The experience of the GEF small grants programme

29 Aug 2017
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This publication showcases examples from SGP-supported projects that illustrate the importance of South-South Cooperation as a necessary tool for the achievement of the SDGs, particularly related to environmental and social goals.

The 2030 Sustainability Agenda is an action plan for people, the planet, and our collective prosperity. The Sustainable Development Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) calls for a strengthening of the means of implementation and a revitalization of global partnerships for sustainable development. This goal calls for the enhancement of South-South Cooperation and for improving developing countries’ access to innovative technology to empower them to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner that suits their context. South-South Cooperation is rooted in the principles of equality and trust and supports countries in similar development contexts, and facing similar challenges, to find and share solutions that are easier to adapt to their priorities and needs at the global, national and local levels.

For many years, the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has been supporting exchanges and partnerships across its country programs to encourage South-South Cooperation and sharing of experiences among project grantees. SGP has enhanced these efforts through a dedicated outcome in its Sixth Operational Phase to launch its “South-South Community Innovation Exchange Platform”.

This publication showcases examples from SGP-supported projects that illustrate the importance of South-South Cooperation as a necessary tool for the achievement of the SDGs, particularly related to environmental and social goals. South-South knowledge and innovation by civil society and communities can fill critical gaps in national action plans and produce timely and significant results. By developing seaweed farming in response to declining fisheries in Belize and Colombia, or by building and maintaining energy efficient stoves in Tanzania and Kenya, or through the introduction of micro-hydro electrical plants in Haiti, community exchanges demonstrate the value and effectiveness of South-South solutions at the local level. These shared solutions increase local communities’ livelihood opportunities, help protect the environment, increase access to health and education, and inspire social inclusion across borders.

The future of the planet relies on humanity’s affirmative action to manage and protect the global ecosystems that sustain us. We hope that this publication will provide some evidence of the importance of South-South Cooperation in achieving the SDGs, and further inspire innovation and partnerships.

Highlights

  • Message from the Global Manager
  • Establishing an organic certification system in the Caribbean: Barbados, Jamaica and Grenada
  • Promoting seaweed farming as a sustainable enterprise: Belize and Colombia
  • How to improve shea butter production and combat land degradation: Benin and Burkina Faso
  • Fostering organic agriculture across the ocean: Cuba and the Pacific
  • Technology transfer of a micro hydro electrical energy system: Dominican Republic and Haiti
  • Empowering women to become solar engineers and bring light to the world
  • Energy efficient cook stove technology exchange: United Republic of Tanzania and Kenya
  • Experience in mangrove conservation and resilience to climate change: India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and the Philippines
  • Strengthening the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples
  • Preventing desertification by using renewable and energy efficient technologies: Chile, El Salvador, 36 Honduras and Uruguay
  • Conclusions and lessons learned

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