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GEF SGP Background

The GEF SGP was launched in 1992 following the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The programme is funded by the GEF as a corporate programme and implemented by the UNDP on behalf of the GEF partnership and is executed by UNOPS. SGP aims to deliver global environmental benefits in the GEF focal areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation, and phasing out of harmful chemicals through community-based approaches. 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.

SGP is decentralized and implemented in a transparent and country-driven manner facilitated by the National Coordinator. SGP grants are awarded based on decisions made by the voluntary National Steering Committee (NSC) guided by Country Programme Strategy developed on the basis of national environment and development priorities. Our current Strategy under GEF Operational Phase 7 is focused on projects located in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Limpopo as well as those on Wildlife Economy as part of government’s National Biodiversity Economy Strategy.

Scope of work

The NSC is the central element of SGP and provides the major substantive contribution to and oversight of the Country Programme. The NSC typically comprises of voluntary representatives from NGOs/community-based organizations (CBOs), government, academia, donor organizations and private sector, with a majority of members coming from the non-governmental sector.

The NSC provides overall strategic guidance and direction to the country programme, including development, periodic revision and implementation of the Country Programme Strategy (CPS), and adaptation of GEF global policies, priorities and criteria to country circumstances. The NSC carries out monitoring and progress assessment of the programme activity and contributes to establishing mechanisms for the programme sustainability in the country. The NSC is responsible for selecting and approving projects and for ensuring and monitoring their technical and substantive quality. Participation in the NSC is voluntary, without monetary compensation. However, travel expenses for project site visits or to NSC meetings can be covered by SGP.


The members of NSC:

  • provide overall strategic guidance and direction to the country programme and contribute to development and implementation of strategies for country programme sustainability;
  • assist the National Coordinator (NC) in development of Country Programme Strategy in line with global Strategic Framework and national environmental priorities, and oversee its implementation;
  • select and approve project proposals with adequate technical and substantive quality;
  • ensure transparency and impartiality of the NSC activities striving to avoid appearance of conflict of interest or undue influence;
  • assist the National Coordinator in resource mobilization through seeking partnership and co-funding opportunities.

The NSC members are also encouraged to participate in project site visits as well as project monitoring and evaluation. 


  • SGP is currently looking for the following members: gender specialist; youth representative; representative of local CBOs / NGOs; academia and  private sector representative (preferably an expert on small enterprise development).
  • Candidates, specializing in one or more of the GEF focal areas (biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation & adaptation, international waters, sustainable forest management, sustainable land management and waste management) are encouraged to apply.

A complete application should consist of: 

  1. A motivation letter to also indicating speciality (e.g. gender specialist, enterprise development specialist, etc) and GEF focal area of expertise and interest
  2. a full CV of the applicant
  3. a copy of registration certificate for NGO or CBO representative

All interested candidates are requested to send electronic applications or queries to sgp.sa@undp.org   no later than 13th of October 2021 with the subject line: SGP NSC Member Application. No late applications will be accepted.

For further information on GEF and SGP please visit www.thegef.org and www.sgp.undp.org

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