Small Grants Programme will help to solve environmental problems of Mangystau region of Kazakhstan and activate its citizens

29.1.2015 - AKTAU
Plastic bags on the edge of unsecured landfill
Martin Plocek

Engaging citizens in solving environmental problems in the Mangystau region is the goal of Small Grants Programme which was organized by Kazakhstani non-governmental organizations Eco Mangystau, Eco Museum and CINEST, and Arnika from the Czech Republic with the financial support of the European Union. Civil initiatives can submit their project ideas until the end of January 2015. Small grants amounting to EUR 16,000 are available for applicants. Successful applicants can receive up to EUR 3,000. Average budgets for 5-10 small projects are expected to be EUR 1500-3000.

“The small grants are a good opportunity for citizens who want to solve some current environmental issues, such as illegal waste dumping, lack of trees, urban development, littering in nature reserves and many others. Ideas how to inform our public and activate neighbours and other citizens are welcome,” said Kirill Osin, Director of Eco Mangystau.

“Mangystau faces many serious environmental problems. Their solution requires cooperation of state authorities with businesses and the active involvement of the citizens. Such approach may not only lessen the risk for public health but also reduce social tensions,” noted Martin Skalsky, Coordinator of the project in Czech Republic.

The Small Grants Programme is designed for people who want move forward local environmental issues, involve also their neighbours and other citizens, and interact with responsible state authorities. The project can last for maximum 6 months. All details and forms (in Russian) can be found at:

The Mangystau region at Caspian Sea shore is sparsely populated – on the area of half of the Germany live less than 500 thousand people. The semi-desert region is the centre of Kazakhstani oil and uranium industry which bringing along serious environmental consequences. Other problems are poor public infrastructure, lack of drinking water in some settlements, or unsufficient waste management.

The Small Grants Programme was launched within the project "Promotion of the rights of citizens for public participation in decision-making about environmental issues - practical implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Mangystau," aimed at strengthening civil society by improving the living conditions of residents in Mangystau region of Kazakhstan. Funding for project in the amount of EUR 336,120 was provided by the European Union.

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