ABOUT THE RAPID RESPONSE FACILITY
The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) provides emergency support to natural World Heritage sites in times of crisis.
The RRF is a partnership between the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Fauna & Flora International (FFI). These global organisations, with their vast ‘on the ground’ experience and in-depth political knowledge, give the RRF compelling credibility and rigour.
Founded in 2006, the RRF Secretariat is hosted by Fauna & Flora International, based in Cambridge, UK. Valued input and guidance is provided by our partners Fondation Franz Weber, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fondation Iris and Arcadia.
RRF focuses its support on UNESCO natural World Heritage sites.
Natural World Heritage sites are the most important sites in the world for the conservation of nature. Designated according to strict criteria, they represent a global heritage recognised as being of outstanding universal value, unique and irreplaceable.
The plains of the Serengeti National Park, the spectacular Amazon rainforest, the gorillas of Virunga and the unique creatures of the Galapagos islands are all part of this unmatched heritage.
Like anywhere else, these irreplaceable sites can be hit by unpredictable natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes, oil spills or civil unrest. Responding rapidly to such disasters can make the difference between irreparable destruction and lesser, reversible damage.
There is no doubt that the RRF contributed to the Forest Department’s decision to place a cease and desist order on the development.
Few mechanisms exist that can rapidly get funds to the ground to address sudden conservation disasters, especially in lower income countries.
A fast response is fundamental to what we do. Application to the RRF doesn’t involve the lengthy processes required in traditional funding streams and our quick decision making process allow resources to be mobilised rapidly on the ground. We make informed decisions within eight working days of receiving an application.
This makes us the world’s fastest conservation fund.
If the RRF grant was not available, the habitats where thousands of water birds spend the winter would no longer be usable.
Fauna & Flora International
Founded in 1903 Fauna & Flora International (FFI) protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and take account of human needs. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide, FFI has a strong history of working in post-conflict areas including Cambodia, Liberia and South Sudan, as well as post-disaster situations such as in Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami. FFI acts as the RRF Secretariat.
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Established in 1992, the World Heritage Centre manages all matters relating to World Heritage. The Centre coordinates World Heritage site nominations and evaluation processes, international reporting on the state of World Heritage sites, and emergency actions undertaken when a site is threatened. The Centre’s staff have substantial understanding of the biodiversity values within natural World Heritage sites, and are well-placed to evaluate efforts to protect that biodiversity.
Fondation Franz Weber
Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) carries out a diverse range of campaigns in Switzerland and around the world to protect animals and nature since 1975. FFW actively fights to preserve nature and the countryside, to increase biodiversity and to keep natural environments unspoilt. FFW works tirelessly to show that nature in all its glory, flora and fauna do not belong to one single country, but to all of humanity.
Arcadia is a charitable fund, supporting charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia supports the protection of tracts of land and sea, trains conservation practitioners and supports advocacy, policy development and research. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $331 million to projects around the world.
Fondation Iris, created in 2012, supports actions to preserve or restore fragile natural and heritage sites, and supports projects in favour of endangered species. It promotes events and works by artists who contribute to the enhancement of the sites or to raise public awareness on these themes. The foundation also supports agroecology in France. The foundation organises and supports scientific expeditions around the world.
Through its partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting actions to strengthen the protection of natural heritage. This goes in the wake of the announcement in 2018 that the Norwegian parliament adopted zero-emission regulations in World Heritage fjords.