The global environment facility small grants programme (gef sgp)

For almost two decades, the Small Grants Programme has been working with communities around the world to combat the most critical environmental problems and has successfully demonstrated that supporting communities in their efforts to achieve more sustainable livelihoods is not only possible, but extremely important in bringing change and achieving global environmental benefits.

With a presence in 122 countries and more than 11,000 grants awarded worldwide, SGP supports projects of non-governmental and community-based organizations in developing countries demonstrating that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.

The programme is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a corporate programme, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF partnership, and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). To date the program funding from the GEF is approximately US$ 451 million. In addition, the program has raised US$ 387 million from other partners in cash or in-kind equivalents.

The GEF SGP funds project in the following 5 GEF Focal Areas:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Climate change abatement and adaptation
  • Protection of International waters
  • Prevention of Land degradation
  • Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

The Promise of the

full colour on recycled paper; 24 pages, saddle-stitched. Available at TT$65
Pride In Pawi: Preserving a National Treasure

The Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi, Pipile pipile, is endemic to Trinidad and is globally among the most endangered cracids. With a population of approximately 230, its conservation status is listed as critically endangered.

read details

The principle objectives of the Small Grants Programme are to: 

  • Develop community-level strategies and implement technologies that could reduce threats to the global environment if they are replicated over time.
  • Gather lessons from community-level experience and initiate the sharing of successful community-level strategies and innovations among CBOs and NGOs, host governments, development aid agencies, GEF and others working on a regional or global scale.
  • Build partnerships and networks of stakeholders to support and strengthen community, NGO and national capacities to address global environmental problems and promote sustainable development.
  • Ensure that conservation and sustainable development strategies and projects that protect the global environment are understood and practised by communities and other key stakeholders.

How does GEF SGP work?

SGP is rooted in the belief that global environmental problems can best be addressed if local people are involved and there are direct community benefits and ownership. SGP is convinced that with small amounts of funding, members of local communities can undertake activities that will make a significant difference in their lives and environments, with global benefits, in contrast with top-down, expert-reliant development interventions.


Participation, democracy, flexibility, and transparency are cornerstones of the SGP approach. The programme encourages and supports the participation of communities, local people, NGOs, CBOs (community-based organizations), and other stakeholders in all aspects of programme planning, design and implementation:

  • The formulation of country programme strategies;
  • The development, presentation, and execution of project concept papers and proposals;
  • Building partnerships to broaden the scope of the programme and to communicate and replicate successful SGP initiatives;
  • Raising public awareness of global environmental issues and changing public attitudes and practices;
  • Influencing government environmental policies and programmes; and
  • Mobilizing in-kind and monetary resources to support project and programme sustainability.

The flexible decentralized structure of SGP encourages maximum country and community-level ownership and initiative:


Grants are made directly to community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in recognition of the key role they play as a resource and constituency for environment and development concerns. The maximum grant amount per project is US$50,000, but averages around US$20,000. Grants are channelled directly to CBOs and NGOs.


Contact Information

Anna Cadiz
National Coordinator
Tel: 623-7056 ext. 252  
Fax: 623-1658

Click here to see the full details.