The office of United Nations Small Grants Programs (SGP) allocates annual budgets on a cross-sector basis to support various projects that some of them are environmental.
Recently, the request of Caspian Seal Conservation Center for support funding was accepted by the SGP office. This one-year project started in mid-2018. The Center’s commitments in this project are divided into several parts:
Part One: Women
In the women’s sector, the center was committed to hold environmental classes and workshops, especially the Caspian Sea and introducing the Caspian Sea species as an endemic species to the region. They were also taught how to earn money by maintaining a species, such as handbags replacing plastic bags and plastic containers. The workshops were held in Gomishan city. Gomishani ladies learned how to integrate traditional indigenous designs and image of seals together and apply it on fabric sacks. The Center is committed to assist women in selling these products at an early stage and helping them to create sustainable businesses.
Part Two: Children
Children play a very important and valuable role in preserving and safeguarding the future of nature and man, so education among them is essential. This time the center tried to reach out to the villages, the coastal villages with a larger population of fishermen. Environmental workshops focused on the role and importance of Caspian ecosystem and endangered species of Caspian seal were conducted in three northern provinces where more than 300 children were trained.
Part Three: Fishermen
The Caspian Seal Conservation Center considers fishermen as one of its most important contacts because it is not possible to rescue and save the seals without their help. So, this time too, in a plan sent to the UN office, the fishermen were among the main groups, and tried to cover more of these loved ones. This is being done in the three northern provinces.
Currently, there is an interruption in fishermen’s workshops because of the off-season, but fishermen training programs will continue again as the fishing season (September) begin.
Part Four: Volunteers
One of the main problems of the rescue and conservation team of Caspian seal is the lack of trained volunteers. In this project, the center invited potential forces to participate in workshops by informing, identifying and registering the names of volunteers in the three northern provinces of the country. The workshops in this section are divided into theoretical and practical parts. In the early stages, volunteers become familiar with the characteristics of the Caspian seal, its role and importance in the ecosystem, as well as the principles of rescue. Completion of workshops requires the presence of a seal in the center, which was not possible for all volunteers due to the low number of seals in the past fishing season, so additional training will continue in the upcoming fishing season. The purpose of these workshops is to train local rescue and conservation forces in the three northern provinces so that each province can cover the coasts of its province individually by local people.