27th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee --

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27th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Valencia, Spain, 17 November 2002
Agenda item 11

DOC. SC27-3


Audited accounts for FY 2001 and status of the Reserve Fund

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to receive the audited accounts for fiscal year 2001, and note the status of the Ramsar Reserve Fund.

Audited accounts for FY 2001

The attached report of the auditors does not raise any particular issues concerning the accounts for Fiscal Year 2001. The fiscal year was closed with a small deficit, mainly due to the exchange loss, as explained in Note 4 of the auditors' report. The provision for bad debt also contributed to this deficit as some Contracting Parties did not pay their 2001 contribution during the year.

The Reserve Fund

As shown in the annex, at the closure of Fiscal Year 2001, the reserve limit established by the COP is SFR 264,000. This amount is now kept in a special sub-account and the reserve funds are placed in a long-term deposit. There is CHF 116,696 in excess of the reserve limit. Given the big fluctuations of the US Dollar vis-à-vis the Swiss Franc during the year 2002, it would be wise to keep this amount as a provision for an eventual exchange loss.


FIDUCIAIRE SOFIGER S.A.
RUE DU JURA 6 - C.P. 30 - CH-l196 GLAND
TÉLEPHONE 022 364 13 17. FAX 022 364 1781
E-mail: sofiger@bluewin.ch

Report of the statutory auditors to the
Contracting Parties of the Convention
on Wetlands of International Importance
Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971)
Gland

As auditors of the Convention appointed under the "Terms of Reference for the Financial Administration of the Convention, Kushiro Conference", we have audited the accounting records and the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2001

The financial statements are the responsibility of the Secretary General. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We confirm that we meet the legal requirements concerning professional qualification and independence.

Our audit was conducted in accordance with auditing standards promulgated by the profession, which require that an audit be planned and performed to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. We have examined on a test basis evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. We have also assessed the accounting principles used, significant estimates made and the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the accounting records and the financial statements comply with the requirements of the Convention.

We recommend that the Standing Committee approve the financial statements submitted.

Fiduciaire Sofiger S.A.

G. Bovet
(Auditor in charge)

Gland, September 9, 2002

Enclosures: Financial statements
(Balance sheet, statement of income and expenditure and notes to the financial statements)


BUREAU OF THE CONVENTION ON WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE ESPECIALLY AS WATERFOWL HABITAT (RAMSAR, 1971) (NOTE 1)

BALANCE SHEET AT DECEMBER 31, 2001 (NOTE 2)
(in Swiss Francs)

.

2001

2000
ASSETS
.
.
. . .

CURRENT ASSETS

.
.

Cash and Bank

713,574

389,901

Short Term Deposits

2,514,820

2,864,542

Membership Receivables

448,091

251,239

Other Receivables

120,034

132,884

.
.
.
.

3,796,519

3,638,566

.
.
.

FIXED ASSETS

.
.

Office Furniture and Computer Equipment at cost

128,643
118,445

Less: Accumulated Depreciation

-104,731

-84,047

.
.
.
.

23,912

34,399

.
.
.

TOTAL ASSETS

3,820,431

3,672,965

.
.
.
.
.
.

LIABILITIES AND FUND BALANCES

.
.
.
.
.

CURRENT LIABILITIES

.
.

Amount payable to IUCN

(328,677)

963

Provision for leave liability - Note 5

(67,147)

(67,147)

Other Payables

(729,933)

(993,720)

.
.
.

TOTAL LIABILITIES

-1,125,758

-1,059,905

.
.
.

FUND BALANCES

.
.

Unrestricted

(119)

.

Unrestricted reserve fund

(380,697)

(397,181)

Restricted projects - Note 3

(2,313,857)

(2,215,878)

.
.
.
.

2,694,673

-2,613,059

.
.
.

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND FUND BALANCES

-3,820,431

-3,672,965

30.08.02


BUREAU OF THE CONVENTION ON WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE ESPECIALLY AS WATERFOWL HABITAT (RAMSAR, 1971) (NOTE 1)

STATEMENT OF INCOME AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2001
(in Swiss francs)

.
Unrestricted Reserve Funds
Restricted Projects
Total
.
.
.
2001
2000
INCOME
.
.
.
.
Contribution from Contracting
.
.
.
.
Parties
2,471,190
-
2,471,190
2,441,082
Voluntary Contributions
683,320
-
683,320
768,295
Retained Swiss Income Tax
203,119
-
203,119
167,714
Exchange Gain -Note 4
0
-
0
109,596
Interest & Publication Sales
110,714
-
110,714
192,807
Other Income - Note 6
62,579
-
62,579
324
Project Income - Note 3
.
2,205,874
2,205,874
1,945,650
Total Income
3,530,922
2,205,874
5,736,796
5,625,468
.
.
.
.
.
EXPENDITURE
.
.
.
.
Staff Cost
2,394,636
-
2,394,636
2,345,864
Accrued leave - Note 5
-
-
-
67,147
Termination Expenses
4,105
-
4,105
-
Travel
168,132
-
168,132
174,295
Purchase of equipment
2,407
-
2,407
6,851
IUCN Administrative services
439,810
-
439,810
427,054
Other Administrative costs
.
-
-
14,182
Database
138,000
-
138,000
135,000
Communications
109,371
-
109,371
105,930
Reporting
122,208
-
122,208
131,222
Support to delegates
74,204
-
74,204
93,826
Support to Regional Representatives
-
-
-
7,718
Depreciation
20,684
-
20,684
19,357
Auditor's Fees
6,000
-
6,000
6,000
Stationery and office supplies
31,134
-
31,134
19,355
Public relation / Promotion
27,822
-
27,822
31,837
Hospitality
11,496
-
11,496
8,788
Bank Charges
6,477
-
6,477
8,895
Miscellaneous
3,752
-
3,752
9,216
Provn: for Bad Debt
26,198
-
26,198
-47,004
External grant and subcontracting
0
.
-
.
Outreach Program
25,478
.
25,478
.
Exchange loss - Note 4
37,888
-
37,888
15,545
.
3,649,802
-
3,649,802
3,581,077
.
.
.
.
.
Project Expenditure - Note 3
-
2,005,499
2,005,499
2,557,462
Total Expenditure
3,649,802
2,005,499
5,655,301
6,138,539
.
.
.
.
.
EXCESS OF INCOME OVER
.
.
.
.
EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR
-118,880
200,374
81,495
-513,072
.
.
.
.
.
TRANSFERS BETWEEN FUNDS IN 2001
102,395
-102,395
-
.
.
.
.
.
.
FUND BALANCE AT BEGINNING OF YEAR
397,181
2,215,878
2,613,059
3,126,135
.
.
.
.
.
FUND BALANCE AT END OF YEAR
380,696
2,313,857
2,694,554
2,613,063

Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971)

Notes to the financial statements 2001

Note 1 - Activity

The "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, 1971)" (the Convention) is an intergovernmental treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Under the treaty the Contracting Parties agree, inter alia, to:

  • promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands through international co-operation
  • implement the conservation and wise use of wetlands within their territory
  • encourage research and exchange of data regarding wetlands
  • endeavor to establish and manage reserves for wetlands and to increase waterfowl populations on wetlands
  • promote training of competent personnel in the field of wetlands research, management and wardening.

The Convention's Bureau (secretariat), which is not a separate legal entity, is constituted under Article 8 of the convention and administered as an independent unit by and from the offices of IUCN (The World Conservation Union), Gland, Switzerland. The Bureau's functions include the provision of administrative, technical and scientific support to the Contracting Parties, maintaining a List of Wetlands of International Importance and notifying Contracting Parties of additions to that List.

Note 2 - Summary of significant accounting principles

Contributions from Contracting Parties
These contributions are accounted for on an accrual basis.

Voluntary contributions and other income
Voluntary contributions and other income are accounted for on a cash basis.

Expenditure
The Bureau accounts for expenditure on an accrual basis.

Unrestricted Funds
Unrestricted funds are funds that are not subject to any externally imposed restrictions upon their use. The Secretary General is empowered by the Standing Committee of the Convention to designate certain of these funds for project purposes.

Restricted use Funds
Restricted use funds are donated funds subject to externally imposed restrictions as to their use.

Currency transaction
The Bureau's accounting records are maintained in Swiss Francs. Assets and liabilities in other currencies are translated at exchange rates ruling at the year-end. Items of income and expenditure in other currencies are included in the financial statements at the exchange rate prevailing at the transaction date.

Membership Receivables - Bad Debts Calculation
The method of calculating the provision for bad debts was unchanged in comparison with last year; "probable" debtors were calculated at 50%, "possible" debtors were calculated at 25% and all other unpaid contributions were calculated at 5%. Two debtors (Armenia and Yugoslavia) were calculated at 90%.

Fixed assets
Fixed assets, comprising office furniture and computer equipment, are depreciated over their estimated useful lives, as follows:

  • Office furniture 7 years
  • Office equipment 4 years
  • Computer hardware/software 3 years.

Reserve fund
In accordance with the decision of the 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties establishing the reserve fund, the entirety of the core funds balance is attributed to the reserve fund. Contributions relating to periods prior to 1994 are accounted for through the reserve fund.

Note 3 - Project Expenditure

.

Project No.

Balance (deficit) at December 31, 2001

Income during 2001

Expenditure during 2001

Project Transfers in 2001

Core Transfers in 2001

Balance (deficit) at December 31, 2001

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

PROJECTS FINANCED BY

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

RESTRICTED FUNDS

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Listed Sites:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAMs)

7002-000

101,346

9,838

63,398

-

-

47,786

.

.

101,346

9,838

63,398

-

-

47,786

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

International Cooperation:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Twinning of Wetlands

7026-000

6,302

-

-

-

-

6,302

Medwet Co-ordination

7072-000&010

313,907

-

181,570

-

-

132,337

Austria - Kenya twinning

7076-000

0

6,375

-

-

.

6,375

Evian Initiative

7079-000&

71,086

232,271

273,188

-

-

30,169

Swiss Grant 1997

7071-000

8,219

-

-

-

-

8,219

Swiss Grant 1998

7081-000

7,482

-

-

-

-

7,482

Swiss Grant 1999

7088-000

28,207

-

22,000

-

-

6,207

Swiss Grant 2000

7093-000

36,342

-

21,600

-

-

14,742

Swiss Grant 2001

7100-000&

0

158,054

144,138

.

13,916

0

Small Grants Fund

7500-000&

540,276

517,114

258,731

.

65,572

733,086

WFF: Training / Education

7056-000&

358,802

545,762

272,277

-

53,973

578,314

Japan Vol. Contr. for 97-99

7087-000

406,040

-

-

100,000

-

306,040

GEF - Iran

7091-000

16,851

30,430

29,476

-

-

17,805

. .

1,793,513

1,490,005

1,202,979

100,000

133,461

1,847,078

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Communications:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Ramsar promotion book

7086-000

50,000

85,000

15,149

-

-

119,851

Covention Outreach Program

7090-000

83,133

-

67,924

-

.

15,209

. .

133,133

85,000

83,073

-

-

135,060

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Meetings:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Zones Humides Pologne

7043-000

6,926

-

-

-

-

6,926

STRP Working Groups

7094-000

106,032

13,277

98,625

-

.

20,684

.

112,958

13,277

98,625

-

-

27,610

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Others:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Ramsar 25th Anniversary Pledges

7066-000

62,751

-

45,465

-

-

17,285

Ramsar Manual, French Translation

7057-000

12,177

-

-

-

-

12,177

Special Requests

7070-000

0

34,171

38,000

-

-31,066

27,237

. .

74,928

34,171

83,466

-

-31,066

56,699

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

COP8

7095-000&

0

84,432

75,128

.
.

9,304

European Regional meeting

7096-000

0

61,899

112,791

.
.

-50,892

Asian Regional meeting

7097-000&

0

33,400

34,401

100,000

.

98,998

African Regional meeting

7098-000&

0

121,424

74,571

.
.

46,853

America Regional meeting

7099-000&

0

239,576

166,392

.
.

73,184

COP8 Subgroup Interpretation

7101-000

0

32,852

10,675

.
.

22,177

.
.

-

573,583

473,958

100,000

-

199,625

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.

2,215,878

2,205,874

2,005,499

-

102,395

2,313,857

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Note 4 - Exchange gain/(loss)

There was no exchange gain this year, but a net loss of CHF 37,888.00. Exchange gains/losses directly attributable to projects are dealt with under project expenditure.

Note 5 - Accrued Leave

In the year 2000 CHF 67,147 was accrued for this purpose and we feel that it reasonably covers this potential liability.

Note 6 - Recovered Expenditures and Other Income

Before July 2000 IUCN and Ramsar had their own umployment scheme to cover the eventual unemployment benefit for an employee who leaves the Bureau and who does not find another employment. After one year of countribution to the Swiss Unemployment scheme, all employees are now fully covered by the Swiss scheme. Therefore the Bureau has recovered its Unemployment Provision. The bureau also recovered some expenditure provisions as well reimbursements of some expenses.


Reserve Fund

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT AT 31.12.2001
(in Swiss Francs)

.

Year

Amount

Balance

Reserve Balance on 31.12.98

.

76,206.42

308,922.00

. .
.
.

1999 Additions to Fund

.
.
.

Annual contributions

1988/9

4,550.90

.

Annual contributions

1993

1,666.00

.

Annual contributions

1994

169.00

.

Recording error

1994

(100.00)

.

Project Cross Charges

1998

(632.68)

.

Total for 1999

.

5,653.22

.

Fund Balance as of 31.12.99

.
.

314,575.00

. .
.
.

1999 Surplus

.
.
.

Surplus (1)

.

691,128.00

.

Cross Charges

1999

(276,768.00)

.

Transfer from Core To Reserve

1999

(5,653.13)

.

Net Fund Available

.

408,706.87

723,282.00

. .
.
.

2000 Additions to Fund

.
.
.

Annual contributions

1988/9

131.00

.

Annual contributions

1992

8,219.00

.

Annual contributions

1993

8,219.00

.

Total for 2000

.

16,569.00

.

Fund Balance as of 31.12.00

.
.

739,851.00

. .
.
.

2000 Surplus

.
.
.

Surplus

2000

98,740.00

.

Project Cross Charges

2000

(424,841.00)

.

Transfer from Core to Reserve

2000

(16,569.00)

.

Total for 2000

.

(342,670.00)

397,181.00

. .
.
.

2001 Surplus / Deficit

.
.
.

Deficit

2001

(118,880.00)

.

Project Cross Charges

2001

102,395.00

.

Total Fund Balance for 2000

.

(16,485.00)

380,696.00

. .
.
.
. .

Reserve Limit(2)

264,000.00

. .

Excess Reserve

116,696.00

(1) Includes exchange gains of CHF 355,155.00

(2) COP6 established a reserve limit 1/12 of the current year approved budget

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