Support for community-based projects
Local conservation projects are currently being selected to receive support – in an attempt to encourage closer cooperation between community-based conservation-related projects and municipalities. The support forms part of the ABI (Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative) Small Grants Facility, funded by the Table Mountain Fund (an associated trust of WWF South Africa).
ABI is working with the Cape Agulhas, Overstrand and Overberg District Municipalities in selecting projects with conservation or environmental aspects that would best benefit from support. Following meetings with stakeholders, it was decided to focus on those projects already listed on the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of municipalities. Once these projects are up and running, then projects outside the IDPs would also be considered.
The ABI Small Grants Facility will provide financial support to up to 20 small projects that are involved in theme areas that ABI works with. Community-based projects working in land-use planning, renewable energy, environmental education, responsible tourism or in climate-change related fields will be in a position to apply for support.
According to Lesley Richardson of the ABI Coordination Office, local councilors will play an important role in ensuring those projects that are selected are responsive to the needs of the communities in which they operate. “Municipalities have already been vital in developing and planning the ABI Small Grants Facility, and we plan to continue working closely with key players as the project rolls out.”
The ABI Small Grants Facility has also been presented at various platforms outside of the municipalities, including the ABI Partners meeting, as well as the Overberg Integrated Conservation Group. Richardson says, “We’re working with those who have an interest in conservation-related issues, and who are working closely to deal with specific issues, from local councilors, conservation groups and various government departments."
For more information on becoming involved in the ABI Small Grants Facility, contact Londeka Zondi at the ABI Coordination Office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 028 425 2218.