BioKG: “Strategic Planning of the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environmental Fund”
This article has been translated and re-published from BIOKG.
A working meeting on “Strategic Planning of the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environmental Fund” was recently organised with the support from the University of Central Asia’s Mountain Society Research Institute. The Environmental Fund has been implementing a Small Grants Programme since 2001. Currently the programme is in its 7th phase. The participants of the meeting included representatives of NGOs, government structures, the Academy of Sciences (Institute of Biotechnologies), experts, and they shared their opinions and suggestions regarding approaches to how to put together and implement small grants.
The programme seeks to address a number of issues – decreasing anthropogenic pressure on habitat, maintaining biodiversity, promoting alternative income-generating activities. The meeting included several presentations about the progress that the programme has made over the course of the recent years.
Each group provided rationale for their recommendations, answered questions of the participants and the organisers. All these materials will be carefully reviewed and taken into account during preparation of the plan for 7th phase of Small Grants Programme.
The University of Central Asia's Mountain Societies Research Institute, within UCA's Graduate School of Development, is the key partner of the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) in terms of developing the country strategy for the new phase of the Small Grants Programme.
GEF operates in 183 countries to address the most pressing problems of the global environment related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemical compounds and international waters. “One of the key elements in implementation of the four-year 7th phase of GEF’s SMG is to develop a landscape approach, enabling the program to select one or more landscapes and respective communities that will receive grants to implement their projects,” said Maksim Kulikov, Research Fellow of the Mountain Society Research Institute and the coordinator of the Strategy Development Working Group.
In order to determine priority landscapes and areas of work, on 10 March the Institute organised a workshop in Bishkek for 40 representatives of government environment protection agencies, non-government organisations as well as academia. The event included work on mapping the landscapes and ongoing activities of different organisations within the programme-covered territories, so as to avoid duplication and ensure synergies.
According to Nurlanbek Sharshenkulov, Coordinator of GEF SMG in Kyrgyzstan, the goal of providing grant funding to small projects, initiated by local communities from the target landscapes, is to ensure positive impact within the entire territory. The program will also review, analyze and systematize outcomes of the grant activities in order to replicate the best practices in other regions and countries. In Kyrgyzstan, the GEF’s Small Grants Programme was launched in 2001. Since then, it has provided support to 293 projects to the total amount of more than USD 4.6 million.