GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP)

What is the Project About

School children in the Province of Mazandaran showcasing certificates to their individually-planted trees

Globally, GEF Small Grant Programme (GEF SGP) began in 1992, with the aim of supporting the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the developing countries. Now operational in 122 countries and more than 12,000 grants awarded worldwide, GEF SGP supports projects of non-governmental and community-based organizations in developing countries demonstrating that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives. GEF SGP will continue its niche on working with the community groups including women and children in line with their natural roles in their respective societies, NGOs with a volunteer track records, nomads, and environmentalists.

I.R. Iran was the 54th country that joined the programme in 2001 in GEF Operational Phase Two, and continued during GEF Operational Phases three, four and currently the fifth. With a total of 220 projects in focal areas of climate change, biodiversity, conservation of international water bodies, reduction of chemical pollution, and prevention of land degradation. The programme works in Caspian, Persian Gulf, Zagros and Touran geographic areas.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

One of the projects funded by GEF/SGP: Conservation of Foratti turtle

The programme has developed thematic cluster projects and network of grantees in mountain, wetland, coastal, marine and desert environments demonstrating that multi-stakeholder approach results in ownership and sustainability. The thematic clusters designed for greater impact include community-based forestry and pasture management, endangered wildlife and plant species, community-based ecotourism, eco-agriculture and integrated pest management (IPM), indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) and marine and wetlands.

Community mobilization has been demonstrated to be a success route in development projects, opening the way to empowerment and decision making on the environment and resources management.

In the endangered wildlife and plant species GEF SGP has worked on at least 17 animals, 12 vegetation species demonstrating a participatory approach to conservation.

Community owned innovations:

  • Wheel of facing drought  for facing impacts of climate change by mixing herding and agriculture
  • Evolutionary grain breeding for facing climate change by two of the SGP Grantees
  • Pyramid artificial reefs
  • Community pearl culturing by local fishermen
  • Art for conservation as an entry point in engaging the communities (Handicraft)
  • Galazani in Kurdistan oak forests (Legalizing the correct  technique)
  • Traditional knowledge on pest management for different crops (reintroducing them through IPM work)
  • Partnering with private sector and promoting the technology and speeding up its adoption and training service men in automated heating & cooling control systems for buildings resulting in 20 to 40% reduction in utility costs.
  • First automated biodiesel reactors in the country to convert waste oil to biodiesel has been fully developed. An education center has become operational in Tehran University.


Who Finances It

Country Portfolio, 2001- 2013

GEF SGP in I.R. Iran was funded from SGP Core funds in Phases 2 and 3, from GEF Resource Allocation Framework (RAF) in phase 4 and currently in phase 5 from GEF System for the Transparent Allocation Resource (STAR). In addition, grantees and their partners need to provide cofounding for the projects.

Delivery In Previous Fiscal Year


Project Overview
Project Start Date:
Estimated End Date:
Project is On-going
National Coverage:
Caspian, Persian Gulf, Zagros and Touran geographic areas
Focus Area:
Biodiversity, Land Degragation and Climate Change
1 & 7
National Coordinator:
Laleh Daraie
NGOs, COBs & CSos
GEF SGP Thematic Areas

The Thematic clusters bring a number of GEF Focal Areas and Geographic regions together, and help to build on the potentials that develop in the programme. The clustering form around existing projects and grow based on the Country Programme Strategy of the programme in various phases of funding.

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