New AEWA Small Grants Fund Projects Selected and Two Projects Successfully Completed

8 March 2013
- The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is pleased
to announce that two projects have been chosen under the
2012 funding cycle of the AEWA Small Grants Fund (SGF).
The projects were selected through an evaluation and ranking
process involving the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat and AEWA Technical
Committee, and subsequent approval by the AEWA Standing

At the same time, the first two projects
carried out under the Small Grants Fund, which was launched
in 2010, have been successfully completed.

2012 Cycle Projects Selected

first of the projects which will be realized under the 2012
SGF cycle, will support the sustainable management of the
Tocc Tocc Community Natural Reserve located in northern
Senegal, by the Lac de Guiers, a large lake which is designated
an Important Bird Area (IBA) and provides drinking water
for the capital Dakar.

The project’s main aims are to improve
habitat conservation and the waterbird population dynamics
of the reserve as well as to improve the perception that
local communities and policy makers have of the importance
of waterbirds and their flyways. The project was proposed,
and will be implemented, by the Department of National Parks,

The second project focuses on the conservation
of the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) in
the Queen Elizabeth conservation area in South-Western Uganda.
Among other activities, the project will seek to promote
sustainable land use practices, restoring degraded areas
and strengthening flamingo monitoring programmes. It will
be carried out by the Ugandan BirdLife partner, NatureUganda.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is particularly
glad to have received additional SGF funding in the form
of a voluntary financial contribution of GBP 23,000 from
the Government of the United Kingdom. These funds complement
the sum of EUR 20,000, allocated from the AEWA core budget
for the SGF 2012 cycle, and will increase the number of
projects able to be implemented from one to two.

In addition to the two projects selected
for immediate funding, two further proposals for projects
in Zimbabwe and Benin have been recommended for funding.
These projects can, however, only be supported by the AEWA
SGF, if additional funds become available. The UNEP/AEWA
Secretariat would therefore like to invite donations from
stakeholders with an interest in promoting and supporting
waterbird conservation. The implementation of the two recommended
projects will require SGF funding of a total of EUR 49,850.

The third cycle of the AEWA SGF programme
was launched in April 2012. By the submission deadline in
July 2012, a total of 22 project proposals had been received
from 15 African countries. The proposals which fulfilled
the conditions of eligibility for evaluation, as outlined
in the operational guidelines for the AEWA SGF programme,
underwent a three-phase evaluation process, in which their
overall quality, as well as the feasibility and technical
quality of the projects were assessed. Projects were subsequently
ranked reflecting their relevance for the conservation of
migratory waterbirds in Africa.

For an overview of the AEWA SGF project
proposals approved for immediate funding, and those recommended
for potential future funding, under the 2012 cycle please
click here.

2010 Cycle Projects Completed

While the implementation of projects under
the 2012 funding cycle is about to commence, two projects
carried out under the Fund’s very first cycle have
been successfully completed. The two conservation projects
are among a total of five that were chosen for funding under
the 2010 SGF cycle.

Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idae) (© Johannes Pfleiderer)Both
projects focused on the conservation of the
Madagascar Pond-heron
(Ardeola idae)
a small heron listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Under the auspices of AEWA and the
Convention on Migratory Species, an International
Single Species Action Plan (SSAP)
was developed
for the species in 2008. The now completed projects address
a number of the priority actions set out in this SSAP.


Identifying Madagascar Pond-herons for the African Waterbird Census (© National Museums of Kenya)
first project was carried out in Kenya, in the non-breeding
range of the Madagascar Pond-heron, by the National Museums
of Kenya
. In the course of the project implementation, a
total of 102 wetlands were visited in order to identify
key sites for the species and increase knowledge on its
distribution, ecology and habitat requirements. A total
of 49 Madagascar Pond-herons were recorded in 23 of the
monitored wetlands, 16 of which had no previous documented
occurrence of the species.


Participants of the awareness-raising workshop, Nairobi (© National Museums of Kenya)
project also enabled the training of six project monitors
and some 50 African Waterfowl Census volunteers in the identification
of the species. In addition, awareness-raising activities
were carried out, such as the organization of a workshop
at which the project results were presented, as well as
the development and dissemination to various stakeholders
of species posters and brochures. A newly set-up team of
17 individuals and 4 community-based organizations will
be involved in future monitoring activities.

For more information on this project, please
contact Mr Henry K. Ndithia, National Museums of Kenya,


Information-sharing workshop on the Madagascar Pond-heron (© Asity Madagascar)The
second project was implemented in Madagascar where the species’
main breeding grounds are located. Led by Asity
, the country’s BirdLife International’s
partner, and in cooperation with a number of governmental
and non-governmental stakeholders, project activities included
the development and maintenance of a database containing
information on the heron’s distribution and ecology,
as well as the establishment of a national expert network
aimed at facilitating exchange of data on the Madagascar


Information-sharing workshop on the Madagascar Pond-heron (© Asity Madagascar)A monitoring
programme was, furthermore, established which helped to
identify two new breeding sites for the species (Lake Ravelobe
and Lake Mataborimena). Overall, 17 sites were visited during
the project phase and monitoring continues to be provided
for 14 wetlands. In addition, a heron identification guide
was produced and disseminated, and training on the identification
of the species was carried out for key stakeholders. For
the purposes of awareness-raising, posters, radio programmes
and a film on the Madagascar Pond-heron, were produced and
distributed or broadcast.

More information on this project can be
obtained from Mr Rivo Rabarisoa, Asity Madagascar, at

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat congratulates
the project partners on the successful implementation of
the projects which mark an important step towards the conservation
of the Madagascar Pond-heron and are hoped to continue to
produce sustainable results.

AEWA Small Grants Fund: Background

The AEWA Small Grants Fund aims at promoting
and supporting the implementation of AEWA in developing
countries and countries with economies in transition. Since
its launch, the Fund has benefited both governmental and
non-governmental organizations carrying out a wide range
of conservation work. It has so far focused exclusively
on the African region.

This important AEWA support scheme became
operational in 2010, after the 4th Meeting of the AEWA Parties
(MOP4) had decided, in 2008, to make available an annual
sum of EUR 20,000 from the AEWA core budget. These funds
were complemented by voluntary contributions from the Government
of France, and subsequently, the Government of Switzerland.
Overall, five projects for a total of EUR 93,071 could thus
be funded under the first cycle of the Small Grants Fund.
In addition to the two successfully completed projects,
activities are still ongoing for 2010 cycle projects in
Egypt, Ethiopia and Gambia, and for two projects in Tanzania
and Ghana, funded under the 2011 cycle for the total amount
of EUR 43,300.

If you wish to receive further information on the AEWA Small
Grants Fund please contact the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat at

Last updated on 16 June 2014