Small Grants from GEF Go a Long Way for Bali Communities
| Trees planted in buffer zone
between community and the forest
||Sumber Klampok, BALI, Indonesia Past the terraced rice
paddies and into the forest in the northwest corner of Bali, lies the village
of Sumber Klampok, an unpretentious assortment of homes and fields that, until
recently, many people wished was not there.
Nestled in the newly created Bali Barat National Park, the villagers were seen
as a danger to the forest and an obstruction to the development of ecotourism
in the area. The authorities let the residents know that they should leave.
But today Sumber Klampok, home to 600 households, is officially recognized as a
village within the park, the result of community action that coalesced around
the efforts of young people who wanted to protect the surrounding environment.
That effort received a boost from the GEF Small Grants Programme, that has
allow the villagers to map and demarcate their lands as well as to initiate
organic farming ventures and projects to help protect local bird species.
On a recent trip sponsored by the programme, which is implemented by the United
Nations Development Programme, to the village during the recent preparatory
meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the villagers turned
out in force to greet the visitors with music, dance, and a welcoming
"We would like to produce something that can be sustained," village
leader Made Nuyatha told the visitors, noting that there the village has
already accomplished a lot, such as in the production of organic foods, compost
and natural pesticides.
According to the local farmers, organic farming has brought benefits, albeit
slowly. The corn and the rice, they say, are very sweet and fetch higher prices
for the well-to-do in Jakarta, but the farmers note that they receive far less
of the profits than the traders. However, the farmers say they benefit from
weaning themselves away from expensive pesticides and fertilizers.
With the help of the project, the villagers have also been instrumental in
protecting the Bali Starlings, an endemic species that faced extinction after
it was over-zealously sought out a prized status symbol pet. The starling
numbers dwindled to as few as 60 birds, but with the help of the breeding in
captivity programme supported by Small Grants Programme, they now number
The GEF Small Grants Programme, operational since 1992, has provided about $120
million to non-governmental organizations and community groups in 63 developing
countries to promote grassroot efforts to protect and conserve the environment
while generating sustainable livelihood opportunities. One of the most
successful efforts to implement sustainable development, the programme has
benefited over 4,000 through more than 3,100 projects with grants that have, on
average, amounted to about $20,000. The Small Grants Programme supplements the
larger projects funded by the GEF, or Global Environment Facility.
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Department of Economic and
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24 August 2006