The UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme
Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) embodies the very essence of sustainable development by thinking globally acting locally. The programme is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing the well being and livelihoods of people, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives. SGP recognizes that environmental degradation presents life-threatening challenges that endanger us all. However, poor and vulnerable communities – the 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 US$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.
In Namibia, the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia hosts the UNDP/GEF SGP. The objectives of the UNDP/GEF SGP are to:
- Develop community-level strategies and implement technologies that could reduce threats to the Namibian environment.
- Gather lessons from community-level experience and share successful community-based strategies and innovations among CBOs, NGOs, host governments, development aid agencies, GEF and others working on a regional or global scale.
- Build partnerships and networks of stakeholders to support and strengthen community, NGO and national capacities to address global environmental problems and promote sustainable development.
- Ensure that conservation and sustainable development strategies and projects that protect the global environment are understood and practiced by communities and other key stakeholders.
Within each of the above focal areas, the UNDP/GEF SGP approach aims to include the following components:
- Capacity building
- Community empowerment and participation
- Poverty reduction
- Gender mainstreaming
- Indigenous and disabled peoples involvement
- Youth and children participation
- Knowledge management
- Replication and up-scaling
- Policy impact.