Coping with COVID-19: CBF Partner Funds continue giving grants – virtually
This year, 2020, has sent many of us spinning! For the CBF Partner Funds, one of the major challenges has been the award of grants. The funds have found ways to continue during the COVID pandemic by using technology. The National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ) had announced their Call for Proposals just before the lockdowns in March and they were able to continue with the process, including holding an online sensitization and Question and Answer session with prospective applicants. NCTFJ grant awards are expected to be made in October 2020.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines Conservative Fund (SVGCF) distributed the first set of grants to three local conservation entities, during a virtual handover ceremony in May 2020. A total of EC$310, 996 (~USD115,075) was distributed to 3 grants – (i) Sustainable Grenadines Inc. for their project ‘Building a zero waste ecosystem for ‘enhanced biodiversity for birds and people at Belmont Salt Pond’; (ii) Serenity Dive Inc. for ‘a reef replanting and school dive programme’, and (iii) Tobago Cays Marine Park towards ‘enhancing that organisation’s resource management capacity’. The Grant Awards were featured in “The Vincentian” newspaper.
On August 14th 2020, the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) also had a virtual grant award ceremony where they announced and awarded 4 grant awards from their 2019 Calls for proposals. Their grants were from a variety of sources – one by CBF through their Partnership Agreement; one by the Tourism Enhancement Fund of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association; and two financed by Massy Stores. The event also featured a short videos on the first CBF and SLUNCF grant that was awarded to the Laborie Development Foundation in 2019 and the progress of the Fund.