The Ramsar Convention's Swiss Grant for Africa

02/03/2009

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Switzerland approves "Swiss Grant for Africa" for 2008

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Switzerland (Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication) through the Swiss Agency for the Environment (OFEV) has once again agreed to provide financial resources for some of the Convention's activities in Africa for another year through the Swiss Grant for Africa (SGA). This year, the SGA will allow the Secretariat to support no fewer than six projects in the continent with an activity in almost each of the six subregions.

This series of projects differs from the previous ones as it will spread resources in countries and/or sub-regions that represent a barometer to measure the level of implementation or non implementation of the Convention if one looks at the national reports submitted for COP10. In addition, this time around, the SGA, which will make an important contribution to the achievement of the Convention's strategic objectives for Africa, comes as co-financing for the projects.

The proposal to the Swiss government for the year 2008 will support the following activities in Africa:
1. Preparation of the National Wetlands Policy and Action Plan of Niger.
2. Organisation of a national workshop on the impacts of biofuels on wetlands in Côte d'Ivoire and preparation of a draft national institutional framework to deal with the issue.
3. Ramsar Advisory Mission in Maromeu Complex Ramsar site in Mozambique.
4. Reactivation of the implementation of the Convention in Equatorial Guinea.
5. Launch of the UNEP-Ramsar documentary on wetlands and extractive industries; hand over of certificates 6. ceremony for newly designated Ramsar sites; launch of National Ramsar Committee activities; and 2009 World Wetlands Day celebration in Gabon.
7. Promotion of the wise of wetlands and development of ecotourism in Seychelles.

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. The total amount allocated this year is CHF 162'800. [23/02/09]

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