Vaisigano Catchment Project Supports Businesses with “Green Ideas”

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Participants of the first workshop at Vailima yesterday from the villages of Afiamalu, Letava, Tiapapata, Vaoala, Vailima & Avele. Photo: UNDP/Samoa
Participants of the first workshop at Vailima yesterday from the villages of Afiamalu, Letava, Tiapapata, Vaoala, Vailima & Avele. Photo: UNDP/Samoa

17 April 2019, Apia – Hydroponics farming, recycling, organic catering, agro-forestry, eco tours and landscaping are some of the ‘green’ ideas that can potentially be converted into business ventures for households, community-based organisations, non-government organisations and existing businesses that are located within the Vaisigano River Catchment Area (VRCA).

These new businesses will be funded under the Ecosystem-based Adaptation Enterprise Development Programme (EbAEDP), an activity under the Green Climate Fund Vaisigano Catchment Project (GCF-VCP).

The EbAED will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE), in partnership with the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) and the Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC).

CSSP and the SBEC have announced a Call for Proposals for EbAED, that aims to improve income generation and livelihoods of the targeted communities of the VRCA at the household level, as well as upgrading existing enterprise development activities without increasing the impact on the natural environment.

It aims to assist with the establishment of new enterprise activities within the communities in the VRCA that are compliant with the EbA criteria, that would otherwise be financially unviable.

Proposed business activities will also have to contribute to meeting the objectives of the GCF VCP Activity 2.2 – which includes flood mitigation, environmental sustainability, gender equity, youth empowerment and increased community resilience to climate change.

A series of awareness workshops regarding the Call are being carried out this week at different locations for the 31 eligible villages within the VRCA – from Afiamalu-east at the topmost part of the VRCA, down to Matautu-tai.

A separate workshop will be held on 23rd April at the SSAB Megastore conference room for NGOs and the Private Sector within the VRCA.

“MNRE is pleased to pilot the EbAED programme in partnership with CSSP, SBEC, MCIL, MWCSD and MOF as part of Samoa’s GCF-funded Integrated Flood Management Programme aimed at increasing climate and disaster resilience of the Vaisigano Catchment communities and households;

“The EbAED Programme is one of three ecosystem-based solutions currently being implemented, the other two being the pilot for the Payment for Ecosystem Services and Cash for Green Works Programme,” said Frances Reupena, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Environment Sector Coordination Division, MNRE.

Senele Tualaulelei of SBEC going through the application form with community members from Faatoia, Lealata, Vini Fou, Levili, Aai o Niue and Maluafou at today’s workshop at the Falefitu Primary School hall. Photo: UNDP/Samoa
Senele Tualaulelei of SBEC going through the application form with community members from Faatoia, Lealata, Vini Fou, Levili, Aai o Niue and Maluafou at today’s workshop at the Falefitu Primary School hall. Photo: UNDP/Samoa

MNRE is the lead implementing agency and responsible for the overall management of Output 2, Activity 2.2 of the GCF VCP. It is working collaboratively with CSSP and SBEC in organizing and delivering the public awareness campaign and workshop activities for the EbAEDP Call for Proposals and will guide and assist CSSP with the screening of proposals for viability checks. MNRE is also supporting the application process and provide business trainings and mentoring to successful applicants.

Villages are encouraged to develop several business proposals, from the household level to businesses and NGOs, providing a diverse range of income generating activities and land uses. No cash grants are given under the programme but rather the procurement of goods and services to facilitate the establishment of the business activities that are directly relevant and meet the EbAED criteria.

The respective partner agencies and ministries will monitor the performance of the EbA activities, including MNRE, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, CSSP and SBEC, with support from specialized NGOs such as the Samoa Conservation Society.

“CSSP has issued the Call for Proposals under the EbAEDP for those interested in participating, and provides support to interested participants through a designated Responsible Party for skills development. CSSP will screen the applications (with support from members of the MNRE TAG), sort them by Sector, Thematic Areas and Database Entry, and undertake the social and environmental screening using tailored versions of the screening templates developed by CSSP for CBOs and NGOs EbA-Enterprise Proposal screening,” said Christina Tauã, Programme Manager for CSSP.

SBEC is supporting MNRE and CSSP in organizing public awareness campaigns and workshops for the Call for Proposals.

“SBEC will lead in organizing Business and Financial Management workshops and assisting applicants interested in participating in the EbAEDP with the development and completion of proposals and applications to ensure the EbAs are financially and environmentally sustainable. SBEC will organize either independently or in partnership with the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) sector support groups (business incubators) to assist beneficiaries and Responsible Parties and address challenges raised by interested groups,” said Alatina Ioelu, SBEC CEO.

“The GCF VCP-Project Management Unit stands ready to support the MNRE, the lead IA, and the responsible partners – CSSP, SBEC, MAF and the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa in the effective and timely implementation of the EbAEDP Call, and approval of eligible enterprise development proposals that meet the EbAEDP eligibility criteria. This is a key programme under Output 2, Activity 2.2 of the GCF-VCP approved work plan, Samoa’s first GCF-funded project, valued at USD$65 million,” said Pisaina Leilua-Lei Sam, Project Manager, GCF VCP.

Application forms for the Call for Proposals will be made available on April 23rd from the CSSP main office at the Ground Floor, SNPF Building, Apia.