The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) provides emergency support for natural World Heritage sites during times of crisis.
The RRF is a partnership between Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, with donor support provided by Fondation Franz Weber and Arcadia. The initiative was launched in 2006 in recognition of the serious challenges that natural World Heritage sites – areas of outstanding universal value – often face, some of which can threaten their very existence.
The most acute of these threats are often extremely time sensitive and require an immediate response, for example:
- Natural disasters including earthquakes and wildfires, which can cause sudden and unpredictable damage to ecosystems, wildlife and rural livelihoods
- Human-made crises that have knock-on effects on wildlife, such as armed conflicts and oil spills
- Dramatic increases in the over-exploitation of wildlife, such as poaching, which can quickly decimate wildlife populations
- Uncontrolled and unregulated fast-paced development projects such as illegal road construction and dam prospecting, which can degrade and fragment these outstanding natural habitats.
When these types of emergencies occur, it is essential to respond quickly to avoid or minimise devastating consequences. Without a timely response, key elements of these globally important sites could be lost, such as large tracts of critical habitat or populations of the iconic species they support.
The RRF therefore provides grants of up to US$30,000 to natural World Heritage sites in developing countries at times of crisis. The facility makes funding decisions within a target of eight days, getting resources to the field fast and making it the world’s fastest conservation funding body.
To learn more, visit www.rapid-response.org