Earlier this month, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and IUCN Thailand organised a two-day training course for 30 representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on project development, proposal writing and effective project implementation for biodiversity conservation in Thailand. The training course, held on August 4-5 at Four Wings Hotel Bangkok, also taught participants how to identify funding opportunities.
One of the training's highlights was the presentation of Thailand’s National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan. The session, which was facilitated by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, provided an overview of the country's short and long-term goal for biodiversity conservation.
To give participants a clearer understanding of the CEPF strategy in Thailand and the Indo-Burma region, CEPF strategic directions, environmental and social safeguard policy and Monitoring and Evaluation framework were shared with participants. Participants also analysed their institutional needs and limitations, as well as current threats to biodiversity, in group discussion activities. Lack of technical and scientific knowledge on biodiversity was identified as a common issue.
To improve their institutional capacity, Mr. Sasin Chalearmlarp from Sueb Nakhasatien Foundation, Ms. Ravadee Prasertcharoensook from Sustainable Development Foundation and Mr. Teerapong Phoman from Mekong Community Institute shared their experiences on project implementation, marketing, communications, public relations and fundraising. Fundraising is a main concern for Thai CSOs, since their ability to raise funds from international sources and expertise in marketing are limited. During the training, participants agreed that they would share training and funding opportunities with one another, with IUCN Thailand acting as a focal point.
"Based on my decade-long experience as a project manager and fundraiser, I found that developing a strategic plan is very important to ensure the sustainability of an organisation. It is important to adjust organisation strategies to fit the present context. Conservation work should be concrete, measurable, and provide opportunities for public participation. We should raise awareness among the new generation through communication channels such as social media, “ said Mr. Chalearmlarp.
Besides helping Thai CSO representatives improve their proposal-development and project-management skills, the training course also helped IUCN Thailand to understand more about the roles CSOs play in supporting conservation work at the local level. The training also emphasised the need for local communities, Thai CSOs, local government agencies and IUCN to work together and share experiences and lessons learnt.
Founded in 2000, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a global leader in enabling civil society to participate in and benefit from conserving some of the world’s most critical ecosystems by providing grants for organisations to help protect biodiversity hotspots, Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas. CEPF is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.