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The Terra Viva Grants Directory develops and manages information about grants for agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources in the world's developing countries.

United Nations Development Program

Grants to civil society organizations for environmental protection and poverty reduction

Principal Office: International

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is among the world’s largest multilateral organizations for development assistance, present in all regions of the developing world. At the country level, UNDP normally coordinates activities for the United Nations system as a whole.

UNDP is one of the implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility, and UNDP manages the GEF’s Small Grants Program (see the separate profile of GEF in the Terra Viva Grants Directory).

Moreover, UNDP coordinates the Equator Initiative which awards the Equator Prize.

Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources

1 — GEF Small Grants Program (SGP). The SGP funds community-based projects in biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and abatement, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation, and reduction of the impact of persistent organic pollutants (i.e., the focal areas of the GEF more widely).

Grants are for assessment and planning; pilot demonstrations; monitoring and analysis; and dissemination, networking, and policy dialogue. Grant recipients are community-based organizations, NGOs, and other grassroots organizations. The maximum grant size is US$50 thousand, and the average is about US$25 thousand.

About the program

APPLICATION: SGP provides guidelines regarding the types of projects it funds under each focal area. The grant seeker contacts the relevant SGP National Coordinator to receive guidelines and an application form.

Applications follow a two-step process, starting with a concept note. Based on the concept note, the National Coordinator will determine whether to ask for a full proposal. Project proposals must satisfy the SGP Country Program Strategy, overseen by a National Steering Committee.

About how to apply


2 — Equator Initiative. The Equator Initiative is a partnership of UN agencies, national governments, conservation organizations, and others to support local approaches for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation. The Equator Initiative awards the Equator Prize for innovative biodiversity conservation to multiple recipients on a cycle of every two years.

Prize recipients are community-based organizations and local groups in the eligible countries. As originally defined, the Equator Prize recognizes initiatives within the equatorial zone (i.e. 23.5 degrees latitude North and South of the Equator). However, the selection criteria for the Prize have been broadened. Civil society organizations in nearly all developing countries — tropical and temperate — are eligible to compete for the Prize.

The amount of the prize is determined in each prize cycle. Note: In the cycle 2019, the Equator Initiative was awarded to 22 winning projects.

About the program

APPLICATION: The Equator Initiative posts calls for nominations that include eligibility requirements, nomination forms, and information about how and when to nominate.

Awards are normally made every two years.

About nominations

Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries

The following developing countries participate in GEF’s Small Grants Program (SGP), applying the regional classification of the Terra Viva Grants Directory.

Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands: Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam

East Asia: China, Mongolia

South Asia: Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Eurasia and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan

Eastern Europe and Russia: Albania, Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine

Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Dem Rep Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Latin America and Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela

UNDP’s main website is available in English, French, and Spanish.

The GEF Small Grants Program offers a projects databasecontact details, and other helpful information.

The Equator Initiative identifies past winners of the Equator Prize. It posts contact information for its administrative staff in New York.

February 2021