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Regional Policy Engagement of Non-State Actors Strengthens With Third Round of Grant Facility

Suva, Fiji (July 27 2017) – A grant of FJD 150,000 will see Eugene Joseph from the Conservation Society of Pohnpei begin the fundamental process of community consultation to ensure a cross-sectorial informed policy development process on conservation in Micronesian.

Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) was one of the 11 Pacific Non-State Actors (NSAs) selected on the second round of funding through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Non-State Actors Grants Facility which aims to support good governance through effective engagement in policy dialogues and processes.

“CSP is working towards the realization of the Micronesia Challenge agreed to by our leaders to set aside 30 per cent of coastal and 20 per cent inland areas for conservation purposes; this grant is going to be critical for consultations at community level,” Mr Joseph said.

The 2.2 million Euro Grant Facility is funded by the European Union and administered by the NSA Programme at the Forum Secretariat. Some FJD2.5 Million has been awarded in this second round. The Grant Facility was established in 2015, and the first call for proposals was launched in November 2015 and the second call was launched in September 2016.

The European Union Delegation for the Pacific Head of Cooperation Christoph Wagner stressed the EU's commitment and support to civil society participation in regional policy making.

''The European Union recognises that civil society organisations are essential in promoting democratic governance in the Pacific: non-state actors advocate for change and mobilise communities and vulnerable groups. They increase involvement in policy processes and hold Governments to account. They complement actions of public administration, at central and local levels, by delivering services to the populations. Non-state actors also raise awareness about local and global development challenges and promote actions to respond to these,'' said Mr. Wagner.

Mr Joseph was in Fiji for a one-day preparatory workshop in Suva for all grant recipients; the workshop provides guidelines on the requirements of grant administration, financial guidelines, communications and visibility guidelines, monitoring and reporting; it is also an opportunity for grant recipients to seek clarification on the administration of the grants.

Speaking at an awards ceremony at the end of the preparatory workshop, Forum Secretariat Director Political Governance and Security, Sione Tekiteki said the Forum Secretariat was pleased to see increased NSAs engagement in various regional policy spaces, commending the organizations for their contributions.

“We appreciate your commitment to contributing to the regional policy environment to ensure the best possible outcomes for the people of the Pacific Region,” Mr Tekiteki said.

“The NSA programme is looking to build on this good work and further strengthen civil society’s role in regional policy development and implementation. The award of Grant funding through the NSA Grant Facility looks to provide further support for NSAs to engage in regional policy.”

The purpose of the Grant Facility is to support NSAs to translate their policy engagement into concrete mechanisms and actions, and to reinforce their linkages to their constituencies, and strengthen their internal governance and coordination structures.

Grant recipients include femLINKpacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS), Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC), Care International Vanuatu, Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organisations (SUNGO), Oxfam in the Pacific and Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). 

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