZING the challenge to raise the proposed capital threshold of five million Swiss francs for the Ramsar Endowment Fund, and AWARE THAT, from its establishment in 1991 through 2004, the SGF has only attracted a total amount of funding of 6,620,624 Swiss francs;

5. NOTING WITH CONCERN the financial and staffing commitment required by the Ramsar Secretariat to promote and raise the capital threshold for the Endowment Fund; and

6. RECOGNIZING that the Standing Committee at its 30th meeting considered that the Ramsar Endowment Fund is not the most effective mechanism to raise funds to resource the SGF and agreed the need to identify further options to resource the Fund;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

7. REAFFIRMS its conviction that the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetland Conservation and Wise Use (SGF) is an extremely valuable mechanism for facilitating the implementation of the Convention in developing countries and countries with economies in transition;

8. RESCINDS its decision in Resolution VIII.29 to establish a Ramsar Endowment Fund to resource the SGF;

9. URGES the Standing Committee, with the assistance of the Ramsar Secretariat, to nonetheless actively pursue alternative funding mechanisms to resource the SGF;

10. INSTRUCTS the Secretary General to propose to Standing Committee at its 34th meeting strategies for improving the status and resourcing of the SGF, with a particular focus on ensuring that dedicated sources of funding similar to "Wetlands for the Future" are developed for developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and CALLS ON development assistance agencies and other organizations to support the establishment of such a mechanism for all regions; and

11. REQUESTS the Standing Committee to bring to COP10 new proposals for establishing a more vigorous mechanism to support the SGF, including the possible development of regional support funds.

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