The GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belize invites local civil society organizations to submit innovative project concepts supporting the Blue Economy.

GEF SGP in the past 26 years has gained considerable experiences of protecting ocean and coastal environment while enhancing livelihoods and empowering local communities. There is a need to advance the experiences and lessons learnt to further promote a balanced approach to economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable ocean and coastal management. GEF SGP’s portfolio on Blue Economy and lessons learned are compiled in the 2018 publication on Blue Economy: Community Solutions.

The GEF SGP Blue Economy Innovation Program seeks to protect the ocean and coastal environment through the enhancement of the efficiency and sustainability of community-based blue economy. It is premised on the fact that enhanced resource use efficiency will create more sustainable livelihoods opportunities while reducing human induced pressure on ocean and coastal ecosystems.
The goal of the program is to identify, test and scale up innovative community-based projects that boost local livelihoods through better and sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources through active social inclusion, particularly women and girls, youth, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities.

Priority Themes and Activities

Priority themes include fisheries, aquaculture, nature-based tourism, and cross-cutting capacity development. Specifically, priority activities include:
Sustainable Fisheries:
• Prevent, reduce and stop destructive fishing practices including bycatch, and ghost fishing.
• Promote sustainable fishery management by developing community by-laws, policies and monitoring schemes to enhance fisheries management.
• Promote women and youths in sustainable fisheries management.
• Rehabilitate, conserve and sustainably manage coastal habitats for fisheries (mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass and other coastal wetlands)
Climate resilient aquaculture:
• Innovative aquaculture models that sustainably utilize ocean and coastal resources, for example, sea weed production, sponge farming, fish farming, medicine production from marine living resources and other uses.
• Reduction of pollution from aquaculture and land-based pollution i.e. plastics, agrochemicals.
Nature-based tourism:
• Pilot and test community-managed eco-tourism initiatives.
• Develop business plans and market tourist destinations or activities.
• Management from tourists, hotels and other tourism generated waste.
Capacity development could be a cross-cutting activity within the above three priority themes. Possible capacity development activities may include: a) Education and trainings to community members on sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and nature-based tourism; and b) Identification, collection and codification of good practices on blue economy for local, national and global learning and knowledge sharing through south-south cooperation.

Eligibility and Criteria

• Applicants may request grant up to USD $50,000 to be used over one or two years.
• Proposed projects should be bold, innovative, and transformative, and have potential for replication and scaling up.
• Successful projects should consider strong social inclusion, including gender equality and women’s empowerment, indigenous peoples, youth, and or persons with disabilities in their initiative.
• Projects may be focused around conservation, education, technology and others, but all applications should explicitly state the plan for having strong impact and concrete results/outcomes.
• Projects that demonstrate key partnerships and leverage additional resources e.g. co-financing with INGO, foundation, private sector, coastal community, regulatory agencies will be duly considered.
• One (1) strategic capacity development/knowledge management project for CSOs may be considered if the initiative will significantly demonstrate and sustain the Blue economy outcomes at the national level inclusive of significant cash co-financing being secured.

Is your organization legally registered (in Belize)?
a) National or local non-governmental organization (NGO),
b) Community-based organization (CBO),
c) Women`s Group or Youth Group,
d) Recognized indigenous umbrella or grassroots organization or
e) Local cooperative or association?
Then you are eligible to apply to this small grant facility.

Which activities are eligible for funding?
Project concepts must address one or more of the following thematic areas of focus: capacity development, innovation, project sustainability, potential for replication, upscaling, mainstreaming, and gender considerations are highly desirable and will be considered during the concept review process.

How can proponent organizations apply for a Grant?

Eligible Organizations should prepare a brief project concept paper (3-4 pages) using the standard GEF SGP concept paper format. Eligible Organization must ensure their proposed ideas are aligned to the GEF SGP Operational Phase 6 Country Programme Strategy. Planning Grants of up to US$5,000 can be awarded to eligible organizations that do not have the capacity to contract a consultant to prepare a proposal through a participatory planning process. The concept paper, planning grant application and OP6 Strategy can be obtained from the UNDP/ GEF SGP Office.

Small grants, ranging from USD 5,000 to 50,000.00, will be awarded to eligible organizations. A maximum of USD 50,000.00 can be awarded to a Grantee Partner per Operational Phase of the GEF SGP. The closing date for submission of Concept Papers is August 30th, 2019 at 17:00 hours. Complete concepts could be delivered electronically to or to the UNDP/GEF SGP Country Office (P.O. Box 53, Third Floor Lawrence Nicholas Building, South Ring Road, City of Belmopan).

The National Coordinator
UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme
Telephone: 822 2462
Website: (This opportunity is funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme and the Oak Foundation)


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