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Innovations from GEF SGP Showcased at UNFCCC Momentum for Change

New York, New York

Febuary 11, 2013


The UNFCCC secretariat developed 'Momentum for Change' as a way to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change. The UNFCCC believes that “highlighting and enhancing the positive developments in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation will increase innovation, motivation, hope, passion and capacity for further change. Change can be positive and positive change can create escalating virtuous cycles.”

At the last UNFCCC COP in Doha, as part of the Momentum for Change Initiative, the United Nations Climate Change secretariat presented 9 public-private “lighthouse activities” in developing countries “which either help to curb greenhouse gas emissions or help people adapt to climate change, while at the same time benefit the urban poor.”

Two projects supported by SGP were selected as part of the 9 activities highlighted at the last UNFCCC COP and are now available at the UNFCCC website. One of the activities selected is an SGP project that helped the Lanka Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) import the first electric vehicles to Sri Lanka by changing the current policies to include their access to the country and promoting their use by the government and the private sector. As a result of the SGP funded project, a number of large-scale private firms started to invest in the electric vehicles sector and by 2007, when the Colombo municipal government decided to renew its fleet of buses they choose to use new buses designed to run on electricity.

The other SGP project recognized was Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions from Namibia where communities and are using a participatory and holistic approach to mitigation and adaptation that includes water harvesting, sustainable agriculture, sustainable land management to combat land degradation and improve food security, flood and drought resistant crops, energy efficient wood stoves and renewable energy in combination with agro-forestry and improved natural resource management and awareness raising. One of the innovations of the project is the EzyStove, a fuel-efficient stove that is designed according to the needs of Namibian women, and is user-friendly and easy to assemble. The stoves reduce fuel wood consumption by two thirds, while also reducing wood smoke emissions by between 60 and 80 percent.

These SGP supported projects were selected by an international advisory panel and fulfilled the two key criteria for the selection: to have proven to be effective and to have the potential to be replicated in other countries and communities.  The UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Initiative, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Background for editors

About the GEF

The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10 billion in grants and leveraging $47 billion in co-financing for over 2,800 projects in over 168 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 13,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totalling $634 million. For more information, visit

About the GEF Small Grants Programme

Launched in 1992, SGP supports activities of nongovernmental and community-based organizations in developing countries towards climate change abatement, conservation of biodiversity, protection of international waters, reduction of the impact of persistent organic pollutants and prevention of land degradation while generating sustainable livelihoods.

Since its creation SGP has provided grants to 13,000 communities in 122 developing countries. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a corporate programme, SGP is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF partnership, and is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Media contacts:

  • Ana Maria Currea, Knowledge Management Specialist, GEF SGP,
    , 646-781-4353
  • John Diamond, Senior Communication Officer& Spokesperson, Global Environment Facility
    , (202) 458-7953