Building the Capacity of the Grassroots to Protect Afghanistan's Environment
Kabul, Afghanistan: Representatives from 40 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Afghanistan participated in a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Small Grants Programme (SGP)-led exercise aimed at enhancing their technical capacity for development of projects for natural resource management, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
SGP has built coordination and partnership with the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Wild Life Conservation Society (WCS) and other relevant partners for developing the capacity of CSOs in the country. Representatives from UNEP and WCS co-facilitated the workshop.
The CSOs were encouraged to take proactive role in issues of environmental conservation in the country and become the champions of environment in their communities. The workshop stressed the need for grassroots organizations to come up with initiatives that lead to community benefits while conserving the environment.
The issues of transparency and accountability were highlighted, and it was emphasized that each initiative should be based on local priorities in accordance with the needs of people. Monitoring and Evaluation should be the integral components in order to ensure the project sustainability.
Established in 1992, the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) provides small grants of US$ 50,000 to support the local CSOs for conserving and restoring the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods.
Since the launch of Afghanistan SGP in 23 October 2012, seven grants have already have been awarded to eligible CSOs to support their initiatives in different provinces. The second round of concepts submission by the CSOs is in progress.
The workshop was opened with welcome remarks of Mr. Fazal Rahman Tasal, UNDP Programme Officer for Sustainable Development and Mr. Aimal Khaurin, the SGP National Coordinator in Afghanistan.