A Basic Grants Writing and Proposal Development course, co-sponsored by The Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF) and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), in conjunction with the GEF Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP), was recently held. The facilitator was Grant Writer and Environmental Planner, Stacey Moultrie.

Photo: BTVI

The Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF) recently partnered with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and the GEF Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) to host the first of what is expected to become a sustained effort to build national capacity in that area.

Executive Director of Bahamas Protected Areas Fund, Karen Panton, said officials were delighted with the demand, the quality of applicants – inclusive of government agencies and ministries – and the diverse pool of representatives from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) community. The grant writing was attended by 55 participants, who were divided into two sessions.

BPAF is a National Conservation Trust Fund established in 2014 by The Bahamas government to ensure sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation in particular protected areas and climate resilience. A part of BPAF’s mission to close the funding gap for conservation in The Bahamas is to ensure stakeholders have the technical capacity to develop and manage grant funds, not merely those found locally through BPAF and others, but regionally and internationally.

“Well trained and confident stakeholders are pivotal in securing the massive funding required to meet various environmental and community needs…it is our hope that the training will support the efforts of our partners and broader stakeholders in their efforts to source, develop and manage grants,” said Ms. Panton.

Ms. Panton added that the sessions were powerful, not merely in knowledge transfer, but in the interactions and networking, confidence building and stories shared.

“We were thrilled with the presentation skills of the facilitator, Stacey Moultrie, who made the training locally relevant. The participants were fully engaged and drew upon their experiences to drive dynamic discussions and excellent group projects,” she added.

Ms. Panton also thanked National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme, Deon Stewart for the genesis of the partnership and commended BTVI, in particular Interim President, Dr. Linda Davis and Associate Vice President of Fund Development, Alicia Thompson, for their “strong commitment to the training.”

Dr. Davis spoke to BTVI’s involvement in the course and its significance for capacity building.

“As the training partner in this initiative, as with similar national capacity building efforts, BTVI’s role is to provide the forum through which skills can be acquired and networking facilitated. We are committed to not only imagining the possibilities, but bringing these possibilities to fruition,” said Dr. Davis.

BPAF’s contribution to the training was provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, via a project managed by the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.