The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) 

The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) is an international facility that provides financial and technical support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-led organizations (CBOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to implement projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods. 

The GEF SGP was launched in Trinidad and Tobago on June 3rd, 1995. Over the past 28 years, the GEF SGP TT has supported the achievements of national goals and priorities concerning the environment, especially in focal areas of biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change, water conservation and chemicals and waste. Within this period, the SGP has supported 153 projects with over USD 4.66 million. 

The main activities of the GEF SGP are capacity development, grant allocation and knowledge management. 

Capacity Development

The GEF SGP UNDP TT provides capacity development and technical support to NGOs, CBOs and CSOs in the following areas:

  1. NPO Bill (2019) – what does it mean for your organization?
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Leadership and Entrepreneurship
  4. Project Development
  5. Risk Management
  6. Gender and the Environment.

Over the past 2 years, GEF SGP TT has provided capacity development in most of these areas to at least 20 organizations. 

Grant Allocation

The programme provides grants of up to $50,000 directly to local communities, including indigenous people, community-based organizations and other non-governmental groups for projects in Biodiversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Land Degradation and Sustainable Forest Management, and International Waters and Chemicals. GEF SGP UNDP TT provides grants within 2 funding ranges:

  1. Planning grants – these grants are up to USD 5,000 in value and allow the applicant to prove their concept. The GEF SGP TT highly recommends that applicants consider this funding option first, especially if they have never received grant funding before. 
  2. Full grant – these grants are up to $50,000 to be used to implement, scale up or expand a project. 

GEF SGP TT does not pay salaries. The Programme also requires that the applicant contribute in-kind or co-financing for their projects that match the amount of funding requested.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is the process of organizing, creating, using, and sharing collective knowledge for the purpose of sharing and exchange; developing partnerships and increasing efficiency.

The GEF SGP TT facilitates knowledge management in several ways:

  1. Publication of case studies, newsletters and reports;
  2. Hosting of meetings, workshops and conferences.

GEF SGP UNDP TT tries to publish at least 1 report a year. The main publications from 2020-2023 are:

  1. Industrial Symbiosis (IS) in Plastics: A Caribbean cluster-based case for a viable Caribbean Circular Economy. Benefits Of Industrial Symbiosis
  2. Cashew Gardens A Model Community: A Case Study of Community Waste Management (CWM) in Trinidad and Tobago.  Community Waste Management in T&T
  3. Efficacy of the compost tumbler as a tool in organic waste management in households in Trinidad and Tobago. Compost Tumbler as a Tool 
  4. Apiculture: A Catalyst for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Baseline Survey of Management Practices in The Apiculture Industry in Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Samoa & Trinidad and Tobago. Available HERE from GEF SGP UNDP St. Lucia webpage: 
  5. Sustainable Plastic Waste Management in Trinidad and Tobago. Plastic Waste Management in T&T

The GEF SGP UNDP remains committed to supporting local communities in developing projects that achieve national environmental objectives and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

GEF SGP – Local Action, Global Impact.

Farley Augustine, Chief Secretary, THA , Dr. Sharda Mahabir GEF SGP National Coordinator, for World Environment Day 2023