SGP Thrust - International Waters

Projects involving communities proximate to threatened waterbodies and transboundary threats to their ecosystems. Priority is placed on the prevention and control of ecological degradation of critical habitats (such as wetlands, shallow waters and reefs), of unsustainable use of marine resources resulting from over fishing, excessive withdrawal of fresh water and resource extraction.
                 GEF/SGP grants will fund projects involving communities proximate to threatened waterbodies and transboundary threats to their ecosystems. Priority is placed on the threat posed to international waters by land-based sources of surface and groundwater pollution that degrade the quality of international waters. This means preventing the release of persistent toxic substances and heavy metals that cannot be neutralized by marine and freshwater ecosystems, or that accumulate in living organisms.
High priority is also placed on:
abatement of common contaminants such as nutrients, biological contaminants, or sediments that endanger species or threaten ecosystems;
prevention and control of ecological degradation of critical habitats (such as wetlands, shallow waters, and reefs) that sustain biodiversity; and
management of unsustainable use of marine resources resulting from over-fishing, excessive withdrawal of freshwater, and resource extraction.
Operational Program 8: Waterbody-based Program
Projects address the priority transboundary environmental concerns that exist in a specific waterbody, such as a transboundary river basin or a large marine ecosystem.
Potential eligible activities:
support for capacity-building and technical assistance for species and habitat conservation in fishing and coastal communities faced with biodiversity loss of critical marine, river, and lake species.
provision of sustainable technical and livelihood alternatives in situations of excessive over-fishing and water resource extraction.
small-scale demonstrations of approaches to reducing transboundary pollutant flows at the local level.
projects which test approaches to implementing existing Strategic Action Programmes (SAPs) and National Strategic Action Programs (NAPs) at the local level.
Operational Program 9: Integrated Land and Water Multiple Focal Area
 These projects involve the integration of land and water resource management as a means of addressing the degradation of international waters. They can involve other GEF focal areas as well as the cross-cutting issue of land degradation (desertification and deforestation).
Potential eligible activities:
participatory inventories and community use assessments of unique or endangered marine and coastal biodiversity in a joint biodiversity / international waters multiple focal area project.
development of integrated freshwater basin-coastal area management to address the causes and sectoral activities that endanger the reefs, wetlands, and mangroves that serve as nursery areas for the ocean's living resources, particularly transboundary fish stocks
capacity-building and technical assistance to combat salinization of coastal soils from over-use of freshwater and groundwater from transboundary aquifers for irrigation and household consumption (applicable in border towns and regions).
projects which test approaches to implementing existing Strategic Action Programmes (SAPs) and National Strategic Action Programs (NAPs) at the local level.
Operational Program 10: Contaminant-based Program
 This program includes activities that demonstrate ways of overcoming barriers to the adoption of best practices to limit contamination of international waters.
Potential eligible activities:
community initiatives to eliminate the causes of land and marine-based sources of pollution, particularly Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS), nutrients and certain metals.
reduction of agricultural run-off in the form of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
reduction of industrial waste dumping by promoting reuse and recycling.

Focal Areas