Building a European Partnership to strenghten the civil society capacities of Southern countries

Small grants-based programs (SGBP) like those led by IUCN National Committees of Netherlands and France or CARPE focal points of IUCN have proved their efficiency in answering environmental issues faced by the southern countries.
Local NGOs have more executive legitimacy than international NGOs.
Targeted to small-scaled NGOs, these programs help the civil society to emerge in a bottom-up process and to improve its structural organization while building its capacities for lobbying and improvement of national environmental policies.
Furthermore, small grants have proven to be cost effective in terms of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and ultimately poverty alleviation.
With regard to a rising number of interesting proposals submitted by southern NGOs, it appears that available means are not sufficient to cover a relevant demand and priority needs from civil society organizations, especially considering current biodiversity conservation needs.
Therefore, this workshop aims at providing an overview of European cooperation towards southern countries civil society. More specifically, the purpose is to study the feasibility of strengthening the small grants programs within Europe, State Members and private sector.

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