26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee -- Agenda papers


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26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 3 - 7 December 2001
Agenda item 14.5

DOC. SC26-14

Ramsar Bureau Budget 2002

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to consider the draft budget prepared by the Bureau for 2002 and approve the budget for this fiscal year.

1. Document SC26-8 contains the proposed Ramsar Bureau Work Plan for 2002. The Work Plan indicates that all the activities which are not shadowed could be undertaken by the Bureau with the forecasted resources for fiscal year 2002. Thus the Bureau submits to the consideration of the Standing Committee the following income and expenditure budget for fiscal year 2002.

2. Concerning income, the footnotes provide an explanation on each income line.

3. As far as expenditure is concerned, the following explanations should be noted:

3.1 Budget line 1, Staff costs:

a) Salaries and social charges: includes all salaries and social charges of 18 staff members (including four interns) paid by the core budget. One staff member (see next item) is paid by the 10% administrative fee charged to projects administered by the Bureau. The full Ramsar Bureau staff chart can be consulted in an annex to the Report of the Secretary General (document SC26-2).

b) Project funded position: Project Administration Officer. It should be noted that if the 10% administration fee does not generate sufficient funds to cover the cost of this position, the difference is normally supplemented out of the core budget.

c) Other employment benefits: school allowances, participation in the cost of medical insurance and family allocations.

d) Staff hiring and departure costs: Included in this budget line are provisions for costs generated by staff departures and the cost of hiring replacements and new staff, including interviewing and installation costs. At present there are no indications that there will be staff changes in 2002, except for the interns who serve for a 12 to 18-month period. The interviews for the position of Secretary General are envisaged in February 2003.

3.2 Budget line 2, Scientific and technical services:

a) Ramsar Database: The amount in this budget line will be used in full to pay the services of Wetlands International related to the maintenance of the Ramsar Sites Database.

b) Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAMs): While there is no allocation to this budget line, it has been judged prudent to keep the line in the Ramsar budget to indicate that this is an item of high importance in the work of the Convention. RAMs are sent to the Contracting Parties that request them to provide advice on the remedial actions that could be taken to address the situation at Ramsar sites included in the Montreux Record (of sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur). The costs of RAMs are charged to a project dedicated to this function. For details, see Project 7002 in document SC26-10.

3.3 Budget line 3, Travel on official business: Includes the travel costs of all staff members attending meetings or visiting Contracting Parties.

3.4 Budget line 4, Purchase and maintenance of equipment, and office supplies (including depreciation): Ramsar buys all of the secretariat’s computer equipment; depreciation applies to this. All furniture, other equipment, and building -related improvements are provided by IUCN (see next item).

3.5 Budget line 5, Administrative services and operating costs:

a) IUCN services: includes the per-head payment to IUCN that covers occupancy of the building, computer services (not hardware), personnel services, and financial administration/supervision.

b) Operating costs: includes all running expenses such as telephone, fax, and photocopies.

3.6 Budget line 6, Communications and reporting:

a) Publications: includes translation and all types of publications.

b) Newsletter: cost of the Ramsar newsletter produced three or four times a year in the three official languages.

3.7 Budget line 7, Standing Committee and other committees:

a) Standing Committee delegate support: costs of participation at the annual Standing Committee meeting of one representative from voting members that require support to be able to attend. The budget line will also be used in case of additional travel of the Chair of the Subgroup on Finance. It should be noted that the budget line will be used in 2002 to pay for the participation of Standing Committee members at Ramsar COP8, at which time the Standing Committee serves as the Conference Committee.

b) STRP members’ support: cost of participation at STRP meetings of those members who require support. This budget line will also be used to support additional travel costs by the STRP Chair. In 2002, this budget line will be used to pay for the attendance of STRP members at Ramsar COP8.

c) Regional representatives’ support: this budget line is at the disposal of Regional Representatives from developing countries and countries in transition who may require assistance to perform their duties as Regional Representatives.

d) Standing Committee Chair fund: no allocation is foreseen to this sub-budget line.

3.8 Budget line 8, Conference of the Parties: No allocation is foreseen in this budget line in 2000.

3.9 Budget line 9, Miscellaneous:

a) Bad debt provision: allocation to cover a possible non-payment of annual dues during the fiscal year.

b) Exchange loss: The Ramsar Bureau accounts are kept in Swiss francs. This allocation is to be used if the difference occurs between the rate at which other currencies are entered in the books and the rate used on 31 December when the books are closed.

Excel worksheets showing Draft budget for 2002 and forecast of income for the same period.

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