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 X

DOC. SC27-2

Small Grants Fund: approval of project proposals for 2002

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to make decisions on the allocation of SGF2002 funds to projects as appropriate.

Income and funds available for allocation

1. In an effort to raise funds for the 2002 round of the Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF), the Bureau wrote in early 2002 to all Ramsar Contracting Parties that are donor countries (as it has done in previous years) soliciting their support. The contributions received up to 16 October 2002 are shown in Annex 1, which indicates that the funds available for allocation to SGF projects in 2002 amount to SFR 323,859. At the 27th meeting of the Standing Committee the Bureau will provide an update on the funds available for allocation, should the situation have changed.

2. The total funds available for SGF 2002 includes SFR 74,133 carried forward from 2001. This total carried forward is a larger sum than in previous years, and has arisen for several different reasons. It includes SFR 4,351 carried over from previous years' available funding, which was insufficient to fund an additional project from the A2 reserve list approved by the 26th meeting of the Standing Committee; SFR 39,860 released from a project approved in 1999 for Sri Lanka, but for which in mid-2002 it was agreed with the Administrative Authority that it was not feasible for the project to go ahead owing to a changing situation at the project site; and SFR 25,536 surplus from the finalisation and closure during the second half of 2002 of long outstanding SGF projects from the 1990s, each at less than the original allocated budget.

3. The available surplus increased only recently to a total higher than that needed to fund a further SGF 2001 project. Since countries are able, and encouraged, to resubmit projects which did not receive funding in a previous year's allocation, and several such projects are indeed included in the SGF2002 A1/A2 lists, the Bureau has considered it most appropriate, given the considerable time-period elapsed since the 2001 allocations, to propose allocation of the full available funds to projects submitted to the SGF 2002 cycle, including those which have indicated by their resubmission that they are still seeking funds for implementation.

Project allocations

4. Following the established procedure, the Bureau has reviewed and ranked the SGF projects using the approved form for SFG project evaluations. The form has been designed to provide both structure and objectivity to the way in which the Bureau undertakes its assessment and preparation of recommendations for funding.

5. Owing to the workload related to COP8 preparations, the Bureau regrets that it has not been possible to prepare the SGF2002 assessment in advance for circulation to the Regional Representatives in the Standing Committee from regions from which project proposals have been received, for their consideration and comment.

6. For the 2002 SGF cycle, 35 proposals were received which were administratively complete:

7 from Africa
5 from Asia
5 from Europe
16 from the Neotropics
2 from Oceania

7. It should be noted that, as is customary practice, 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 (Category A1) for immediate funding.

8. On the basis of the Bureau's assessment, as shown in the 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 eight projects: 2 from Africa, 1 from Asia, 2 from Europe, 2 from the Neotropics, and 1 from Oceania.

(A2) Projects recommended for funding (in priority order based on the assessment score received by each project) if additional resources should become available for the 2002 SGF cycle. A further SFR 501,564 is required to fully fund all 13 of the A2 projects.

(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 from the SGF.

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

9. The Standing Committee may wish to note that one country (Uruguay) has one project proposal rated A1 and two others rated A2, and one country (Mexico) has two project proposals rated A2. The Standing Committee may wish to consider whether to recommend that, should additional funds become available, only one project per Contracting Party should be funded from the A1/A2 list, so as to ensure maximum spread of benefit to the Parties from the allocation of available funding.

10. The Bureau also draws to the Standing Committee's attention the fact that the proposal from Mauritius (SGF/02/MUS/1) is for emergency funding to address an urgent management problem. The Standing Committee may wish to consider affording this proposal a high priority for A2 funding.

11. The Bureau recommends that the Standing Committee, as for previous years, consider establishing a reserve list of A2-rated projects for priority funding should sufficient additional funds become available from cancelled projects or from other sources, consisting of the following six projects in order of priority. This recommendation reflects the highest ranked A2 projects, taking into account a) that since only one project from an Asian and one from an Oceania country are recommended for immediate funding in the A1 list, priority should be given to the next highest rated project from Asia (Sri Lanka), and the next highest from Oceania (Fiji); b) the Bureau's suggestion that, so as to ensure maximum spread of benefit to the Parties from allocation of available funding, only one project per Contracting Party should be funded from the A1/A2 list; and c) the Bureau's suggestion that the proposal for emergency funding from Mauritius be afforded a high priority:

Mauritius (SGF/02/MUS/1)
Sri Lanka (SGF/02/LKA/1)
Fiji (SGF/02/FJI/1)
Kenya (SGF/02/KEN/1)
Gambia & Senegal (SGF/02/GMB/SEN/1)
Mexico (SGF/02/MEX/2)

12. If they establish a reserve list of A2 projects, the Standing Committee members may wish to consider whether, as for the selection of A1 projects, projects should be included in the A2 list in a similar geographically equitable manner. If so, then the Bureau recommends that the following five projects in order of priority be placed on the reserve list:

Mauritius (SGF/02/MUS/1)
Sri Lanka (SGF/02/LKA/1)
Fiji (SGF/02/FJI/1)
Mexico (SGF/02/MEX/2)
Armenia (SGF/02/ARM/1)

DOC. SC27-2 Annex 1


SGF funds available for allocation in 2002
(in Swiss francs, at 16.10.2002)

Surplus from previous year carried forward


Austria, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Mgmt & Fisheries
Sweden, Sida
United States, Department of State, and Department of Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service

Minus 10% administration fee


Annex 2

Bureau assessment of SGF projects and recommendations for funding

Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding page 6

Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should
additional funds for the 2001 SGF cycle become available page 8

List of projects submitted by countries in Africa page 12
List of projects submitted by countries in Asia page 15
List of projects submitted by countries in Europe page 17
List of projects submitted by countries in the Neotropics page 19
List of projects submitted by countries in Oceania page 24

Note: Only the project proposals rated A1 and A2 by Bureau staff are included in this public version of the document.

SGF 2002 - Category A1 projects, recommended for immediate funding, listed by Ramsar regions

Country / Project code Project Title
Amount requested (SFr)
Assessment score Comments

Sierra Leone


National wetland inventory for Sierra Leone
55 Wetland inventory. The project is made of a set of initial steps to lay the ground for the implementation of the Convention in a new Contracting Party. The national wetland inventory will be carried out through the supervision of the of the National Wetland Committee, involving all relevant national institutions. The results of the inventory will be used to identify critical wetland sites with the objective of promoting sustainable use and wetland restoration.. This project is in line with the major challenges to be faced in Africa. We recommend to encourage this initiative.



Lac Tele Community Reserve Project, Republic of Congo: Integration of local communities in the Development of a Management plan
54 Community-based Management Planning of a Ramsar site: This is an example of how to promote direct participation of local communities in the conservation of biological resources through the development of a management plan for the reserve: it involves government officials so as to recognize the need for development of national policies and legislation that support local conservation and wise use interests.CHF 209,050 from WCS Private funds and USAID funds.



Enhancement of the Public Education and Awareness on Sam Roi Yot Wetlands
48 CEPA. A well-structured and presented proposal to develop education and awareness activities, including the production of education materials, with local communities in a proposed Ramsar site, in recognition of the need to overcome local opposition and to encourage sustainable use within the site, with considerable opportunities to transfer the experience and approach to other sites. An improved proposal to that submitted to SGF2001. Some clarifications and minor amendments to the proposed activities and outputs are recommended. Sfr 10,000 matching in-country funds. Thailand has not previously received SGF funding.



Establishing the Bulgarian GIS Database of Ramsar sites as first step towards the National Wetland Database
50 Database establishment/Mapping. A well-justified national-scale proposal with clear objectives and activities to achieve tangible results. An unified GIS database for 33 existing and potential Ramsar sites to be established (involving digital mapping), with the database to be made accessible through Internet, to form the basis for a National Wetland Database. In addition it will deliver a new update on the Bulgarian Ramsar sites to the Bureau. Ambitious follow-up: designation of 28 new Ramsar sites (increase of the number of the sites by nearly 7-fold and a 25-fold area increase), development of a National Ramsar Database, promotion of the Ramsar database to the level of an official state database as source for basic information in the process of spatial planning, strengthening the cross-institutional working group set up in the framework of the project. Joins the efforts of 2 ministries, 2 leading NGOs and 1 private sector firm. Project includes SFr 138,975 in-kind support from the proposer.



Development of the Croatian Wetland Inventory
48 Wetland Inventory. A good quality national-scale proposal with clearly defined objectives and expected outputs. The project is a part of a bigger one which has been launched in 2001. The current proposal aims at providing additional funds needed to help with completion of the Croatian National Wetland Inventory, so far exclusively funded by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning (MEPPP). The proposal has been submitted previously to SGF cycles of 2000 and 2001 (rated Category A2). The project will deal with providing the most comprehensive inventory of Croatian wetlands, evaluating prospective Ramsar sites, identifying threats and restoration/rehabilitation needs, mapping in order to include the wetlands in he physical planning process at state and local levels. Last, but not least, the project will enable preparation of a National Wetland Policy. Its results will be made available to the public and more specifically to decision-makers. Envisaged project's outputs will be a wetland inventory database (MedWet 2000 format), hardcopy, CD-ROM and web preliminary list of wetlands, maps M 1:100,000, an information leaflet about the project and a poster with a map of Croatian wetlands. The project will be implemented by the MEPPP.Project includes SFr 20,000 in-kind support from the proposer.



Ecological impact of the artificial opening of a coastal lagoon proposed as Ramsar Site in Uruguay: scientific foundation for management of Laguna de Rocha (Impacto ecologico de la apertura artificial de una laguna costera propuesta como sitio Ramsar en Uruguay: fundamentos cientificos para la gestion de la Laguna de Rocha)
56 Site assessment/ecological character. Multi-sectorial project to evaluate the ecological impact of opening of a coastal lagoon which has different and sometimes conflicting situations and planning. Forms part of a larger project (funded by IDB, and ISF-Sweden) which evaluates other areas and will establish management guidelines. Lagoon is opened regularly between August and December. Specific objectives: estimate physical/chemical effects of opening lagoon, effect on biomass and productivity; distribution of zoplankton and phytoplankton. Site is planned as expansion to Bañados del Este Ramsar site. The larger initiative has opportunity to be a good example of ICZM. SGF project is just one component; funds for overall project were to be approved in August 2002.



Dissemination and promotion of conservation and wise use of Salar del Huasco (Difusión y promoción de la conservación y uso racional del Salar del Huasco)
54 Education and public awareness. Creation of public awareness on the environmental value of Salar del Huasco Ramsar site. Project includes creation of educational materials, teacher training and exchange with national and regional (Andean countries) authorities. A very relevant project for a Convention priority. The activities to be undertaken can be replicated, both in country and neighboring countries. Good number of products, workshops and teachers trained. Planned interaction with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education; sub-regional sharing of products. Chile has an SGF1997 project outstanding – final report currently being evaluated.



Support for Training and Management Actions at Palau's 1st Ramsar Site, Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve
52 Management Plan implementation/Training – Ramsar site. This project is designed to implement specific priority management actions identified in the management plan which has been prepared for Palau’s first Ramsar site (It is anticipated that Palau will have acceded to the Convention by the time of COP8.) Specifically it will undertake training and capacity-building for the site manager, implementation of erosion control and reforestation plans designed to improve the ecological character of the site, and establishment of a nature trail which will support income generation for future site management. A well-presented and structured proposal, which would bring much needed capacity for Ramsar implementation. SFr 29,900 forms an in-country contribution to the total costs of the project.

Category A2 projects, recommended for funding should additional funds become available for the SGF 2002 cycle, listed in order of priority for funding based on assessment score

Priority for funding Assess-ment score

Country /
Project code

Project Title Amount requested (SFr) Comments
1 52



Training and technical assistance on aquasilviculture and apiculture to a mangrove based community in Kwale, Kenya
Community-based management and sustainable useof mangroves. A village-based project that encourages mangrove rehabilitation and income generation for the village through best use of natural systems, including aqua-silviculture and apiculture. The project involves capacity development at village level and establishment of facilities for production of mangroves products with access to market for the products Assuming the success of the project, we consider this initiative as a good model for sustainable use. The government contribution is worth CHF 112,188
1 52



Strategies for conservation and management of basins for shallow lakes in Bañados del Este y Faja Costera (Estrategias para la conservación y manejo de las cuencas de los lagos someros en los Bañados del Este y Faja Costera)
Wetland assessment – site scale. Project will evaluate historical changes in wetlands of drainage basin and its effects on water quality at Ramsar site. Good technical project design with clear and straight-forward activities. Specific objectives are: determine degree of wetlands loss; make GIS to be incorporated/used in main project; make available study information to wider public. Results: management plan, webpage with results of workshops. Good description of professional team involved. Follow-up: national workshop with authorities to present management plan; another workshop planned for one year later to verify implementation progress. Counterpart funds have already been approved for 2002-2004.
3 50



Insititutional Capacity Building and Review of Training needs for implementation of the Ramsar Covention in Fiji
Capacity Building/Training. Fiji is preparing for accession to the Convention, and this project will directly and importantly assist it in preparing for implementation, through review of legal and institutional framework, developing Ramsar-related training course for government personnel, and undertaking a training needs assessment. A well-presented and structured proposal. Other in-country funds: SFr 18,763.
3 50

Gambia & Senegal


Supporting the community management of Niumi (The Gambia) and Saloum (Senegal) mangroves areas
Community-based Management (transboundary). Part of a Euros 1,541,144 project from European Union, the project is promoting partnership and twinning scheme for the management of a coastal shared mangrove ecosystem, including one Ramsar Site in Senegal and a potential Ramsar site in the Gambia. It is a joint project between two Ramsar Contracting Parties on community-based rehabilitation of a mangrove. It is a good illustration of cooperation despite the language barrier.
3 50



Delimitation of central area of the Dzilam State Reserve, Yucatan (Deslinde del area nucleo de la Reserva Estatal Dzilam, Yucatan)
Site management planning. Seeks to define limits of state reserve and buffer zone for a Ramsar site, as well as formalise these limits with surrounding land tenants in order to implement better protection measures against fire, foraging, hunting and other outside activities. Submitted 2001 (rated Category A2). Good technical quality, and well prepared proposal. Specific objectives: preliminary marking of limits; interview bordering land owners and formalise agreed limits; determine feasibility of a 2m buffer zone in border. Reports preparation is included in budget. However, budget could be improved to give more specific description of items. Project is essentially unmodified from last year – but parallel projects in area and additional funding for related initiatives in area has proceeded.
6 48



Seasonality of aquatic fauna associated with lagoons of Cuare Wildlife Refuge, State of Falcón (Estacionalidad de la Fauna Acuática asociadas a las albúferas del Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de Cuare, Edo. Falcón)
Site-based ecological assessment (waterbirds). Project will characterise the spatial-temporal dynamics of migratory waterbirds in lagoons/marshlands, as well as characterizing this ecosystem for future development of monitoring and management policies. A well structured technical proposal, clear objectives, activities and methodology. Will determine composition of species in marshlands and floodplains; characterize biotically and abiotically their microhabitats; identify environmental indicators determining distribution and population; develop monitoring protocol, make listing of site species; create information brochure for visitors. Could also be proposed for funding from the US migratory bird funding program.
7 47



Wetlands community awareness programme for Rivulet Terre Rouge estuary bird sanctuary (RTREBS) and Bassin Sarcelle
Emergency request: saving critical wetlands through Education and Public Awareness on wetland values and functionsThe project was proposed after the deadline for project submission but it was accepted as an emergency proposal to draw attention and reverse the trend of ecological damage It is intended to create a positive impetus on wetland conservation and wise use. The Bureau submits it as an emergency action to stop drainage and backfilling of wetlands.
7 47



Sensitizing and evaluation of the large landowners' perception of a wetland area in south Paraguay (Sensibilización y evaluación de la percepción de grandes propietarios de un area de humedales al sur del Paraguay)
Local community participation and awareness. Project will develop awareness amongst landowners of the value of wetlands within large private properties, and obtain information for valuation of wetlands leading to economically-feasible conservation use. An excellent technical quality proposal. Will involve workshops/meetings with stakeholders; field surveys; creation of area wetland maps; instruction on development of management plans for private protected areas; and distribution of materials with wetlands information. Paraguay has an SGF1995 project not yet completed.
9 44



Development of a Private-public protected area in the Laguna Merín, Bañados del Este Biosphere Reserve
Site management planning. Project will strengthen and continue the process of Protected Area implementation in the Laguna Merlin section of the Eastern Wetlands Ramsar area of Uruguay, through first steps to adoption of technical, legal and financial mechanisms for establishment of public-private network of reserves in area. Good/fair technical project quality, but clearer budget justification and more details of the implementation team needed. Note also that the project objectives may have been already achieved within a current EU/GEF project, and further clarification on this may be needed.
10 43

Sri Lanka


Facilitating the Conservation and Wise Use of the Anaiwilundawa Wetland Sanctuary through the Identification of Appropriate Management Interventions and Local Community and Institutional Capacity Building
Management planning at a Ramsar site. An interesting and well-presented proposal which seeks to undertake follow-up activities after RS designation of a site of considerable local community, historical and cultural significance. The project will address a number of threats to the ecological character of the site through working with local communities (incl. farmer’s cooperatives) to through education and public awareness, and the strengthening of appropriate sustainable livelihoods including increasing eco-tourism. The budget could benefit from clarification of different budget lines, and some amendment to project activities, including more emphasis on community training is desirable.
11 42



Regional Seminar "Current Issues of Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands and wetland Biodiversity in the European New Independent States"
Workshop/Exchange of information. A 5-day workshop for ca. 40 participants of the 6 countries in the European region of the former USSR. It aims at re-establishing contacts between wetland experts in the region, identifying common problems of conservation and wise use of wetlands, increasing mutual understanding of current wetland issues, promoting environmental friendly economic activities at wetlands and especially mountain wetlands. The project will be implemented by the NGO Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Nature Protection. It was previously submitted to the SGF2001 cycle (rated Category A2). Project includes SFr 4,347 in-kind support from the proposer.
12 41

Antigua y Barbuda


Community management of wetland resources
Management planning, local community participation, CEPA. Project to provide education, training and technical assistance to selected coastal communities for awareness, sustainable use and restoration from hurricane and agricultural damage. Local-scale project, but with the main project funded by GEF. Two sites targeted as possible future Ramsar sites. Possible replication of activities in other sites. Adequate activities proposed; but better clarification of budget items is required, including complete description of salaries and subcontractors. Antigua & Barbuda is not yet a Party to the Ramsar Convention – for SGF qualification project needs to demonstrate that it will directly contribute to accession preparation. This project could be partially financed through WFF.
12 41



Documentation of a rehabilitated wetland for educational purposes in a botanical garden (Documentacion de un humedal rehabilitado para fines educativos dentro de un Jardín Botánico)
Restoration. One component of a rehabilitation project of a silted artificial reservoir, the SGF proposal is to fund documenting the rehabilitation effort and the natural value of area, and developing an educational program and materials with this information. Will develop as a component of a larger project, whose funding is currently being processed.
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