During the period from 4-10 October, 2007 the Global Environment Facility (GEF) mission has visited Tashkent with purpose to learn about opportunities for the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implementation in Uzbekistan. The delegation headed by Mr. Terence Hay-Edie met with the officials of the State Committee for Nature Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Center of Hydrometeorological Service, the Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, the Ministry of Economy, and with the representatives from the non-governmental sector.
During the dialogues, the mission members presented the key functions, the main principles, and the priorities of the GEF Small Grants Programme. At one of the discussions at the UNDP CO in Tashkent, the GEF specialists presented how the GEF SGP projects are being realized in other CIS countries using the example of Kazakhstan. The participants of the meeting were also informed about the GEF SGP activities and projects all over the world.
The GEF Small Grants Programme has attracted the attention of the Uzbek government officials. The stakeholders have learned about its importance for Uzbekistan and they expressed their readiness for this Programme to start in the near future.
In 2005 the State Committee for Nature Protection, in coordination with the Government of Uzbekistan, jointly with UNDP office in Tashkent , approached GEF with request to initite the Small Grants Programme in Uzbekistan. The GEF Small Grants Programme is implemented by the UNDP on behalf of the three implementing agencies of the GEF - UNDP, World Bank and UNEP and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The GEF SGP’s mission is protection of the global environment. Launched in 1992, the GEF SGP is rooted in the belief that global environmental problems can best be addressed if local people are involved and direct community benefits and ownership are generated. It forges international cooperation and finances actions (the maximum grant amount per project is US$ 50,000) to address six critical threats to the global environment:
• Biodiversity loss
• Climate change
• Degradation of international waters
• Ozone depletion
• Land degradation
• Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)