Photo: WWF

By changing their habits, individuals can affect the preservation of the environment. However, to fight against major environmental problems such as polluted water and air, inadequate waste management and indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, we need a good strategy and organizations with enough resources and knowledge to create the necessary change in these extremely important areas.

Unfortunately, very few organizations in Serbia are developed to the extent that they can influence the creation of policies that would improve the current environmental situation. Seeing the challenges faced by environmental associations and civil society organizations, the world environmental protection organization, WWF Adria Serbia, together with the Adria Association for Nature Protection and Biodiversity Conservation from Croatia, started the implementation of the project titled “Serbia Actions in the Field of Environment and Nature and Climate” (“SAFE Nature and Climate”). The European Commission supports the project through the Civil Society Support Programme. It is a direct response to the common challenges our country faces in global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


WWF says that they want to form a network of civil society organizations in Serbia that can implement and realize their ideas for sustainable environmental protection without hindrance. The goal is to boost the capacity and direct the actions of those organizations so that they become relevant participants in making political decisions related to ecology.

During the next three years, in three consecutive cycles, WWF Adria Serbia will award grants ranging from 18,000 to 40,000 euros to selected civil society organizations for projects and activities aimed at preserving, protecting and preventing environmental threats. As many as 95 organizations sent their applications to the first competition, which was launched last year. A total of 20 project proposals, focused on environmental protection in the broadest sense, were shortlisted, and 10 were finally selected.

Marina Papović, the programme associate at WWF Adria Serbia, said they were delighted with how many organizations applied for the First Strategic Grant under the auspices of the Safe Nature and Climate project. The reason for this is twofold.

“The first reason relates to the fact that civil society organizations throughout Serbia recognize environmental problems and climate change and strive to solve the problems systematically. Through their project ideas, the candidates tried to express a wide range of ideas from the mentioned segment – from waste management and the circular economy to biodiversity conservation and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Another reason is that by inviting them to submit their applications, we identified the internal needs of these organizations and defined which direction we need to take to boost their programme, financial and operational capacities in the future”, Marina explains.

The entire process of selecting projects that would receive funding lasted about three months. The whole WWF Adria Serbia team contributed to the selection process while also working on further planning related to this important project.

Prepared by: Milica Radičević

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ENERGETIC EFFICIENCY