The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) was established in 1992 as a corporate programme of the GEF. It is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), on behalf of the GEF partnership. Since 1992, the GEF SGP has funded over 18,000 projects in 124 countries in the five GEF Focal Areas of Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change Mitigation, Protection of International Waters, Prevention of Land Degradation & Sustainable Forestry, and Chemicals which include the Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants. More recently Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) has been added as a complement to Climate Change Mitigation (CCM). The GEF SGP funds projects only through Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with an emphasis on the poor and marginalised groups, and communities. The programme’s objectives are to achieve environmental sustainability, reduce poverty and build capacity.
To achieve its global mission of addressing global environmental problems at the community level, SGP has pledged to work in a decentralised, transparent, participatory, inclusive, efficient, flexible and cost effective manner, and to create partnerships with Government, the private sector, donors and groups with a similar mission. This translates into being responsive, proactive and working with communities to address global environmental problems through initiatives that cumulatively and synergistically create positive impacts in the environment and for communities. SGP is country driven and most project decisions are made by the National Steering Committee (NSC), which is a volunteer group of nationals representing the CSO sector (in the majority), Government, the private sector, and academia.