SGP: South-South Cooperation Partner of the Month

About the SGP

The Small Grants Programme (SGP) is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Established in 1992, the main objective of SGP is to finance and provide technical support to initiatives from local civil society and community-based organizations that address global environmental and sustainable development issues.

The SGP recognizes the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation at the local level, and their role in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. Over the past 26 years, SGP has provided technical and financial support to over 24,000 community-based projects, with a total grant of $650 million.

Currently implemented in 125 countries, SGP promotes innovation and social inclusion, and fosters the development of solutions that produce global environmental benefits and address key sustainable development issues. Through these efforts, SGP helps countries to meet their commitments under key environmental conventions. By working directly with vulnerable communities, including indigenous peoples, women, youth, and persons with disabilities, SGP acts as a catalyst and facilitates peer-to-peer learning and mentoring among CSOs and local communities, and promotes their participation in decision-making processes.

On 22 May 2020, celebrating International Biodiversity Day in line with the 2020 theme ‘Solutions in Nature’, and in an effort to replicate and share good practices across regions and countries, SGP has created a special feature on SGP-supported nature-based solutions that have been shared among communities through South-South Cooperation (SSC).

SGP’s Areas of Work/Pillars

The main areas of SGP support include:

  • Community-based conservation of threatened ecosystems and species
  • Sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and food security
  • Low-carbon energy access co-benefits
  • Community-based adaptation
  • Chemicals and waste management
  • Sustainable urban solutions

SGP’s South-South Community Exchange Platform

 The objective of the “South-South Community Innovation Exchange Platform” is to promote knowledge exchange between civil society organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in countries participating in SGP  to encourage replication of good practices across countries and regions and produce high impact and scaling up of the innovations and practices developed by SGP grantees, as well as other CSOs at the regional level.

Following are the objectives of the South-South Exchange Platform for SGP under Operational Phase 6 (OP-6):

  • Strengthen the capacity of communities in developing countries to address sustainable development challenges.
  • Support and promote knowledge transfer of sustainable development solutions among communities.
  • Increase and improve communications among communities with the aim to create greater awareness of common problems and wider access to available knowledge, experience, and networks.

The platform recognizes and responds to the problems and requirements of communities and civil society in the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, and the countries. The exchanges supported by SGP are those listed under the SGP areas of work.

GEF SGP Success Stories

Hail the Whale
Sustaining marine life in Cameroon

In 2016, with the support of the GEF SGP, implemented by UNDP, ACBM established a collaborative team comprised of researchers, civil society volunteers, university students, and representatives from local populations working together to prepare inventories of dolphins and whales. Read more

Women Who Fish
The Fisherwomen of Turkey

In 2009, SGP grantee partner, the Underwater Research Society, aimed to tackle issues of over fishing and over-capacity fishing fleets by establishing no take fish zones in the Gökova Bay marine protected area with the active involvement of women. Read more

Nature is our Best Defence
Taking climate action and fighting fires in the Seychelles

Since 2008, the SGP, implemented by UNDP in Seychelles has supported 58 projects. SGP demonstrated that through a mix of motivation, creativity, technology, and knowledge,  concrete solutions can be found to address pressing social and environmental challenges. Read more

No Longer Going to Waste; Improved Plastic Waste Management Builds Roads & Livelihoods for women in India

In 2010, in close collaboration with the municipal corporations of Bhopal and the Municipal Commissioner, SGP provided an initial grant that enabled SSVAJKS to conduct focussed interventions in five wards of Bhopal Municipal Corporation. Read more

Community Heroes
From Guinea-Bissau to Brazil, Nigeria, & Micronesia, SGP Grantees win Equator Prize

In 2014, support to Tamil Resources Conservation Trust (TRCT) to amplify the protection of their oceans and coasts was provided through the SGP-supported project, Implementation and Management of Tamil Marine Conservation Area. Read more

Rise Beyond the Reef
Building resilience and empowering women through sustainable livelihoods

In 2017, RBTR received the support of the SGP for a project that reintroduces traditional crops to simultaneously address both local and global needs, along with emergency preparedness training and facility development. Read more

Featured Publications

PublicationsSGP Featured Publication POM
May 10, 2020

Blue Economy, Community Solutions

The blue economy is an approach put forward by the international community to take into account the health of the oceans and seas as we strive to balance the three…
PublicationsSGP Featured Publication POM
May 10, 2020

Gender, Climate Change and Community Based Adaptation

Gender, Climate Change, and Community Based Adaptation: A Guidebook For Designing And Implementing Gender-Sensitive Community-Based Adaptation Programmes And Projects: The Gender, Climate Change and Community Based Adaptation Guidebook presents a…
PublicationsSGP Featured Publication POM
May 10, 2020

Local Solutions: Adapting to Climate Change in SIDS

In 2009 the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) entered into a partnership Australian Aid to improve the climate resilience of local communities in 42 countries, including 37 SIDS. The goals…
PublicationsSGP Featured Publication POM
May 10, 2020

South-South Cooperation, Community Innovation Exchange Platform

This publication illustrates how SGP leverages South-South and triangular cooperation to tackle local challenges through peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges across different sustainable development issues and geographies. It features ten case studies…

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