UNDP has launched the sixth operational phase of the Global Environment Facility for the Small Grants Program in Kenya worth USD 4 Million. The 4 year project will work through identified Civil Society organizations in lake ;’Bogoria national reserve in Baringo county, the production landscape of the sacred Mijikenda kaya forests in Kilifi county and the Shimoni-Vanga seascape in Kwale county. The regions present different levels of biodiversity and land management for the livelihood of the pastoral, agricultural and fishing communities.
Speaking during the launch of the project, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment Ms. Susan Mochache said it would take a concerted effort to mitigate effects of climate change , saying involvement of communities at project inception would lead to better appreciation and buy in for continuity and sustainability.
“I wish to challenge CBOs and NGos who will receive GEF funds on behalf of local communities to make the most of the funds for a better conserved environment. You should also engage the local community in a meaningful manner that would promote ownership and that would benefit present and future generations” she said.
UNDP Deputy Country Director, Operations, Ms. Catherine Masaka said poor and vulnerable communities are most at risk because they depend on access to natural resources for their livelihoods and often live in fragile ecosystems
“UNDP strongly supports community-based approaches because they help national governments to advance people-centered development solutions. Working with civil society to support innovation from the ground up is an important dimension of UNDP’s country-level work. The bottom line is that local successes should inform national and global solutions in building a sustainable future”
In its previous 5 phases of operation, the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in Kenya awarded over 500 grants to civil society organizations to implement a range of climate change mitigation projects among communities. The projects include uptake of renewable energy technologies such as micro hydro, biogas and solar, nature based income generating projects for biodiversity conservation, such as bee keeping, eco tourism, rehabilitation of degraded indigenous forests and restoration of degraded land. It also supported the installation of energy efficient stoves at domestic/household level as well as in academic institutions. In addition, communities received technical and financial assistance to adopt renewable energy technologies in the form of solar and biogas, for lighting and cooking in their homes and schools.
working directly with local communities including women groups, the youth, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples demonstrates that small community-led projects can foster innovative ways to address environmental challenges. Indigenous peoples and local communities have a vital part to play in the global effort to protect biodiversity, address climate change and promote sustainable land use. They are the custodians of the world’s remaining natural resources including forests, water-bodies, land and the atmosphere” added Ms. Masaka
The new project will also promote indigenous food consumption and diversification of staple foodstuffs, applications of sound agro-ecological practices and principles, support sustainable grazing practices and herd management and strengthen governance of beach management units for improved management of fisheries
The GEF Small grants program was launched in 1993 at the Rio Summit, and implemented by UNDP as a global Program. It was established to support the participation of local communities in the conservation of natural resources and protection of eco systems of global significance. SGP Kenya is part of a worl-wide program that operates in 125 countries addressing global environmental issues and achieving Sustainable development Goals.