The Wetlands for the Future Fund initiative is intended to catalyze wetland activities currently underway or planned within the region, or complement existing training and education initiatives with wetland-related instruction.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support the Wetlands for the Future Fund (WFF) for the Western Hemisphere. This activity promotes the implementation of the concept of “wise use” of wetlands through the strengthening of the capacity of Contracting Parties to manage their wetland resources in perpetuity and by contributing to the integration of wetland conservation and management with the development process. All proposed activities must be in line with the principles, recommendations and guidelines of the Ramsar Convention
All Contracting Parties within the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the Ramsar Convention and Mexico that are current in their contributions to the core budget of the Ramsar Convention have access to the Fund. Countries that are not Party to the Ramsar Convention (non-Contracting Parties) are also eligible to apply for assistance to allow them to progress toward accession to the Ramsar Convention or to respond to natural emergencies.
National, State, provincial, or local government agencies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations of eligible Contracting and non-Contracting Parties may apply. Grants CANNOT be given to individuals or for-profit organizations.
Important note. All non-governmental organizations applying for assistance from the Fund must have a legal personality, and the respective documents demonstrating this status must be enclosed with the proposal.
To qualify for the Wetlands for the Future Fund, matching funds “in kind” contributions (50% of the total project costs or more) must be available.
The WFF is open to eligible Contracting and non-Contracting Parties for:
a) Activities that clearly contribute to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention’s Strategic Plan 2016-2024 and work within Latin America and the Caribbean & Mexico;
b) Emergency assistance related to wetlands of regional importance or Ramsar sites;
c) Assistance to allow non-Contracting Parties to progress toward accession to the Ramsar Convention; and
d) Activities that link this initiative to other programmes that share the overall goals of wetland management and conservation.
Classification of Thematic Areas for Wetlands for the Future Fund projects
In addition to the different types of assistance described above, the proposals will need to clearly indicate the thematic area(s) of the project:
Training & Capacity BuildingProjects that aim to provide technical training on wetlands. Although the standard recipients are field staff and government bureaucrats, instances where lay people are trained to perform a specific activity such as processing fish products, marketing wetland handicrafts or engaging in ecotourism activities are also included here.
Awareness Raising ActivitiesNon-technical information provided to any group in society. School visits, campaigns involving the general public, and activities with indigenous groups all fall into this category. Academic events, documentation and training also contribute to raising the awareness of participants.
DocumentationThis includes all books, CDs, handbooks, leaflets, posters and other reference materials. Visitor and wetland centers have also been included here. Videos and radio broadcasts fall as much under this category as under “awareness raising”, while websites are treated under “networking”.
Wetland Management & ToolsInfrastructure and equipment, baseline and monitoring data about the characteristics of a site, guidance documents (e.g., management plans, policies and consensus documents), maps, software and databases. This includes preparation of management plans and restoration strategies for Ramsar Sites and other wetlands.
Academic & ResearchThis includes data collection and/or processing and analysis of data into useable information or information products that are then made readily available to the entity that provided the data and through specialized journals and theses. Forum presentations in national and international events and new curricula (i.e. introduction of wetlands subjects into academic programs) are also considered.
NetworkingAny initiative aimed at establishing or strengthening linkages between specialized or non-specialized groups is considered networking. In addition to the usual multi-stakeholder meetings and congresses, tools such as e-newsletters, virtual fora and joint (regional) initiatives are also included.
Protection and conservation of priority speciesAny initiative that aims to protect and conserve vulnerable/endangered/protected aquatic species such as: habitat protection, protection of nests and reproductive females, development of institutional capacity for conservation of species, development of measures to address threats, amongst others.