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RRF definition of emergency

Rapid Response Facility grants are focused on providing rapid suppport to respond to ‘emergency’ threats to conservation in sites of high biodiversity value, particularly natural World Heritage sites.

The RRF definition of emergency is based on a range of criteria, all of which will be considered when reviewing each RRF application.  These criteria include:

1) Suddenness: How rapidly, and how recently, has the threat emerged?

2) Predictability: Based on past experience, how predictable was/is the threat?  The RRF tends to prioritise funding for situations where threat predictability was low, thus difficult to prepare for in advance.

3) Intensity: Has the threat significantly increased in severity in recent days/weeks?

4) Reversibility: Is the conservation impact of the threat reversible? Will the impact be very difficult / impossible to reverse if not tackled within days / weeks?

5) Time Sensitivity: Will there be a measurable conservation benefit if response to the threat starts immediately (within days / 1-2 weeks), rather than in months or years?

6) Duration of Impact:  Does the threat have the potential cause long-lasting negative impact to the biodiversity value of the site?

Some emergency situations are clear from both a humanitarian and biodiversity standpoint. For example:

  • The 2004 tsunami represented an unparalleled humanitarian disaster, but also a profound blow to the flora, fauna and ecosystems of Indonesia’s biodiversity-rich Aceh province.
  • The May 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and also damaged some of the world’s last remaining panda habitat and vital conservation infrastructure.

Emergencies tackled to date, with RRF support, have included: rapidly escalating habitat destruction due to illegal encroachment and road-building; rehabilitation of conservation infrastructure – such as ranger posts – following armed conflict; natural disasters, such as earthquakes; sudden and unanticipated funding vacuum delaying/preventing the implementation of essential conservation activities; urgent conflict resolution between different stakeholder groups in and around protected areas.

Review past RRF grants to learn more about the emergencies that the RRF has respond to.