Call for Indigenous Peoples Proposals: Indigenous Peoples in the Forest and Other Land Use Sector Implementation of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Nationally Determined Contributions

September 21, 2023

In June 2023, the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) grant under the UNDP Climate Promise initiative and Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Energy Phase 2 of OP7 funding is implemented by the GEF Small Grants Programme of the United Nations Development Program (GEF SGP UNDP), which has been operational in the country since 2005. It is specifically designed for IPs in the country and will fund IPOs’, Local NGOs or CBOs who work directly with IPs and indigenous communities to contribute to the implementation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in the Forest and Other Land Use (FOLU) sector, UNFCCC, NAPAs, NAMAs.

UNDP Cambodia would like to invite IPOs, Local NGOs, and CBOs who work directly with IPs and indigenous communities working to promote the implementation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in the Forest and Other Land Use (FOLU) sector and projects that test appropriate renewable energy technologies in indigenous lands and territories (eg, small hydropower, solar, wind, biogas, etc.) to apply for funding in the provinces that are home of IPs in Cambodia to submit their project proposal for the grants.

The Small Grants Programme (SGP) works directly by providing grants of up to USD 50,000 per project and technical support to IP Organizations and community-based organizations (CBOs). Grants are distributed on a competitive basis.

SGP will fund up to 50% of the total project cost with the remaining funding to be provided by the funded organization, community contribution and/or other donors' support, either monetary or in kind and services.

The grant is intended to:


  1. Strengthen the roles and engagement of IPs, especially women and youth, in the implementation of the targets for the FOLU sector in the NDC. 

  2. Expand and scale up IP-led forest measures that will contribute to NDC implementation and inform subsequent NDC revisions. 

Applicants must be:

  1. IPOs or Local NGOs who have registered with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and have proven experience working directly with IPs and indigenous communities on activities related to forest and other land use; OR

  2. CBOs who have registered as a legal body where the majority of the communities are indigenous. For example, Community Forestry (CF) and Community Fisheries (CFi) who have registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and Community Protected Area (CPA) and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and Indigenous Community who have registered with Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI). 

  3. For IP Community and Organizations/Communities that have not gone through the legalization process, a proposal could be submitted together with IP Organization/community who have registered.

Special requirement: Applicants must provide either of the supporting documents listed below. Failure to submit either of these documents will lead to instant disqualification from this call for proposal.

  • An official document by MRD that has recognized the targeted communities for this proposal are Indigenous.

Special target: At least 30% of the projects eligible for funding must be implemented by indigenous women and youth. 

Project Eligibility Criteria

The SGP offers small grants of up to US$ 50,000 per project. All projects should:

  1. Address one or more of the thematic areas. 

  2. Demonstrate sustainability of the project. 

  3. Involve indigenous community participation, especially women, youth and persons with disabilities at all stages of the project. 

  4. Include adequate provisions for monitoring, especially safeguards monitoring, and evaluation. 

  5. Develop mechanisms and incentives for sustainability beyond the project duration. 

  6. Establish a clear communication strategy that will

  • Document and share lessons from the project with different types of stakeholders;

  • Identify ways in which other communities outside the project area may benefit from the project. 

Thematic Areas

The proposal must be directly related to one or more of the thematic areas below, with a list of indicative eligible activities: 

1. Enabling conditions to respect the rights of IPs in the FOLU sector

  • Support registration process for the IPs to strengthen indigenous identity and their traditional land use practices.

  • Contribute to the registration process by supporting participatory mapping to demarcate different types of land uses such as spirit forests, agriculture/swidden land and others.

  • Document and promote indigenous land use practices, including but not limited to soil and water conservation with a specific focus on how these will contribute to NDC implementation.

  • Facilitate gender responsive discussions between indigenous communities and local communities to differentiate roles and responsibilities in CF, CFi and CPA, IP community.

  • Increase capacities for a gender responsive engagement of indigenous communities on policies, laws and regulations related to and affecting IPs.

  • Facilitate gender responsive exchanges between indigenous and local communities on community-based forest monitoring; traditional practices for forest conservation, restoration; securing different types of livelihoods.

  • Strengthen the capacities of Indigenous Peoples, including indigenous women and youth to participate and provide their views in different types of discussions and exchanges related to FOLU sector.

  • Promote and facilitate indigenous peoples’ network with a view to contribute to NDC implementation and development of new NDC.

  • Enhance IP communities’ socio-economic development for long-term sustainability and resilience to poverty reduction as prioritized by the state.

2. Piloting indigenous community-led forest measures 

  • Community-based forest restoration and monitoring activities in forest conservation areas, such as protected areas and flooded forest and mangrove conservation areas. 

  • Community-based forest management activities such as sustainable management and use of forests, forest lands and non-timber forest products.

  • Integrate Cambodia’s REDD+ safeguards7 into indigenous land use planning process to inform risks related to, for example, tenure, gender, stakeholder engagement, conflict, environmental impacts. Design and test methodologies to implement and monitoring how the safeguards risks are managed.

  • Develop and test methodologies to promote forest land tenure security through forest land classification, zoning, demarcation and registration.

  • Develop and test options to diversify sources of livelihood such as agroforestry, agroecology and sustainable land management practices.

  • Upscale initiatives for indigenous communities-based ecotourism as an option that does not rely heavily on forest and land resources.

  • Develop commune land use planning tools and

Geographical Location

GEF SGP UNDP Cambodia invites IPOs, local NGOs and CBOs working directly with indigenous communities on the FOLU sector in all villages, communes, districts, provinces that are home of IPs in Cambodia to submit their full project proposal for the grants. Grants are distributed on a competitive basis.

Duration and Tentative Implementation Timelines

This IP grant will be implemented from 1 December 2023 to 31 January 2025.

How to submit a project proposal?

Please send your proposal in Khmer only in a sealed envelope to GEF SGP office, Phnom Penh Center, 6th Floor (Building A), Corner Sothearos & Sihanouk Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Chamcamorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, ATTN: Mrs. Navirak Ngin, GEF SGP National Coordinator

Further information can be obtained from GEF SGP National Coordinator, Mrs. Ngin Navirak, at (Tel 012 844 083) and Ms. Socheata kim, at (Tel 012 714 706). 

DEADLINE: 30 October 2023

  1.  Read the introductory guide in Khmer and English.
  2.  IP grant call for the proposal in Khmer and English.
  3.  Find the guide to access to GEF OP7 SGP innovation programme here.