Swiss Grant for Africa, 2006
Switzerland approves "Swiss Grant for Africa" for 2006
The Secretariat's Africa team is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Switzerland (the Federal Office for the Environment - FOEN) has agreed to fund the Convention's activities in Africa for another year through the Swiss Grant for Africa. The 2006 Swiss Grant for Africa will allow the Secretariat to support five projects on the continent and address the implementation of COP9 Resolution IX.14 on Wetlands and Poverty Reduction - this will make an important contribution to the team's strategic objectives for Africa.
The proposals that the Swiss government has approved for the year 2006 will support the following activities in Africa:
- Zimbabwe's accession to the Convention;
- Elaboration of a handbook to develop the capacities of the Administrative Authorities (the Convention National Focal Points) in their daily role in the implementation of the Convention in Africa;
- Increasing agricultural and food production through wise use of wetlands resources of the Senegal river (Mandéry) and Oursi ponds in Burkina Faso and alleviate poverty among the surrounding rural communities;
- Promotion of Typha grass briquettes as a fuel wood alternative and income generation opportunity in the rural and peri-urban areas of Typha-affected wetlands in Nigeria;
- Establishing a network of Ramsar sites along the Congo River, one of the most important wetlands in Africa and one which is not given enough attention.
The Swiss Grant for Africa administered by the Ramsar Secretariat is a generous annual contribution, dating back to 1989, offered by the Federal Government of Switzerland over and above the annual contributions provided to the Convention's core budget.
-- Abou Bamba, Ramsar