The GEF-5 strategy for chemicals sets to consolidate the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and ozone layer depletion focal areas, as well as to broaden the scope of GEF's engagement with the sound management of chemicals and to initiate work on mercury. The goal of the GEF's chemicals focal area is:

to promote the sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycle in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the global environment

Project Types and Priority Issues

SGP chemicals portfolio has gained considerable experiences in the following types of activities (examples and good cases on the following types of activities can be found at SGP POPs Training Module):

  • Promote environmentally friendly waste management to avoid open burning of waste to avoid unintentional releases of POPs;
  • Identify, manage and dispose obsolete community pesticide stockpiles;
  • Promote organic and sustainable agriculture to avoid illegal community uses of POPs pesticides and reduce land degradation;
  • Elimination, handling and environmentally sound disposal of PCB
  • Improve communities' awareness and understanding of POPs toxicity and impact on human and ecological health;
  • Develop civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities capacity addressing POPs.

In GEF-5, SGP will pilot activities on chemicals and heavy metals as well as chemicals in products with direct and visible impact and relevance to community life. DDT alternatives to control malaria, e-waste, mercury use and exposure in small scale gold mining, lead in paint, and chemicals in products are appropriate areas where SGP can make a tangible impact on.

DDT. DDT is still legally and widely used in some 17 countries for malaria vector control. SGP should pilot activities to:

  • develop and pilot alternatives to DDT in malaria vector control
  • consolidate and disseminate local and traditional experiences and knowledge in malaria vector control
  • Raise awareness on the toxicity of DDT

E-waste. E-waste is one of the fastest growing segments of waste streams in Asia and the Pacific as well as in other parts of the world. For example, approximately 4 million personal computers (PCs) are discarded every year in China alone. E-waste valued at $1.5 billion was generated in India in 2006. SGP can undertake the following activities:

  • define the problem of E-waste at the community level
  • identify and raise awareness regarding toxic constituents in end-of-life electric and electronic equipment
  • develop pilot projects on successful collection schemes
  • develop infrastructure to be able locally to recycle such used and end-of-life equipment.

Mercury. SGP can demonstrate mercury reduction activities through:

  • reducing mercury use and exposure in Artisanal and Small- scale Gold Mining (ASGM)
  • increase local awareness and
  • develop alternative methods to gold mining without mercury
  • enhance capacity for safe storage
  • reduce atmospheric emissions of mercury; and manage contaminated community sites

Lead in paint. Lead is a heavy metal with known impacts on health, especially on children's health. Paints are sold with added lead in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. SGP could pilot the following activities:

  • support awareness raising on the toxicity of lead and on alternatives
  • identify potential lead exposure
  • reduce exposure to lead in paint
  • in collaboration with businesses, pilot alternatives to lead in paint

Chemicals in products. Knowledge and information are fundamental to the sound management of chemicals. Chemicals are widely used in products, and some chemicals are harmful and toxic in products where communities have no knowledge about. SGP can pilot activities to identify harmful chemicals in products at the communities, raise awareness regarding the toxicity, and develop alternatives or provide solutions to handle these products.


  • More than 900 online users of SGP POPs Training Module, and more than 10,000 offline users
  • More than three thousand tons of pesticides reduced, prevented or managed properly for human and ecosystem health
  • Winning of CNN Hero 2007 by SGP POPs project in Cuba
  • Winning of Stockholm Convention PEN Award 2011 by a POPs project in Nepal
+ read more
Chemicals Snapshot (Since 1992)
# of Projects 645
Total Grant Amount US$ 18,382,427
Total cash Co-Financing US$ 9,060,516
Total In-Kind Co-Financing US$ 10,871,233

Portfolio By Region

Asia & the Pacific
Arab States
Europe & the CIS
Latin America & the Caribbean
Global Publications
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The proliferation of harmful chemicals is a growing concern for human health and well-being and the global environment.During its 6th replenishment period (July 2014 to June 2018; GEF-6), GEF continues to play a catalytic role in leveraging budgetary resources to support elimination and reduction of harmful chemicals and waste.The GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) is the special window of the GEF providing financial and technical support to communities and civil society organizations for addressing global environmental challenges, while also promoting poverty reduction and sustainable development. In the chemicals and waste focal area, SGP focuses its support to communities at the forefront of chemical threats either as users or consumers, including women and indigenous peoples.As of April 2017, SGP has supported 565 projects with an investment of more than $16 million in GEF grant funding, leveraging more than $18 million in co-financing from multiple sources. SGP’s chemicals and waste portfolio has focused on:  solid waste management to avoid open burning of waste;  pesticide management in agriculture and organic farming; • reduction of chemicals usage and contamination (such as PCB) in small-scale businesses;   capacity development, awareness raising and knowledge sharing.

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General Brochure about the SMall Grants Programme. Where we work, how to apply, areas of work and results.

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Case Studies
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Malaysia_POP free.png
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Ghana_chemical free agriculture.png
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China_Waste to resource.png
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Bhutan_waste paper recycling.png
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BioGas and Waste Case Study ( Wednesday, 16 May 2012 )
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+ view more case studies
2012- Earthcare Awards

SGP initiative on Management of solid waste and reduction of methane emissions through community participation in Galle City Sri Lanka was the winner of the Times of India - Earthcare Awards, New Delhi, October 2012.

2012 - Earth Day Network

Ms. Anita Rana is Director of the NGO Janhit Foundation, which operates out of Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh State - earlier a housewife, has relentlessly taken to reduce the use of persistent organic pollutants through the promotion and use of bio- pesticides and organic manures supported by the GEF/UNDP Small Grants Program. Leading a highly dedicated and productive team, she has been promoting organic farming in the high inorganic fertilizer consumption areas of Western Uttar Pradesh. The Endeavour has grown manifolds and the first (and only) organic food ingredients outlet has been established in Meerut city with the support garnered by her from other sources. Ms. Rana is also recognized for the number of rain water harvesting units and other educational programs she has undertaken with the youth that has helped to nurture many a young hearts with a wider vision for better environment. Earth Day Network commended Ms. Rana's efforts for the planet and for humankind.

2011 - Stockholm Convention's PEN Awards

Centre for Public Health Environmental Development (CEPHED), NGO from Nepal was awarded during COP5 meeting at Geneva, for the outstanding activity in the area of POPs, particularly for taking initiative towards minimizing the use of PCB contaminated transformer oil through research, making available information, awareness raising programs, arrangement of workshops, advocacy campaigns.

2011 - Grill Enterprenuer

Mr.Ram Charitra Sah, Executive Director of CEPHED has been also honoured with the a certificate of appreciation for his contribution toward protecting the Grill Workers' Health and built their capacity to address the PCB issues in their grill workshops made though ongoing  UNDP GEF SGP Nepal funded POPs program under implementing by CEPHED. Honorable Minister Mr. Gokarna Bista, Ministry of Energy, Nepal has honoured Mr. Sah on the occasion of celebrating 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Grill Traders Association of Nepal on last May 10, 2011.

2009 - Outstanding Democratic villages Award

Won by Pluak Ngarm Village, Phitsanuloke Province. The village was awarded for its outstanding participatory process in community development from the Office of the Prime Minister's Department of Public Relation.

2009 - One World Award & Green Apple Environment Award

In 2009, Janhit Foundation has been declared as one of the major winners of the prestigious 'Green Apple Environment Awards' for their outstanding contribution and work towards environment issues. The award is being presented to the Director during the Award ceremony at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London on November 17, 2009 being hosted by former Health Minister Patricia Hewittat.

2008 - One World Award

The Founder Director of Janhit Foundation has been conferred upon with the prestigious 'One World Award' in 2008, by IFOAM and Rapunzel, for his constant contribution towards nature conservation, biodiversity conservation, organic agriculture and activities which have brought a change in the lives of the community at large, both economically and socially. Janhit foundation is the SGP partner working on the GEF UNDP SGP project "Reducing the use of persistant Organic Pollutants and related POPs Namely Lindane and Endosulphan through Promotion of the use of Bio Pesticides and Organic Manures". IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture) is patron of the One World Award. The award is aimed to recognize people who are committed to permanently protect and conserve this one world as the basis of existence for all people. It was with great honour that Lt. Sh. Anil Rana and the Janhit Foundation had been awarded this award for the year 2008. It has been selected as one of the five finalist organisations in the world which have constantly contributed towards nature conservation, biodiversity conservation, organic agriculture and activities which have brought a change in the lives of the community at large, both economically and socially. The other four finalists included Mr. Lal Emmanuel of the Nagenahiru Foundation from Sri Lanka, Mr. Sheng Lyun of the Fo Fa Shan Organic Ecological Group from Taiwan, Mr. Harald Schutzeichel of the Solar Energy Foundation from Ethiopia and Mr. Victor Ananias ofthe Bugday Association from Turkey. Apart from a cash prize, a beautiful citation was presented to him as the Director of the organisation, at a public function which was held at Modena Italy on June 19, 2008. The award was presented by Ms. Renate Kunast, the Former German Minister of Agriculture and the chairwoman of the greens parliamentary group.

2008 - Appreciation Certificate by Ms. Lizzette Burgers, WES Chief, UNICEF and the Country Representative of Water Aid, Mr. Depinder Singh Kapur in 2008

Won by Janhit Foundation. The foundation also joined in celebrating Ground Water Day on 10th June 2008. The Ground Water Department, Govt. of UP hosted a seminar at Lucknow and chaired by Honourable Minister for Department. Here late Mr. Anil Rana, was also honoured with the title of 'Waterman of Uttar Pradesh' and was recognized for his outstanding contribution.

2007 - National Environment Award

The government of Honduras awarded "The Association of Indigenous Women" of Moskitia, the annual National Environment Award for their contribution to the sustainable management of natural resources. The group counts approximately 600 single mothers and spouses of disabled divers of the Moskitia ethnic group, in the department of Gracias a Dios. These women have transformed their community by creating development projects aiming at protecting the environment by recycling solid waste. The project also generates income to their families. The award includes a trophy, a diploma and 75,000 Lempiras or US $3,970 to be used to acquire different types of equipments for their project.

2006 - UNDP Innovation Award

Won by Centro Ecológico de Procesamiento de Residuos Urbanos”, CEPRU: La Oficina del PNUD en Cuba la asignación a un proyecto de protección ambiental en la ciudad de Guantánamo –el CEPRU-- de uno de los tres premios anuales concedidos en 2006 por el Administrador del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo en la Sede, en Nueva York, anunciado con motivo de la celebración el 20 de diciembre del Foro Mundial del Personal.

Se trata de un proyecto del Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial (SGP/GEF), implementado por el PNUD, con el título de "Disminución de las emisiones de Dioxinas y Furanos por la eliminación de la quema incontrolada de desechos sólidos urbanos en la Comunidad de Isleta", que se cumple en uno de los barrios periféricos –Isleta Sur-- de la ciudad oriental cubana de Guantánamo, capital de la provincia del mismo nombre. Este proyecto compitió con otros 70 de todo el mundo, y el premio del Administrador del PNUD lo recibió en la categoría de "Innovación y Creatividad".

En este caso, se trataba de un empeño de un grupo de personas dispuestas a dar un vuelco a la situación ambiental creada por un vertedero aledaño a su comunidad mediante un reciclaje que pusiera fin a los malos olores y a la presencia de vectores indeseados.

El aporte del PNUD entregó aperos e instrumentos al grupo de personas, encabezado por una trabajadora agrícola, la señora Irania Martínez, a fin de que pudieran trabajar los desechos con vista a su procesamiento. Con esa entrega nacía el "Centro Ecológico de Procesamiento de Residuos Urbanos", CEPRU, acrónimo por el que ahora se conoce no sólo ya en Cuba sino también, gracias al galardón del PNUD, en el resto del mundo. View the Award.

2006 - Premio Nacional de Medio Ambiente de la República de Cuba

Won by Centro de Procesamiento de Residuos Sólidos Urbanos (CEPRU): Por el projecto: ¨Disminución de las Emisiones de Dioxinas y Furanos, por la eliminación de la quema incontrolada de desechos sólidos urbanos en la Comunidad de Isleta Sur, Provincia de Guantánamo".

2006 - CNN Hero

Won by Irania Martinez: With a grant from SGP, the Isleta Sur community in Guantanamo successfully transformed a dump of domestic solid waste into a garden. Three hectares of the dump have now been planted with fruit trees, compost is being produced, and a plant nursery and recycling facility for rubber, plastics, and metals was established. The recycling centre is also providing employment for 40 local residents, including 19 women. The community leader was also awarded the National Environmental Award 2006, the top annual prize given by the Ministry for the Environment in Cuba.
View the Award.

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Ms. Sulan Chen
Programme Advisor (International Waters and Chemicals), Regional Focal Point
Phone: +1 646 781 4350
Fax: +1 646 781 4075


304 East 45th Street, 9th Floor , New York, NY 10017