Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP)


Introduction and background

The Small Grants programme (SGP) is a programme of the Global Environment Facility that specifically invests in the development of underprivileged communities impacted by the effects of environmental degradation. The work that has been done by the GEF SGP supported projects has contributed significantly to the environmental conservation by local communities particularly on biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation which has had the added benefit of meeting the global environmental benefits.

 In South Africa , the focal point of the SGP is the Department of Environmental Affairs, which is responsible for the general oversight of the programme and is the custodian of GEF Funds. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) implements the projects in while the National Steering Committee and the programme staff coordinate the country programme.

Programme objective

The purpose of the SGP programme is provide financial support to community based organizations and other stakeholders for the implementation of environment projects that contribute to environmental sustainability economic and social development.


The SGP Fund is available to all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) who work towards the achievement of environmental sustainability for local ad global benefit.

Each successful applicant is eligible to financial support of up to USD$ 50 000 per project.

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Programme budget

During GEF 5 (2010-2014), x projects have been supported through GEF SGP STAR funds with x-number in the biodiversity focal area and x-nuber in the climate change focal area. The total grant amount issued in GEF 5 to the SGP was US 2 000 000. Geographically, x-number were in Kwa-Zulu Natal, x-number in Eastern Cape, x-number in Limpopo and x-number in Western Cape.

For more information, contact :

Khathutshelo Neluheni Tel: +27(0) 12 354 8166, Fax: +27(0) 12 354 8058/9, Email:

Some facts about GEF

GEF - 5 operational phase

During Global Environment Facility (GEF-5) (operational phase), 8 of the projects were supported through GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) STAR funds with 4 in the biodiversity focal area and 1 in the climate change focal area and 3 in land degradation focal area.

 Total grant amount issued

The total grant amount issued in GEF-5 was US $500 000, with US$200 000, 50 0000  and US$150 000 supporting biodiversity, climate change and Land Degradation  projects respectively. About US$100 000 is still yet to be committed to projects- and will be committed before the end of August. Geographically, 2 projects were in Kwazulu Natal, 1 in Eastern Cape, 1 in Limpopo,2  in Gauteng, 1 in Western Cape , and 1 in Northern Cape.



KwaNibela Sand Reforestation Programme


The KwaNibela Community Sand Reforestation Project was implemented in the KwaNibela Community, with the Maputaland area in KwaZulu Natal, which one of the biodiversity hotspot in South Africa. The aim of the KwaNibela Reforestation Project was to initiate a social forestry project and to incentivise the local community.


Kwanibela project



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