Well-organized and developed civil society organizations are one of the main driving forces behind changes and implementation of all strategic and legal frameworks related to the environment and climate change. The World Organization for Nature Protection WWF Adria has gathered civil society organizations in Serbia under the auspices of the project ‘Serbia’s Actions for a Safe Environment, Nature and Climate – Safe Nature and Climate’ – to empower these organizations to highlight environmental and other related problems in their local areas, all to create a healthier place to live.
The strategic grant programme is a WWF project that will last until 2025, and a maximum of four more cycles will be announced by the end of the project. Any organization that meets the requirements can apply for a grant in the maximum amount of 18,000 euros. The programme is designed so that an organization can apply next year as the continuation of the same project or with a different project. The total grant amount during these three years is not exceeding 40,000 euros.
A total of 95 applications from organizations throughout Serbia were submitted following the first call. A total of 20 project proposals that touch on the issue of environmental protection in the broadest sense were shortlisted. Here, we present to you the 10 selected ones.
Association for Promotion and Ecological Marketing of Natural Values – EKOMAR
The Sustainability of Water Reservoirs in Serbia in the Climate Change project aims to identify and present the current situation and problems associated with reservoirs while highlighting the shortcomings in managing and implementing public policies governing this segment.
Our World, Our Rules
This Vranje-based association highlights that Vranje doesn’t have a single official document, protocol, or recommendation to prevent climate change’s causes and consequences. The town authorities either do not monitor the environmental impacts of climate change, or they do monitor them, but not adequately. Because of this, the association wants to help draft a strategic document dealing with climate change’s consequences and causes, thus making Vranje more resilient and healthier. Their goal entails creating public policies, i.e. a strategic document, and better cross-sectoral cooperation to have adequate policies and practical application.
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The overall goal of this project, implemented by the MONITOR civil association, is to improve local environmental protection policies in Novi Pazar from 2022 to 2030 through dialogue and active engagement of citizens in creating them. The project implementation will form a basis for eliminating the problem of the ongoing lack of local environmental protection policy documents in the town, as well as contribute to the elimination of environmental threats in Novi Pazar. At the same time, it will establish a dialogue between the public, on the one hand, and local government, on the other, in assessing the state and needs of environmental security of all relevant stakeholders.
Centre for Education and Transparency – CETRA
‘From Monitoring to Participation – for Better Environmental Policies in Pančevo’ is the name of the project with which CETRA intends to achieve several goals. They want to help Pančevo-based associations to monitor better, analyze and participate in the drafting and adoption of local regulations related to the protection of the right to healthy air, to educate young people and remind the public of an important message about the significance of local regulations related to the protection of the right to healthy air. They plan to achieve this through civic oversight and upholding community interests.
Club for UN
The idea of the Sustainable Development Goals project as a shortcut for Serbia to join the EU is to answer the questions professionally and practically, namely, why it is important to make a connection between the obligations stemming from Agenda 2030 (COR) and the EU accession process related to environmental protection and ways in which this can be done. One-of-a-kind research will provide the answers to these questions. The research will be conducted by relevant experts and will be made available to all citizens and stakeholders related to environmental protection. With the help of educational workshops, representatives of civil society organizations from the Republic of Serbia will have the opportunity to learn how to monitor public policies and implement their advocacy activities in environmental protection at the same time in the context of fulfilling obligations stemming from Agenda 2030 and the EU accession process.
Natura Natural Resources Centre
The Centre’s focus is on creating a new regulatory framework in policies related to environmental protection and mitigating the consequences of climate change in the Republic of Serbia. The Advocacy of Non-Financial Reporting on Corporate Sustainability project, as the business sector’s response to the challenges of the climate and environmental crisis, aims to help the civil sector in the use of sustainability tools and indicators so that they can credibly participate in the creation of public policies related to sustainable production in our economy.
Join In Civil Association
The project Are We Protecting Nature? aims to document the current situation regarding nature protection in the Municipality of Paraćin and the attitude of local institutions towards planned and established protected areas in accordance with the Spatial Plan and the Law on Nature Protection. By obtaining the relevant data, the association would be able to propose measures to improve local policies in this area and, via a campaign, to acquaint the public with research findings and the consequences that human activities have on areas of special importance for nature protection. The project results will be a very detailed analysis/documentation of the state of nature protection in the Municipality of Paraćin with proposals on how to further improve the system of monitoring local policies.
The Private Forests Owners Association – Bor
The From Forests to Forests project aims to improve the current state of forests in the Pčinj, Pirot and Južnobački districts. Private forests make up more than half of all forests in Serbia, which is why the association believes their voice should be heard. Their idea is to invite local governments to incorporate the Association’s solutions in their public policies to invest money from the fund that belongs to them adequately. This money is regularly paid into local budgets and should be spent in line with its purpose.
The Vision Civil Association
The Green Step project is implemented by the Vision Civil Association from Pirot, whose main goal is to improve the protection and preservation of nature and biological, geological and regional diversity in the territory of the Nature Park (future National Park) on Stara Planina (The Old Mountain). The project plans to boost cooperation between all stakeholders in the preservation of this landscape in all four local units on whose territories the Stara Planina Nature Park is located in 2023, as well as to motivate citizens to actively participate in the decision-making process on the protection of nature on the Nature Park’s territory.
The Rural Development of Serbia Network
The project aims to improve the development of rural areas of Serbia through increased ecological, climatic and social vitality of rural communities by creating a stimulating environment at the local and national level, as well as improving the capacity of the entire society for a modern approach in planning and implementing measures to support rural development. In addition to economic issues, the project also considers the need to solve social and environmental issues, primarily at the local level. Information about Strategic Grants will be available on the WWF Adria Serbia website and social media (Facebook and Instagram).
Prepared by: Milica Radičević
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