25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

21/09/2000

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25th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 23 - 27 October 2000
Agenda item 22.4 (i)

DOC. SC25-24

Small Grants Fund: approval of project proposals

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to receive the report of the Subgroup on Finance relating to this item and make decisions as appropriate.

[See also DOC. SC25-24 addenda.]

Income and funds available for allocation

1. In an effort to raise funds for the 2000 round of SGF, the Bureau wrote to all Ramsar Contracting Parties that are donor countries in July 2000 (as it did in 1998 and 1999) soliciting their support. The contributions and pledges received up to 30 September 2000 are shown in Annex 1, which indicates that the funds available for allocation to SGF projects in 2000 amounted to SFR 179,809. At the Standing Committee meeting, an update will be given on this matter.

2. The Subgroup on Finance may wish to consider recommending that:

  1. the 1999 deficit of SFR 34,119 be covered with a contribution from the core budget; and
  2. an allocation to the SGF of SFR 80,000 be made from the budget surplus in fiscal year 1999, as reflected in the audited accounts.

These allocations would allow funding at least three more projects. In addition, the Bureau is approaching WWF inviting this partner to consider funding inventory-related SGF projects under their Living Waters Campaign.

Project allocations

3. Following the established procedure, the Bureau reviews and ranks the SGF projects using the approved form for SFG project evaluations. This review is then communicated to the Subgroup on Finance, which meets on the day preceding the Standing Committee meeting to consider the Bureau’s advice. In accordance with Decision 20.31 of the 20th Meeting of the Standing Committee, the Bureau’s recommendations have been provided to the Regional Representatives in the Standing Committee from regions where project proposals have been received, for their consideration and comment. This was done on 11 September with a deadline for comment by the 25 September. This document incorporates comments received by this deadline.

4. For the 2000 SGF cycle, 46 proposals (9 from Africa, 13 from the Neotropics, nine from Asia, 15 from Europe, and none from Oceania) were considered as administratively complete, including the endorsement of the Ramsar Administrative Authority in each country, and underwent review by the Bureau using the approved SGF Project Proposal Assessment Form. The form has been designed to provide both structure and objectivity to the way that the Bureau undertakes its assessment and preparation of recommendations for funding.

5. It should also be noted that in order to seek equity of allocations among the Ramsar regions, the Bureau has prepared its advice on a region by region basis and used this to formulate its overall recommendation by placing the top projects from each region into the first priority for immediate funding.

6. On the basis of the Bureau’s assessment, as shown in list of projects by region in Annex 2, the projects have been divided into five categories – A1 and A2; B; C; and D as follows:

(A1) Projects that are technically sound and of highest priority for funding with the funds on hand. This includes 5 projects (two projects from Africa, and one each from Asia, Europe, and the Neotropics) with a total project cost of Sfr 182,420.

(A2) Projects recommended for funding (in priority order based on the score received by each project using the assessment form) if additional resources should become available for the 2000 SGF cycle. A further SFR 425,551 is required to fully fund all 11 of the A2 projects. Three of these projects could be moved to category A1 for immediate funding if the Subgroup on Finance accepts the transfers from the core budget suggested in paragraph 2 above.

(B) Projects that are technically sound and are of medium priority for funding from the SGF.

(C) Projects that are technically sound but of lower priority for funding.

(D) Projects that, on the basis of the information provided, are not considered technically sound or feasible.

7. Concerning pending reports from previous SGF funded projects, the Bureau has been reminding the relevant Contracting Parties of this obligation at regular intervals. The project assessment made by the Bureau on a region by region basis (Annex 2) shows those Parties for which reports remain outstanding as of 25 September 2000. None of the recommended A1 rated projects in Annex 2 are from countries with outstanding reports from previous projects. Only one country with a project in the A2 rated list has a report outstanding.


DOC.SC25-24. Annex 1

SMALL GRANTS FUND - FUNDS AVAILABLE

SGF funds available for allocation in 2000 (in Swiss francs, at 31.08.2000)

CONFIRMED FUNDS
Balance available after 1999 allocations

-34,119.00

Contributions received for the 2000 SGF cycle:
Austria, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

20,000.00

Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife 4,854.00
Japan (from unused voluntary contributions held by the Bureau) 80,000.00
United States, Department of State 41,076.00
GRAND TOTAL 145,930.00
Minus 10% administration fee -14,593.00
TOTAL CONFIRMED FUNDS 131,337.00
PLEDGED CONTRIBUTIONS
Sweden, Sida 91,768.00
Minus 10% administration fee -9,177.00
TOTAL PLEDGED 82,591.00
GRAND TOTAL AVAILABLE FOR ALLOCATION Sfr 179,809.00

Annex 2

Bureau assessment of SGF projects and recommendations for funding

Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding
Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should additional funds for the 2000 SGF cycle become available
List of projects submitted by countries in Africa
List of projects submitted by countries in Asia
List of projects submitted by countries in Europe
List of projects submitted by countries in the Neotropics

SC25-24 - Annex 2

Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding

Country / Project code Project Title

Amount requested (SFr)

Assessment score

Comments
Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Croatia

SGF/00/BIH/1

Transboundary management plan for the Lower Neretva Valley

25,000

34

Management planning, transboundary wetlands. An international project for the promotion of bilateral cooperation for shared wetlands.
Colombia

SGF/00/COL/1

Inventory and characterisation of wetlands in Caqueta department

40,000

34

Wetland inventory, Ramsar site designation. Well-planned proposal with potentially important impact on the Colombian Amazon wetlands, through a detailed inventory of wetlands and identification of management needs for each of them including, designation of additional Ramsar sites in Colombia.
Lebanon

SGF/00/LBN/1

Developing a viable economic framework for the management of Amning and Tyre Wetlands

38,720

37

Management planning, economic valuation, public awareness. First SGF proposal from Lebanon, high importance for Administrative Authority. Main aim is to add a socio-economic element to larger UNDP-GEF protected areas project. Total amount requested from SGF (Sfr 39,882) includes a 3% UNDP Support Cost – figure listed here for SGF is amount excluding this 3% cost..
Madagascar

SGF/00/MDG/1

Workshop on the development of a National Strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in Madagascar

38,700

38

Wetland Policy/Strategies. The process used to prepare this project is a good example of what is expected from an active and forceful Ramsar National Committee. The proposed project will prepare the grounds for a national wetland policy.
Niger and Togo

SGF/00/NER/1

Support to training activities for wetland managers in Niger and Togo

40,000

39

Training. This is the first SGF proposal for Africa in which two Contracting Parties are jointly submitting a project to be implemented, and in collaboration with an NGO which is sponsoring a major part of the project. Implementation of the project will provide valuable lessons on undertaking joint action between countries.
   

182,420

   

Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should additional funds become available for the SGF 2000 cycle, listed in order of priority for funding based on assessment score

Priority for funding

Assessment score

Country / Project code Project Title

Amount requested (SFr)

Comments

1

38

Congo

SGF/00/COG/1

Inventory and evaluation of wetlands in Congo

39,507

Wetland Inventory. This project was first submitted in 1999 but was assessed as not feasible owing to a lack of focus on the objectives and because of inconsistencies between the budget and the activities. In this resubmission the objectives are now clear and the different parts of the project design are coherent.

2

35

Cambodia

SGF/00/KHM/1

Development and implemen-tation of a management plan for the Boeung Chhmar Ramsar Site

40,000

Management planning, capacity-building. Well-presented and justified proposal from CP with no previous SGF projects funded. Budget not itemized, activities and methods could be described in more detail.

3

33

Armenia

SGF/00/ARM/1

Regional training course on wetland management

40,000

Training, mangement planning. Highly incentive project working at the sub-regional scale. A novel approach with regional replications.

3

33

Republic of Moldova

SGF/00/MDA/1

Restoration, rehabilitation and implementation of protective measures in the core wetlands areas in the Dniester River downstream in Moldova

40,000

Restoration, management planning. An integrated approach, which will have a leverage effect with ongoing PDF-A GEF project.. A first SGF application from a new Contracting Party (2000).

5

32

Algeria

SGF/00/DZA/1

Training course for wetland managers at sub-regional level (Magreb countries)

40,000

Training. This project was proposed in both 1998 and 1999; it was rated as technically sound in 1999 but was not approved owing to shortage of funding. This proposal is a substantial improvement in scope of planned activity, notably its involvement of several countries, and expected outputs. A high priority project for Algeria, but is ranked relatively low under SGF evaluation procedure owing to Algeria having been granted previous SGF projects. Assisting Algeria in seeking alternative sources of funding for this important project should be considered, if SGF2000 funding is not possible.

5

32

Chile

SGF/00/CHL/1

Integrated planning for the conservation of the wetland systems of the Chilean northern highlands

39,108

Management planning, local participation. Well-structured proposal to carry out a Participatory Management Plan for the conservation of 11 wetlands in Regions I, II and III of Chile. Five of these wetlands are Ramsar sites. This project has an important financial contribution from the private sector and the plan will be drafted jointly by the Government agencies, the private sector and the local communities.

5

32

Panama

SGF/00/PAN/1

Elaboration of an Action Plan for the conservation and wise use of Panama wetlands

39,325

National wetland planning. Well-planned proposal to draft a national wetlands action plan through a participatory approach, with relevance at the national level.. The proposal is quite ambitious and will be difficult to fully implement within one year. It is advisable that IUCN's Working group on Wetlands for Panama is actively involved in the implementation of the project.

8

31

Croatia

SGF/00/HRV/1

Development of the Croatian Wetland Inventory

40,000

Inventory. A first attempt to inventory important Croatian wetland resources. In the framework of similar activities being undertaken by neighbouring countries, the project is highly commendable.

9

30

Brazil

SGF/00/BRA/1

Development of georeferenced database on Brazilian wetlands - Stage II – Defining conservation priorities in Pantanal Matogrossense

40,000

Wetland inventory. A very similar project to that approved for SGF funding in 1999 - the two projects seem to be overlapping. The objectives and the methodology are almost the same, although this project concentrates in Pantanal. . *Report (due end of 1999) outstanding from 1997 project

9

30

Thailand

SGF/00/THA/1

Enhancement of public education and awareness on Sam Roi Yot Wetlands

40,000

Education & public awareness. Project aims to address potential local community opposition to Ramsar site designation, and to act as pilot to guide preparation of national Outreach programme. Project focuses heavily on school education, but some elements are planned to involve whole community; overall the activities may not address the identified site-based problem, however.

9

30

Mongolia

SGF/00/MNG/1

Establishment of Ramsar Management Centre

25,000

Capacity-building, inventory. Objective is to provide contribution to set-up costs for a National Ramsar Centre, which will undertake an ambitious range of tasks in implementing the Convention. Proposal does not make clear what ongoing resources are available to sustain the Centre; budget information is very limited. Proposer might consider resubmitting proposal for one of the proposed activities, notably compilation of wetland inventory and Ramsar site information as preparation for site designation.
       

425,551

 

[Other categories of recommendations have been omitted from this public version of the report.]

Addenda

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