EACN Monthly Newsletter

September 2018 

AfES' journey towards empowering communities while building its organizational capacity

Changing the perception of local communities regarding concern for biodiversity is a challenge for most organizations. Action for Environmental Sustainability (AfES), an organization based in Malawi, took on this challenge through a grant from CEPF and turned it into an opportunity for behavior change among community members. By implementing a series of activities in the Misuku Hills KBA, AfES succeeded in raising awareness on the importance of biodiversity conservation to the local community who were dependent on the KBA’s resources for their livelihood and consequently placing pressure on it. Other than raising awareness which opened the minds of the community members, AfES developed alternative sources of livelihood which further enhance conservation initiatives. AfES also used the grant towards improving its organizational capacity allowing for its expansion in Tanzania and Mozambique. Read more of AfES’ success towards its’ transformation and that of local communities here

 Raising grantees capacity in project design

In May 2018, Methodius Mukhwana and Jabes Okumu attended a Master Class facilitated by the Tropical Biology Association and funded by the CEPF. The objective of the Master Class was to build capacity of CEPF grantees in developing impact-based conservation projects.  The two share their experience below.
"From the master class, I hoped to familiarize myself with designing quality conservation projects; understand what I will be required to do in terms of reporting procedures of the CEPF grant and overall management as project manager.
The master class was a success as it is rare to get an opportunity to interact directly with funders before proposal submission while at the same time building your capacity to develop future concrete proposals. Personally, I am now more knowledgeable as my capacity to develop conservation projects has been built.
I gained knowledge and confidence in communicating project impact, CEPF proposal writing, finance reporting, budgeting and theory of change. The approach of looking at the impact& mapping your theory of change starting with the goal in mind and working backwards on how to achieve it impressed me the most which I will share with my colleagues.The master class was very informative and I would wish to attend future trainings” Methodius Mukhwana, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Uganda

"I attended the master class with an aim of learning more on project development-especially as per CEPF requirements to help improve and realign my current application. I also hoped to interact with other grantees and learn from their experiences from their previous projects and how they track project performance. In addition, i also looked forward to sharing the details of my application with other grantees and benefit from their insights to improve the quality of my proposal.
The training was very informative and the trainers, teaching aids and methods were perfect. I was especially impressed by the method used in introducing other participants and the methods used in teaching. My proposal improved a lot after attending the master class as the insights gained and the guidance received were very helpful. My level of knowledge and confidence also increased in several areas including theory of change, budgeting, understanding CEPF operations, ethics and fraud, financial reporting and communication skills.
I will definitely use the knowledge gained in training others in my institution and in developing proposals for other donors; preparing project reports for other grants and training other staff under me.” Jabes Okumu, East Africa Wildlife Societ, Kenya

Opportunities and Resources

Environmental Systems Research Institute — Esri Conservation Grant Program
This offers free or discounted Geographic Information System (GIS) software, hardware, data, training, and services to support groups and individuals working for social and environmental benefit. Esri’s Conservation Grant Program makes GIS grants to non-profit organizations, programs, and individuals active in public service and nature conservation in any country.
Deadline: Open until filled
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — Conservation Grants 2018
This makes conservation grants for research, local community involvement, capacity building, environmental education, and behavior change leading to improved conservation of wildlife and habitat. Grant requests may range from US$1 thousand to US$25 thousand, but grants are limited to US$5 thousand for first-time applicants. First-time applicants must submit a pre-proposal.
Deadline: 15 December 2018
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — Africa Seed Grants and Asia Seed Grants 2018
This  program makes grants for wildlife conservation and field research. The priority is for projects focusing on wildlife and habitat protection, human-wildlife conflict, sustainable environmental practices, capacity building, and conservation biology. There are no application restrictions by nationality. 

Deadline: 05 November 2018

Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for more opportunities, and the Capacity for Conservation website for self-led organizational development.
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