GEF SGP Inception Workshop

Speech Delivered By Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt

September 13, 2022


Ladies and gentlemen, government representatives from Cairo and Governorates, civil society representatives,

  • It is my great pleasure to welcome you for this important Inception Workshop for the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme. And it is so good to see that you came here in a large number. 
  • I was very pleased to sign this project in the presence of the Minister of Environment earlier in the year as I am well aware of the history of this programme in Egypt.
  • This programme was first established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, and it embodies the essence of sustainable development and the principle of ‘thinking globally, acting locally’.
  • By providing financial and technical support to projects that support environmental protection while at the same time improving people’s lives and livelihoods, this programme has demonstrated that community action can make a big difference in achieving a balance between people and nature.
  • Egypt was among the first countries in the world to join this Small Grants Programme.
  • Since 1994, a total of 355 small projects have been implemented in the value of nearly nine million dollars.
  • The Small Grants Programme in Egypt has long considered one of the most successful programmes globally, and I am very pleased to be able to say that the SGP has significantly contributed to increasing awareness among local communities about global environmental issues.
  • Moreover, the SGP in Egypt was instrumental for engaging civil society in COP14 and giving them a powerful strong voice during the UN Convention on Biodiversity held in Egypt in 2018.
  • I would like to use this opportunity to thank the SGP National Steering Committee experts for SGP OP6 Phase for all their hard work and dedication. I would like to congratulate the new members of the SGP National Steering Committee experts joining for OP7 and I look forward to seeing this success repeated during COP27 when it is hosted by the Government of Egypt in Sharm el Sheikh this November.
  • Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and COP27 will be a key moment for accelerating climate action.
  • Now more than ever it is imperative that local communities and civil society organizations continue to play an active role. Above all, their contribution is needed to ensure we act now to instigate the level of change that is needed.
  • The impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale: from shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding and threaten heavily populated river deltas, forest fires and significant loss of biodiversity.
  • Without immediate drastic action by individuals and governments worldwide, adapting to these impacts in the future will become increasingly difficult and costly.
  • Civil society has always been and will continue to be a key partner in tackling global environmental issues.
  • NGOs across the world play a vital role in conservation efforts on the ground, from preserving biodiversity to combating land degradation to the phasing out of persistent organic pollutants.
  • I hope and believe this latest SGP programme in Egypt will make an even bigger positive impact for people and for our planet.
  • UNDP remains fully committed to working side by side with you to ensure no one is left behind. 

Thank you.