Small Grants for Wetlands Programme, IUCN Netherlands Committee
The Small Grants for Wetlands Programme (SWP) of the Netherlands Committee for IUCN (NC-IUCN)
Criteria for funding
Project proposals submitted to the Small grants for Wetlands Programme (SWP) of the Netherlands Committee for IUCN (NC-IUCN) will be appraised on the basis of the criteria indicated and discussed below.
I. Project objectives
The main goal of SWP is to promote the conservation of wetlands (see "Glossary") by supporting the realisation of an equitable and wise use of these ecosystems, thereby contributing to a decrease in the current rate of wetland destruction and degradation. Other important SWP objectives include:
- the conservation of biodiversity, and the sustainable use of wetland ecosystems and species;
- the integration of socio-economic development and nature conservation.
The general objective of a proposed project must be commensurate with the main goal of SWP as stated above. Therefore, the project proposal must formulate the general objective of the proposed project in such a way as to answer the following questions:
- Does the project contribute to the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands?
- How will the project contribute to wetland conservation and sustainable management?
Proposed activities should also comply with the strategic plans and implementation activities of the Ramsar Convention (http://www.ramsar.org) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (http://www.biodiv.org).
II. Strict criteria
Project proposals must comply with all of the three following criteria:
1. Priority countries and regions. At the moment SWP only funds projects in countries that are listed below. A few exceptions may be made for NGOs from countries that share a wetland ecosystem, a river basin where wetlands occur, or an ecoregion with a country that is listed below. In such cases, however, SWP will give priority to projects with a clear cross-border focus (e.g. activities aiming at the development of cross-border co-operation or action at the level of a shared, transboundary wetland considered as a whole). A project proposal for cross-border activities involving an NGO from a non-eligible country must be submitted by an NGO from an eligible country as NC-IUCN can only transfer funds to the latter. Co-operation between different NGOs involved in a cross-border project will have to be arranged by the NGOs themselves.
Countries and territories that are entitled to bilateral co-operation with the Netherlands (Eligible countries):
- Africa: Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Senegal
- Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
- Europe: FYR Macedonia
- Latin America: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru
- Middle East: Egypt, Yemen and Palestinian territories
2. Local Population. Owing to the wide array of resources and services provided by most wetlands on a permanent or seasonal basis, various groups have stakes in the management of a single wetland. These stakeholders may include groups involved in resource use (e.g. fisheries, agriculture, animal husbandry, wildlife cropping, tourism, etc.) and groups that value, or benefit from, wetland services (e.g. maintenance of biological diversity, groundwater recharge, water treatment, storage of floodwaters, etc.). Therefore, a project proposal should not only state the objectives of a project in terms of conservation and sustainable management. It should also show that the project (a) will not adversely affect the position of the various local stakeholders, (b) seeks to harmonise with the needs, views, expertise and experience of local stakeholders and associate them with the management, and (c) is based, whenever possible, on a participatory approach.
3. Gender. As a general rule, project activities must explicitly integrate gender aspects. More specifically, the project should seek to improve the position of women or it should at least avoid detrimental effects on gender-related issues. In the context of wetlands, special attention should be paid to differences between men and women with respect to: use of resources; access to resources, means of production and credit; generation and use of income; and participation in decision-making.
III. Administrative criteria
The following administrative criteria will be used when appraising a project proposal.
1. Grant Recipients. Proposals can be submitted by local NGOs and Peoples Organisations (POs) with
- a proven capacity to implement similar types of projects in the fields of nature conservation and sustainable use
- experience and sufficient capacity in the field of project management, and financial management and control (i.e. accountability of the organisation).
Project proposals should clearly indicate why the involved NGO(s) or PO(s) are able to successfully implement the proposed project (i.e. capacity in terms of project and financial management, transparent management procedures, qualification and/or experience of personnel, etc.). Previous experience with comparable projects (if any) should be indicated.
NGOs and POs actually based in a wetland area are especially encouraged to submit project proposals.
2. Format of proposal. Only project proposals prepared and submitted according to the enclosed format will be considered.
3. Project duration, completion, and final report. (a) Maximum duration of a project is 12 months. (b) The current phase of SWP must be completed before 1 September 2002. In order to allow a timely round up of this phase of SWP, implementation of a funded project should be completed before 1 June 2002. A final project report should be received by SWP before 1 July 2002. This report should include results of the project and financial reporting.
4. Maximum amount of the grant. The maximum financial assistance provided by the small grant funds of NC-IUCN for a project (all phases included) amounts to US$ 75.000. Therefore this is also the maximum amount that can be granted by SWP. There is no minimum. (Also see Chapter V, Paragraph 2).
5. Local expertise. SWP will give the highest priority to the use of available local expertise.
6. Urgency of action. SWP will appraise new project proposals three times a year. These three rounds of appraisal will occur at fixed periods. The deadlines for the submission of proposals for these three appraisal rounds are 1 March, 1 July and 1 November. In emergency situations, however, a request for urgent funding of actions is possible. Urgent actions are field or campaigning activities for which immediate assistance is needed. The maximum amount that can be allocated to an urgent action is US$ 5.000. Decision on funding of urgent actions will be made within one week after reception of the proposal.
IV. Focus of funding
The proposed project must comply with all of the formerly indicated criteria. In addition, funding is only possible for projects active in the fields listed below. A proposed project must therefore be centred on one or more of the following fields of activity.
1. Wetland conservation. Activities aiming at the improvement of current conservation and management of protected wetlands, or activities aiming at protecting wetland areas that are as yet unprotected. These include activities that will contribute to an increase in the number of Ramsar sites, or the expansion or consolidation of existing Ramsar sites. In some cases, activities may be centred on conservation of a rare or endangered wetland species. Note however that species conservation activities, like all conservation activities, should be based on an ecosystem approach (as described in the Convention on Biological Diversity). Furthermore conservation activities should also recognise and take into account the multiple values of wetlands, including values of importance to socio-economic development (see "Glossary").
2. Sustainable wetland management planning. Activities promoting the wise use of wetlands and wetland resources by supporting or actually developing plans for sustainable land and water use, or plans for sustainable management of an area. Sustainable management planning activities may cover areas adjacent to a wetland, if management of these areas can directly contribute to the preservation and improved management of this wetland.
3. Sustainable river or lake basin management. Activities aiming at the improvement of river and lake-basin management through a better recognition of the importance and requirements of wetlands at the level of a basin. These activities are centred around, or cover specific aspects of, the process of establishing or improving sustainable basin-wide management plans. Two major aspects can be distinguished in this field:
- importance of wetlands in terms of water resources management (e.g. role of wetlands in the conservation of water sources and courses, groundwater buffering, water storage, water supply, flood control and water purification) or management of other resources (e.g. role of wetlands in supporting fish populations in the basin, providing dry-season grazing to the animal husbandry sector, etc.);
- dependence of wetlands upon the hydrological network to which they belong, with emphasis on the prevention of detrimental effects that activities and operations carried out in a basin may have on wetlands and wetland values (changes in hydrological regime, water quantity and water quality; blocking of migration routes; etc.).
4. Sustainable use of wetlands and wetlands resources. Activities promoting a socially and ecologically sustainable use of wetlands and wetland resources. These may include sustainable production, processing and marketing of wetland products for the benefit of local people. Considering the need to avoid detrimental effects of a project on wetland stakeholders (see Strict Criteria - Local population in Paragraph II-2), priority will be given to proposals that
- are clearly embedded in an existing wetland-wide management plan, or
- clearly demonstrate the absence of effects on other stakeholders, or
- include adequate compensation or mitigation measures.
5. Land and use rights of local people. Improvement of the position of women, indigenous peoples or other disadvantaged groups in wetland areas, through activities aiming at securing the rights of these groups in terms of access to resources (land, water, etc.) and the use of natural resources.
6. Local participation in wetland conservation and management. This field focuses on increasing the role of people living in wetland areas, especially indigenous people, and NGOs representing them in the conservation and management of wetlands. The following two types of activities may be considered:
- Activities meant to strengthen the position of local people (and NGOs) as recognised partners and interlocutors in local, national, regional and global efforts in the fields of conservation and management of wetlands;
- Activities promoting actual participation of local people and NGOs in such efforts.
7. NGO participation in the development of wetland policies. Activities meant to improve the possibilities that are available to NGOs to participate in the development and improvement of national or international wetland and wetland-relevant policies.
8. NGO networking for capacity building. National, regional or international networking activities that are centred around the sharing of experience in the fields of conservation and sustainable management of wetlands, and/or the strengthening of the capacity of NGOs in these fields. Sharing of experience on the following topics are especially encouraged: wetland management planning; actual implementation of wetland conservation and management projects; implementation of local, national, regional and international action plans for wetlands; participation of local people in wetland conservation and management, and local people and NGO participation in the development of wetland policies and action plans.
9. Increased support for wetlands. Activities aiming at an increased political and societal support for (a) the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands, and (b) the role of local people, and especially indigenous people, in wetland conservation and management. With respect to the promotion of political support, NGOs may consider activities directed at (sub)national and regional authorities. Such activities may involve production of informative documents, workshops, etc. Societal support may be obtained by activities directed at the general public, specific branches of the economy, other NGOs, etc. Information campaign, organisation of events and publicity are a few examples of activities that can be considered in this field. In all types of activities, sufficient attention should be paid to the ecological and socio-economic importance of wetlands.
10. Community awareness raising. Activities such as (community-based) workshops, presentations at schools and other activities aiming at raising the awareness of local people (including specific groups of stakeholders) with respect to need for conservation and wise use of wetlands.
11. Development of local expertise. Activities supporting the development of local expertise in the fields listed above (paragraphs 1 to 10) through on-the-job training or formal training. Priority should be given to training that will benefit groups of local people, particularly indigenous people, and NGOs in order to support capacity building for wetland conservation and management.
1. The small grant funds of NC-IUCN, including SWP, cannot grant financial assistance to:
- Governmental or semi-governmental institutions
- Commercial organisations (e.g. consultancy firms)
- Scientific research activities
- Purchase of land or wetland areas
- Travelling expenses for NGOs to participate in conferences and courses, unless it can be justified as a vital contribution to the activities of the project
- Costs related to participation in international courses and training that are organised outside the region
- Foreign (expatriate) consultants (priority must be given to local consultants).
2. Funds made available through SWP are not meant for long-term support to an organisation. Therefore it is not possible to finance a second phase of a project when the maximum amount of $ 75.000 has been granted for implementation of the first phase.
Glossary of terms
Small grants for Wetlands Programme (SWP)
The ecosystem approach will be the basic starting point of SWP. The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Application of the ecosystem approach will help to reach a balance of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These objectives are:
- the conservation of biological diversity,
- the sustainable use of its components, and
- the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
The ecosystem approach is based on the recognition that conservation of species and species diversity cannot be considered without taking into consideration the essential processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment. It also recognises that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems. More information on the ecosystem approach including background, principles and guidance for application of the approach can be obtained by consulting the following website: www.biodiv.org/EcosysApproach.
An NGO is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, preferably with a membership structure. This includes People Organisations (POs) such as community-based organisations. This programme can only consider:
- NGOs that explicitly state wetlands conservation and sustainable use as one of their objectives;
- NGOs that have a proven record in nature conservation and sustainable use of nature and wish to develop activities in the field of wetland conservation and sustainable management.
Wetlands are "areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres" (Ramsar Convention). In other words, wetlands are areas "transitional between terrestrial or aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface of the land or the land is covered by shallow water". SWP covers both inland and coastal wetlands, although mangroves are excluded (see below) and sea-grass, a marine wetland habitat, is included. Major wetland types on which SWP focuses include:
- Swamps (including swamp forests, peat swamps, etc.)
- Marshes or "herbaceous swamps"
- Shallow waterbodies (shallow lakes, oxbow-lakes, natural ponds, lagoons, etc.)
- Wet headwater lowlands (such as the West African bas-fonds, and the South American, peat-forming páramos)
- Sea-grass beds
Please note that SWP cannot consider proposals related to mangroves and coral reefs. Project proposals concerning mangroves may be financed through the Tropical Rainforest Programme (www.nciucn.nl/trp), another small grant funds of NC-IUCN. For criteria and formats of the Tropical Rainforest Programme, please contact TRP by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (+31 20 627 9349).
The values of wetlands are numerous. They relate to a variety of functions performed and services provided by wetlands. These include, for instance:
- water supply
- groundwater recharge
- flood control (storage of floodwaters)
- water purification
- maintenance of biodiversity
- support to fisheries
- provision of dry-season grazing
- stabilisation of (micro-) climate
- recreation opportunities
- cultural values (e.g. role of wetlands or wetland landscapes in the culture of a community)
- support to agriculture
- support to public health.
Wise use of wetlands
Wise use of wetlands is "the sustainable utilisation of wetland resources for the benefit of mankind in a way that is compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the wetland system". Sustainable utilisation is defined as "human use of a wetland so that it may yield the greatest continuous benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations". Natural properties of the ecosystem are defined as "those physical, biological or chemical components, such as soil, water, plants, animals and nutrients, and the interactions between them" (Ramsar Convention).