Multi-partner Platform to Spur Community-Based Conservation Efforts in Badakhshan
Representatives from more than 30 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), relevant Government authorities and International NGOs participated in a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Small Grants Programme (SGP)-led exercise aimed at enhancing their technical capacity for development of projects for environment conservation. It was the first occasion where CSOs had the opportunity to discuss the issues of environment with the relevant stakeholders in the province.
In his opening speech Mr. Ghulam Nabi Sarferaz, NEPA provincial director for Badakhshan highlighted the environmental problems in the province and described the role of civil society organizations for environment protection and added that “CSOs are important institutions to address the socio-economic and environmental issues at grass root level and can take pro-active role as supporting institutions at local level. He ensured his full cooperation and thanked UNDP – GEF Small Grants Programme for providing the opportunity and support of small grant of US$ 50,000 to CSOs and practically involving them in environmental conservation effort for the first time in Afghanistan.
The Director of Badakhshan CSOs Society, Mr. Saifuddin Saies, expressed his pleasure and thanked UNDP/GEF and NEPA for commencement of SGP which is supporting the CSOs for the first time. He expressed the confidence that CSOs of Badakhshan would come up with initiatives that would lead to community benefits while conserving the environment.
Mr. Aimal Khaurin, the SGP National Coordinator in Afghanistan delivered a detailed presentation on the SGP programme and added that “considering the crucial role of CSOs at local level, it is extremely important that CSOs take proactive role in issues of environmental conservation in the country and become the champions of environment in their communities.
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 been awarded to eligible CSOs. One of the approved grants is based on a project to be implemented in Firmanqoli of Taqab District in Badakhshan. The second round of concepts submission by the CSOs is in progress.