Call for Proposals: Community Environmental Projects

GEF Small Grants Programme (UNDP)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 21 September, 2012
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals
  1. Background:

The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), implemented by the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP), provides grant support for communities and civil society organisations in developing and transition countries with grants to enable them to implement projects in the focal areas of climate change, biodiversity, sustainable forest management, land degradation, international waters, and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)/chemicals. These community-based projects must meet environmental objectives while at the same time also supporting poverty reduction and local empowerment objectives in South Africa.
The GEF SGP operates in a decentralised manner through SGP Country Programmes. For SGP South Africa, grant making started in 2003. Each SGP Country Programme has its own National Coordinator (NC) to which proposals are submitted and a multisectoral National Steering Committee (NSC) composed of government and non-government members (with non-government majority) which reviews and approves projects. Project Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) are signed by the UNDP Country Office Resident Representative and funds are released in agreed tranches direct to the grantee bank account.
GEF SGP prioritises grantmaking to poor and vulnerable communities as well as sectors such as those of women, indigenous peoples, and youth. As such, the programme proactively seeks to increase the capacities of these communities and sectors and the civil society organisations (CSOs) that work with them to develop proposals as well as to implement projects successfully and sustainably.

  1. Objectives:

The purpose of the portfolio of OP5 Projects is to enable eligible national stakeholders (civil society organisations) in South Africa to carry out the following:

  • Create greater impact and closer links between local efforts and global environmental benefits (GEBs) by supporting more extensive geographical coverage and/or thematic consolidation for policy improvement in mature SGP country programmes;
  • Make effective use of the built up capacity of local NGOs, CBOs and communities for replication of successful technologies and approaches;
  • Improve the capacity of the SGP and its partners to leverage larger funds from potential partners and donors;
  • Strengthen the sustainability and replicability of SGP projects;
  • Pilot innovative market mechanisms and financial instruments (i.e. such as Payments for Ecosystem Services, PES; environmentally friendly loans; revolving funds; and/or sustainable financing for clean energy technologies);
  • Accumulate national and global experience in the development and implementation of projects of larger coverage enabling SGP to link more effectively with the Medium-sized Projects (MSP) and Full-sized Projects (FSP) modalities of the GEF, as well as that of other donors and three tiers of government.
  • Strategically position civil society participation and leadership in new and innovative policies and programmes with non-GEF funding (i.e. wide implementation of community-based adaptation (CBA), ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA), community-based REDD+, sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL), strengthening direct access to funding mechanisms such as the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund).
  1. Timing:

The OP5 projects for SGP South Africa must be planned to take place during the 5th Operational Phase of SGP running from January 2011 to December 2014.

  1. Budget:

For communtiy projects, funding request may be provided from the GEF not to exceed US$50 000. A detailed budget breakdown should be provided by the proponent including all estimated costs, according to the attached proposal format for SGP South Africa (the format can be mailed on request).

  1. Who can apply for the Grant?

The grant is targeted at supporting local communities to improve their environmental conditions, and thus only community based and non-governmental organisations may apply. Unfortunately, the Small Grants Programme will not provide direct support to government entities, private sector and individuals terms of scholarships, bursaries or expenses related to participation in international conferences.

  1. Type of Projects to be considered

Within the areas of support (GEF Focal Areas), projects which have the following key aspects, can be supported:

  • capacity development, information dissemination and awareness raising as a project component and not main activity;
  • promote sustainable livelihoods and focus on marginalised/ disadvantaged groups;
  • address global environmental problems through innovative local solutions;
  • ensure that gender and equity concerns are addressed;
  • proposals should be developed in a participatory and transparent way;
  • Be replicable, a model/demonstration project or offer new approach to solving environmental problems;
  • should upscale or replicates previous successful community interventions
  • encourage networking and partnership with scientific and educational institutions and NGOs.
  • Be aligned with national and local priorities and ensure partnerships with government and other development actors. 
  1. Targeted GEF SGP Outcomes
  • Outcome 1: Improve sustainability of protected areas and indigenous and community conservation areas through community-based actions (Biodiversity focal area objective 1);
  • Outcome 2: Mainstream biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes, seascapes and sectors through community initiatives and actions (Biodiversity focal area);
  • Outcome 3: Promote the demonstration, development and transfer of low-GHG technologies at the community level  (Climate Change focal area);
  • Outcome 4: Promote and support energy efficient, low-GHG transport at the community level (Climate Change focal area);
  • Outcome 5:  Support the conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through sustainable management and climate proofing of land use, land use change and forestry (Climate change focal area);
  • Outcome 6: Maintain or improve flow of agroecosystem and forest ecosystem services to sustain livelihoods of local community (Land degradation and sustainable forest management focal area);
  • Outcome 7: Reduce pressures at community level from competing land uses (in the wider landscape) (Land degradation focal area);
  • Outcome 8: Support transboundary water body management with community-based initiatives (International Waters Focal area);
  • Outcome 9: Promote and support phase out of POPs and chemicals of global concern at the community level (Chemicals focal area).
  1. Additional Call for Proposals
  • Call for proposals for stakeholders' workshop project (this is for the capacity development focal area which include knowledge fairs, documentation and exchange, capacity building of community members). Detailed documents can be requested at the provided contact details;
  • Call for proposals for Strategic Project - These are expected create greater impact and closer links between local efforts and global environmental benefits (GEBs) by supporting more extensive geographical coverage and/or thematic consolidation for policy improvement . Documents can be requested at provided conatct details;
  1. Proposals:

The project proposals may be developed following the guidelines and template for SGP South Africa which can be requested by contacting the SGP National Coordinator (NC), Khathutshelo Neluheni, Tel: 012 354 8166/55, Mobile: 079 879 7314, E-mail:, and other relevant partners.

The closing date for the submission of proposals is 21 September 2012.

The project proposals can be submitted to:

Motsei Choabi
The GEF Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP
351 Francis Baard Street, Metropark Building, UNDP,   Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
Tel: 012 354 8166/55

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