UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme


Since the establishment of the Small Grants Program (SGP) in Papua New Guinea in 1993, Small Grants Program has committed close to USD$2.2 million in small grants to over 160 projects implemented by numerous civil society organisations. It is an environment threat based grant mechanism that supports projects undertaking initiatives in one or more GEF focal areas identified for the particular operational phase and further supports enhancement of livelihood as a way of relieving pressures to the environment. Implemented by UNDP country office across the world, core funding for grant purposes is received from the Global Environment Facility. Papua New Guinea is no longer eligible for GEF core funding and is now one of sixteen GEF SGP countries receiving STAR allocation.The GEF SGP is a strategic programme of the GEF that addresses environmental issues in an integrated manner through focal areas. When possible and relevant, the GEF SGP supports integrated and synergistic multi-focal area approaches. Grants eligibility is restricted to local community based organisations and civil society organisations in recognition that many communities live in fragile ecosystems and are exposed to life threatening challenges as a result of environmental degradation. SGP grant cycles span over a period of four years in operational phases. Every grant operational phase has a Country Program Strategy approved by the National Steering Committee. This strategy provides an overview of the program, and identifies outcomes for the operational phase that SGP wants to achieve through community interventions supported by grants.All projects must demonstrate the linkage to current national government priorities and the relevant policy.

SGP sits under the Environment and Energy portfolio of UNDP. A National Steering Committee meets at least three times a year to consider and approve full proposals for grants. The SGP secretariat made up of the National Coordinator and the Program Assistant operates as a focal point for all grant enquiries and disbursements as well as coordinating the country program.

SGP also has an allocation from AUS Aid to disburse grants targeting Climate Change Community Based Adaptation Projects. Projects are identified through a Vulnerability Risk Assessment exercise.


In operational phase five (OP5) SGP aims to give grants up to USD$50,000 to local community based organisations, to undertake projects in the GEF focal areas of Climate Change, Biodiversity Conservation and Land Degradation and Forest Management.

Ø  Promote innovative community based initiatives to reduce local environmental threats and enhance quality of life,

Ø  Build local capacity to implement sustainable development strategies creating local ownership and institutional capabilities

Ø  Foster Public awareness on environmental issues as an integral part of the project

Ø  Create an impact, influence policies and partnerships at the National, Provincial and local levels

The National Coordinator together with the National Steering Committee carry the responsibility for identifying strategic projects that can receive funding allocation up to USD$150,000.00 in accordance with the SGP OP5 Strategic Projects Criteria Procedures.


In 2002 and 2006, two of our grantees became recipients of the prestigious Equator Initiative Award. Both Conservation Melanesia and Sepik Wetlands Management Initiative respectively, were recognised for their outstanding efforts in working with the communities to achieve sustainable development through conservation of Biodiversity and importantly enhancing quality of life through small interventions to address poverty.

To demonstrate the continuing impact and success of SGP, two of our grantees have recently been selected for case study purposes. Madang based CBO, Mas Kagin Tapani Association has been selected in respect to their interventions in addressing the focal area of International Waters whilst Simbu based CBO, United Nauro Gor Incorporated are being recognised for their contribution to the focal area of Forest Management and Land Degradation.”

First call for 2013 has lapsed. Over thirty (30) Concept Papers were received and have been appraised by the secretariat with the view to disbursing planning grants for purposes of developing full proposals. The second call for proposals will be from 5 August to 25 October 2013.

The first National Steering Committee meeting for 2013 was held in February. The second is scheduled for 31 July whilst the final meeting will be held in early December 2013.

A Small Islands Developing States Community Based Adaptation (SIDS CBA) outreach and project site monitoring have been conducted for Milne Bay and East Sepik Province respectively. Further site monitoring and SIDS CBA outreach will be undertaken for New Ireland, Morobe, West Sepik, Simbu, Province, Western Highlands, Manus and potentially the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Preparations are already being made for design of SGP Papua New Guinea first scaling up pilot project with local community based organisation, Sepik Wetlands Management Initiative (SWMI) in collaboration with an international organisation. The anticipated start date is January 2014.

All grant enquiries and request for grant application templates can be directed to:

Small Grants Program, Program Assistant, Ms. Christie Mahap, Email: christie.mahap@undp.org, Telephone: +675 321 2887 ext 204