OAS Announces Recipients of ECPA’s Sustainable Communities Grants

The Organization of American States (OAS) has announced the 14 recipients of small grants under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) “Sustainable Communities in Central America and the Caribbean” project.

The winning proposals were announced by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulsa at a formal ceremony held at OAS Headquarters on 10 December 2012.

The project, funded by the US and implemented by OAS within the ECPA framework, seeks to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations and community associations in OAS member countries in Central America and the Caribbean to build sustainable communities. One project component involves awarding US$50,000 grants to fund projects involving communities in four areas: clean energy and energy efficiency; resilience to natural hazards; sustainable transport; and waste management, recycling and improved water resource management. Of the 60 proposals submitted from 14 different countries, 14 projects from ten countries were selected.

The four energy projects are: the El Limón Rural Alternative Center (CAREL) in the Dominican Republic, for a micro-hydroelectric initiative; the Solar Foundation in Guatemala, to reduce carbon emissions and indoor air pollution by replacing wood burning with biogas; the La Salle Technological University (ULSA) in Nicaragua, for biofuel from Jatropha curcus; and the National Agrarian University (UNA) in Nicaragua, for rural electrification through photovoltaic systems.

The three disaster resilience projects are: the ProPetén Foundation in Guatemala, for integrated fire management in agriculture; the Center for Maya Sotzil Research and Development Planning in Guatemala, for strengthening the disaster risk reduction (DRR) and mitigation capacity of indigenous communities; and HOPE Nevis Inc. in St. Kitts and Nevis, to build community resilience to natural disasters.

The three transport winners are: the Center of Environmental and Natural Resources Law (CADARENA)-Foundation for Urban Development (FUDEU) in Costa Rica, to promote bicycle use in the San Jose Greater Metropolitan Area; Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College in St. Kitts and Nevis, to promote non-motored transport in Basseterre; and the Caribbean Network for Urban Land Management (CNULM) in Trinidad and Tobago, to analyze the cities of Willemstad (Curacao), Paramaribo (Suriname), Bridgetown (Barbados), St. Georges (Grenada) and East Port-of-Spain (Trinidad) to determine elements of smart urban design that can decrease car use and encourage walking and bicycling.

The waste category has four winners: the Basel Convention Regional Center for Central America and Mexico (CRCB-CAM), to formulate an e-waste strategy for Central America; the Grenada Project, to recycle certain organic wastes into poultry feed; the Honduras Brotherhood, to create a waste management system in a southwestern province; and Plenty International Belize Ltd., to support recycling, reuse and alternative solid waste disposal in Punta Gorda