REC ED in Kosovo* for a series of meetings, SpECIES launch event

September 20, 2017 | By Nathan Johnson

REC Executive Director Mihail Dimovski has travelled to Kosovo* for a series of meetings and a project launch event in Pristina.

On Tuesday, September 19, Dimovski met first with the new REC Office Kosovo* Director, Abedin Azizi. Joining the two later in the afternoon for discussion were other office staff members: Avdullah Nishori, Fitore Ferizi, Firdeze Bekteshi and Naim Arifaj.

Dimovski’s Wednesday agenda opened with a meeting Marco Mantovanelli, Country Manager for Kosovo* and FYR Macedonia, World Bank. The REC ED was joined by Mr. Azizi and the Igor Slavkoski, Director of REC FYR Macedonia.

A 90-minute meeting took place in the early afternoon between Dimovski, Azizi and representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Kosovo*.

The main event of the three-day visit from the REC Executive Director is the official launch of the “Sustainable Environmental Civil Society Support (SpECIES) programme. which will take place on Thursday, September 21, at the Hotel Afa.

REC Office Kosovo*, with financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), represented by the Embassy of Sweden in Pristina, is implementing the four-year SpECIES programme to support environmental civil organisations (CSOs) in Kosovo*.

The main objective of the SpECIES programme is to strengthen the role and capacities of environmental civil society in Kosovo* through assisting CSOs and communities in articulating needs, providing services and support, and developing partnerships and networks that can effectively address environmental priorities and make progress towards achieving sustainable development goals.

Support to CSOs provided through the SpECIES program will focus on the following sectors: air, water and waste. Furthermore, CSOs can benefit in various ways through the three main program clusters:

Cluster I: Capacity building, development and exchange 

It is intended through this component to empower CSOs to promote the right to a healthy environment and to have a greater impact on policymakers and decision makers. Capacity building for CSOs will be delivered through a series of training packages for those organisations which are active and well known for articulating issues in the field of environmental protection.

Cluster II: Networking and partnership 

This cluster aims to encourage cooperation between CSOs and all stakeholders to achieve common goals. By establishing new partnerships, CSOs can gain access to new resources, information, expertise and skills, including funding for various environmental initiatives. Moreover, partnerships and networking can be important tools in helping CSOs to build visibility and capacity — particularly those organisations which are weaker or newly established.

Cluster III: Grant support mechanism 

There will be three types of grants over the course of the programme:

  • institutional grants targeting weaker and newly established CSOs;
  • pilot partnership grants for stronger CSOs; and
  • grants for implementing integrated actions.

The project donors, participants and stakeholders hope that, after four years, CSOs in Kosovo* will be:

  • knowledgeable and sustainable functioning entities that can partner and work together with governmental institutions to achieve targets elaborated in UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 (clean water and sanitation), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 15 (life on land);
  • able to undertake policy and advocacy actions that will have impacts on legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks to achieve adequate improvement in priority sectors, as identified during the assessment phase (i.e. air, water, waste);
  • able to develop and implement methods and models of partnership for working together with communities and local authorities to improve environmental quality at the local level; and 
  • knowledgeable about procedures and application processes for gaining access to GEF Small Grants Programme funds. 

Following the SpECIES launch event, Dimovski and Azizi have two more scheduled meetings for that afternoon: first with representatives from Sida, and then with representatives from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

TAGS: Kosovo* | CSOs | SDGs