Wildlife Conservation Society and Ramsar to host conference


On behalf of the Interagency Planning Group on Environmental Funds (IPG), the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, 1971) announce the forthcoming Conference for African Environmental Funds: Sustainable Finance for Conservation in Africa, scheduled from April 3rd-6th, 2002 in Arusha, Tanzania.

The conference will allow environmental funds from Africa to come together for the first time, providing both funds and donors the chance to share information and obtain a continent-wide perspective of conservation initiatives. In addition, funds will be able to explore future joint training and collaboration opportunities.

The increasing interest and rapid growth of environmental funds suggest that there is a wide range of organizations and institutions which could benefit from experience gained in setting up and managing funds. These funds are also increasingly seen as an excellent mechanism to improve or strengthen the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), such as the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, 1971) and the management of related sites.

Already more than 19 established and emerging environmental funds on the continent have registered to attend the event, representing such countries as Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Cameroon. Thanks to a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, most of the participation costs for the African funds will be covered by the IPG.

The conference announcement and programme is attached. Persons interested in attending the conference or learning more about the event can visit the Web site www.conservationfinance.org. For more information on the Ramsar Convention, visit www.ramsar.org. Prospective participants are urged to make their travel arrangements soon and should plan to arrive in Arusha by 2 April to allow time for arranged transport to the conference site at the Manyara Safari Lodge.

Delmar Blasco, Secretary General, Convention on Wetlands, Gland, Switzerland
John G Robinson, PhD., Senior Vice President, Wildlife Conservation Society, Washington, D.C., USA

Sustainable Finance for Conservation in Africa
A Conference for African Environmental Funds

April 3-6, 2002, Serena Lake Manyara Lodge, Tanzania

This conference will be the first African forum to bring together environmental funds operating on the continent. It will offer opportunities for African funds to learn from conservation finance experts and environmental funds from around the world as well as from each other.

The Conference Objectives:

1. Facilitate a dialogue among African funds in an effort to share experiences and learn about programs, challenges and constraints faced by funds throughout the continent

2. Learn more about issues in conservation finance and their relevance to each fund's specific programs and priorities

3. Identify strategies and actions to meet long-term financing needs

4. Explore how best to strengthen existing funds and increase the number of environmental funds operating in Africa.

Conference Topics include

  • Innovative and creating financing: mechanisms, approaches and opportunities
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Strategic planning
  • Board and organizational development
  • Grants management
  • Asset management
  • Land trust establishment and others.

The conference format will include panel discussions as well as specialized concurrent sessions. Conference sessions will offer general topics relevant to all participants and allow funds the opportunity to interact with a panel of experts from Africa and other regions of the world. Special sessions aimed both at established as well as newly emerging funds on the continent will also be designed in an effort to address differing interests and information requirements.

Organized poster sessions will offer funds the opportunity to present information about their programs, activities and achievements and to share this information with the other funds and donors attending the conference. Posters and display boards will be on display throughout the entire four-day conference. Each fund will be requested to prepare a poster as part of conference participation. Information on posters will be sent to each registered fund.

The conference will include a field trip to the newly established Tanzania Land Conservation Trust, organized by the African Wildlife Foundation in Arusha, Tanzania.

For registration and conference information, please visit: www.conservationfinance.org

or contact: Ray Victurine, Conference Coordinator, Conservation Finance Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, rvicturine@conservationfinance.org.

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