Lutte contre la déforestation


Local Action

Amplifying the role of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, civil society and individuals in creating a nature-positive future

Catalysing local action 

The likelihood of the world being able to meet our ambitious goals on nature and climate will depend to a large extent on local action - the many actions that communities, citizens, civil society groups and individuals take all over the world. 

We are already seeing action by youth, Indigenous Peoples and local communities in every country. We must find ways to accelerate and magnify this valuable local action, and to scale up impact.

Empowerment, resilience and investment

For over 30 years, UNDP has helped local groups tackle projects such as: community-based adaptation to climate change, conservation of biodiversity, sustainable land management and agroecology for food security,  integrated water/coastal/marine ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction, participatory landscape management to enhance socio-ecological resilience to climate change,  management of chemicals and waste, civil society capacity building for environmental advocacy and governance, and climate change mitigation through sustainable forestry, renewable energy and energy efficiency applications.  

UNDP Local Action builds on the success of the Small Grants Programme (SGP) and seeks to upscale local innovations by building on the Equator Initiative, the Adaptation Innovation Marketplace, and others. UNDP will also fulfil its commitment to “shift internal institutional arrangements to better integrate local priorities” as part of its overall integrated programming approach. UNDP’s Local Action aims to significantly expand the size and scope of UNDP’s community-level support by bringing in new partners and innovative sources of financing and funding, and leverage the growing interest of bilateral and multilateral donors, philanthropies, and the private sector to meet the increasing demand for support from governments and communities to localize development assistance. 

To reach the scale of collective action needed for transformative change, UNDP will bring teams together for integrated programming, and engage external partners. UNDP will assist in identifying and mobilizing CSOs to participate in integrated programming, identifying prospective solutions, exercising due diligence for investments, supporting participatory research and planning, and facilitating CSO-government-private sector dialogues. Local Action will support communities to support the implementation of UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions and Global Biodiversity Framework targets, aligned to our Climate Promise.  

For UNDP, this commitment includes the active promotion of civic space and shared governance arrangements, combined with a progressive shift towards longer term programmatic approaches that channel development finance to local actors.  

SGP Brazil - restricted use

Pequi harvest. Local actions in the Central Do Cerrado, Brazil, are supporting livelihoods while conserving traditions and ecosystems.

Photo: Bento Vian/SGP Brazil

Equator Initiative

About the Equator Initiative: Indigenous peoples and local communities are at the forefront of identifying solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss and inequality, including through innovative and inclusive nature-based solutions. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to position IPLC leadership at the heart of sustainable development. It aims to surface, share, and scale innovative local models that are proven to work. The Equator Initiative creates opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practices, develops capacities of local communities and Indigenous peoples, informs policy through convening multi-stakeholder dialogues, and fosters enabling environments to replicate and scale up community action. The Equator Initiative works in several project areas

About the Equator Prize: The prestigious Equator Prize is awarded to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. The global celebration is often complemented by similar events at the national level for individual winning organizations. 

Exploring the Equator Prize winners: Since 2002, 12 Equator Prize cycles have honored the work of 265 organizations from over 80 countries. Their nature-based solutions show how the world can live in harmony with nature, and improve food and water security, strengthen disaster prevention, and tackle our climate crisis. You can view the 2022 Equator Prize ceremony here.

GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)

For the past thirty years, the Small Grants Programme (SGP) has been providing financial and technical support to civil society and community-based organizations on innovative community-driven initiatives that address global environmental issues – such as biodiversity loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation, land degradation, international waters, and chemicals and waste management – while improving livelihoods. Throughout its journey, SGP has continuously evolved and has now grown into a unique global delivery mechanism to scale up local actions that can develop and deliver solutions to these multiple challenges.

SGP is the largest and longest standing corporate programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), dedicated to supporting civil society and community-based initiatives. It has been implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF Partnership since 1992. SGP was sparked by the idea that the active participation of local communities in dealing with critical environmental problems holds the key to promoting effective stewardship of the environment and achieving sustainable development. The programme’s unique approach revolves around the ideals of innovation, inclusion, and impact in achieving global environmental benefits and contributing to sustainable development.

SGP is a social inclusion platform, where traditional knowledge and science meet to solve global and local problems, while empowering and building capacity of women, Indigenous Peoples, youth and persons with disabilities. Besides its central role as an incubator and accelerator of community innovations, SGP plays a key role in bringing together civil society, governments, the private sector, and others to promote systemic change from the community level to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It also plays a unique role in meeting the objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and coordinating closely with the Rio Conventions and others to bring the voices of civil society, Indigenous Peoples and local communities to the global fora.

Over the last 30 years, SGP has delivered over 720 million in project funding and financed over 27,000 community-based project addressing global environment issues in 136 countries.

Currently active in 127 countries, SGP is preparing to expand in scope and scale in its upcoming eighth operational phase, focusing on diversification, innovation, and optimization, as well as on establishing wider partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders and enhancing its landscape and seascape approach.

Learn more: Website | GEF SGP Collection of stories 

gef sgp collection of stories

Adaptation Innovation Marketplace

With finance and technical support, linked to enabling policy support, UNDP – through its Adaptation Innovation Marketplace - aims to de-risk investments to bring to market, as well as scale, innovative technologies and practices for adaptation to climate change.  

The Local Action organizational structure – with country programme teams active in over 128 countries – tested operational procedures, knowledge network and ethos of globally recognized support to local level initiatives provides a credible framework with which to expedite expansion and operational efficiency, and develop further partnerships.  

To maximize UNDP in-house expertise, collaboration will be developed with the new generation of Accelerator Labs (ALs), with the purpose of increasing UNDP’s focus on systems analysis and design, forecasting and exploration, experimental methodologies, behavioural approaches, and human-centered design. 

Partnerships for local action  

UNDP’s support for local action is supported by a wide range of partnerships with CSOs, local/national governments, bilateral/multilateral donors, foundations, and the private sector. Current donors and partners include the GEF, Adaptation Fund, governments of Germany, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Norway Sweden, and USA as well as the European Commission, Japan Biodiversity Fund of the Secretariat of CBD, UNFCCC, UN Foundation, MAVA Foundation, UNEP, ICCCAD, the Global Resilience Partnership, Climate-Knowledge and Innovation Community, the LDCs Universities Consortium on Climate Change, Fordham University, IUCN, WRI, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, One Earth, Rare, Tribal Link.