GEF Small Grants Programme for sustainable livelihood launches in Delhi


New Delhi: Engaging the communities at the grassroots level to effectively tackle the impact of climate change and conservation, the government has launched the seventh phase of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) small grants programme (SGP-OP7) in New Delhi.

The programme (SGP-OP7) has been launched to provide financial and technical support to local communities, community-based and civil society organizations, mostly in poor and often remote areas, for initiatives that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.

It is being implemented by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) under the guidance of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Taking about the project, Joint Secretary Neelesh Kumar Sah said, “To make effective changes on the ground, it is important to get the state governments on board.”

Sah also pointed out that the small grants programme can play a vital role in realising the goal of thinking globally and acting locally and that projects under it must be designed to positively impact livelihoods. 

Placing the small grants programme in perspective, Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, said it is an effective way to involve stakeholders on the ground.

Small programmes bring organisations with diversity on board and show us what is needed at the grassroots. Their participation is essential to address the global problems of climate change and resource depletion, “she added. 

Ashish Chaturvedi, Head, Environment and Energy, UNDP, India, too, emphasised the significance of this project in tackling climate change and bringing about transformative changes.

“Small steps and community-led action are equally important, if not more, when it comes to transformative change, as compared to large flagship initiatives,” Mr. Chaturvedi added. Highlighting the long legacy of the small grants programme in India, he said over 400 of them have been implemented across the country so far, “he said. 

Highlighting the challenges faced by local communities in the event of climate change, Anusha Sharma, Project Officer, NRM and Biodiversity, UNDP India, emphasised the need for strategies for local action. Local communities are at the heart of climate action. They need technical capacity, financial support, and, on occasion, support from the government, “she noted. 

Explaining the framework of the SGP-OP7, Manish Kumar Pandey, SGP National Coordinator, said the project will focus on the thematic areas of biodiversity, land degradation, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. It will be implemented in the highlands of the Northeast, the central semi-arid region of India and the Indian coastal regions.

“The target is to restore 10,000 hectares of land by the end of the five-year project period. The project aims to work towards improved practises for the benefit of biodiversity in the marine habitat, measuring 600 hectares at the end of five years, “he explained.

The inception workshop is aimed at building awareness of the project objectives, thematic areas, selected landscapes, and information regarding the grant disbursal procedure.

Giving a broad framework of the governance structure of the OP-7 of the Small Grants Programme, Tabinda Bashir, Project Associate, Climate Change and Resilience, UNDP India said, “This is a unique programme that keeps civil society at the centre and all grants will be approved by the national steering committee that upholds utmost transparency.” 

Aprajita Mukherjee, Gender Focal Point, UNDP CO, underlined the special gender action plan that will be part of the SGP-OP7.

In a fast-paced project, there is a possibility of gender slipping through the cracks. The gender action plan is the standard to be mindful of the gender angle. It reminds us that we need to be aware of the differential impacts of climate change on gender, “she added. 

In making a suggestion to include the third gender in the special gender action plan, Sonamani Haobam, Deputy Secretary, underscored the significance of small steps to achieve the larger sustainability goals.

“It is important to go back to the stage where humans engaged with nature for sustainable consumption and production. We had begun to manipulate nature and we are now at its mercy, “Haobam said. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here