GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)
Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF Small Grants Programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.
SGP recognizes that environmental degradation such as the destruction of ecosystems and the species that depend upon them, increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, pollution of international waters, land degradation and the spread of persistent organic pollutants are life-threatening challenges that endanger us all. However, poor and vulnerable communities –SGP's primary stakeholders - are most at risk because they depend on access to natural resources for their livelihoods and often live in fragile ecosystems.
The programme provides grants of up to $50,000 directly to local communities including indigenous people, community-based organizations and other non-governmental groups for projects in Biodiversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Land Degradation and Sustainable Forest Management, International Waters and Chemicals.
The Community Based Adaptation (CBA) is an important component of the larger picture of management and avoidance of Climate Change impacts and pressures by local people. It provides information and concrete examples on potential impacts of climate change and mitigative measures which are location specific and community managed. CBA also provides information needs which can be shared and replicated in an appropriate format and manner acceptable by communities. The need for information on adaptation by incorporating and building upon existing coping strategies of communities can be articulated and demonstrated through CBA projects.
The Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative Programme (COMDEKS) was launched in 2011 as the flagship programme of the Satoyama Initiative, a global effort to promote sustainable use of natural resources in the landscapes worked in and relied upon by rural communities. Funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the Programme is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), and the United Nations University—Institute of Advanced Studies of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). Grants are delivered through the GEF Small Grants Programme in each country, allowing for a fast, flexible, and proven mechanism to reach communities and civil society at the local level.
Small grants are provided to local community organizations with the overall long-term objective to enhance resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) by developing sound biodiversity management and sustainable livelihood activities with local communities to maintain, rebuild, and revitalize landscapes. Since SEPLS are the repository of much of the world’s crop genetic diversity and biodiversity outside of parks and protected areas, their health is critical to attaining local and global conservation goals and maintaining local crop varieties. Local land use also plays a significant role in climate change mitigation through its effects on carbon storage in soils and biomass, and is equally significant in the success of local climate change adaptation strategies.
Since its inception in 2011, the COMDEKS landscape management approach has been implemented in target landscapes in 20 countries spread over two phases: Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nepal, Slovakia, and Turkey (phase 1), and Bhutan, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Namibia, and Niger (phase 2).