Ecology and Conservation Organisation of Afghanistan (ECOA)

Projects

Here you will find an overview of all past and present projects ECOA is working on.

Name of Project Target Province Project duration Project budget Donors / Funding sources
Koh-e Baba Mountain Area Site Planning and Conservation Project Implementation Bamyan Jan 2011

Dec 2012

$70,000 World Food Programme
Summary: Ecological Restoration of 7 Upper Catchment high-Alpine community conservation sites with detailed site planning and conservation education. This project involved the landscaping and layout for 7 upper catchment conservation area sites as part of improved environmental planning and management for the upper catchment of the Koh-e Baba. The project improved conservation and restoration by creation of better paths and trails in the main riverside communal area at the villages. Environmental awareness was built in local communities for the importance of conservation and nature protection in the Shah Foladi area. Disaster risk reduction interventions were carried out through better slope stability and vegetative cover (tree planting and rangeland reseeding). Over 100,000 trees were planted in the 7 villages.
Women and Natural Resources Project Clean Cookstoves and protection of environment in the Koh-e-Baba Mountains  Bamyan Jan 2012
Dec 2012
$37,469 Embassy of Finland
Summary: This project is has received continuation funding from Finland embassy for 2013. The project is comprised of a package of interventions aimed to help protect land degradation from fuel cutting and to potentially save lives. Tragically over 2 million people die every year due to smoke inhalation. Most of these are women and children. Therefore we have combined green energy products ( a clean cookstove, clean oven, solar water heater and briquette/efficient fuel maker) woodlot plantation and fruit tree plantation together with practical environmental education to give a means for these women to live better and take better care of their environment . On this platform of the Koh-e-Baba partnership ECOA is building more locally appropriate initiatives to assist these women. 
Mountain Landscape community conservation and education center  Bamyan March 2012

Dec 2012

$10,000 Ruffords Small Grants Programme
Summary: This project developed a landscape management and conservation education strategy for upper catchment conservation sites as part of improved environmental landscape planning and management for the upper catchment of the Koh-e Baba mountain range in Central Afghanistan.

Combined with the development of a trail system and educational action plan, this project increased environmental awareness in local communities on the importance of conservation and nature protection in the poverty stricken Koh-e Baba area and throughout Afghanistan, by linking to the national Protected Areas plan.

Establishing of Eco- Conservation center in Koh-e-Baba mountains Bamyan Jan 2012

Aug 2012

$12,000 Agha Khan Foundation
Summary: Ecologically sound conservation centers cum guesthouses were established in 5 of the communities in the Koh-e-Baba protected area. These act as places, outside of the mosque where educational workshops and community meetings can happen. They double as guesthouses for trekkers in the mountains, which brings an added source of income to the communities.
High level training in Biodiversity data collection Bamyan Jan 2012 

Aug 2012

$4,000 Millennium Seed Bank
Summary: Teaching and capacity building of DAIL, NEPA, University professors and students in rigorous biodiversity data collection. This was done through five day fieldwork training. The data collected from the fieldwork contributed to the Koh-e-Baba protected area management plan and fed into the National Biodiversity Action Plan.
In-situ biodiversity conservation strategic plan  Bamyan Jan 2012

Sept 2012

$25,000 United Nations Environment
Summary: This project was implemented together with the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) and Ministry Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to gather information on biodiversity in the Koh-e-Baba Mountains, a very important area for biodiversity in the Central Highlands.  There are two key outcomes to this project, firstly the gathering of much needed baseline information on biodiversity which has in turn produced a list of research topics which should be undertaken, secondly it provides methods of working with the community to undertake biodiversity conservation.
Environmental Education Nationwide April 2013 

July 2013

$5,000 British Ecological Society
Summary: Development and design of environment education materials promoting biodiversity conservation in Afghanistan. These materials include; posters, leaflets, movies, exhibitions and information booklets. 
Women, Environment and Natural Resources Bamyan May 2013 May 2014 (one year) $79,577 Fund for Local Cooperation Embassy of Finland in Kabul and Linda Norgrove Foundation
Summary: After the tremendous success of last years’ ‘Clean Cookstove project’ (funded by the Embassy of Finland and the Linda Norgrove Foundation), ECOA is now implementing stage two of ‘Women, Environment and Natural Resources’, focussing on the improvement of stove performance and manufacturing process of low-cost sustainable irrigation systems. This will further enhance the health of local women and children and increase energy sustainability. A Green Technology Design and Metal Work internship programme will train eight local men in development and design of green technology in the lab. Finally, women will be involved in the development and maintenance of community tree nurseries of which saplings will be used for ecological restoration.

No. of villages involved: 18

Securing sustainability through community based Rangeland Conservation, Environmental education and livelihood production. Bamyan June 2013 December 2014 (18 months) $50,000 UNDP/GEF-SGP (United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility)-SGP Small Grants Programme)
Summary: Traditional rangeland management practices relied on rotational grazing, maintaining ‘grazer free areas’ where habitat can recover. However, decades of conflict and poverty have degraded these ancient traditions and replaced it for more destructive grazing patterns which degrade the local environment. This project will help local communities to spread awareness about traditional rangeland management, build institutional capacity through establishing rangeland user associations and support rangeland management through training and workshops. This project builds on a 100% successful ecological restoration project carried out by ECOA in partnership with the World Food Programme in 2012.

Furthermore, a regional Environment Center will be established, the first if its kind in Afghanistan. This center welcomes everyone from local communities, women and youth, University students, government staff, and natural resource managers and aims to encourage a sense of ownership, pride and motivation with regards to sustainable management of natural resources and the many practical, medicinal and livelihood values of biodiversity. The center will also be home to a ‘Young Conservation Leaders’ programme which taps into a lack of opportunities for young conservation oriented Afghan men and women. The center will include many demonstration exhibitions for example of green technology, sustainable gardening, sustainable livelihood options such as bee-keeping, composting & recycling, biogas and photo exhibitions. It will also be a ‘learning center’ with a comprehensive library and a space for training, seminars and workshops.

Finally, this project supports communities with the establishment of indigenous tree, plant and shrub nurseries and village eco-training centers, which will enable them to establish their own woodlots and fruit orchards which will help reduce land degradation, increase ecological regeneration and serve as a significant fuel/income source in the future. No. of villages involved: 18

Eco-DRR (Ecosystem based Disaster Risk Reduction), Using water conservation planning and community environment management for Koh-e Baba. Bamyan May 2013 May 2015 (two years) $75,000 UNEP SSFA (United Nation’s Environmental Programme Small Scale Funding Agreement SSFA)
Summary: Poor rural communities in the villages of the Koh-e Baba mountain range face severe threats from natural disasters such as severe winters, droughts, and floods which result in human tragedy and substantial economic loss. The aim of this project is to increase the resilience of local communities against these disasters whilst also providing multiple benefits including poverty reduction, biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihood development and carbon sequestration. Specific activities are planned in three spheres: first, a disaster risk-sensitive land-use plan for the Koh-e Baba Watershed including Village Action Plans; second, the demonstration of a package of ecological interventions and community-based field interventions for eco-DRR such as tree nurseries, strategic tree planting and disaster resilient environmental centres; and third local capacity building in early warning systems, spatial planning, development and best practices for eco-DRR.

No. of villages involved:  18

BEES: Beekeeping, Education Empowerment Sustainability Bamyan June 2013 December 2014 $163,320 New Zealand Aid and DFID (Department of International Development, UK), facilitated by Prime Consulting International 
Summary: ECOA’s ‘BEES project’ brings the sustainable and profitable practice of beekeeping to rural villages across the Bamyan and Yawkalang district. It is particularly aimed at women, who can practice beekeeping around their houses and provide additional income for their family. The project will set up an ‘equipment supply’ chain, in which local communities are encouraged to produce beekeeping equipment themselves rather than purchasing expensive equipment from (international) industries. The participants will receive thorough training in all aspects of beekeeping including small business management. The trainings are tailor-made and aimed at illiterate people with little or no experience in the sector. The establishment of ‘Bamyan Beekeeping Associations’ will unite the participants and that will continue to provide support to the participants even after project termination through training, workshops, equipment loan, marketing etc. Finally, market research will be conducted and a market strategy will be developed for bees products such as honey to ensure profitability of the enterprises.
LANSA Bamyan 2016-2017 $39647 Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) 
Summary: LANSA is an international research partnership investigating how agriculture and agri-food systems can be better designed to advance nutrition, focusing on policies, interventions and strategies that can improve nutritional status in South Asia.
Greening Baba Schools Baba Mountains 2017-18 $30,000 UN Environment
Summary: The Green Schools project builds upon gender sensitive and community based practices in order to create a safe, eco-conscious, and participatory environment for children to grow up and learn about ecosystem conservation, development and climate.
Darwin Initiative Afghanistan Bamyan 2016-19 $185,290 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)
Summary: The Darwin Initiative is a UK government-funded mechanism to assist countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. The project will support the National Environmental Protection Agency of Afghanistan (NEPA) and the Ecology and Conservation Organisation of Afghanistan (ECOA) to engage with the rural, mountainous communities of the Central Highlands Region in Bamyan, to prevent environmental degradation by reducing fuelwood collection through more efficient and sustainable fuel interventions that reduce indoor air pollution in the form of smoke. Reduction in fuel required will contribute to the restoration of the rangelands and lessen the pressure on biodiversity in the area, securing essential ecosystem services for the communities who rely heavily on the natural resource base for their livelihoods. The project will generate key information on the social and environmental benefits of simple, sustainable interventions such as clean cook stoves and solar water heaters and will have the potential to impact a range of areas from sustainable livelihoods, health and environmental conservation to policy-making.
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