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Sustainable forest projects eligible for EC-UNDP grants

Sunday March 20, 2005

Sustainable forest projects eligible for EC-UNDP grants

BY STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: The United Nations and the European Commission (EC) have initiated a joint programme to provide financial grants to non-governmental organisations and indigenous groups in Malaysia to conserve and manage forest resources. 

The UN, through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the EC, had initiated the fund for NGOs and community organisations which are actively involved in sustainable tropical forest projects. 

The fund, dubbed the “EC-UNDP Small Grants Programme for Operations to Promote Tropical Forests” can provide up to RM240,000 to organisations involved in forest protection projects with indigenous ethnic groups. 

Programme assistant Maizura Ismail told The Star that the EC and UNDP were now inviting interested NGOs and ethnic community groups in Malaysia to apply for the funding by submitting proposals to the UNDP about their forest conservation activities or intended projects. 

“The fund is part of a regional initiative to promote tropical forests and it is implemented by the UNDP through the Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture. 

“Through this fund, the EC and the UNDP hope to contribute towards improving the lives and livelihood of the native hardcore poor, women and marginalised groups among the indigenous communities who are dependent on forests for their daily survival. 

“It is hope that they can control and manage their forest resources by developing and practising novel traditional ways of forest usage,” she said. 

Maizura said grants are available for projects with a maximum duration of 18 months. 

Interested applicants can submit their proposals to the UN office at Wisma UN in Kuala Lumpur by April 29. Detailed information is available at the website www.sgpptf.org. 

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