32nd Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

32nd Meeting of the Standing Committee
Kampala, Uganda, 7 November 2005
Agenda item 11

DOC. SC32-2

Small Grants Fund: approval of project proposals for 2005

Action requested:The Standing Committee is requested to make decisions on the allocation of SGF2005 funds to projects.

Income and funds available for allocation

1. In an effort to raise funds for the 2005 round of the Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF), the Secretariat wrote in early 2005 (as it has done in previous years) to all Ramsar Contracting Parties that are donor countries soliciting their support.

2. The contributions received up to 13 October 2005 are shown in Annex 1, which indicates that the funds available for allocation to SGF projects in 2005 amount to SFR 167,267. SFR 40,000 of the funding provided by Sweden (see Annex 1) have been earmarked for allocation to a project relating to the Indian Ocean tsunami. However, none of the project proposals received by the Secretariat for the SGF2005 cycle and assessed as feasible address issues related to the tsunami. The Secretariat is in discussion with the government of Sweden as to how to allocate these funds in the light of this situation, and will report on the outcome to SC32.

3. Thus the funds available for immediate allocation are sufficient to fund four SGF projects, a smaller number than for other recent years. At the 32nd meeting of the Standing Committee the Secretariat will provide an update on the funds available for allocation, should the situation have changed.

Project allocations

4. Following the established procedure, the Secretariat has reviewed and ranked the SGF projects using the approved form for SGF project evaluations. The form has been designed to provide both structure and objectivity to the way in which the Secretariat undertakes its assessment and preparation of recommendations for funding.

5. For the 2005 SGF cycle, 52 proposals were received which were administratively complete:

8 from Africa
9 from Asia
18 from Europe
17 from the Neotropics
0 from Oceania

6. The one project submitted from Oceania was under the Strategic Plan implementation category, from Fiji. However, since Fiji has not yet acceded to the Convention it is not eligible for such implementation funding in this SGF cycle.

7. It should be noted that, as is customary practice, in order to seek equity of allocations among the Ramsar regions, the Secretariat has prepared its advice on a region by region basis and used this to formulate its overall recommendation by placing the top-scoring projects from each region into the first priority (Category A1) for immediate funding.

8. On the basis of the Secretariat's assessment, as shown in the list of projects by region in Annex 2, the projects have been divided into five categories - A1 and A2; B; C; and D as follows:

(A1) Projects that are technically sound and of highest priority for funding with the funds on hand: four projects - 1 from Africa, 1 from Asia, 1 from Europe and 1 from the Neotropics. These are:

Bosnia and Herzegovina (SGF/05/BA/01)
Ghana (SGF/05/GH/01)
Suriname (SGF/05/SR/01)
Tajikistan (SGF/05/TJ/01)

(A2) Projects recommended for funding (in priority order based on the assessment score received by each project) if additional resources should become available for the 2005 SGF cycle. A further SFR 394,504 is required to fully fund all 11 of the A2 projects.

(B) Projects that are technically sound and are of medium priority for funding from the SGF.

(C) Projects that are technically sound but of lower priority for funding from the SGF.

(D) Projects that, on the basis of the information provided, are not considered technically sound or feasible.

9. The Secretariat notes that for some A1 recommended projects the Secretariat's assessment has pointed out that some clarifications are needed on elements of the project proposal as submitted, and recommends that the Standing Committee approve these projects subject to the clarifications being satisfactorily made before contracts for these projects are issued by the Secretariat.

10. The Secretariat recommends that the Standing Committee consider establishing, as in previous years, a reserve list of A2-rated projects for priority funding should sufficient additional funds become available from cancelled projects or from other sources. The Secretariat recommends the following four projects selected in a geographically equitable manner in order of priority be placed on the reserve list:

Brazil (SGF/05/BR/01)
Jordan (SGF/05/JO/01)
Cape Verde (SGF/05/CV/01)
Ukraine (SGF/05/UA/01)

12. Some countries with a project on the A2 list have a previous SGF project yet to be completed. It is recommended that the Standing Committee should indicate that approval for funding for this project (if additional funds become available) is conditional on satisfactory compliance with the reporting requirements from the country's previous SGF project. Furthermore, the Standing Committee may also wish to recommend that if funds become available for A2 projects, the next country from the relevant region in order of priority which has, by that time, fully complied with reporting on any previous SGF projects should receive the available funding.

Annex 1


SGF funds available for allocation in 2005
(in Swiss francs, as at 13.10.2005)

Surplus from previous year carried forward0.00
United Kingdom, Defra45,852.00
Sweden, Sida100,000.00
Sweden, Sida (tsunami project)40,000.00
Minus 10% administration fee(18,585.00)
CHF 116,602.00

Annex 2

Secretariat assessment of SGF 2005 projects and recommendations for funding

Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding page 10

Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should
additional funds for the 2003 SGF cycle become available
page 13

List of projects submitted by countries in Africa page 20 (not included here)
List of projects submitted by countries in Asia page 25 (not included here)
List of projects submitted by countries in Europe page 30 (not included here)
List of projects submitted by countries in the Neotropics page 34 (not included here)
List of projects submitted by countries in Oceania page 39 (not included here)

SGF 2005 - Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding, listed by Ramsar regions


Country / Project code

Project Title

Amount requested (SFr)

Assessment score









The Regeneration, Sustainable Use And Management Of Mangrove In The Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site



CEPA and restoration. The project addresses a Ramsar site which has become degraded due to mangrove overharvesting, 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 run. An important project on a sustaining livelihoods and poverty reduction theme, and it will provide tangible outputs. A number of improvements to project design are nevertheless recommended, including modifications to the project methodology and activites envisaged, shifts in the budget and clarifications on the sustainability of the project once SGF funds finish.






Tajikistan SGF/05/TJ/01

Water Ecosystem of Pamir: ModernState and Perspective of their Wise Use



Wetland impact assessment. The purpose is to determine and assess the current level of pollution in the main lakes (Bulurkhul, Jashilkul, Turmlaikul & Drumkul) in Pamir region, and to assessthe immediate impact of channel construction on the lake’s biodiversity, especially fish, with stakeholder participation on collecting information on pollutants.

The project has been submitted under the Emergency Assistance category, but does not seem to fit this category. Also the proposal needs some improvement and clarifications on the outputs and activities, and on the training component, in relation to the proposed budget.






Bosnia and HerzegovinaSGF/05/BA/01

Pilot Project on the Restoration and Rehabilitation Wetland Region Bardacha



Restoration, rehabilitation and Ramsar site designation. 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 is using the Ramsar site designation of the region Bardacha as a model territory. The project aims also to promote of 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 RS would be the first in the SrpskaRepublic with strategic importance for the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina were part of a shared SGF project with Croatia in 2000.








Participatory Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Coronie



Participatory management. 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 3 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 constitutes a critical element in the implementation of the wise use principle in the site.

Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should additional funds become available for the SGF 2005 cycle, listed in order of priority for funding based on assessment score

Priority for funding

Assess-ment score

Country /
Project code

Project Title

requested (SFr)






Strengthening institutional capacity for compilation of actions needed for consolidation of Brazilian Ramsar sites



National management planning strategy/CEPA. 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 AA and several other local organizations. Apart from some minor clarifications and adjustments, the proposal is of good quality and is one of the few from the region submitted for the 2005 cycle which has a truly national focus.






An ecological and socio-economic inventory of the Mason River Protected Area / Proposed Ramsar Site, Clarendon, Jamaica


Inventory/assessment – Ramsar site. Elaborating a wetland inventory and assessment has been established as a priority by the Government of Jamaica for 2003-2008. This study will provide information to fill gaps and ultimately lead to the designation of this site as a Wetland of International Importance, as well as to promote future research and wise use of the site. This is a high quality project of local relevance. The project will compile both ecological and social data, involves the local population and contributes to the application of the wise use principle. However, since a Jamaican SGF project was funded in 2004 and is ongoing, it is recommended that this project be resubmitted to the SGF2006 cycle pending completion of the current project.




Jordan SGF/05/JO/01

Water Enhancement of Azraq Wetland reserve for restoration Purposes


Wetland restoration. The site has been Montreux Record listed since 1991 because of severe degradation due to exxessive water abstraction. This project aims to improve the situation through activities including: four waterbodies will be re-excavated, mosaic habitats will be prepared for restoration, and endemic plants & killifish will be re-introduced. The project is a major revision and improvement to its previous submission in 2004, and now focused on the water-users of Azraq, and restoration of wetland habitats. Activities to work with all stakeholders to ensure achieving the objectives need to be incorporated in the project implementation.




Cape Verde


Caracterización y catalogación de las zonas húmedas de la isla de Boa Vista para su incorporación a RAMSAR.- Assessment and inventory of wetlands of the Boa Vista island for inclusion in the Ramsar List.


Wetland inventoryand Ramsar site designation. Project will undertake a wetland assessment in order to identify future Ramsar sites for designation on the Boavista island, as well as sites that need restoration. Data will be collected and a database kept of the inventory of the wetlands. A capacity building programme for the INIDA staff is envisaged too. A working group composed of INIDA and Natura 2000 (NGO) staff will be responsible for evaluation and follow-up after the project in terms of updating the information. The project should also include preparation of RISs for designation of sites identified as qualifying. Clarifications are required on the methodology for the assessment and on details of the production of the wetland handbook, and some budget clarifications are needed.






Formación de recursos humanos en la evaluación de impacto ambiental en humedales del sureste mexicano Capacity Building in Environmental Impact Assessment of Wetlands in South-East Mexico


Environmental Impact Assessment. A good quality proposal, which aims to develop EIA capacities for a group of 30 key stakeholders undertaking activities in southern Mexican wetlands, through a 7-day workshop. The project also aims at assessing the impact of two projects that have taken place in the area by conducting field visits. The information gathered would be consolidated into a document for awareness-raising and outreach purposes. Since a significant number of Ramsar sites in Mexico are located in the south of the country, building the capacities of key stakeholders in the area constitutes a relevant component of any wise use strategy.






Promoción para el conocimiento y uso sostenible de los humedales del estado de Yucatán Promotion for the Knowledge and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Yucatán State


CEPA. The central objective of this proposal is the promotion of sustainable ecotourism through CEPA activities in three Ramsar Sites along the Gulf of Mexico, in Yucatan. The project aims at promoting sound ecotourism through the design, elaboration and distribution of maps showing locations and paths to be used in order to avoid adversely affecting the most fragile wetlands. A handbook containing information on the importance of wetlands, the impacts of ecotourism and best practices to minimize those impacts would also be produced. A good proposal with strong institutional background, working on 3 recently designated Ramsar sites. Mexico has submitted its final report for an SGF project from 2002 but amendments are still expected. In the 2004 cycle this project was selected as the first priority for funding in the Americas if additional funds became available.




South Africa


Environmental Awareness for the Rehabilitation of the Orange River Mouth (ORM) Ramsar Site


CEPA and local community participation. The Orange River Mouth is a transboundary Ramsar site between Namibia and RSA that is listed on the Montreux Record. Project seeks to create awareness on the value of wetlands at the school and community level by means of displays, posters, information boards, school trips. It will also look at introducing wetlands education in school curricula and at forging links between Namibia and RSA through cross-border visits. However it is not clear how the project will lead to an improved status of the site and its removal from the Montreux Record, and should be modified to address also the problems occurring upstream, with sensitisation and awareness raising at the government and private sector level (dam operators, mining companies) – otherwise the budget is high for a limited number of outputs.




Vietnam SGF/05/VN/01

Expanding Vietnam’s Network of Ramsar Sites to Help Deliver on the Country’s Commitments under the Ramsar Convention


Ramsar site designation. This project aims to assist Vietnam to implement its Ramsar commitments through the designation of 2 Ramsar sites from 4 candidates sites. Activities and corresponding outputs prior to finalising the RISs include literature review on wetlands on their current status, sites selection involving local stakeholder consultation and support on conservation & wise-use, rapid field surveys, GIS mapping of potential sites, and national workshop for AA endorsement to submit at the Secretariat. A well-prepared proposal but some detailed activities might not be sufficient with the proposed budget and time, e.g. for mapping, survey and status reports, consultative workshops & publication.






Programa de monitoreo, vigilancia y estado de salud del complejo de humedales “Ñucanchi-Turopamba” propuesto como sitio Ramsar para el Ecuador Monitoring, Surveillance and Health of the “Ñucanchi-Turopamba” Wetland Complex, planned Ramsar site for Ecuador


Wetland management. This project plans to generate a hydrobiological model to determine the minimum flows required to maintain the ecosystemic integrity of these wetlands. It would strengthen the monitoring, control and management capacities in the Mogotes, Loreto and Guambicocha lagoons, which supplies a large percentage of the water to the surrounding population. The project is of acceptable quality, but favours a preventive approach rather than addressing existing problems.







Valoración del Lago Ypacarai y sus humedales Appraisal of the YpacaraiLake and its Wetlands


Wetland assessment/local community participation. The project plans to promote the wise use of wetlands by promoting the active participation of local communities. In particular, an ecological assessment of the values and biodiversity of the Ypacarai lake, the competing uses of the lake, and the promotion of strategies to reconcile the interests of the various stakeholders constitute the central objectives of the project. The Ypacarai wetland is disappearing, making this project a high local priority. The project would elaborate a wide and coherent array of activities and materials. Paraguay still has a pending SGF project from 1995.




Ukraine SGF/05/UA/01

Pilot Project on the Development of a Practical Mechanism and Legal Scheme of Ramsar Sites’ Setting up in Ukraine


Wetland policy. The project addresses the improvement of the national policy for wetland conservation through the preparation of a methodology for future designation of RS, the listing of new RS, and the improvement of the capacity for the management of the Islands of Izmail, a potential RS upstream of the Danube delta, through training of forestry staff and local stakeholders. Transborder aspects and public awareness issues are also covered through a planned international workshop, the promotion of transfrontier cooperation within the Lower Danube Euroregion and the production of a film on the values of the Izmail Islands. The proposal is well-argued and well-founded – it is a resubmission from 2003 and 2004, when it was also A-rated.


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