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


GEF-SGP is rooted in the belief that global environment problems can best be addressed if local people are involved GEF-SGP is rooted in the belief that global environment problems can best be addressed if local people are involved.

Launched in 2009, GEF-SGP Nigeria supports non-governmental and community-based organizations in Nigeria to protect the environment while generating sustainable livelihoods for the poor and marginalized in developing countries. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), GEF-SGP is implemented by UNDP on behalf of the GEF partnership, and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). With presence in over 25 states and more than 110 community based projects, GEF-SGP supports projects to demonstrate that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives. 

The GEF-SGP Nigeria has been tagged the flagship of GEF projects. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office has described GEF-SGP as the bottom up complement of its top-down policies in the country. Since inception in March 2009, GEF-SGP Nigeria has established a strong foundation of country programme through the support of the National Steering Committee (NSC). GEF-SGP has helped to raise awareness of environmental issues, built capacity for and project conceptualization, proposal and report writing, and engagement of communities in environmental initiatives. GEF-SGP has also contributed to all relevant multilateral Environmental Agreements such as CBD, UNFCC, CITES, UNCCD etc.

GEF-SGP Principle

GEF-SGP is rooted in the belief that global environment problems can best be addressed if local people are involved and there are direct community benefits and ownership. GEF-SGP is convinced that with small amounts of funding, members of local communities can undertake activities that will make a significant difference in their lives and environments, with global benefits. GEF-SGP operates from the bottom up, expert-reliant development interventions and in a decentralized and country-driven manner, through National Coordinators and National Steering Committees and a Central Programme Management Team based in New York. 

One of the objectives of GEF-SGP is to develop community-level strategies and implement technologies that could reduce threats to the global environment if they are replicated over time. GEF focal areas include; Biodiversity, Climate change, International Waters, Land Degradation and persistent Organic Pollutants.


  • Over 150,000 poor rural dwellers, (65% women and 35% men) have so far benefitted directly from SGP intervention.
  • 50% of beneficiary communities have either never experienced or benefitted from any development support or participated in such a way as allowed by SGP.
  • Over 10 SGP projects have been up-scaled/replicated.
  • Analysis of achievements based on focal areas:


  • Over 500 indigenous plant species are currently being conserved.
  • Supported establishment of Community Forest Management Committees and capacity building for forest protection and to enhance indigenous knowledge of biodiversity and revive interest in traditional medicinal values of plants species.
  • In-situ conservation of the critically endangered Sclater Guenon monkey (Cercopithecus sclater), endemic to southern Nigeria and internationally rated No. 4 in the 2006 IUCN global Red Data list of endangered species of fauna.
  • Protection and restoration of over 1,000,306 and 10,000 hectares of land respectively.

Climate Change

SGP Nigeria has supported over 30 climate change mitigation projects addressing;

  • Awareness creation and teaching simple technique of Rain water harvesting to reduce stress of water and impact of drought.
  • Supported Pitcher Irrigation technology for farming.
  • Tree planting to regenerate forests which act as sink for C02.
  • Fuel efficient stoves to reduce consumption of fuelwood.

Land Degradation
SGP has supported projects in several states to address erosion; loss of farmlands to boost food production and capacity for modern farming techniques; tree planting; establishment of Skills Acquisition Centre to train beneficiaries  especially women, widows and youth on alternative livelihood activities  in order to discourage unsustainable land exploitation.

Capacity Building:

  • Over 85% of beneficiaries now have the capacity for Proposal Development, Project Implementation, Report Writing and knowledge sharing etc.
  • Supported capacity building for people with disabilities and marginalised and community leaders for livelihood enhancement.
  • SGP is the only fund that ensures active participation of communities from project design to sustainability plan and management.
  • Over 3,000 school children have benefitted from SGP projects.

Established GEF-SGP Nigeria Grantees Network established and mentoring programmes to create platform for grantees and intending grantees to interact. 100 CSOs empowered to date

Socio-Economic Impact: All SGP Projects have supported alternative livelihood activities that have helped to reduce pressure on the environment and also enhance the quality of lives of the target communities.

Policy Impact: Some of the projects have established bye-laws that help to protect the environment and enforcement of environmental conservation principles through traditional arrangements. Lagos State has adopted the results of the Saw Dust Project leading to the establishment of a comprehensive environmental management system for saw mills in Lagos.  Following project results, some grantees have carried out advocacy activities writing letters, press releases and direct meeting with politicians to seek further support for environmental management.


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