Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh, Deputy Minister of Marine Environment and Wetlands and National Director of the Sistan Project, announced holding the “Second Meeting of the Committee for Review and Approval of Quick-win Projects” on September 14, 2021, in the presence of committee members. The meeting was attended by committee members, including the UNDP Resident Representative in Iran and his deputy, provincial authorities including the Sistan and Baluchestan Governor, Department of Environment, the Ministry of Jihad Agricultural, the Iran Fisheries Organization, the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization, the Department of cooperative, Labor and Social Welfare, the General Deparment of Natural Resources, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines, Zabol University, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the Sistan project were held to introduce quick-win projects received by the project team.
Lahijanzadeh, referring to the preparation of instructions and proposals, holding meetings and joint workshops with local stakeholders, and announcing a call for quick-win projects in recent months, said that at the end of the announcement, we received about 70 projects. The projects are being examined with the local community and government authorities.
Claudio Proidas, UNDP Resident Representative in Iran, called the Sistan project one of the most significant UNDP projects and one of Iran’s most prominent development projects, noted the generous EU financial support for the project and stressed the importance of small quick-win projects. “These initiatives strengthen ties with other organizations, including NGOs and civil society organizations, provide a basis for more action and confidence-building, and open the door to long-term, more effective activities,” he said.
He also expressed satisfaction with the excellent reception of local groups in submitting projects, noting that this shows the people’s favorable attention to the Department of Environmental and the Sistan Governor. He also said that “the number of submitted projects shows the people’s interest and desire to improve the situation; conditions that have arisen due to climate change and drought in the Sistan region.” “Attention to environmental protection should not happen in a vacuum, but in the context of inclusive economic development, and we will remain committed to achieving the expected results,” he added.
Neda Falsafi, Acting National Sistan Project Manager, said that the focus of quick-win projects is “Tourism, Handicrafts, and Cultural Development,” “Women’s Economic Empowerment,” “Agriculture and Livestock,” “Fisheries and Aquaculture,” “Entrepreneurship and Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises,” “Soil, Water and Wetland Management” and “Trade and Commerce.” She also pointed out the goals of the quick win projects as to strengthen the institutional capacity of key organizations to achieve development goals; To support community-based individual and group initiatives aimed at generating income and reducing poverty; to help to promote support activities between civil society organizations, government, and sponsors; to support local organizations, NGOs, and groups that seek solutions to reduce problems related to natural resources, climate change and livelihoods;
Quick-win projects are under consideration in the project implementation processes, specifically designed to engage actors who have a particular or distinct view of development or represent people who have been deprived of the development process and can come up with practical or innovative solutions to overcome deprivation or deal with development challenges.
The project “Enhancing integrated natural resource management for the restoration of wetland ecosystems and support to alternative livelihoods development of local communities,” abbreviated as the Sistan Project is a joint project, which is launched in 2020 with specific objectives for the following five years between the Iranian Department of Environment (DoE) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which is funded by the European Union (EU).