Though civil society organisations (CSOs) have significantly contributed to addressing a wide array of rights-based topics in West Africa, they still have an essential role to play in complementing governments’ work and raising awareness on the protection of West Africa’s biodiversity hotspots. However, given the broad scope and rapid development of emerging conservation issues like climate change, CSOs, particularly those operating at grassroots and subnational levels, are often under-resourced and face critical capacity constraints to exert influence. Experiences have shown that major CSO’s capacity constraints include challenges with their governance systems and management practices, financial accountability, donor grants reporting and communication.
Other operational challenges that plague civil society include poor documentation, policy advocacy and government engagement as well as the private sector. Therefore, there is a critical need to provide governance and technical support to key local CSOs to aptly promote biodiversity conservation in the hotspot and catalyse climate change mitigation and adaptation. In response to this situation, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was selected by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to implement a two-year capacity strengthening project titled “Strengthening CSO’s capacities for effective stakeholder engagement in biodiversity conservation”.
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