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IWC Funding

Financial contributions from member governments form the IWC's core income, but additional voluntary donations to support particular work programmes are generously made by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), industry bodies, and also by member governments.

The IWC Financial Year runs from 1st January to 31st December.  All financial processes operate according to the Financial Regulations, and are managed by the Budgetary Sub-Committee.  This group reports to the Finance and Administration Committee which considers how and where funds should be spent before putting a proposal to the full Commission. 

Member government contributions

An annual contribution is sought from each member government to provide core funding.  This core funding is divided between a general fund and a research fund.  The general fund is primarily to maintain the Secretariat and hold meetings, and the research fund is ring-fenced for conservation and management research and related activities, the majority of which directly support the work of the Scientific Committee.

The contributions vary between governments depending on three factors: the size of delegation at the most recent biennial Commission meeting; any whaling activity that may have been undertaken; and the government's capacity to pay.

To read more on how the financial contributions are calculated, and to see the amounts sought from each country for the next financial year, click here.

Voluntary contributions

In addition to core funding, the IWC receives voluntary funding.  Voluntary contributions are made to the IWC by a wide variety of organisations.  Donations are usually in support of a particular programme of work.  Some donations are made to ongoing, formal funds and some are made to assist in financing a particular workshop or piece of research.  Guidelines on Acceptance of Funds have been established to ensure funds are only accepted from appropriate sources, and will advance work that is consistent with IWC objectives.

The areas of work receiving voluntary contributions are diverse.  There are four formal funds: the Small Cetaceans Voluntary Fund, which invites bids from scientists working on conservation of some of the most endangered mammals in the world; the recently established Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Fund, which will assist aboriginal hunters who do not otherwise have the  means to participate in IWC work; and the Voluntary Conservation Fund which is also recently established.  This fund has seven priority project areas, including whalewatching, and is currently sponsoring work to help countries develop whale watching industries that are sustainable. A fourth Voluntary Assistance Fund was created in 2016, aiming to strengthen the capacity of governments of limited means to participate in the work of the IWC.

Aside from the established, formal funds, recent work programmes receiving donations include the Whale Entanglement Response Training Programme, and workshops on marine debris, euthanasia of stranded whales, satellite tagging of gray whales in the North Pacific, and monitoring abundance in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. 

To view a table of donations made in the last financial year click here.

Publication of IWC Accounts

The Income and Expenditure Accounts are publicly available and published annually in the annual and intersessional reports of the IWC.  Click access these reports