The history of the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program (GEF SGP) begins in Uzbekistan since 2005. It was the time when United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) began discussing with the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan the ability to attract the GEF SGP in the country. The meetings with government representatives, representatives of organizations concerned with the protection of nature in the country, the various users of natural resources have been started.
According to GEF requirements, a ministry of the Environment should send a request to attract the GEF SGP to the country. In our case, such ministry was the State Committee for Nature Protection. After coordination with the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan of the working conditions and of the requirements of GEF to the country, the State Committee for Environment sent an official request to GEF about attraction of GEF SGP into Uzbekistan. You can introduce with this letter-request from the Chairman of State Committee for Nature Protection. Unfortunately, the letter-request was made only in English.
Mr. Fikret Akchura – UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, also sent a similar letter. You can also see his letter here
After the application long negotiations were being held with the GEF on accepting of Uzbekistan as the country which implements the Small Grants Programme. As a result, in December 2006, GEF President notified on the official decision about accepting of Uzbekistan as the country where the GEF SGP can be implemented. You can read the letter on admission of Uzbekistan, among others, into the list of countries receiving the GEF SGP.
After this message an appraisal mission was appointed, which came to the country in October, 2007. The aim of this mission was to get final evidence that Uzbekistan is fully satisfying the requirements of the GEF for the programme implementation. The mission came to Uzbekistan and held a range of meetings both with the representatives of the government of the Republic (with Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Management, State Committee for Nature Protection, a Centre of Hydrometeorological service of the Republic of Uzbekistan of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry for Foreign-Economic Relations, Investments and Trade etc.) and representatives of the non-governmental sector. The mission also met and discussed in details the questions of implementation of the GEF SGP with UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan.
After completion of the appraisal mission, the results were summed up and in March, 2008 the GEF SGP began its work: the GEF SGP National Coordinator – Alexey Volkov was hired. Besides, a staff of the GEF SGP National Steering Committee was elected and approved by UNDP Resident Representative. A work for the development of the GEF SGP National Programme Strategy has been started immediately. This is a basic document and the Programme implements its activity within its frameworks. According to the requirement of the GEF, this strategy should be discussed with the public of the country and approved by the GEF SGP National Steering Committee.
The document was prepared and displayed for 2 weeks on UNDP website for open discussion by all interested parties and in May 28, 2008 a solemn opening ceremony of SGP GEF in Uzbekistan was held.
The ceremony of launching the GEF SGP was held in Radisson SAS hotel. Residents from all the regions of our Republic (there was a public invitation), the representatives of the governmental structures, mass media, Farmers Associations, Water Users Association, representatives of secured natural territories, international organizations participated in that ceremony. Approximately 200 persons participated in the work of the meeting.
But it was not just a ceremonial meeting. At the opening ceremony a detailed presentation about the developed GEF GSP National Programme Strategy was presented and the discussion about Programme directions was started. Many questions were asked and many comments about the strategy were made.
After the opening ceremony, the first meeting of the GEF SGP National Steering Committee was held where the strategy was accepted.
You can see below the text of the strategy. It is the strategy that determines what the GEF SGP in Uzbekistan is doing in the 4th budget cycle, i.e. during the period till June 31, 2010.
We have formulated the goal of the GEF SGP as follows:
To promote the improvement of the global natural environment via implementation, by means of local people, of local initiatives designated to preserve and restore the environment by implementing and replicating sustainable natural resources management practices that improve people’s livelihoods. A world-famous phrase is chosen to serve as the GEF SGP motto in our country –
Remember our motto:
THINK GLOBALLY – SAVE LOCALLY