Community action for global impact

Small island developing states are vulnerable to shocks associated with climate change such as drought, frost, inland floods and king sea tides. Many local communities are silently building resilience against climate change prompting the need for continued support and scaling up local actions for a sustainable future.

August 31, 2022

Along the coastline of Bialla, West New Britain Province affected by rising sea levels.

Clive Hawigen | UNDP Papua New Guinea

In partnership with USAID Pacific Climate Ready Project, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Program (SGP) Papua New Guinea recently awarded US$533,462.04 to 11 local civil society organizations (CSO) to implement innovative community-based projects that address climate change impacts in Papua New Guinea.

A total of 31,508 persons are direct beneficiaries of the grants of which 15,254 are women, with multiple stakeholders and partners engaged in project implementation. The grants are distributed to all four regions of the country covering 11 Local Level Government areas.

The grantees are from seven provinces, these being, the coastal provinces of Central, East Sepik, Madang, East New Britain and the highlands provinces of Eastern Highlands, Simbu, Western Highlands and Enga. They are as follows: Tubusereia Womens Fellowship; Lakes Foundation Inc; GTen Fundraiser Network; Kairak Vudal Training Centre; KGWan Eco-Habitat Inc; Enga Women in Agriculture Association; Kuge Kambia Lima Association; Niki Association; Lufa Community Development Agency; Agarabi Rural Development Association; and Research Conservation Foundation Inc.

The 11 projects aim to build community resilience to a range of climate impacts focusing on climate-smart agriculture, building adaptive capacity of communities and enhance landscape and seascape conservation against inland floods and coastal erosion. They also support biodiversity conservation to enhance resilience across landscapes. All projects include activities that support sustainable livelihoods, income generation, health and well-being, and capacity building.

About the GEF Small Grants Programme in Papua New Guinea

The SGP provides financial and technical support to local communities and civil society organizations to implement projects that generate global environmental benefits while improving livelihoods and reducing poverty, as well as promoting social inclusion, gender equality and women's empowerment.

Established in 1994, the SGP in Papua New Guinea has disbursed a total grant amount of US$4,884,281 funding to 281 community-based projects impacting lives across all the provinces in the country. Over the years, five SGP grantee-partners have been recipients of the prestigious UNDP Equator Prize, and SGP has been involved in the Indigenous People Fellowship since 2019. In an effort to document successful projects and case studies of SGP projects, funding was awarded for production of knowledge material resulting in production of three videos; “Vala North” and “Gwala is Life” in 2019, through the local organisation Eco-Custodian Advocates and the video titled “Equilibrium” produced by the University of Goroka-Centre for Social and Creative Media.

SGP delivers annual grant allocations called operational phases (OP). With continued confidence from Government, through Conservation Environment and Protection Authority (CEPA), SGP has successfully being allocated with GEF OP7 grant funds with a planned pipeline in place to commence operations soon.

The program anticipates issuing another call for proposals at the end of August 2022 and therefore encourages local CSOs who are innovating community projects relating to GEF environment priority areas including climate change to apply for the funding.