Key Resources

Women as Environmental Stewards: The Experience of the Small Grants Programme

In this publication, the GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP, features women as environmental stewards in case studies about biodiversity conservation, climate change, land degradation, international waters and chemicals and waste management. These examples show action from the ground up and demonstrate the importance of investing in women’s leadership and technical skills for improved environmental benefits and sustainable development, while challenging traditional gender norms that often prevent women from taking leadership roles or from having access and control over the natural resources they help preserve. The thirteen examples of women led projects included in this publication provide evidence that investing in women pays off not just in producing global environmental benefits and sustainable development, but also by improving the wellbeing and sustainable practices of the communities they live in.

Assessing Landscape Resilience: Best practices and lessons learned from the COMDEKS Programme

The aim of this publication is to summarize the key lessons learned and illustrate the best practices drawn from the practical applications of the Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) and other allied tools for community consultation during more than five years of field experience in the COMDEKS Programme.

Blue Economy, Community Solutions

The blue economy is an approach put forward by the international community to take into account the health of the oceans and seas as we strive to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. This concept promotes economic growth, social inclusion and improved livelihoods at the same time as ensuring the environmental sustainability of oceans and seas. It defines a new paradigm of ocean economy, one that is in balance with the long-term capacity of the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems, and that considers social inclusiveness. This publication includes examples from across different continents, ecosystems and cultures, but they all address the priorities of livelihoods and conservation in combination and bring benefits on both fronts. By giving local communities an immediate, concrete stake in the sustainable management of the ocean’s resources, these projects have each secured the local stewardship they need to be a viable, long-term part of the blue economy.

SGP 25th anniversary: Local action, global impact

This is a publication to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Small Grants Programme. With more than 21,000 projects carried out by civil society organizations and local communities and a comprehensive approach, working at multiple scales with a wide range of stakeholders, these innovative solutions have transformed the lives of local communities while at the same time achieving global environmental benefits. Today, SGP is recognized as one o most successful investments that support civil society and community initiatives.

Community - based Chemicals and Waste Management

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.

Community action to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets - the COMDEKS programme

This booklet highlights COMDEKS contributions to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the critical role that local communities play in ecosystem protection and biodiversity conservation.
The publication contains two parts:
Part 1 introduces COMDEKS and its community-based landscape approach for conserving ecosystems and biodiversity and promoting sustainable livelihoods. It outlines the rationale for why community action is vital to conserving biodiversity in rural landscapes outside of Protected Areas.
Part 2 portrays how COMDEKS has contributed to achieving all five of the Strategic Goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and many of the individual Aichi Biodiversity Targets, showcasing a variety of best practices and results from supported projects.

Community-based mercury management

SGP supports community-based approaches to reduce, eliminate and prevent the use of mercury, and promote the safe handling of mercury-containing products. Since 2011, SGP has supported 40 community-based projects to reduce and manage mercury with an investment of $1.2 million, leveraging $1.26 million in co-financing.

Community-based adaptation Small Island Development States, and MEKONG-Asia-Pacific regions

In 2009, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) entered a partnership with Australian Government Overseas Aid Program, now assimilated under the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). With US$ 12.4 million in funding from DFAT, the objective of this partnership is to improve the resilience of communities in 42 countries, including 37 small island developing states (SIDS). This brochure provides an overview of the results of the program.

South-South Cooperation, Community Innovation Exchange Platform

This publication illustrates how SGP leverages South-South and triangular cooperation to tackle local challenges through peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges across different sustainable development issues and geographies. It features ten case studies with demonstrated solutions emerging countries around the world. The problems tackled are of importance not only locally but also within the context of national sustainable development and global environmental challenges, widening the appeal and relevance of these solutions for broader adoption.

SGP corporate brochure, 2017

This corporate brochure provides a brief overview of the Small Grants Programme and the results achieved by 2017.

Community Approaches to Sustainable Land Management and Agroecology Practices

Sustainable Land Management is quickly becoming one of the largest portfolio of the SGP. Together with partners, the SGP supports community organizations to use approaches, techniques and methodologies in line with the principles of agroecology and climate-sensitive land resources management. In this publication, you will find good practices and approaches that has been tested and proven successful by SGP projects around the world. These initiatives have shown evidence on improved land management by communities, nested on traditional knowledge and innovation.

Community Based REDD+

The UN-REDD Programme in partnership with the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) established the Community Based REDD+ (CBR+) initiative to bring small grants of up to $50,000 to forest-dependent communities on the ground. The CBR+ initiative is a hands-on, bottom-up endeavour for genuine stakeholder engagement in REDD+. It also fosters synergies between local action and national policy for REDD+.

Sea, my life

Sea, my life: a voyage to UNDP-supported marine protected areas around the world\" that features case studies of GEF financed projects.Our work in supporting communities in the protection of marine and coastal areas is featured in two chapters: \"The people\'s reef, Community stewardship of marine heritage in Belize\" that highlights our work in the Belize Reef Barrier.The other one is the \"The Ripple Effect: Partnerships for marine conservation in Turkey\" showcasing our work in the establishment of the first \"no fishing zones in Turkey.

Making Waves: Community Solutions, Sustainable Oceans

“The struggle of poor and vulnerable communities against poverty, biodiversity depletion, environmental degradation, climate change devastation and poor governance may be slow and protracted, but their local solutions and innovations guarantee the future of the present and the next generation [...] Additional resource allocation and support to the global movement of local and indigenous land and sea managers is needed from the international community to consolidate local community achievements, and initiate and sustain more local actions together to address global challenges with scaled-up solutions and innovations.\" – Leonardo Rosario, Trowel Development Foundation

The A to Z of SGP, A guide to the Small Grants Programme

The purpose of this Guide is to provide comprehensive and accessible information about SGP. 

A Practitioners' Guide to Establishing a Community-Based Adaptation Programme

Developed for local and national-lelvel practititioners interested in community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change, this guide presents the lessons and practices from the gloal pilot project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under the Strategic Priority on Adaptation (SPA) window and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) mechanism.   The guide resembles a \'cookbook\' for conducting the CBA processes in project development and implementation. To illustrate the processes and priniciples, the guide provides practical examples of how CBA can be accomplished in real project situations by drawing on the field experiences of the SPA CBA project, which was implemented in 10 countries in varying geographic areas with communities of different cultural backgrounds and norms.

Scaling up Community Actions for International Waters Management

SGP has supported the implementation of regional Strategic Action Programmes with 1,027 small grant projects in more than forty transboundary waterbodies around the World. SGP experience show that communities when empowered to take action can implement concrete measures to reverse environmental degradation trends. The ten cases in this publication further highlight the way in which diverse communities from Cuba to Cape Verde, and Mauritius to Malaysia have tackled critical water and ecosystem management challenges with limited resources, to achieve environmental protection hand in hand with crucial benefits to local livelihoods, health and wellbeing. The lessons learned presented in this publication provide valuable guidance on supporting community innovations and then their eventual scaling up through multiple partnerships and links with larger projects. Complementing the global and regional aspects of International Waters work with local elements that empower and sustain is what we need to do if we are to achieve SDG 14 – our “Life Below Water” goal.