Society of Wetland Scientists awards two 'Ramsar Support Framework' grants

13/01/2000

Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee—Fast Facts

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Co-Chairs of the Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee

Eric Gilman
National Audubon Society Living Oceans Program
2718 Napuaa Place
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Fax: 808.988.1440
E-mail: egilman@lava.net

Dr. Bill Streever
U.S. Army Engineers R&D Center
Waterways Experiment Station
CEERD-ER-W, 3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180 USA
Fax: 601.634.4016
E-mail: streevw@wes.army.mil

The Society of Wetland Scientists is a non-profit organization founded in 1980 to promote wetland science and the exchange of information related to wetlands.

The objectives of the Society are: to operate solely and exclusively as a charitable and educational organization to foster conservation and understanding of wetlands; advance public education and awareness concerning the World’s wetland resources; provide an independent forum for the exchange of ideas and data developed within wetland science; develop and encourage wetland science as a distinct discipline by supporting student education, curriculum development, and research; encourage and evaluate the educational, scientific, and technological development and advancement of all aspects of wetland science and practice; and encourage the knowledgeable management of wetland resources.

The Society continues to grow and has over 4,500 members from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and over 20 other countries. These members are scientists, managers, administrators, consultants, teachers, students, and others with an interest in wetlands. The Society holds an annual meeting for the presentation of scientific and technical information and maintains numerous other programs in support of student research and wetland science. SWS publishes a peer-reviewed scientific journal called Wetlands and a newsletter called the SWS Bulletin, holds an annual conference and regional conferences, and manages scholarship and awards programs.

The Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee was formed to expand SWS outside of the U.S. and Canada. The International Committee writes an international column in the SWS Bulletin, organizes a symposium at annual SWS meetings (the first was held in 1998 in Alaska), attempts to collaborate and establish links with non-US based wetlands organizations such as the Ramsar Bureau, manages a Ramsar Support Framework program, and manages a Gratis Membership Program.

The International Committee’s Gratis Membership Program

Under Section 14 of the Standing Rules for the Society of Wetland Scientists, up to 1% of memberships can be awarded at no cost to wetland professionals working in countries where they are disadvantaged by economic conditions. This program provides free memberships to the Society of Wetlands Scientists to financially disadvantaged wetland professionals and wetland organizations in less-developed countries. A gratis membership provides the same rights and privileges of fee-paying members, including

--Four issues per year of the journal Wetlands and the SWS Bulletin,
--The SWS membership directory,
--Regional chapter newsletters,
--Discounted registration at the annual conference, and
--Voting privileges.

Starting in 1996, the Society began to solicit applications for gratis memberships via announcements on relevant internet discussion groups and publications. We were looking for individuals with a genuine interest in wetland issues who were working in countries with relatively weak economies and who did not have access to significant funding. At present, 43 gratis members working in 25 countries are part of the Society.

The International Committee’s Ramsar Support Framework

The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Board of Directors approved the formation of a SWS Ramsar Support Framework in June 1999. This Support Framework includes a $5,000 per year grant program to support SWS members with Ramsar-related activities including the selection, designation, management, and networking of Ramsar sites. One $5,000 grant will be awarded each year on a competitive basis as reviewed by a 3-member SWS Ramsar Support Framework Subcommittee of the SWS International Committee, in consultation with a Ramsar Bureau representative. Only SWS members working on Ramsar-related activities in less-developed countries are eligible to receive grants under this program. Proposals for this years’ grant are due on 19 November 1999. The International Committee hopes to attract matching funds to augment available funds in the grant program for current and future years.

Additional information on the Society of Wetland Scientists, International Committee, and programs managed by the International Committee can be found on the internet at <www.sws.org> or by contacting Eric Gilman or Dr. Bill Streever, co-chairs of the SWS International Committee (see contact information above).


Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee

Ramsar Support Framework Grant Proposal Guidelines

Descriptions of Available Assistance and Eligibility

The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Board of Directors approved the formation of a SWS Ramsar Support Framework in June 1999. This Support Framework includes a $5,000 per year grant program to support SWS members with Ramsar-related activities including the selection, designation, management, and networking of Ramsar sites. One $5,000 grant will be awarded each year on a competitive basis as reviewed by a 3-member SWS Ramsar Support Framework Subcommittee of the SWS International Committee, in consultation with a Ramsar Bureau representative. Only SWS members working on Ramsar-related activities in less-developed countries are eligible to receive grants under this program.

Grant Program Goal and Objectives

Goal: Support implementation of the Strategic Framework for the Ramsar List (Resolution VII.11) by promoting the wise and sustainable use of wetlands by providing assistance to select wetlands to be designated to the Ramsar List and to network and promote the integrated management of wetlands already on the Ramsar List. Sustainable wetland use is the human use of wetlands that yields the greatest continuous benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. Integrated wetlands management involves the management of all interrelated elements (natural resources and anthropogenic activities) of wetlands under a single unifying approach to allow for sustainable use of natural resources while protecting ecological integrity, implemented through a collaboration of management authorities and stakeholders.

Objectives:

a) Selection: Prioritize wetlands for designation to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. In an effort to support implementation of Article 5 of the Convention on Wetlands, Action 7.2.5 of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002, Guidelines on International Cooperation Under the Ramsar Convention (Resolution VII.19), and in general to promote regional benefits and collaboration, a preference will be placed on supporting efforts to designate sites that are of special habitat value to migratory wildlife; are of special value by providing a source of larvae and other wetland, coastal, and marine life for down-current areas; and are shared sites (a wetland that crosses international boundaries).

b) Management: Augment the conservation and wise management of a Ramsar site, with a preference for funding activities that address an underlying threat to the ecological integrity and wise use of a wetland, or an underlying cause of a wetland's degradation.

c) Networking: Foster the collaboration of organizations involved with managing and conserving Ramsar sites, the management of shared Ramsar sites, and the management of migratory wildlife that use Ramsar sites. For instance, support activities that help establish standardized monitoring and database management protocols for Ramsar wetlands, or share technical resources to transfer knowledge of sustainable economic activities that are wetland-related.


SWS Ramsar Support Framework grant winners for the year 2000

Via facsimile (+855 23 214224) and e-mail (wetlands@bigpond.com.kh)
Mr. Chap Savouen, Vice Chief
C/o Wetlands International Cambodia Mekong Programme, P.O. Box 813, Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia

Dear Mr. Savouen:

Thank you for submitting a proposal for the Society of Wetland Scientists’ new Ramsar Support Framework grant program. We received many quality proposals and wish that we could have funded them all. I am happy to inform you that our evaluation committee selected your proposal.

I would like to confirm that Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee expects the following tasks and end products as a result of the $5,000 grant award:

  • Purchase and rental of SCUBA and survey equipment, training materials, per diems, communications, boat hire and local transportation, and travel as described in the budget in your proposal. All equipment will be provided to the Coastal Coordinating Unit, Cambodia Ministry of Environment, at the end of the 1-year grant period.
  • Matching funds from the Regional Coordinator of ReefCheck, and in-kind support from Wetlands International (classroom facilities and grant administration).
  • Capacity building of a team of Cambodia Ministry of Environment staff to enable independent planning, surveying, and analysis of coral reefs and seagrass beds. This will include training in species identification, survey methodologies, field data collection, data analysis, and report-writing.
  • Detailed surveys of selected coral reef and seagrass meadow sites, data management, data analysis, and writing Final Report.
  • Identification of 3 or more sites that meet the Ramsar Criteria, recommended for designation to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. This will include preparation of draft Ramsar Bureau Information Sheets on each of the proposed sites, to be forwarded to the Minister of Environment for his review and approval.
  • Detailed Project Report summarizing the activities and progress made during the grant period, due 15 months after the funds are awarded (approximately June 2001).
  • Manuscript for publication in the Society of Wetland Scientists Bulletin (due approximately June 2001).
  • Documentation of expenditure of the $5,000 (due within three months of the end of the grant period, approximately June 2001).

We are glad to be able to assist you in your wetlands research and conservation endeavors in support of the Ramsar Convention.


Via facsimile (+55 71 245-6909) and e-mail (dasilva@ufba.br , em_dasilva@hotmail.com)
Dr. Eduardo M. da Silva
Institute of Biology da UFBA, Campus de Ondina, 40210/170 Salvador, BA, BRAZIL

Dear Dr. da Silva:

Thank you for submitting a proposal for the Society of Wetland Scientists’ new Ramsar Support Framework grant program. We received many quality proposals and wish that we could have funded them all. I am happy to inform you that our evaluation committee selected your proposal.

The Society of Wetland Scientists is depending on a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of International Affairs to finance your proposal. We tentatively anticipate that the $5,000 will be available by March 2000, and I will provide you with a more definite date as soon as this information becomes available. In the interim, please tell me if the Federal University of Bahia has a preferred method for accepting the funds (i.e., direct wire transfer, check, money order).

I would like to confirm that the Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee expects the following tasks and end products as a result of the $5,000 grant award:

  • Collect baseline information, including biogeochemical and socio-economic data, on the wetlands of the floodplain of the Santo Antonio Creek and wetlands from the Praia do Forte area.
  • Identify one or more wetland sites in the State of Bahia that meet the Ramsar Criteria for inclusion on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
  • Complete the Ramsar Bureau Information Sheet and a written report (proposed Management Plan) justifying your recommendation for the wetland site(s) to be designated to the Ramsar List. Submit the Information Sheet(s) and proposed Management Plan to the relevant agency of the State of Bahia and Brazil’s administrative authority for the Ramsar Convention. Also, submit copies of these materials to SWS.
  • Submit a detailed Project Report summarizing the activities and progress made during the grant period, due 15 months after the funds are awarded (approximately June 2001).
  • Write a manuscript for publication in the Society of Wetland Scientists Bulletin (due approximately June 2001).
  • Submit documentation of expenditures of the grant (due within three months of the end of the grant period, approximately June 2001).

We are glad to be able to assist you in your wetlands research and conservation endeavors in support of the Ramsar Convention. I look forward to receiving your response.

All the best for 2000, Eric Gilman, Co-Chair, Society of Wetland Scientists International Committee

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