And the SRIC Small Grants Programme’s National Steering Committee is encouraging the civil society organisations (CSOs), village communities and at-risk islands to apply for funds available under the small grants scheme.
Last year, five GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) applications were approved by the SGP National Steering Committee.
National coordinator GEF and SRIC-CC Te Tuhi Kelly said the grant disbursement was being processed for the following successful applicants:
Te Ipukarea Society: Waste management project which aims to investigate the feasibility of establishing washing facilities at Punanga Nui and Muri markets to promote the use of washable plates etc., rather than non-biodegradable polystyrene foam. The project will also partner with the Creative Centre and the private sector to provide biodegradable alternatives to these foam containers. The project will also provide worm farms and compost bins to schools and provide training in their use.
Aitutaki Conservation Trust: Environmental Toilet Project. The of this project is to provide hygienic, environmentally friendly toilet facilities for the Aitutaki community and visitors to the island. This will reduce the potential risk of pollution caused by human waste to the island of Aitutaki and its lagoon and to promote healthy living and to demonstrate the benefits of using waterless composting toilets.
Tapere Avatiu Central Committee: Community water station providing safe and clean water for Avatiu Tapere
Tamarua Oire Association: Planning grant for the development of a project for the renovation of the Tamarua packing shed and community concrete water tanks. The grant will allow for a structural assessment of the packing shed and water tanks to guide the development of a renovation plan.
Muri Environment Care: Planning grant to engage a consultant to prepare a report and project proposal to combat Muri Beach erosion.
“The purpose of the GEF grants programme is to assist vulnerable and at risk communities and islands to combat and build their resilience against environmental issues,” Kelly said.
“The GEF-SGP is under the management of the United Nations Development Programme working closely with the United Nations Office of Project Services.
“The national hosting organisation in the Cook Islands is the Cook Islands Red Cross and the project approval process is overseen by a national steering committee, made up of Government and non-government members.”
Focal areas for funding are biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, international waters and chemicals.
Kelly said the GEF SGP was open to any community-based organisation to apply for funding to assist work in their communities and islands in the above focus areas.
For the Cook Islands, he said, another small grants programme specifically for building climate change resilience, funded through the Climate Change Office of the Office of the Prime Minister, was coordinated through the same process as the GEF SGP.
“This small grants programme through the project called Strengthening the Resilience of Islands and Communities, focuses on the outer islands to help them adapt to climate change and disaster risk management.”
Successful applicants to the SRIC Small Grants Programme are:
Aitutaki Growers Association: Fertiliser supply project which will provide a limited amount of agricultural supplies.
Atiu Island Government: Taunganui Harbour port lighting and safety navigation lights – The project aims to improve safety navigation for maritime transportation of cargo and passengers, commercial fishing, tourism, sports fishing and subsistence fishing. In addition to improve port operations for cargo discharge, emergency rescue operations and fishermen use at night
Atiu Fishing Association: Equipment, plant and refurbishment project which aims to improve freezer storage capacity, building refurbishment, ice making and limited on grid solar power.
Atiu Teroto Fishing Association: Outboard motor and fishing and safety equipment to support fishing livelihoods.
Cook Islands National Disability Council: Wheelchairs project to provide suitable, new and robust wheelchairs for persons with disabilities and the infirm.
“At the completion of these small grants projects, GEF and SRIC will have provided in excess of $250,000 in small grants funding for at-risk and vulnerable islands and communities.”
Those interested in applying for the funds can contact the small grants coordinator on 22598 or call at the Cook Islands Red Cross office for more information.
- Rashneel Kumar/Release