Small grants workshop held

The United Nations has convened a workshop for communities in Upolu to bring them up to speed on how to apply for small grants.

The objective of the workshop is to orient, inform and educate the applicants of the requirements of small grant applications so they are able to complete their full proposals.

It was also held to increase understanding and knowledge of groups and communities, in terms of the environmental benefits that they could gain out of the program and be on top of the issues and concerns. 

The Global Environment Facility (G.E.F.), Small Grants Programme (S.P.G.), United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) and the Samoa Sub Region Operational Phase Six Capacity Building Workshop was held at TATTE Convention Centre yesterday.

S.G.P. Sub Regional Coordinator, Lilomaiava Filifilia Iosefa, said the grants program focused on six focal areas: ecology, agro-forestry, biodiversity, persistent organic pollutant, international waters, climate change and capacity building.

“We had to break up the communities into these groups so that they can discuss with our technical advisory group and national teams committee on any areas where that they are unsure of, especially queries and questions that they have on the full proposals. One of the questions asked in the discussions was that, will they get technical assistance from us and partners such as Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and other government ministries plus G.E.F,” he said.

“The top three criteria are the quality of the project and the sustainability, are they able to sustain the project after the funding is used, so quality is very important. Secondly, the vulnerability aspect where how vulnerable the project in terms of environmental or economic factors. And lastly, gender being an important issue, it refers to women or youths meaning during the implementation of the project there must be an involvement of the youth or women.”

Lilomaiava said the maximum amount for the community grants is US$50,000 and minimum US$5,000. 

“It does not limit to environmental but also social, and economic benefits. If villages are looking at rehabilitating a natural spring water or fresh water pool, they can turn that into a tourism sight, where the tourists come and pay to swim in it. And we call that sustainability, there were some villages that have done that. We also carry out monitoring and evaluations along with technical advice,” he added

The same workshop will take place today in Savai’i at the Don Bosco Hall in Salelologa. This year is the program’s fifteenth year and is part of a global initiative which has attracted over 100 countries.

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