26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee -- Agenda papers

08/11/2001
26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 3 - 7 December 2001
Agenda item 14.4

DOC. SC26-13

Report on the regulations and practice applied by other environment-related conventions for providing funding to delegates to their meetings, and recommendations to COP8

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to consider the proposed decision on this matter (see paragraph 4 below).

1. The Standing Committee considered the issue of delegate funding within the wider context of the use by Ramsar of the list of countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) and other forms of financial assistance established by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

2. The Committee adopted Decision SC25-28 as follows:

"The Standing Committee decided that:

a) the OECD/DAC List of Aid Recipients should continue to be used, mutatis mutandis as applying to Ramsar Contracting Parties and other countries eligible for accession, for eligibility for SGF as established by Resolution VI.6;

b) the Bureau, when allocating assistance for participating at Ramsar meetings, should use the OECD/DAC list in the following order of priorities:

i) Contracting Parties in Part I of the List

ii) Contracting Parties in Part II of the List: Central and Eastern European Countries and New Independent States of the former Soviet Union; and

iii) Contracting Parties in Part II of the List: More advanced Developing Countries and Territories;

c) the Bureau should prepare a report on the regulations and practice applied on this matter by other environment-related conventions for consideration at the next Standing Committee meeting and possible transmission with recommendations to COP8."

3. Concerning item c) of the Standing Committee decision, the Bureau has been able to obtain the following information:

CBD: Financial aid is provided in the following order of priority: [Excel file]

  • Parties to the CDB
  • Least developed countries
  • Small Island Developing States
  • Other developing countries
  • Economies in transition

CITES: Uses the UN scale of assessment. 0.015 per cent in the scale is the starting point for identifying the countries which are getting financial support for participation in the meetings. Proposals made by the Secretarit using this approach for the next COP, based on three delegates from each eligible country, were not accepted by the Standing Committee at its last meeting.

CMS: Uses the UN Scale of Assessment as folllows:

  • Parties whose percentage lies between 0.001 to 0.049 (except those in Europe) shall automatically be considered eligible for financial support; and
  • Parties whose percentage lies between 0.05 to 0.100 (except those in Europe) should be considered eligible for financial support upon request to the Secretariat.

CCD: Uses the UN classification of development:

  • Least Developed Countries ( 2 participants, 1 participant in case of inavailability of funds)
  • Developing countries (one participant)

4. The system which bases eligibility for funding upon a given point and downwards in the UN scale of assessment (for example, all countries assessed at 0.015 or less) would seem the most fair and the easiest to apply. Consequently, the Bureau invites the Standing Committee to adopt the following decision on this matter and to embody it the appropriate draft resolution in financial matters to be submitted to COP8:

"The Standing Committee decides that, when not otherwise established by Resolutions of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, the allocation of funds for sponsored delegates to Ramsar meetings by the Bureau shall be done using the following formula:

a) funds should be directed first to two delegates from each non-OECD Contracting Party whose assessed dues in the UN scale of contributions are at less than 0.06%, with the exception of Contracting Parties in this category that traditionally have not required assistance (at present Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Monaco) and those which belong to the first group of European Union accession countries (at present Cyprus);

b) additional funds should be allocated, if requested, to one delegate from each non-OECD Contracting Party whose assessed dues in the UN scale are less than 2%, starting with those at the bottom of this range, and when the percentage is the same, using the alphabetical order in the UN Terminology of Country Names in the English language, with the exception of those countries which belong to the first group of European Union accession countries (at present Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia).

The attached chart shows eligibility based on these parameters. [Excel file]

The Committee further decides that the content of this decision will be embodied in the appropriate resolution on financial and budgetary matters to be submitted by the Standing Committee to COP8."

5. The Standing Committee may wish to consider recommending to the COP that the same approach - i.e., eligibility based on the UN scale of assessment instead of the OECD/DAC list - should be used in the future for allocations from the Small Grants Funds and any other financial mechanisms of the Convention. In this case, the Committee would also have to consider if allocations will be done based only upon a) merits of the project (score received during the evaluation); and b) the UN scale of assessment, without consideration of equitable distribution of funds among the Ramsar regions.

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