Ecological Awards (Eco Awards) Program was initiated and financed by BP, on behalf of its oil and gas co-venturers (BTC Co. and SCP Co.) and administered by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF). In 2010, the environmental initiative was joined by HSBC Bank Georgia.
The three-year Eco-Awards Program was developed to promote and reward the active involvement of local non-governmental organizations in addressing local environmental issues with practical solutions. Through education and mobilization, the program promoted sustainable use of natural resources, engaging communities in economic activities.
- Throughout the program cycle, EPF awarded 16 proposals submitted by 15 NGOs (one NGO was awarded twice in 2009 and 2010) with the total award amount of 745,113.64 USD (in 2009 – 243,999.64 USD, in 2010 – 234,966 USD, in 2011 – 266,148 USD). The winners of the grant competitions were officially announced at the Eco-Awards Ceremonies, which brought together representatives of all relevant institutions, including the government authorities, non-governmental organizations, international community and the media. It is noteworthy that 60% of the winner organizations are regionally based.
- To promote eco-educational awareness among young people and support capacity – building of youngsters in environment protection, EPF implemented two smaller scale operational projects jointly with the Agency for Protected Areas (APA), under Eco-Awards program, in 2009 and 2011. Both projects included competition among school children on environment protection theme, award ceremonies and trip to protected areas.
- Another operational project, implemented jointly with the APA in July 2011, aimed at providing the representatives of the central and regional media outlets with broader knowledge about the Protected Areas, focusing on their importance and the functions they serve in protecting biodiversity, so as to increase the media coverage of the project and various environmental issues. EPF and its partners organized a two-day media-tour to Sataplia Reserve and Prometheus’ Cave, which was attended by 15 representatives of central and 6 representatives of the regional media.
- Due to lack of information and low public awareness on environmental protection issues, EPF decided to strengthen the media component in the Eco-Awards Program and highlight not only existing problems, but specific ways of their resolution. In this regard, EPF announced a grant competition for TV/Radio companies, CSOs, and TV studios to showcase Eco-Awards Program and all 16 projects awarded under the program, as specific examples of how to resolve different environmental issues. Fifteen documentaries (one is describing 2 similar projects) were aired on GPB and also uploaded on the Internet TV – TV Business at http://tvb.ge, with total number of views of 27,626. The documentaries contributed to promotion of the activities of the Eco-Awards projects.
The report below provides an insight to the program implementation and its impact, as well as an overview of the main activities of the funded projects.
Information about the Projects
- Biological Farming Association Elkana - Reviving Akhaltsikhe (Meskhetian) Wheat Tsiteli Doli and Setting up Effective Market Chain for Its Sustainable Use
- Georgian Tourism Association - Market-Oriented Sustainable Tourism Development in Protected Areas of Georgia
- Wild Plant Conservation Association - Ex-Situ Conservation and Commercial Use of Some Economically Important Species of Wild Flora Protected by CITES Convention
- Association for Environment Protection and Sustainable Development, Mta-Bari - Support to cultivation and realization of Economically Important Species of Adjara Wild Flora in the Buffer Zone of Mtirala National Park
- IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Center - Facilitating Stakeholder Participation in Protected Areas of Georgia
- Association Flora and Fauna - Reducing the Negative Impact of Ghost Fishing and the Predator Mollusk Rapana Venosa on the Black-Sea Eco-system
- Georgian Tourism Association - Enhancing Sustainability of Tourism Development in Protected Areas of Georgia
- Adjara Sustainable Development Association - Support to further Sustainable Development of Protected Territories of Georgia through Introduction of Alternative Energy Sources and Tourism Development
- Association Zekari - Elaboration of the Rehabilitation Model of the Erosive Slopes of Mountainous Racha and Demonstrative Rehabilitation of One of these Slopes
- Rural Advisory Service - Ecologically Safe Pastures
- The Friends' Association of Vashlovani Protected Area - Setting up of a Nursery of Kolkhian Pheasants
- Rural Communities' Development Association - Support of Poor Communities in Chokhatauri and Khobi Districts in Sustainable Development through Building their Skills and Capacities in Environmental Protection and Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources
- Association Caucasus Genetics - Minimizing Environmental Degradation Caused by Overgrazing in Tetritskaro Region
- Guram Tikanadze Svaneti Youth Center - Support Bio-farming and Eco-tourism in Upper Svaneti as One of the Prospective to Secure Eco-stability and Cultural Traditions in the Area
- Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (REC-Caucasus) - Introducing the Practice of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Local Communities and Increasing their Preparedness against Natural Disasters
- Civil Society Institute - Ecologically Safe Agriculture