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Final Workshop on the "Save your River" Small Grants Programme

 

 
 

The presentation of the "Save your River" Small Grants Programme was held by Wetlands International Black Sea Programme on 30 September - 1 October 2004 in Kyiv. Fifty-one representatives of the environmental NGOs (members of the Ukrainian Rivers Network and Public Council of All-Ukraine Environmental NGOs that functions under the aegis of the Ministry of the Environment of Ukraine), Ministry of the Environment of Ukraine, State Agency for Protected Areas, State Committee of the Water Industry of Ukraine, Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Taras Shevchenko National University, UNDP-GEF Dnipro Basin Environment Programme and British Council all took part in the workshop.

The Small Grants Programme was implemented in 2003-2004 with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Registered organisations - members of the Ukrainian Rivers Network (all-Ukrainian association of NGOs working on the conservation and rehabilitation of rivers) - were awarded grants. Grants did not exceed 5,000 Euros, however only well-prepared and high-quality projects received the maximum possible grant. Twenty eight projects were supported.

Amongst the projects presented were: Wetlands International Black Sea Programme's project, directed at supporting NGOs working on the conservation of small rivers, and the Ukrainian Rivers Network, its web-site and CD, "Small Rivers of Ukraine: Public Participation in their Conservation and Sustainable Use", as well as a training course on "Public Participation in the Conservation of Small Rivers". Each project leader delivered a presentation on his/her project.

The participants discussed the projects presented and it was agreed that the Small Grants Programme had had important practical results. It had promoted the consolidation of environmental NGOs and increased the participation of the general public in river conservation, allowing new ideas about nature use to be realised. Contributing to the success of the Small Grants Programme was the emphasis on: practical activities in river conservation, involving young people and children, increasing the awareness of the local population, publishing and disseminating informative material, and co-operating with local authorities. The Small Grants Programme had helped to promote the enhanced capacity of environmental NGOs to conserve and rehabilitate rivers. It had also been useful in establishing partnerships between NGOs and government bodies and increasing of the role of civil society in solving environmental problems.

Participants recognised that the Small Grants Programme on the Conservation of Rivers should be continued. They also proposed that activities to promote public participation should be continued and suggested the following directions: enhancing the importance of public monitoring of the state of rivers and its influence on decision-making at the local level; the preparation and conducting of public campaigns; the development and implementation of Local Environmental Action Programmes focussed on the management of small-river basins; and the preparation of the scientific rationales for the establishment of protected areas.

Participants also mentioned that the workshop had been of a high organisational and professional standard and well run. The undoubted highlight of the workshop was the performance entitled "Adventures of a Water Droplet" by the children's environmental theatre of "Yunisphera" Public Children's Association from Boyarka town, Kyivska Oblast.
 

 

© 2004 Ukrainian Rivers Network

 
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