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EU-funded Small Grants Programme helps Mangystau local communities to solve environmental problems

AKTAU - 04 August 2015

Four projects on smell and dust from the municipal waste landfill, leaking sewage pipes, lack of trees and illegal trade of antelope saiga’s horns topics were selected for financial support within the Small Grants Program, coordinated by Czech non-governmental organization Arnika and its partners Eco Mangystau, EcoMuseum and CINEST from Kazakhstan. The overall budget for the project “Enforcing citizens’ rights and public participation in decision making on environmental issues in Mangystau” has been provided by the European Union to the amount of EUR 336,120 and EUR 16,000 were allocated for Small Grants Program.

“Local people always know the local problems best. We believe in the power and creativity of active citizens, who want to protect their environment for life of themselves and their children. Our Small Grant Program gives the active citizens the last thing they need – money, so they can pay for experts or information materials to involve their neighbours in decision making process, and to attract the attention of responsible state authorities,” says Martin Skalsky, project coordinator of Arnika.

“Environment is not perceived as priority by majority of our citizens. Also our budget is limited and each team chose a problem that deserves support. It makes us happy how many active citizens were able to prepare their projects. During their implementation, our experts will provide local groups with additional help in planning their campaigns, publicity or seeking for the ways of tackling pollution and other serious environmental issues,” stated Kirill Osin, small grants manager of Eco Mangystau.

In total, 16 projects were submitted to the Small Grants Program. The projects are aimed to solve environmental issues threatening health of about 35 thousand people and rare animal species and will involve citizens with special focus on women, children and villagers. The overall sum of financial support for the projects exceeded EUR 40 thousand. Active citizens can still send their project ideas and compete for the remaining sum of available budget.

More details on supported projects.

Five small grant projects have been already successfully completed recently inCentral and Eastern Kazakhstan.

Overview of projects supported in the Small Grants Program:

Project title Implementing NGO Location of realization Estimation of pollution victims Budget provided by the EU

Baskuduk citizens’ protection from negative environmental impacts of municipal waste landfill

Baisheshek Baskuduk 24,000 people

€ 2 557

Environment of the settlement is in our hands!

Zhas Dauren Baskuduk 24,000 people € 1 926

Improvement of the environment in town Kuryk

Azhar ai Kuryk 11,000 people € 3 000

Information campaign against illegal trade of saiga horns

Koldau Kazakhstan Beineu, Aktau, Zhanaozen - € 2 045