Cooperative Grants

SECTOR offered cooperative grants to facilitate international cooperation between CSOs from Belarus and Moldova and CSOs from neighbouring Eastern Partnership countries, European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument countries and EU member states. The aim was to enable stakeholders to work together to promote sustainable development, environmental democracy and environmental protection. The grants supported cooperation between CSOs, as well as dialogue between CSOs, the authorities and businesses on issues such as chemical safety, river basin management, biodiversity protection, water quality and transportation, and in areas where CSOs face similar problems and difficulties.

Detailed information about the awarded grants and implementing organisations can be found at Cooperative Grants Factsheets.

Budget

The overall budget awarded for the cooperative grants scheme was EUR 308,062. Project proposals were invited for cooperative grants of up to EUR 40,000 for CSOs from Belarus and Moldova. Projects with a budget of up to EUR 50,000 involved, in addition, CSOs from other countries as project partners (non-direct SECTOR beneficiaries). Funding under the SECTOR cooperative grants programme was directed only to CSOs from Belarus and Moldova.

Selection

The application, evaluation and selection processes for cooperative grants took place between March 2013 and June 2013. Prior to the submission of full project proposals, CSOs were invited to send a profile to assist applicants in the identification of partners and the creation of working contacts for the preparation of full project proposals. The REC collected the CSO profiles and created a searchable database of contacts and project topics that was shared with all interested CSOs. Nineteen full proposals for cooperative grants were submitted in May 2013 and evaluated by the international advisory board in June 2013. Seven CSO partnerships were selected to receive cooperative grants. The implementation of the selected projects started in November 2014.

The following organisations were selected to receive cooperative grants:

  1. Centre for Environmental Solutions (Belarus) in partnership with the National Children and Youth Center Gutta-Club (Moldova)
  2. Eco-TIRAS International Association of River Keepers (Moldova) in partnership with Ecoproject (Belarus)
  3. Women’s Association for Environment Protection and Sustainable Development (Moldova) in partnership with Belarusian Public Association Ecological Initiative (Belarus)
  4. FDDM Association (Moldova) in partnership with BirdLife Belarus APB (Belarus)
  5. EcoContact (Moldova) in partnership with EcoHome (Belarus)
  6. Belarusian Union of Transport, Republican Public Association (Belarus) in partnership with the National Union of Road Hauliers of Moldova (Moldova)
  7. Association of Environmental and Ecological Tourism Journalists in Moldova (Moldova) in partnership with Green Network (Belarus)

Topics and activities

The main topics addressed by cooperative grants were promoting public participation in integrated transboundary river basin management; improving the quality of drinking water; increasing public environmental information and participation; spreading information on chemicals in products; raising awareness of the need to protect endangered bat populations; building lawyers’ knowledge of the Aarhus Convention; and promoting sustainable mobility.

Within their projects the grantees created working groups; organised conferences, meetings, study tours and exchange visits; conducted surveys; produced promotional materials and publications; and carried out media and awareness campaigns.

Results

Through the implementation of cooperative projects, CSOs from Belarus and Moldova worked together in networks and coalitions influencing decision making and offering solutions in relation to major environmental and sustainable development issues. SECTOR-funded projects led to the establishment of cooperation platforms, supported the transfer and exchange of experiences and good practices, and contributed to the realisation of international agreements. The projects also resulted in increased public awareness and greater public involvement in key environmental issues in Belarus and Moldova, as well as improved CSO networking and enhanced CSO capacities for addressing environmental challenges.

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