Monday, January 28, 2008

Jamaican communities to benefit from small grants program from the Global Environmental Facility

Sometimes a little money can be very effective in the right spot. From the Jamaica Observer, by Petre Williams: Community groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are, this Tuesday, to gain insight into how to benefit from the US$400,000 small grants programme to aid Jamaica's adaptation to climate change. The programme, which has as its focus community-based adaptation to climate change, is geared at allowing small communities to drive adaptation efforts in the developing world.

It is small communities - typically found along the coast in countries such as Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean - which are expected to be worst affected by a changing climate. Climate change is, in turn, expected to herald sea level rise, more severe storms/hurricanes and warmer global temperatures. Along with that is expected lost livelihoods in such sectors as agriculture and tourism, which are highly susceptible to changing weather patterns.

Meanwhile, the local programme, to be launched formally on February 15, is being financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"The idea behind next Tuesday's training (session at the Pegasus) is to present the background objectives and requirements for participation in the programme so that by February 15 when we have the launch, we can move smoothly into implementation," said Dale Rankine, national coordinator for the GEF Small Grants Programme.

Rankine was speaking with the Observer at the greenhouse gas inventory workshop at the Pegasus Hotel last Thursday. To benefit from the programme, community groups and NGOS will be required to formulate projects that address needs in the coastal and agriculture sectors. The projects are to be globally relevant, while ensuring that the benefits of their implementation are resilient to climate change.

In addition, projects must address biodiversity conservation or the prevention of land degradation. Beyond that, agencies selected for participation must be prepared to leverage a percentage of the costs of implementing the project. Rankine said the programme - which will run from 2008 to 2012 - is looking to finance between eight and 20 projects at US$20,000 to US$50,000.

Satellite photo of Jamaica by NASA.

No comments: