UNDP and GEF kick off a green initiative to empower local communities and NGOs in protecting the environment and combating climate changeMar 27, 2010
10,000 households living in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, the city’s largest and most populated area, will participate in a community-based green campaign aimed to reduce the monthly electricity consumption by 1kW·h per family during this coming summer (from June to August). An endeavor as such will lead to a carbon dioxide reduction of up to 50 tonnes and more importantly, a behavior change as each household adopts to live a low-carbon, sustainable life.
As part of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in China and its Sub-Project: ‘Wangjing Community Low Carbon Action’ carried out by All China Environment Federation (ACEF), this campaign scheme is one component of the GEF SGP’s greater plan to channel financial and technical support directly to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as community-based organizations (CBOs). Launched today in Beijing, the GEF SGP is envisaged to protect the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods.
Supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), China was officially included as one of the 23 new country programmes introduced by the Programme Steering Committee of the SGP in November 2006. Three years later, in 2009, SGP China announced its first “call for proposals”, receiving 156 responses within a 30 day period. The National Steering Committee for SGP China approved 22 projects, which collectively encompass all of GEF’s strategic priorities including: biodiversity conservation, combating climate change, protecting international waters, preventing land degradation and eliminating persistent organic pollutants. The breadth of the initial round of projects spans from Xinjiang Province to Zhejiang Province, establishing initiatives that range from the implementation of innovative community-based biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management practices to productive uses of renewable energy.
“The GEF SGP is operated on the premise that local people will be empowered to protect the environment when they are organized to take actions, have a measure of control over access to the natural resource base, can deploy the necessary information and knowledge, and believe that their social and economic well-being is dependent on sound long-term natural resource management,” said Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China. Malik noted that by raising public awareness, building partnerships, and promoting policy dialogue, the programme aims to promote an enabling environment within China for achieving sustainable development while addressing global environmental issues.
With a total budget of US$ 1.15 million, this initiative is implemented by UNDP, in partnership with Chinese government, local NGOs/CBOs and other stakeholders.