19 November 2012 - Despite its success, the Small
Grants Programme (SGP) had been inactive for several years
due to a lack of funding. Thanks to the generous pledge
of US$300,000 (€235,000) made by UNEP at the Tenth
Conference of the Parties (November 2011, Bergen, Norway)
of CMS, this programme has been given a breath of new life
and CMS was able to call for applications this year once
“It is a great success that the
Small Grant Programme has been revived”, declared
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary of CMS.
“These projects will help to demonstrate that CMS
can have a positive conservation impact on the ground in
addition to the action at policy level”.
The SGP enables fast and direct support
to grassroots conservation projects directed at migratory
species listed on the CMS Appendices. It has thus played
a crucial role in strengthening the implementation of the
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) since its inception
in 1994 by the Fourth Conference of the Parties. These projects,
in turn, have acted as a catalyst for further action in
over 30 countries by providing the building blocks for CMS
instruments and conservation initiatives.
The 12 winning projects come from different
continents and aim at conserving a large variety of endangered
species. Ranging from the conservation of costal dolphins
in Congo through the empowerment of local fishing communities
to the monitoring of High Andean Flamingos in Peru, the
selected projects take into account geographical and taxonomic
balance. The selection panel also considered the proposals
on the basis of a detailed assessment of their quality,
budget, project team, feasibility and conservation impact.
The popularity of the programme was reflected
in the submission of 75 strong and highly professional applications
for 2012-2013. The project proposals included monitoring
and research programmes as well as international stakeholder
cooperation, capacity building and awareness campaigns.
Clearly the methods proposed by the successful proposals
vary significantly. As such, this year’s round of
projects is expected to yield exciting results, which CMS
will be monitoring closely. Eight of the successful applications
have secured significant co-funding for their projects.
The next round of small grants applications
will be opened by the end of 2013. Signatories are highly
recommended to do their utmost to ensure their eligibility
before the next deadline for submissions. This involves
paying any arrears in contributions. Furthermore, National
Focal Points are encouraged to facilitate the submission
of suitable proposals. For those countries not yet Party
to CMS, ratification of the Convention is a requirement.
The SGP is not included in the core budget
of the Convention and is therefore totally dependent on
voluntary contributions. The CMS Secretariat is seeking
additional funds to supplement the amount available, as
well as to continue the programme beyond 2014. Financial
support for the program is strongly encouraged by the Secretariat
to ensure the sustainability of this cost-effective mechanism
targeting conservation action where it is most needed.
An overview of the successful applications
can be found here.