Four projects from AEWA Contracting Parties in Africa have been selected for funding under the latest cycle of the AEWA Small Grants Fund. The projects – from Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria and Zimbabwe - will receive a total of some USD 40,000 for conservation activities that will benefit AEWA species and their habitats. The successful project proposals were selected from among 19 entries submitted from 14 African countries, following an evaluation and approval process that involved the AEWA Technical and Standing Committees as well as the AEWA Secretariat.
The project “Building Capacity Preparedness for Rift Valley Lakes Conservation” will be implemented by Nature Kenya. It will contribute to the conservation of waterbirds in the country, including in the Kenya Great Rift Valley lakes such as Bogoria, Elementaita and Nakuru Lake System World Heritage Site as well as lakes Magadi and Ol-Bolossat. This ecosystem of outstanding beauty and biological diversity is of high ecological value and provides important nesting, breeding and wintering grounds for many AEWA species. Project activities include systematic survey and monitoring of waterbirds, enhancing the local capacity for waterbird monitoring, especially of community-based Site Support Groups, and increasing awareness through the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) campaign.
The Mauritanian NGO AMISO (Association mauritanienne des amis des oiseaux et de la protection des espèces animales menacées d’extinction) has proposed this project entitled “Conservation of the Nesting Sites for Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) at the Aftout Essahili Islands (Chat Boul)”. The Aftout Essahli lagoon is an important bird area and Critical Site for breeding and wintering of many waterbird species covered under AEWA. Under the project, Diawling National Park staff and community members will benefit from a five-day training course to help raise awareness and enhance capacity for waterbird monitoring. Also, waterbird counts will be conducted and necessary equipment provided to support future monitoring activities at the Aftout Essahili site.
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s project “Building the Capacity of Stakeholders to Enhance Effective Monitoring of Migratory Waterbirds in some Coastal and Inland Wetland Areas of Nigeria” will improve awareness and enhance local capacity for waterbird monitoring. This project follows up on the previous Living on the Edge project led by BirdLife International and will focus on several coastal and inland wetlands including the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and Critical Site for wintering of many AEWA species. As part of the project, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation will organize training courses to enhance waterbird monitoring capacity for local Site Support Groups and run awareness-raising campaigns in the framework of World Migratory Bird Day. The overall aim of the project is to increase local participation in the International Waterbird Census counts and develop a waterbird monitoring strategy for Site Support Groups.
This BirdLife Zimbabwe project focuses on the conservation of the Grey Crowned-crane and the Wattled Crane. Entitled “Species Surveys and Habitat Assessment for Conservation Planning to Secure the Future of two Crane Species in Zimbabwe”, the project will determine the status and distribution of these two AEWA column A species and assess threats to them. Project activities include survey and monitoring of the species and their habitats, a socio-economic survey of factors affecting their conservation and conducting training to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders for future survey and monitoring. Main project outputs will include a map of the occurrence of both species in the country and the establishment of a network of people that will ensure future monitoring and the availability of up-to-date information on the two species in the country. These will contribute to ensuring informed decision-making and facilitate action planning for their conservation. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with relevant governmental and non-governmental institutions, local community groups and the African Crane Conservation Programme which is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) for the Grey Crowned-crane.
The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat would like to congratulate the selected project proponents and looks forward to working closely with them on the successful implementation of the activities. The projects will be funded under the delayed 2015 cycle of the AEWA Small Grants Fund.
Due to the current unavailability of funding no new project cycle is at present foreseen for the triennium 2016-2018, under the AEWA Small Grants Fund which depends solely on voluntary financial contributions. The Secretariat welcomes any financial support through the Small Grants Fund for the necessary conservation actions in the field that help implement the Agreement.