Project approves $1.6million grants to make a difference

Twenty-six more projects have been granted by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (G.E.F-S.G.P) in Samoa.

The projects which addresses issues of biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, international waters, land degradation and sustainable forest management, chemicals and finally capacity development, cost US$636,830 (T$1,622,006). 

They were approved by the National Steering Committee (N.S.C.), based on the technical assessment and recommendation from the dedicated and hard-working Technical Advisory Group (T.A.G.).

The funding supports Samoans who are most at risk given their strong dependency on natural resources for their livelihoods, while often living in fragile ecosystems throughout Samoa. 

Samoa has had great success in the management of the Small Grants Programme (S.G.P.). So far, 214 projects costing US$4million have been implemented to date.

The S.G.P. management in U.N.D.P. has also advanced additional resources to Samoa with the aim to ensure that the other 27 projects cleared by the National Steering Committee, but not yet funded, will also be implemented soon. 

On Thursday, the U.N.D.P. G.E.F.-S.G.P. Samoa Sub Region Operational Phase 6 (OP6) Inception Workshop was held at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention centre for the successful applicants.

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The day allowed the project team to answer queries and help grantees to build their capacity to implement their approved work plans and financial reporting.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, who is also the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, addressed the gathering.

She said G.E.F-S.G.P. priority interventions funded in Samoa help to reinforce the focal areas present in the recently published Community Integrated Management (C.I.M.) Plans, which have been signed in 41 districts across Samoa.

For development progress, a strong partnership between State and non-State actors is a prerequisite and is a factor that continues to prove paramount to the success of SGP projects, particularly in Samoa, she said. 

She added that the onus now falls on the grantees and their communities to successfully implement the approved projects to ensure the opportunity for future funding in the coming operational phases. 

U.N.D.P. Resident Representative, Simona Marinescu, was pleased to announce that the financial grants will provide financial assistance to the fragile and vulnerable communities, but equally importantly, will result in sound financial injection into the Samoan economy. 

Moving forward, she said U.N.D.P. will focus on the sustainability of the results achieved with the small grants and the strengthened coherence between S.G.P-led interventions and broader community development plans.

The approved projects fall within one or more of the GEF Focal Areas (FAs) which include biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, international waters, land degradation and sustainable forest management, chemicals and finally capacity development. 

Established in 1992, the GEF Small Grants Programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by “thinking globally, acting locally.” 

Funded by the G.E.F. (Global Environment Facility) as a corporate programme, S.G.P. is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme on behalf of the G.E.F. partnership and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (U.N.O.P.S.). 

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