Small Grants Programme will help to solve environmental problems of Mangystau Province of Kazakhstan and activate its citizens To engage citizens in solving environmental problems in Mangystau Province is the goal of Small Grants Programme, organized by Kazakhstani non-governmental organizations Eco Mangystau, Eco Museum and CINEST and Arnika from the Czech Republic, with the financial support of the European Union. Civic initiatives can submit their project ideas until the end of January 2015. Successful applicants can receive up to € 3.000, the total budget consist of € 16.000. Small grants amounting to EUR 16.000 are available for applicants. Average budgets for 5-10 small projects are expected to be EUR 1500-3000. “The small grants are a good opportunity for citizens who want to solve some current environmental issues, such as illegal waste dumping, lack of trees, urban development, littering in nature reserves and many others. Ideas how to inform our public and activate neighbours and other citizens are welcome,” said Kirill Osin, director of Eco Mangystau. “Mangystau faces many serious environmental problems. Their solution requires cooperation of state authorities with businesses and active involvement of the citizens. Such approach may not only lessen the risk for public health, but also reduce social tensions,” Martin Skalsky, coordinator of the project in Czech Republic, says. The Small Grants Programme is designed for people who want move forward local local environmental issues, involve also their neighbours and other citizens and interact with responsible state authorities. The project can last for maximum 6 month. All details and forms (in Russian) can be found at: http://mangystau.arnika.org/grant Mangystau Province at Caspian Sea shore is sparsely populated – on the area of half of the Germany live less than 500 thousand people. Semi-desert region is a centre of Kazakhstani oil and uranium industry, bringing along serious environmental consequences. Other problems are poor public infrastructure, lack of drinking water in some settlements or unsufficient waste management. The Small Grants Programme was launched within the project "Promotion of the rights of citizens for public participation in decision-making about environmental issues - practical implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Mangystau", aimed at strengthening civil society by improving the living conditions of residents in Mangystau Province of Kazakhstan. Funding for project in the amount of 336 120 euros was provided by the European Union.