"10 for Nature": Field Conservation Support for NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe
Following EAF funding for purchase, lease or management, there is often a need to further improve the project and field management staff with respect to knowledge, expertise and know-how. Increased capacity-building of local NGO staff in the field will ensure the long term usefulness of the protected land. In order to meet these needs EAF initiated the 10 for Nature project. The intention was to link NGOs that have purchased land through EAF projects so that they can exchange management experience with each other. The project started in January 2002 and was successfully completed in December 2004.
Special emphasis have been placed on the ability of the partner NGOs to learn from each other within an eastern European perspective. Exchange visits have been intended primarily for the partner NGO’s to visit the other projects from where they can transfer, and gain, knowledge and experience.
What has been
In the course of the project the partners have many times stressed that the combination of field activities with capacity building activities and in particular study visits within the country and abroad have given to the project teams an unique chance to deepen their knowledge about methods of active nature conservation, field management and raising awareness in local communities. Activities were undertaken in order to: improve the organizations’ strategies (meetings with all members, consultants involvement, etc), different personal trainings for staff, improve the fundraising, attract volunteers, improve the relationship with local people and with stakeholders and decision makers at different levels, set contacts with other organisations who have similar activities. The project period of three years have been long enough to train the project staff and provide better opportunities for planning and implementation of activities. Main benefits are the gained knowledge how to organise landscape management, development of long term organisation strategies and better recognition of the organisations at local, regional and national level.
Very important aspect of the capacity building activities has been the possibility for sharing of experience and know how with NGOs from other countries, particularly because there is no enough relevant experience within the national boundaries. Via the exchange visits the partners have had the unique chance to see different project areas and to learn for others work in the same field of activities.