A Workshop on MoEFCC-Global Environment Facility, UNDP Small Grants Programme(SGP) was inaugurated today in New Delhi by Shri C.K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC). Delivering the Key Note Address, said that it is the ground level work which make the difference, that may be in the context of national policies. He said there has to be sharing of details of best practices for their execution in all other areas of the country. During the inauguration, Shri Babulal Dahiya, receipient of Padma Shri Award 2019 was felicitated. He worked in the field of propagating traditional seed varieties for various crops. Shri A.K.Jain, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC in his Special Address, said that the two-day Workshop would enable various field-level workers to share their experiences. Ms. Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Country Director, UNDP also addressed the meeting said that there had been substantial contribution under the Special Grants Programme by the ground level NGOs from various parts of India.
UNDP has been supporting the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in implementing the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and financed Small Grants Programme (SGP) in India since 1997. Projects under the SGP are implemented through a National Host Institution – Centre for Environment Education (CEE), and other NGO partners and stakeholders that has presence in different parts of the country.
MOEFCC, GEF UNDP – SGP has been operational for over 25 years and is being implemented throughout the country. The SGP has been working extensively in the areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change and land degradation.
Environment degradation such as the destruction of ecosystems and the species that depends upon them, increasing level of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, pollution of international waters, land degradation and the spread of persistent organic pollutants are life – threatening challenges that endanger us all. However, it is the poor and vulnerable communities that are most at risk as they are directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods and subsistence. SGP in India aims to support these vulnerable communities through community led approaches towards environmental conservation and livelihoods enhancement.
As one of the upgraded SGP Country Programmes, SGP India has supported 112 community-based projects that benefited more than 400,000 people across the country. In addition to improving the functioning and productivity of local ecosystems through better resource use practices and restoration activities, SGP projects in India also contributed and resulted in economic, social, and political benefits, access to credit including job creation and expanded local markets, grater social cohesion and community self- reliance, political and social empowerment and increased food security.
Some of the key achievements of the programme are: 110,000 hectares of land brought under sustainable land and resource management in the Western Ghats, Himalayan Front and Arid and Semi-Arid Regions through sustainable measures such as organic farming and community managed enterprises for non-timber forest products; improved agricultural, land and water management practices; and promotion of sustainable income generation activities among the small farm holders, below 85,000 MTs of CO2 emissions reduced through a range of alternative energy and energy efficient technologies such as efficient cook stoves, solar driers, and briquetting units, plastic wasters recycling units, micro-hydro, biomass and pine needle-based energy options, which resulted in enhancing the livelihoods of poor and marginalized communities.
The workshop will consist of three sessions each day, addressing projects lessons processes and challenges. Two/three presenations will be held during each session from GEF SGP partner projects, panel discussions, invitation to Line Ministries, Government of India, other Donor Institutions to also share their experiences through their partners. About 120 participants are attending the workshop. Citizens groups and college students have also been invited.