Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEFSGP)

What is the project about

 One of the beneficiaries of the UNDP implemented, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, shows off her organic garden.

GEFSGP was established in 1993 after the Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro to provide financial and technical support to community-based projects that conserve the environment and enhance people’s livelihoods.

UNDP is the implementing agency for GEFSGP.

Development Objectives:

  • To provide financial support to projects and programmes that are in line with GEFSGP thematic areas of funding and are  integrated with national environmental priorities and action plans in the context of the MDGs
  •  To  build  partnerships with a diversity of stakeholders that include the government, Civil Society Organizations, private sector, academia, donor agencies and local communities
  • To develop and support communication and outreach strategy that results in documentation of lessons learnt and case studies useful for scaling up and replication
  • To develop  functional links with full and medium size GEF projects, other UNDP programmes and government initiatives
  • To support communities in entrepreurship development and income generation activities for poverty reduction  and livelihood enhancement
  • To build capacity of funded projects in implementing and managing their projects in a sustainable way
  • To provide a linkage between downstream and upstream levels for policy influence
  • To ensure that funded projects mainstream the cross-cutting issues of gender, health and food security in their programmes  


The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Program, and the World Bank were the three initial partners implementing GEF projects.
In 1994, at the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF was restructured and moved out of the World Bank system to become a permanent, separate institution. The decision to make the GEF an independent organization enhanced the involvement of developing countries in the decision-making process and in implementation of the projects. Since 1994, however, the World Bank has served as the Trustee of the GEF Trust Fund and provided administrative services.

As part of the restructuring, the GEF was entrusted to become the financial mechanism for both the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In partnership with the Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention on Ozone Layer Depleting Substances, the GEF started funding projects that enable the Russian Federation and nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to phase out their use of ozone-destroying chemicals.

The GEF subsequently was also selected to serve as financial mechanism for two more international conventions: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (2003).

Current Projects

Scaling up Adaptation in Zimbabwe, with a Focus on Rural Livelihoods, by Strengthening Integrated Planning Systems
GEF Grant
: USD 3,980,000

National Biodiversity Planning to Support the Implementation of the CBD 2011-2020 Strategic Plan in Zimbabwe
GEF Grant
: 220,000