In 2012, a total of 60 participants representing 40 groups (CSOs, community-based organisations (CBOs), government agencies and a few university students) attended national training workshops held by mentors in June-July 2012 in Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. CANARI designed a generic two-day programme and provided technical and logistical support. The national workshops were designed to build the capacity of civil society organisations to develop projects on biodiversity conservation in protected areas in the Caribbean islands. These national workshops allowed mentors to use the mentoring skills acquired in their previous training, focusing in particular on proposal development and project planning. In total, 60 persons representing 40 CSOs benefitted from mentor-led national workshops. Workshops resulted in:
- Analysed priority needs for biodiversity conservation in the country.
- Built understanding of CEPF and other funding opportunities for supporting CSOs work in biodiversity conservation.
- Enhanced capacity of CSOs to be able to develop projects and proposals to seek support for their work from CEPF and other donors.
- Greater sharing of experiences and collaboration among CSOs, including potential collaborations or coordination of projects in biodiversity conservation.
Over 2013-2014, 65 more participants from 24 groups attended a second set of national training activities. These were facilitated as mentors from five countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St.-Vincent and the Grenadines) continued to apply their mentoring and facilitation skills to work with CSOs in their respective countries. Activities could not be held in Saint Lucia, as the mentor had relocated to another country. In St. Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda, mentors chose to assist one recently constituted group working in biodiversity conservation to strengthen their organisational capacity and project development skills. In the three other countries, mentors worked with representatives of several CSOs to build their capacity in communication and advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, project identification, development and management. Training was as follows:
- Antigua and Barbuda: The John Hughes Community Association (JHCA) was assisted with developing into a strong community group that will have the skills and resources necessary to assist the John Hughes Community to grow and develop as they envisage, especially in the areas of natural resource management and its use in income generation. Sessions looked at building a strong group, doing a problem analysis and designing a project, and seeking funding.
- Barbados: Two national workshops were held. The first workshop equipped participants with the tools to enhance their communication and advocacy skills. Participants learnt how to create a communication plan and work with the media and were introduced to participatory video (PV) as a tool that can help in project planning and communicating about a project. The second workshop fostered on-the ground efforts for biodiversity conservation through introducing participants to small grant opportunities, focusing on the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP). Participants were coached in how to complete different sections of the GEF SGP concept form looking at information about the organisation and the problem analysis for the project.
- Dominica: The workshop increased the knowledge and understanding of CSOs about the importance of M&E and how to effectively implement participatory M&E activities in projects they are implementing. This was done as a hands-on exercise where participants conducted a monitoring and evaluation visit of one of the community projects being implemented under the GEF SGP in Dominica.
- Grenada: A workshop was held to give farming communities around the critical ecosystems of Grand Etang/Anandale, Perseverance Grenada Dove Habitat and the Molinere Marine Protected Area a brief idea of the importance of their ecosystems, especially how they aided in the production of goods and services necessary to their livelihoods (small scale agriculture), and on sustainable farming practices (permaculture) and the possibilities offered by CEPF to support training on this around the critical ecosystems.
- Vincent and the Grenadines: A workshop was held for youth participants from Hairouna Progressive, a community based organisation encompassing several communities and villages in the South West quadrant of St. Vincent. Sessions helped to determine the leadership structure of the organisation and its functioning, to develop a better structure to ensure division of labour, and to build the group’s capacity through training in project identification, development, writing and implementation.
- 60 participants representing 40 groups (CSOs, community-based organisations (CBOs), government agencies and a few university students) in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines strengthened their capacity in project development and proposal writing.
- Fifteen representatives of CEPF grantee organisations from six countries (The Bahamas,
Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti and Jamaica) enhanced their financial management capacity specific to implementation of CEPF grants.