MoEFCC, UNDP & TERI come together to launch GEF Small Grants Programme

September 14, 2022 12:24 am | Updated October 29, 2022 11:34 am IST - Chennai:

The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme provides financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing the lives of local communities. This year marks the seventh operational phase of this programme and is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the United Nations Development Programme and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).  

The grants are given to NGOs working in particular landscapes; Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram have been chosen as two districts representing the Indian coastal region in the state. The project aims to study and work on the themes of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation through NGOs.  

The regional inception workshop, hosted by TERI, was attended by representatives of NGOs and served as an introduction to the programme and allowed them to interact with industry experts and officials. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, emphasized the importance of reaching communities in the least developed and most vulnerable regions and increasing their socio-economic resilience. She remarked that coastal regions were under severe threat due to climate change and collaborations between civil society organizations was the solution. Jayanthi M., Chairperson, TN Pollution Control Board, took the gathering through the problems that the two districts faced which ranged from severe rainfall to drought.  

“We should involve local communities and pay them for their services and slowly we can move beyond reaching for a numerical goal” said Deepak Srivastava, Member Secretary, TN State Wetland Authority. “This programme aims to build the capacities of NGOs and it has helped 443 community led projects over 20 years of which nearly 39 are from Tamil Nadu,” said Dr. S.N. Shroff, Senior Consultant, UNDP.  

The workshop included a session that discussed the alignment of SGP with state level policies and interventions by the State government and private institutions. Experts from conservation, fisheries, environment and climate study offered their thoughts and answered questions from the participants.  In consultation with UNDP and the MoEFCC, SGP will release a request for proposal which will contain guidelines regarding a working plan of action. NGOs can choose different levels of grants, the highest is at 50,000 USD. Applications are reviewed by regional advisory committees before being passed onto the National Steering Committee.  

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