JIS News

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) will be allocating up to US$50,000 towards community based environment projects.
Depending on the magnitude of the projects, organizations will receive a maximum of US$50,000 or a minimum of US$20,000. This was announced at the launch of the GEF SGP at the Knutsford Court Hotel yesterday (June 6).
National Coordinator of the GEF SGP, Shelley-Anne Glasgow informed that only legitimate organizations would be able to access the funds. “Organizations have to be legally registered, as we are dealing with serious money here,” she explained.
SGP is a corporate programme of the GEF implemented by the UNDP on behalf of the three implementing agencies of the GEF. These include, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank and the UNDP. The UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS) executes the programme, which supports conservation activities of non-governmental and community based organizations in 80 developing countries.
The National Coordinator informed that groups such as the National Steering Committee (NSC), the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) would be used to reach persons at the community level to get them involved in environmental projects.
Miss Glasgow explained that community representatives would be involved in developing a national framework from which other projects would be formed.
“Once we develop a plan we will then do a call for project. Community based projects will be approved once they reach the required criteria,” she explained. The NSC will be responsible for establishing the criteria for project concepts.
Miss Glasgow noted that land degradation and sustainable livelihood, whereby persons live off land and protect it had so far been identified as the focus, which will surround the national plan for projects. Project proposals are expected to begin by August while final approvals should be completed by November.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land and Environment, Donovan Stanberry, endorsed the programme on behalf of the Ministry and informed that the Ministry would provide technical support where necessary. “We support the community based approach because that is one of the best ways of getting ordinary folks to connect with the environment. We will provide technical support once communities need help to put proposals of action plans together,” he informed.
Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Espinola, Resident Representative of the UNDP called on the all stakeholders to make the programme a success in order to ensure future funding, and an expansion of the programme. “This is a good opportunity to implement the project in order to open doors for further funding. Unless we can show this as a success we will not be able to expand the programme,” he stressed.
The NSC will issue grants after approving the projects, which will be monitored by the National Coordinator and Programme Assistant.

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