Numerous schools on the island are benefitting from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP).
The Program implemented by the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) which started in Dominica in 1994, funds projects that enable community to enhance or conserve their environment.
The overall goal of the Programme is to achieve environmental sustainability, alleviate poverty and build capacity at the community level.
National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme, Agnes Esprit says presently a number of schools have embarked on environmental projects with support from the GEF.
“We presently have a project with the Tete Morne Primary School where they are going to be doing Organic Farming and Green House Farming. We have a project at the Dominica Community High School where we are helping them to become a 'Green' school. Recently they installed solar panels on their roof, so they are going to be paying much less electricity than they were doing before and at the same time contributing to preserving the environment”.
Since joining the GEF SGP, Dominica has received GEF grants totaling over $1M that has leveraged in co-financing resources for seven national projects. These include three projects in biodiversity, two in climate change and one project each in multi focal area and persistent organic pollutants.
Miss Esprit spoke to current community projects being undertaken in communities across the country including a toloma processing facility in Delices.
“We have some projects in Delices being spearheaded by women involved in Toloma production. The women will be processing toloma for the entire community and district. Currently there is a lovely building being constructed which will be used as a Toloma factory. As you drive you can see these large fields of toloma that are being planted in anticipation of this Toloma facility”.
During the current GEF-5 replenishment period which runs from July 2010 to June 2014, Dominica received an indicative allocation to formulate and execute projects for one million five hundred thousand dollars in biodiversity, two hundred thousand in climate change and five hundred thousand in land degradation.
Since 2006, the programme has transitioned to a results based management approach which focuses on creating sustainable and measurable impacts. To achieve these impacts Dominica has been operating using a Country Programme Strategy (CPS) which has identified the priority areas for funding using a geographic and/or a thematic approach.