End of 2012 saw the closure of “Building capacities for conservation action” project with the event "ENTRANCE" hosted by the Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province. Project participants - nature conservation organizations and institutions - presented nine fully developed project proposals elaborated during the project training programme, the main result of past year’s capacity building efforts. “We call it ‘ENTRANCE’ because one of its objectives, apart from presenting and discussing project results, was to explore ways to further support participants in realization of their project ideas,” says the project coordinator Veronika Ferdinandova.
In the opening speech Boris Erg, IUCN Director for South Eastern Europe, highlighted the importance of fostering partnerships with lasting cooperation and trust building. Capacities of the organizations and institutions are growing constantly and with more effective use of the funds available all the elements for good quality nature protection actions are present.
From the donor perspectives, Slobodan Puzović, Provincial Secretary for urbanism, construction and environmental protection, Darko Ćukuranović from the Department for cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes, Serbian European Integration Office and Denis Slatina, Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat, Cross-border programme Serbia-Montenegro described the main prerequisites for a successful project, among others its clear links with donor’s objectives and priorities. A successful IPA beneficiary, Danijela Radić, Executive Director of the Center for the Youth Work, shared with participants crucial hints for the successful project development and implementation that often go beyond the project itself, but is also tightly linked with organization’s overall strategy and vision.
Agenda Pro experts, Marija Grujić and Jelena Nešić involved in the capacity building programme, presented the main conclusions from the meeting, namely:
- The project proposals elaborated during the capacity building programme were developed in the comprehensive manner; they are needs-driven and not following specific donor’s agenda;
- Donor’s resources could be used more effectively provided a better correspondence is set between funding programmes and conservation targets;
- Currently there are no substantial donors funding conservation projects in Serbia and Montenegro. Most of the funding comes from the EU (IPA Cross-border cooperation) but the competition for these funds is strong;
- Clear definition of priorities and their consonance among conservation players including open exchange of information is needed among all parties.
Funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, the project “Building capacities for conservation action” already showed excellent results. IUCN will continue to support the capacity development of nature conservation organizations in order to secure effective uptake of available funds.