Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP)

Status: Active  
Duration: 1998-2018  
Focus area: Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, Land Degradation, International Waters and Chemicals  
Implemented by:


Collaborating partners: Civil society organizations and community based organizations    
Funded by: Global Environment Facility    


GEF Small Grants Programme works with local communities in developing countries, including Nepal, to achieve global environmental benefits by addressing their local needs. The programme provides grants upto US$ 50,000 to civil socieity organisations or community-based organisation for initiatives geared at conservation of biodiversity, mitigation of climate change, reduction of land degradation, protection of international waters and elimination of hazardous chemicals.


It is local communities in the developing world that are often the first to feel the effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The realization that they are at the forefront of efforts to prevent and reverse damage to the environment led to the setting up of the Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme in 1992. The programme was started following the Rio Earth Summit and has so far given out 14,500 grants to local initiatives to conserve the environment in 125 developing countries.

Since its inception in 1998, has funded 219 Small grant projects to 159 grantees in 54 districts. Out of 219 projects, 75 are biodiversity projects,  64 are climate change, 56 are land degradation, 5 are chemicals projects and 18 projects are multifocal and Capacity building and information dissemination projects. Liekwise SGP had also implemented seven Community Development and Knowledge Management for Satoyama Initiatives (COMDEKS) project for nature conservation at landscape level and four Every Drop Matters projects for water conservation. These projects have all involved local communities in conserving their local natural resources in ways that enhance human well-being and livelihoods and deliver global environmental benefits.

Importance of the project for the SDGs

The Nepal Small Grants Programme primarily contributes to Goal 7: Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy to All; Goal 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts; and Goal 15: Protect, Restore and Promote Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Sustainably Manage Forests, Combat Desertification and Halt and Reverse Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss. But the diverse nature of SGP projects means that it was also able to contribute to other Goals through its multi-faceted interventions, such as Goal 2: End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture; Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls; and Goal 11: Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • Conservation and sustainable use of 5,293 hectares of 5 biodiverse midhill forests, including Panchase, Kankrebihar, Patana, Tinjure Milke Jaljale and Gwalek; and 3,450 hectares of 12 wetlands, including Jagadispur, Ajingara, Bishazar, Rupa, Kupinde Daha, Brija, Gajedi, Taudaha, Betna, Satyabati,  Charinge ,  and Jakhera Lake.
  • Conservation of more than 2,900 hectares of sloping land through SALT technology, and planting of over 5.3 million plants majority including broomgrass (4.5M) benefitting 5,800 households
  • Installation of bio-gas, solar home and micro hydro systems, as well as solar tukis, rice husk stoves, Puxing biogas and ICSs—saving altogether 16,422 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Also piloted and successfully replicated Matribhumui Improved Cook Stove, Rice Husk Stove, Stainless Still Distilation Unit and Cardamom dryer. In addition 4 Hydramp installed lifting 136,000lit/per day benefitting 124 HH and Introduction of Sunfarmers portable irrigation pump and solar pasturisation of mushroom substrate successfully demonstrated.
  • Support in formulation of vulture conservation action plan 2009-2013, declaration of 40 districts as Diclofenac-free areas and establishing community-managed vulture restaurants
  • Successful advocacy towards banning the registration of Endosulfan in Nepal
  • Contribution to ban import, purchase and use of mercury-based equipment in health sector effective from July 15, 2013
  • Successful demonstration of Hosptial Waste management in 3 hospitals and 5 health posts.
  • Initiation of carp—a small Indigenous Fish Specieis (SIS)--polyculture in over 400 ponds in 5 districts
  • SGP grantees and project staff won 42 awards  including  9 prestigious global awards: UNEP Sasakawa Award  2010 and Ryotaro Hashimoto APFED Award (Gold prize) 2008 to MDI, Tech Museum Award to Babu Raja Shrestha (CRE on dissemination of Solar Tuki Lamp) 2005, Stockholm PEN (PCB Elimination Network) Award to CEPHED (2011), SEED Gender Equality Award to WEPCO Nepal (2011), Equator Initiative Award to AID Nepal (2014), Infymakers Award for developing 3-D mold for cook stove burner (2017), Farming for Biodiversity Award (Judges choice) to NDRC (2018), Birdlife  Nature’s Hero Award to DB Chaudhary (2018), 4 Ideas to Impact Climate adaptation prize (2016) and One Climate adaptation prize.
  • Able to generate cofunding of USD8.77M (Cash USD5.87M and in Kind USD2.9M)
  • Community conserve species conservation such as Dolphins, Vultures, Giant Hornbill and Bijaya Sal (Pterocarpus Marsupium)

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

  • Out of 218 projects, 33 were implemented by woman team leaders or chairpersons
  • 13 projects were implemented by organizations of indigenous groups. GEF-SGP has closely worked with indigenous peoples with the intent of helping to conserve their cultural heritage associated with environment conservation, including Sherpa culture in Khumbu region, improving slash-and-burn farming by Chepangs and Tamangs, balancing nomadic culture of Rautes and their association with forests, conserving fish and dolphin by Majhis and Rajis,  improving the workspaces of Bishworkarmas and conserving indigenous medicinal practices of Tharu Gurubas and Amchi (traditional medical practitioners)

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UNDP focal point:
Mr. Vijay Singh
Environment, Energy and Disaster Reduction Unit
UNDP, UN House, POB 107
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 00-977-1-5523200
Fax: 00-977-1-5523991


Project focal point:
Mr. Gopal Raj Sherchan
National Co-ordinator
UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme
Bhanimandal, Jawalakhel
Lalitpur, Nepal
Tel: 977-1-5000119
Fax: 5530269

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