For many years, the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) has provided strategic support to sustainable development efforts in SIDS in a variety of ways. SGP is active in all the SIDS regions, - the Pacific; the Caribbean; and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Seas - providing critical funding to communities and local CSOs to implement multi-objective projects for environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods and local empowerment. In response to the critical need to help island communities adapt to climate change, SGP and AusAID, now known as the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), launched a SIDS Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) programme covering 37 SIDS countries in 2011, which further intensified SGP's environment and sustainable development work in these regions.
To date, SGP's support in SIDS has covered more than 2,300 projects amounting to more than USD $62 Million in grant funding. SGP has seen a steep increase in its work with SIDS communities over the last ten years, with the number of projects more than tripling and the amount of funding increasing by 5 times since 2002. The picture on the right features a sand dune restoration project on Tobi Island, Palau.
On the 2014 UN SIDS Conference
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held in Apia, Samoa from 1 – 4 September 2014. The conference is preceded by multi-stakeholder activities from 28 – 31 August 2014. The events will serve as a forum to build on existing successful partnerships as well as to launch innovative new partnerships to advance the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
SGP has organized events comprising of site visits to three projects showcasing community action for sustainable development and a panel discussion on building resilience to climate change through Community-Based Adaptation (details below). The aim of these events is to contribute to the SIDS Conference discussions by drawing attention to an integrated approach for tackling environment and climate change issues through genuine and durable partnerships with stakeholders - particularly with communities and civil society - at all levels. These events fall under two of the partnership dialogue themes, "Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management" and "Social Development in SIDS, Health and NCDs, Youth and Women".
In preparation for the UN SIDS Conference, SGP provided support for CSO-Government dialogues so that the voices of communities and CSOs can also be brought by SIDS country delegations into the conference itself. Perhaps, more importantly, the meaningful engagement of communities and CSOs makes them more prepared to join in the multi-stakeholder work needed to implement the outcomes of the conference. Thus, the dialogues were also designed to pave the way for agreements to be made for strengthened cooperation, partnerships and networking between CSOs including from academia, private sector and media for post-conference tasks expected under the SIDS ACCELERATED MODALITIES OF ACTION [S.A.M.O.A.] Pathway.
Community & CSO Consultations
Cape Verde - community and CSOs Cape Verde - UNDP RR and Minister of Environment Mauritius - community/CSOs, SGP National Coordinator
Anitgua and Barbuda - community, CSOs, SGP NC Anigua and Barbuda Barbados - with SGP National Coordinator & UNDP RR
The Caribbean Youth Environment Network and SGP present the Prime Minister of Barbados with the civil society report
SGP provided support to the Samoan Umbrella of Non-Governmental Organizations (SUNGO) in its role, assigned by the Government of Samoa, as the principal host for the Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum of UNSIDS. The Conference brings together more than 300 CSOs in one place to share, deliberate and discuss solutions to problems specific to their countries and in particular their local and indigenous communities With the Major Groups & Stakeholders Forum, the goal is to 'develop and encourage just, accountable, innovative and effective partnerships nationally, regionally and globally". This event takes place all day on 29 August 2014 preceding the main conference.
Detailed information on the SGP events
The SGP parallel event will be held during the pre-conference period on 30 August 2014 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Field visits to three (3) SGP project communities in the island of Upolu have been organized: Matafa'a Village (a Community-Based Adaptation project), Falease'ela Village/Liua le Vai O Sina Watershed and Rainforest Sanctuary (a Biodiversity project) and Savaia Village/Savaia Marine Reserve (a Biodiversity project that has won the "Best Marine Protected Area Award " and "Best Giant Clam Award" in Samoa). More details can be found on the UN SIDS website for parallel events: http://www.sids2014.org/index.php?menu=1566
The SGP side event "CBA and Resilience Building to the Impacts of Climate Change" will be held on 2 September 2014 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at the conference venue, the Faleata Sports Complex. More details can be found on the UN SIDS website for side events: http://www.sids2014.org/index.php?menu=1498