Developing Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) Country Programme Strategy in Kyrgyzstan
The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) received a grant from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) to develop a Country Strategy for the Programme in Kyrgyzstan. As part of this collaboration, MSRI assisted GEF SGP in prioritizing its programme interventions in the country during the Operational Phase-7 of GEF.
The Small Grants Programme has been implemented in Kyrgyzstan since 2001, and 293 projects have been supported with grants totaling US$4.6 million. GEF SGP works in 125 countries and provides civil society and community-based organizations with grants to enable them to tackle global environmental challenges while addressing local sustainable development needs.
UCA’s MSRI organized a workshop on March 10th, 2020 in Bishkek to identify priority development areas in Kyrgyzstan related to the environment. The event gathered over 40 representatives from the State Environment Protection bodies, NGOs, as well as academia. Participants discussed current issues in the country including species and environmental conservation, natural resource management, transboundary water management, chemical pollution, pasture degradation, and alternative sources of income for local populations. They also mapped out current projects in Kyrgyzstan to find synergies between stakeholders, avoid project duplication, and achieve a greater impact.
During project implementation MSRI team met with multiple stakeholders on national and regional levels, to collect their opinion about the activities, the Strategy document should cover. A short promotional video was developed in Russian and Kyrgyz to advertise the Small Grants Programme to local communities and explain the application procedures. Baseline information was collected from scientific publications to inform the strategic document. Furthermore, high-resolution satellite images of protected areas in Osh and Batken provinces, as well as climatic data, were purchased and analysed to add new information. This, together with information from interviews of stakeholders was the basis for the development of the Strategy plan. The draft of the plan in English and Russian was circulated to national and local stakeholders and discussed on 16 July 2021 during an online meeting where participants shared their opinions. The final document will be printed and published electronically to reach all the stakeholders and potential grantees.