Since 1996, the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands, the United States State Department, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service have operated a special initiative, the Wetlands for the Future (WFF) Fund to benefit Latin American and Caribbean institutions and individuals through capacity building and training in the conservation and wise use of wetlands. This initiative promotes the implementation of the concept of "wise use" of wetlands through strengthening the capacity of countries to manage their wetland resources in perpetuity and contributing to integrate wetland conservation and management with the development process.
To celebrate 20 years of the Wetlands for the Future Fund, the Ramsar Secretariat has organized a side event at the CBD COP13. The event took place on 9 December 2016 and was hosted by the Ramsar Convention and the US State Department.
This side-event provided an opportunity to present the experiences and views of different key actors from the U.S. Department of State, Contracting Parties in the region, the Secretariat and beneficiary organizations in the establishment and evolution of the Fund as an important tool to implement the Ramsar Convention in Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Ramsar Secretary General, Martha Rojas-Urrego, opened the event, saying “The Fund has greatly contributed to strengthening the capacity building of the Ramsar Administrative Authorities in the region as well as other stakeholders in the conservation and wise use of wetlands through the implementation of 276 projects. These projects are examples to be replicated not only in the region but also worldwide.”
Ms. Barbara De Rosa Joynt, Division Chief for Biodiversity, U.S. Department of State; Ms. Lucía Ruiz Bustos, Advisor Landscapes Strategy CONANP, Mexico; Ms. Ximena Barrera, Head of Policy WWF Colombia underlined the importance and successes of the Fund in the regions.