Call for Project Concept Papers — Great Green Wall Initiative on Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management Innovation Programme

Under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) - Small Grants Programme (SGP): Operational Phase 7

October 4, 2023
An image of an open field with text that reads "Call for Project Concept Papers: Great Green Wall Initiative 2023" and logos of the Government of Zambia, SADC, the African Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Small Grants Programme and the UNDP

Call for Project Concept Papers: Great Green Wall Initiative

UNDP Zambia

Desertification, climate change and loss of biodiversity are crucial problems for arid regions in Africa, where they combine to exacerbate food insecurity and adversely affect the countries’ development efforts and the livelihoods of the poorest populations on the planet. Climate predictions for Africa show a severe risk of extension of arid areas, putting efforts to fight poverty on the continent at risk. Efforts made to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), SDG 13, SDG 15, Agenda 2063 (Aspiration 01) and other multilateral environmental and development agreements to improve the resilience of human and natural systems to climate change have not been attained at the level expected, in both the conservation of natural resources and the reduction of poverty.

The Great Green Wall (GGW) is an African initiative to stop and reverse trends in land degradation, desertification, climate change and loss of biodiversity, especially in the arid regions of Africa through a coherent and common set of interventions. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) GGW, is an initiative aimed at addressing land degradation, desertification, and climate change in the Southern African region. This Great Green Wall Innovation Programme is a partnership between the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) and the African Union Commission.

The initiative aims to support innovative community-led projects to contribute to the implementation of the SADC GGW strategy and the Operational Phase 7 (OP7) strategic framework, for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Small Grants Programme (SGP). The GGW Innovation Programme aims to demonstrate and generate lessons and good practices on how related community led projects could actively promote participation of women, the youth and non-state actors (civil society organizations - CSOs) in the implementation of GGW Initiative strategy. 

With increasing involvement in land and water management and as collectors of water and fodder, women and youth provide critical support to the health of farms and livestock in areas where soil is unproductive, rains are erratic/insufficient, and the men have migrated in search of work, leaving the women behind to earn additional incomes through agriculture and allied activities. While women are sometimes restricted in their ability to share their own knowledge of land management, engagement with women and youth organizations is essential to ensure that innovations and best practices developed through women-led initiatives, can be scaled up through partnerships and influence policy.

The GEF-SGP implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zambia is inviting eligible local communities, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in largely vulnerable remote areas with women, the youth and persons with disabilities, to submit innovative and relevant concept papers that address at least one criterion under the following thematic areas

  • Food security
  • Climate resilient agriculture and agroforestry
  • Sustainable Land Management (SLM) & Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)
  •  Advocacy, Policy Influence


For phase 1 of the GGW Innovation Programme, the prioritized landscapes include:

  • Central Province 
  • Western Province
  • Southern Province


Social inclusion: The effective involvement of women and youth in implementing the GGW Innovation Programme is critical. CSOs and CBOs interested in applying for this grant should focus on the principal of Leaving No One Behind, thus, local people and persons with disabilities should also be involved.

Project duration: The duration of proposed project should not exceed 24 months.

Budget: The grant amount will range from $5,000 to $50,000. The implementation capacity of the CBOs/CSO and the ideas being proposed will be considered when approving the grant amount.

Submission of Concept Papers:  Concept papers must be submitted directly to the GEF Small Grants Programme - UNDP Zambia, and copy no later than 20th October 2023, 5:00pm.

For more information and to review the submission documents, download the documents below: