Grant recipients of Phase 2 (Cycle 2) of MFF Small Grants Facility (SGF) met on 7 May 2013 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo 7 to share their lessons learned over the past 11 months. Phase 2 (Cycle 2) which commenced operation in January 2011 will be concluded in July 2013.
During this period, 10 projects were implemented in four coastal priority areas in Sri Lanka; Kokilai, Batticaloa, Panama- Pottuvil and Puttalam lagoon.
Five members of the MFF National Steering Committee (NSC) also attended this workshop. The projects were grouped and presented under three themes; Knowledge/Research, Ecosystem restoration and Livelihoods enhancement and each session was Chaired by a NSC member.
The main lessons revealed that it is possible from a small project to expand to larger projects and extend it in the future to even larger projects. For example, a Swedish university is interested in partnering with the Ecological Association of Sri Lanka as a follow up to their small grant project to assist in carrying out studies on paleoclimatic changes in the east coast. Re-introduction of traditional fishing gear can lead to reduction of by-catch and also enhance livelihood standards in fishing communities in Kokilai lagoon and beneficiaries should not be used for record keeping, if correct and comprehensive data is needed. Therefore, hiring a person to do this is more appropriate for accuracy and quality of record keeping.