IWEco held its 3rd Regional Project Steering Committee Meeting (RPSC 3) in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic on 2-3 April 2019.
The opening session was chaired by Ms. Patricia Abreu, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic. Participating Countries, with the exception of Barbados, the Regional Project Coordinating Unit (PCU), and partner agencies were represented in addition to a few specially invited guests.
The Regional Project Coordinator, Jan Betlem, outlined challenges being faced by the Project, notably:
- insufficient synchronization between Small Grant Programme and IWEco project activities in each country
- Inadequate information about what is happening in the countries
- The need for faster feedback on issues
- The need for more timely submission of financial & progress monitoring reports
- Internal bureaucracy related to procurement for administrative and financial issues
- Slow pace of action in some countries
- Slow pace of communication between some countries/partners/ PCU
His hopes and wishes for the Project, he stressed, included:
- Further expansion and development of activities at intervention sites
- Enhanced community and government capacity building
- Increased media coverage of the project at all levels
- Smooth communication and timely delivery of required information documents
- Optimized resource use (including the capacity of the PCU and collaborating partners) from all levels
- That even the ‘late starters’ would soon begin activities.
Key Decisions of RPSC 3 included:
- Approval of an extension of the IWEco project until September 2023 allowing all national and regional interventions to be completed, including interventions funded through UNDP.
- Approval of the 2019 Workplan and noted projected budget for future years, to be confirmed at future RPSC Meetings.
- Noted the importance of functioning National Intersectoral/Inter-ministerial Committees and agreed to create and/or optimize these committees for each country.
- Noted the progress of GEF IWEco Small Grants projects which will reach completion by the end of 2019 supporting the overall objectives of IWEco at local community level offering opportunities for learning, replication and upscaling.
- Agreed to the IWEco Communication Strategy as presented and to the format of the website as presented, and, to provide ongoing contributions.
- Agreed to the utilisation and format of IWEco progress monitoring via the Monitoring Dashboards.
- Recognised the importance of an environmental monitoring mechanism and the value of environmental monitoring dashboards.
- Noted the request of countries for support in the areas of research and governance; in this regard, regional executing partners agreed to provide clarification on the process to be followed and the specific support possible in collaboration with the PCU.
- Proposed that the next RPSC Meeting (2020) be held in Grenada.