Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Small Grants Programme St. Kitts-Nevis (SGPSKN) celebrated the successful completion of sustainable projects, and recently launched the Operational Phase Six (6) grant funding for the period 2016 to 2019, to which persons can start applying as early as Friday, December 01, 2017.
Also celebrated at Saturday's (November 04) ceremony was the 25th Anniversary of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP). The same year as the Rio Earth Summit, 1992, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) implemented the GEF Small Grants Programme to support grassroots communities and civil society organizations around the world in order to tackle critical environmental and sustainable development challenges.
Since SGP was established in the Federation four years ago, 32 approved community-based projects in St. Kitts and Nevis have been provided seed monies and technical assistance. Small grants of up to USD $50,000.00 and strategic grants of up to US$150,000.00 have been provided in GEF focal areas such as Biodiversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, as well as Land Degradation. The Operational Phase Six (6) will see the focus placed on Climate Smart Agroecology and Landscape and Seascape Conservation.
Ilis Watts, SGP SKN National Coordinator, said that the launch was successful, and it brought grantees and strategic partners together for the first time.
"They were able to make connections that would no doubt benefit all who attended. It [the launch] was able to highlight the role that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has played in supporting the Small Grants Programme for the past 25 years," she said.
She explained the way forward for the SGP, noting that it will "continue to accept project concepts from groups and organizations that wish to undertake projects in the SGP focal areas. We also hope that, given the increasing positive exposure that the programme has been receiving, we would also get more potential strategic partners showing an interest in the programme."
The local strategic partners are Government ministries in St. Kitts and Nevis (Environment, Sustainable Development, Community Development, Education, Agriculture, and Marine Resources), Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Taiwanese Mission. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF-IWEco) Project and the Australian Government/Australian Aid are the regional/international partners.
Groups that have ongoing projects or ones recently approved were handed a cheque for the amount of their grant award.
Additionally, two groups were given special plaques of recognition under the focal area of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for their projects that were successfully implemented. These projects are the New River Farmers Cooperative Society Limited in Nevis, and the Cuban Kittitian Association in St. Kitts.
The New River Farmers Cooperative Society Limited sought to rehabilitate the spring in Nevis to the point where flooding is minimized and the runoff is channeled to storage areas that would then be used by farmers to provide water for crops and livestock. On the other hand, the Cuban Kittitian Association has installed two bio digesters to produce biogas, a renewable energy, and other material to be used as fertilizer. The organic fertilizer is used for small-scale crop production.