Project Eligibility Considerations, based on its Country Programme Strategy.

1. Background.

The primary aim of the Country Programme Strategy (CPS) is to foster a Small Grants Programme (SGP) in Nepal that is geared towards:

  1. Demonstrating community-level strategies and technologies that could reduce threats to the global environment if replicated over time and space.
  2. Learning lessons from community-level experiences, and supporting the spread of successful community-level strategies and innovations among NGOs, CBOs, host governments, development aid agencies, GEF, UNDP, donors and others working on a larger scale.
  3. Building partnerships among local stakeholders to strengthen the capacity ofof local communities, NGOs and CBOs to address concerns related to environmentally sound and sustainable development.

In this context, the CPS is meant to steer a SGP Nepal that exemplifies the critical role that local communities can play in using locally appropriate solutions to conserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change. Further, the CPS is also designed to operationalise a SGP Nepal that promotes projects that:

  1. Enhance local community capacity to address concerns in the GEF focal areas of biodiversity and climate change.
  2. Expand the impacts of local community interventions supported by the SGP.
  3. Enable SGP Nepal projects to attain long-term viability and sustainability through innovative resource mobilization, co-financing and cost-sharing.
2. Range of Projects.

Functionally, it is envisaged that the CPS would foster SGP Nepal projects aimed at:

  1. Targeting biodiversity, climate change, land degradation and persistent organic pollution
  2. Promoting capacity building.
  3. Facilitating resource mobilization and sustainability.
  4. Fostering innovative interventions, including sustainable livelihoods.
  5. Ensuring effective community participation and involvement.
3. Thematic and/or geographic focus: (for detail see website Country Programme Strategy)

The following thematic and geographic areas will be targeted. Grant allocation to projects focusing within these areas will constitutes 75% of GEF/SGP funding. While 25% of the total fundingwill be reserved for strategic partnership building, important demonstration projects, and particularly innovative initiatives regardless of thematic or geographic focus boundaries. The thematic and geographic concept below will remain the primary focus of GEF/SGP Nepal .

  • Sustainable harvest and production of non-timber forest products and organic farming in Midwestern districts of Salyan, Rolpa, and Dang; Western hill districts of Parbat, Baglung, Myagdi and Mustang; and Central hill districts of Kavre, Sindhulpalchowk and Dolakha.
  • Wetland conservation in Jagadishpur Reservoir (Kapilbastu district), Lumbini wetland (Rupendehi district), Nararyani waterbody (Nawalparasi district), Beesh Hazari Tal (Chitwan district), Fewa, Begnas, and Rupa Tal (Kaski district).
  • Renewable energy in all project clusters listed above and the forest-deficient Terai districts of Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari.
  • Shifting Cultivation (or Khoriya or rotational agro-forestry) in Makwanpur, Dhading, Chitwan, Gorkha, and Tanahu districts.
Kinds of Projects.

The kinds of projects eligible for support from SGP Nepal include:

i) In the biodiversity focal area.

SGP interventions to address problems related to biodiversity in a mega-biodiversity rich country like Nepal should in general be designed to undertake activities aimed at mitigating the loss of biodiversity (be it on land or in fresh water) caused by:

i) Destruction of habitats;
ii) Sources of point or diffuse pollution; and
iii) Over-exploitation of natural resources.

(Based on SGP experiences in other countries, examples of the kinds of activities that could be undertaken in this category by NGOs, CBOs and local communities in Nepal include conserving biodiversity in all its forms; promoting sustainable use of biodiversity; protecting watersheds and catchments areas in biodiversity significant ecosystems and habitats; promoting creation of parks, reserves and protected areas; protecting species of flora and fauna; restoring biodiversity significant habitats or ecosystems; promoting ecotourism; sustaining fisheries, farm animals and livestock in a manner that addresses biodiversity conservation; promoting agricultural biodiversity; promoting environmentally sound natural resource management; etc).

i) In the climate change focal area.

SGP interventions to address problems related to climate change in Nepal should in general be designed to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change by undertaking activities aimed at:

i) Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs);
ii) Removing barriers to energy efficiency and energy conservation; and
iii) Promoting alternative renewable sources of energy.

(Based on SGP experiences in other countries, examples of the kinds of activities that could be undertaken in this category by NGOs, CBOs and local communities in Nepal include promoting energy conservation and energy efficiency; developing and deploying renewable sources of energy; preventing or abating air pollution from GHGs; introducing alternative sources of energy like bio-gas, windmills, solar energy and micro-hydro power stations; promoting forestry or abating deforestation in a manner that mitigates climate change or reduces threats to habitats, ecosystems or native species; etc).

iii) In Land Degradation

The main activities within the land degradation prevention area will be focused on: rehabilitation and conservation of slash and burn (shifting cultivation or Khoriya) lands and restoration and protection of river belts. Slash and burn lands will be upgraded with the adoption of sloping land agricultural technologies. Preference will be given to one cluster (the hills of Dhading, Chitwan, Gorkha, Makwanpur and Tanahu districts) for carrying out activities related to land degradation prevention through indigenous dwellers who have the customary rights of the slash and burn (Khoriya) lands.

iv) POPs - Persistent Organic Pollutants :

POPs are highly stable compounds that circulate globally through a repeated process of evaporation and deposit, and are transported through the atmosphere and the oceans to regions far away from their original source. They accumulate in the tissue of living organisms, which absorb POPs through food, water, and air. The effects of POPs exposure include birth defects, cancers, and dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems. POPs are also a threat to biodiversity, and even have the potential to cause disruption at the ecosystem level.

The SGP Strategy on Reducing and Eliminating POPs, guides Country Programmes and multi-country Strategic Projects on the development and implementation of projects to serve more communities, and have a larger global environmental impact. National Implementation Plans for the Stockholm Convention (NIPs) will form the basis for future country-level GEF support on POPs. Therefore, based on the convention GEF-SGP country priorities emerge from the NIPs. Since NIPs are going to be the framework for a country to develop and implement, in a systematic and participatory way, priority policy, and regulatory reform, capacity building, and investment programs GEF SGP Country Programmes, their partners and grantees (especially women and children health groups) try to become part of the discussions, development, and implementation surrounding the NIPs

i)Draft Elements of an Operational Program for Reducing and Eliminating Releases of Persistent Organic Pollutants

5. Strategically, it is envisioned that the CPS would facilitate SGP Nepal projects geared towards:
  1. Enhancing the capacity of NGOs, CBOs and local communities in contributing towards global environmental benefits by tackling local environmental concerns in the GEF focal areas of biodiversity and climate change.
  2. Fostering partnerships among all concerned stakeholders in promoting environmentally sound, socially equitable and sustainable development for all sectors of society.
  3. Mainstreaming or upscaling SGP-supported innovative interventions by institutionalizing the participation and involvement of NGOs, CBOs and local communities, especially in efforts that combine environmental protection with sustainable livelihoods under the framework of sustainable development.

From this standpoint, it is envisaged that the CPS would facilitate SGP Nepal projects that are strategically oriented towards supporting innovative interventions by NGOs, CBOs and local communities that:

  1. Build the capacity and capability of NGOs, CBOs and local communities towards effectively planning, implementing and monitoring interventions that promote sustainable livelihoods and sustainable development, while protecting the quality of the environment and its natural resources.
  2. Initiate and institutionalize appropriate measures and mechanisms towards fostering self-sustaining NGO, CBO and local community initiatives in the GEF focal areas of biodiversity and climate change.
  3. Remove barriers towards the realization of long-term solutions and lasting successes in resolving burdens cross-cutting the economic-environment interface.
  4. Facilitate resource mobilization towards leveraging additional funds by the formation of smart partnerships and strategic alliances among the various stakeholders, including representatives of the donor community.
  5. Stimulate upstream and downstream multi-stakeholder networking towards enhanced delivery and impact, especially those based on performance indicators, success stories and lessons learned.
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