The GEF UNDP/SGP in India is implemented country wide as a Full Scale Project (FSP), working extensively in the areas of Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change Mitigation and Land Degradation, with emphasis on eco-friendly livelihood measures. SGP was designed to demonstrate community action as a primary measure for balancing human needs and environmental imperatives.

CEE is the National Host Institution (NHI) working closely under UNDP Country Office and MoEF&CC, and coordinating with more than 400 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) . SGP India has coordinated various Operational Phases and the interventions brought out remarkable positive changes in the areas of rural development, eco-friendly livelihood and small business management. In all, 443 projects were supported through five SGP Operational Phases and the current Phase 05, was completed on March 31, 2018.

As one of the upgraded SGP Country Programmes, SGP India has supported 112 community-based projects to date in its Fifth Operational Phase, to protect biodiversity, address climate change and prevent land degradation, benefiting over one lakh people across the country. In addition to improving the functioning and productivity of local ecosystems through better resource use practices and restoration activities, SGP projects in India have also delivered an array of local economic, social, and political benefits, including job creation and expanded local markets, greater social cohesion and community self-reliance, political and social empowerment, and increased food security and water access.

Achievement Highlights of SGP OP5 for the year 2017-18

The important achievements of the project may be summarized as follows:

  • 72 Small Grant Projects were successfully completed by exercising the mid-term and final evaluation in coordination with the respective CEE Regional Offices. The 10th National Steering Committee Meeting held at MoEF&CC on November 8, 2017 had approved 10 new projects and allocated USD 147307.
  • Green Haat at MoEF&CC: On the occasion of the visit by the CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, Ms. Naoko Ishii, SGP India in collaboration with MoEF&CC, UNDP and CEE hosted a ‘Green Haat’ from October 31 to November 6, 2017 for rural communities whose livelihoods depend on ecosystem services, to showcase and provide a market place for their biodiversity products crafted with support from COMDEKS and SGP projects. By creating a platform for vulnerable communities to display their products from rural production landscapes that highly depend on a sustainable relationship between livelihood activities and the environment, communities are socially empowered and encouraged to conserve biodiversity and reduce land degradation.
  • Together with Ms. Ishii, other eminent guests included Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon. Minister of State, MoEF&CC, and other officials from the Ministry and UNDP, encouraging the mainstreaming of grassroots innovations. Among the 22 local producers who displayed their produce, COMDEKS partner Chhattrasal Sewa Sansthan displayed its organic pulses, ginger, garlic, spices and pickles. The event also displayed the achievements of COMDEKS-supported initiatives through an impressive ‘Gallery Walk’, which illustrated numerous pictures from project sites as well as short videos capturing the successful impacts of these community-led projects.
  • This event was a significant opportunity for rural producers to sell and market their sustainably generated products. Within seven days, the event saw more than 12,000 visitors and the revenue from sold produce reached around 400,000 rupees (about USD 6,060).
  • More than 3000 hectares of land have been brought under sustainable land and resource management (SLRM) in the Western Ghats (WG), Himalayan Front (HF) and Arid and Semi-Arid Regions (ASAR) through sustainable measures such as organic farming and community managed enterprises for non-timber forest products (NTFP); improved agricultural, land and water management practices; and the promotion of sustainable income generation activities among the below poverty line (BPL) tribal families.
  • In the reporting year, through SGP interventions, approximately 5000 metric tons of CO2 emissions have been reduced at the community level. This was achieved by promoting more efficient fuel wood usage and introducing low-GHG tools and products — efficient cook stoves, biomass driers, briquetting units, vermi-composting, waste recycling, and energy efficient furnace. Further, use of technologies like micro-hydro, wind, solar and biomass energy options, has resulted in enhancing the livelihoods of poor and marginalised communities.
  • SGP India has continuously reached out and collaborated in meaningful ways with a wide variety of stakeholders including NGOs and CBOs, national and local government entities, private sector, and academic, research and extension institutes.
  • During the reporting period, an additional 1,101 new women collectives, such as Self Help Groups, Energy Producer Groups, Fodder Management and Development Committees, have been formed and strengthened compared to the numbers reported in the previous year. In most SGP projects, there is a major focus on developing and strengthening institutional structures such as SHGs, Producer Organisations, etc. at the grassroots level to ensure sustainability once the project activities have ended.
  • Products of 246 Self Help Groups are being promoted with branding and certification.
  • Guidance workshops were organised in Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar in June and December 2017 respectively, to provide capacity building for SGP partners and linking them with government departments and private agencies.
  • Workshops on beekeeping were organised in three different locations in India covering more than 140 farmers.
  • Knowledge Management Materials such as brochures for some of the SGP Partners – viz. CTD, Delhi; STD, Mandi; and CHARDEP, Tamil Nadu, - and a book on Soil Health were developed and published.
  • One of the SGP partners, LOTUS Progressive Centre, Assam, has developed a low cost seed bank for the preservation and multiplication of native rice paddy. LOTUS is in the final stage of receiving GI registration of the native black rice variety promoted by it.