(GIS) — The Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) in Saint Lucia, projects that it will invest at least EC$6.2 million in initiatives that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods over the next four years.
The seventh Operational Phase was launched on Nov. 9 in a broadcast from the GIS Studios. Research and Innovation is the primary focus of the GEF Small Grants Programme and to set this agenda in motion, a consultation dubbed “The People’s Parliament” will be held on Nov. 23, at the Parliament building in Castries.
GEF National Program Coordinator, Giles Romulus, explained: “One of our conclusions from 2019 was that in the context of COVID-19 and the challenges we experience from climate change, that as a small island developing state we need to invest in research and innovation at all levels. To this end we are bringing together a cadre of luminaries.”
Five Saint Lucian innovators who have made tremendous impact abroad will sit in virtually. They are Dr. Neciah Dorh, Dr. Whitney Henry-Durand, Professor Cato Laurencin, Parry Husbands Jr., and Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee. Representatives from Microsoft headquarters in Washington have also been invited.
“In Saint Lucia we will identify luminaries in all fields as well—the disabled, farmers, fishers, doctors—who will sit in parliament and we will discuss the agenda. Then we will put a declaration together that we hope can be finalized just before Independence next year, to be submitted to our policymakers,” Mr. Romulus said.
The GEF Small Grants Programme develops countries toward climate change mitigation, the conservation of biodiversity, protection of international waters, reduction of the impact of persistent organic pollutants, and prevention of land degradation while generating sustainable livelihoods. This year, the programme in Saint Lucia will conduct training sessions on how businesses and other organizations can tap into its funding.
In 2019, the programme supported some 14 projects to the tune of US $682K, generating employment for 247 individ