Support to Environmental Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo* (SPECIES)

Support to Environmental Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo* (SPECIES)

Source of funding


Name of client/donor

Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo*

Overall project value

EUR 1,734,800


March 2017 – December 2020

Beneficiary countries


Number of staff


This support programme for environmental civil society organisations (ECSOs) is based on assessments and evaluation processes carried out in the course of similar ECSO support projects implemented by the REC. Although ECSOs in Kosovo* have several years of experience, their capacities remain rather limited. While larger CSOs have more established internal regulations, fewer than half of the CSOs in Kosovo* have internal governance documents. Kosovan civil society has limited influence on issues that are of major concern to citizens, such as economic development and the rule of law.

The overall strategic goal of the project is to strengthen environmental civil society in Kosovo*, enabling citizens to articulate their needs and building the capacities of ECSOs to provide services and support, develop partnerships and networks, help to address environmental priorities and contribute towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on air, water and waste.

Specific goals are to:

  • strengthen ECSOs by helping them to become independent institutions and developing their skills and viability;
  • create awareness in the community of existing issues and possible solutions in the environmental sector (particularly environment and health issues in urban areas);
  • enable members of ECSOs to provide information on, and build links between, the environment and development in other sectors, create networks of stakeholders, and participate more efficiently in environmental decision making at national and local level;
  • strengthen ECSOs to promote positive environmental change through networking, lobbying, public participation, advocacy and watchdogging in relation to government and industry; and
  • empower ECSOs to back community-based initiatives and actions with knowledge of relevant UN conventions and the principles and themes of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (SGP).

Through the design of the framework programme, the REC will capitalise on various existing initiatives and projects. The SPECIES project has been developed drawing on the experience gained during the implementation of the SECTOR (2007–2010), SENiOR-A – Albania and SENSE – Serbia projects, all of which were supported by the Government of Sweden, as well as the assessment of the environmental civil sector in Kosovo* performed in 2006 under the SECTOR programme). In addition, the project will seek to identify synergies with the civil society support programme implemented by the Kosovo* Civil Society Foundation, which supports local civil initiatives that lead to a powerful movement of civil society to promote a democratic culture and respond to the socioeconomic needs of Kosovo*.

Activities are implemented in three areas

1. Internal governance and capacities

  • Kosovan ESCOs will be supported and strengthened to become sustainable institutions that can work together in partnership with governmental institutions to achieve the targets outlined in SDGs 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 15 (Life on Land) in Kosovo*.
  • Through networking and dialogue, Kosovan ECSOs will acquire expertise and skills, build visibility, and become effective means of initiating policy and strategic action in the fields of air, waste and water pollution.
  • Trainings will be organised to empower ECSOs to take action for a healthy environment and to influence policy makers and decision makers.

2. Funding

  • The skills and knowledge of Kosovan ECSOs will be strengthened with respect to application procedures and access to GEF Small Grants Funds.

3. Impacts

  • Local communities and local authorities will be helped to develop and implement methods and models of partnership that result in improved environmental quality and management at local level (e.g. the development and updating of municipal regulations; and the development of municipal action plans and strategies on specific issues in the air, waste and water sectors, including the joint implementation of capital investments as foreseen in local environmental action plans).
  • Communities will become better informed and more aware of environmental challenges in Kosovo* by means of education and information tools.
  • Environmental assessment
  • Capacity building
  • Institutional strengthening
  • Networking and exchange
  • Organisation of study visits
  • Granting
  • Communication and information dissemination