Category Archives: News

Great interest in IKI Small Grants 3rd Call for Proposals

The 3rd Call for Proposals by IKI Small Grants closed on 15 April 2022 with an enormous participation of 475 project entries.

More than 450 organisations from 80 different countries worldwide submitted their proposals to the Small Grants programme of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). These include a wide spectrum of actors, ranging from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), youth and women-led organisations as well as few private enterprises.

All complete project applications will be subject to a technical and legal/commercial evaluation.  In consultation with the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, IKI Small Grants selects the best project ideas. The IKI Small Grants Team of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responsible for this assessment. After completing the selection process, all applicants are informed whether their application has been selected for funding.

About half of the project applications were received from actors in Africa and one third from actors in Asia. Latin America represents about 20 percent of submitted project applications.

Actors and organisations from all over the world suggested a wide variety of activities. The proposed topics range from environmental education and low carbon mobility to energy efficiency and agriculture. Most are characterized by concrete measures at the local level.

Balanced interest in all three funding areas

Organisations from all over the world submitted 220 proposals addressing the funding area adapting to the impacts of climate change, while more than 80 proposals focus on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Around 50 proposals are designated to work on forestry and more than 110 on biodiversity conservation.

Thus, the funding areas adaptation and mitigation unite more than 70 % of the submitted projects, while the other third includes project ideas in the forestry and biodiversity conservation sector.

Among other things, organisations want to support rural development measures, promote sustainable agriculture, or focus on vulnerable population groups such as women and children in climate-relevant training programmes.

Together with the projects of the first two calls, IKI Small Grants will soon fund about 100 projects worldwide

Please find further information on IKI Small Grant’s in our About section.

Sharing is caring: IKI Small Grants Webinar on Knowledge Platforms


Sharing and acknowledging solutions in the fight against global climate change and biodiversity loss is a crucial step in promoting and sustaining the work of organisations. Knowledge platforms are a powerdful tool in this regard. Moreover, they also offer the opportunity to exchange with experts and practitioners in the region so that synergies and networks can be created.

On 17 February 2022, the IKI Small Grants Webinar on Knowledge Platforms tackling climate change and biodiversity loss took place. Over 60 organisations participated. The webinar addressed the topic of sharing and enhancing the visibility of project results, experiences as well as tested solutions. IKI Small Grants was able to engage experts from PANORAMA and weADAPT , who not only presented their platforms and communities but also provided valuable input on knowledge management.


PANORAMA is a partnership initiative to document and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics. WeADAPT provides an open forum on climate adaptation issues, enabling practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to access credible, high-quality information and share experiences as well as lessons learned.  

Additionally, the video of IKI Small Grants’ latest webinar shares hints on finding suitable online platforms for climate and biodiversity actions and presents how to use and contribute to them. In this context, the current UN Decades as well as the Global Resilience Partnership were also raised as significant references.

IKI Small Grants funding institutions – 1st call for proposal in Benin  

Until 30 May 2022, civil society organisations in Benin can apply for funds between 30.000 to 100.000 Euros to realise projects in the field of climate change and biodiversity. The new funding programme implemented by “Le Fonds national pour l’Environnement et le Climat” (National Fund for Environment and Climate, FNEC) in Benin was made possible on the basis of a close cooperation with the German initiative “IKI Small Grants”.

IKI Small Grants is a programme of the German Environment Ministry (BMUV) within the framework of its International Climate Initiative (IKI) to finance small-scale projects and to strengthen smaller actors in the fields of climate and biodiversity worldwide. It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Besides launching annual International Calls for Proposals, IKI Small Grants pursues the goal of passing on its comprehensive knowledge on funding instruments to national organisations in partner countries.  This component, called “funding institutions”, strengthens the capacities of national and regional institutions in order to start local funding programmes. Selected institutions receive technical support from GIZ as well as funding of up to 850,000 Euros to implement their own call for proposals or funding line for small-scale projects and measures at local level.

In early 2022, FNEC in Benin is the first institution to launch its own call for proposal with the support of IKI Small Grants. FNEC was founded in 2003 as a financial instrument under the supervision of the Ministry of Living Environment and Sustainable Development in Benin. The organisation strongly supports the idea, that decentralized approaches play a major role in the implementation of Benin’s environmental and climate policies. The new funding mechanism will contribute to the implementation of such decentralized approaches by supporting promising projects of non-governmental organizations. In doing so, FNEC will not only finance the projects but also help to strengthen the capacities of the selected organisations and support them with monitoring and evaluation of project implementation and the dissemination of their results.

The FNEC call for proposal addresses civil society organisations operating on Beninese territory, that are working in the sector of climate change and environment (biodiversity). Organisations that fulfil the specified set of eligibility criteria are warmly invited to apply with project ideas in the field of adaptation, mitigation and biodiversity conservation in the agricultural and the water sector. All information on the project requirements as well as eligibility criteria can be found on the FNEC website. The call will be open until 30 May 2022.

More information on the IKI Small Grants Initiative: “New approaches for climate and biodiversity action in Benin”.

“Trees for Lebanon” project broadcasted by Deutsche Welle

The non-governmental organisation Salam LADC – Lebanese Association for Development and Communication has been working to bring people together in Lebanon since 2006. Its project “Trees for Lebanon” – a reforestation project that brings together women from Syria and Lebanon – has now been filmed by Deutsche Welle – an international broadcaster.

With its IKI Small Grants project “Trees for Libanon”, Salam LADC addresses serious forest degradation in at least ten sites in Lebanon through a simplified, cost-effective tree planting method that empowers communities to take action. The project adopts the seedball method in which a variety of local seeds are packed in clods of soil and are sown by scattering them on the ground. Furthermore, the project includes refugee and disadvantaged women, living in the Bekaa valley. Syrian refugees and local Lebanese families alike are often without a regular source of income. Both refugee and local communities have been deeply affected by the ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon and the related rise in underemployment. The production of seedballs provides employment and a source of income for these groups. Deutsche Welle followed their activities on camera to feature Salam LADC’s work as part of their “Global 3000” magazine. Available in English and German.

The project „Trees for Lebanon” is funded and supported by IKI Small Grants.  IKI Small Grants is carried out by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative based on a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.’ 

Building resilience to climate change through theatre

20. December 2021

In Ndavaya ward, Kwale County, decades of environmental destruction and increasing incidences of drought are threatening many people’s lives; the lands are dry, there is no harvest and animals are dying every day. SAFE Pwani, the coastal team of the NGO S.A.F.E. Kenya is inspiring environmental restoration and building resilience to climate change in Ndavaya through theatre. The most recent tour which took place in November, saw their new play ‘Miongo’ performed to over 1400 community members.  

The play ‘Miongo’ which means decades in Kiswahili, tells the story of Ndavaya’s climate journey over the last 40 years – starting in 1981 when climate was good and agriculture was thriving. However, years of deforestation progressively eroded the land, and then the rains started to fail and temperatures soared – compounding the situation. As traditional livelihood opportunities diminished, people turned to burning charcoal and cutting trees to sell timber to cater for their financial needs. This only made the climate conditions worse. As the characters in the play approach 2021, they experience considerable hardship and are struggling to survive. As the play finishes in 2031, Ndavaya appears to be unlivable, and the characters have been displaced – being forced to move to the urban centre in Mombasa.   

At this point, the ‘joker’ – a facilitator who interacts with the audience –  gives the audience the chance to change the ending of the play by identifying the bad decisions made by the characters and offering solutions that could change the situation in the play – and in the community. Community solutions include investment in girl’s education, protection of trees, and diversification of income sources.  

After the community’s suggestions are adopted, 2031 looks a lot different. The environment is restored, and the residents of Ndavaya are thriving after adopting sustainable income generating activities.    

November’s theatre intervention was entry point of S.A.F.E.’s environment project. The solutions created are the beginning of the community environmental action plans that SAFE Pwani will support the project’s Environmental Champions to create and implement over the next two years. 

If you are interested to have a closer look on this project, we highly recommend to watch this video broadcasted by deutsche Welle, giving closer insights on the theatre play and its impacts for the community.

 The project „the art of building resilience” is funded and supported by IKI Small Grants.  IKI Small Grants is carried out by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative based on a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.’ 

IKI Small Grants launches 3rd Call for Proposal

15. December 2021

The third call for proposals by IKI Small Grants is open from 15 December 2021 until 15 April 2022. In a one-stage selection procedure, small regional, national and local organisations based in an ODA-eligible country can apply directly for funding of the implementation of local or regional climate and biodiversity projects. IKI Small Grants is part or the German Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) and provides funding between EUR 60,000 and EUR 200,000 per project.

Local initiatives for tailored solutions

From funding solar-powered water pumps for women smallholder farmers in India to supporting eco-schools in Malawi to ecological restoration of wetlands in Colombia: IKI Small Grants supports local actors to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the impacts of climate change and conserve forests and biodiversity worldwide. It aims to support small, local and innovative ideas while helping implementing organisations develop and expand their own capacity and networks.

The selected organisations are accompanied and supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which implements the IKI Small Grants Programme on behalf of the German Environment Ministry.

100 small-scale projects on climate and biodiversity action worldwide

Under the IKI Small Grants programme, more than 100 projects are to be selected via international calls for proposals and funded with up to 200,000 euros each by 2025. Two calls for proposals have already been implemented through IKI Small Grants and 74 projects in 40 countries have been selected. 

In this year’s call, IKI Small Grants further explicitly encourages applications that refer to the current UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, promote gender equality and/or engage youth.

Further information including the funding information and application guidelines can be found in the Current Selection Procedure section.

Video feature on IKI Small Grants project in El Salvador

19. November 2021

Deutsche Welle (DW) , Germany’s international broadcaster, visited the the non-governmental orgaganisation CESTA in El Salvador. With its IKI Small Grants project “Building capacities to reduce the impacts of climate change in urban areas near San Salvador”, CESTA works on strengthening the climate resilience of the local population. In order to achieve this, they are implementing various measures in the region. CESTA’s staff members provide theoretical and practical knowledge on sustainable food production and consumption as well as on how to implement effective ecosystem rehabilitation. Deutsche Welle followed their activities on camera to feature CESTA’s work as part of their “Global 3000” magazine. Available in English and German:

38 new projects and 6 funding institutions selected

01. November 2021

The IKI Small Grants Programme commissioned by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) has selected 38 climate and biodiversity projects in its second international call for proposals. It will fund projects with 60,000 to 200,000 euros each. In addition, 6 national and regional institutions in partner countries will be supported in implementing their own call for proposals and funding lines.

This is already the second international call for proposals carried out by IKI Small Grants.

Small sub-national, national and regional organisations based in an ODA*-eligible country were able to apply directly for funding to implement local or regional climate and biodiversity projects. Over 500 applications from all over the world were submitted, from which 38 particularly ambitious and sustainable projects in 23 countries were selected for funding.

The total funding volume is 4.35 million euros and includes projects in the funding areas of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change, conserving biological diversity, and conserving natural carbon sinks with a focus on REDD+. The projects are going to start in the next few months and are committed to e.g. protect endangered ecosystems, expand renewable energies, promote climate-neutral agriculture or environmental and awareness raising.

Many projects strengthen particularly vulnerable groups and explicitly aim to improve the situation of women. For example, a project in Tanzania aims to strengthen women in biodiversity conservation and involves them in the management of two coastal zones. In Indonesia, the power supply of a sustainable herb and spice cooperative is promoted through the rehabilitation of a micro hydropower plant. A mangrove and dry forest reforestation project in Guatemala will support private networks of protected areas to merge them into a conservation corridor. Another project from Kenya will promote the financing of solar-powered water pumps for smallholder farmers as borrowers through insured micro-credits, thus contributing to adapted agriculture and strengthening food security for the target group.

In addition to the individual projects, 6 national and regional funding institutions were selected and will receive up to 850,000 euros. They will implement their own call for proposals and funding lines for local projects and measures. For example, the National Development Bank Botswana would like to offer pro-rata funding for renewable energy and water-saving equipment for farms. In India, Pakistan and Tajikistan, the Aga Khan Foundation is planning to launch a call for proposals for innovative approaches by small and medium-sized enterprises (“Business Challenge”) in the land use sector. And in Ecuador, IKI Small Grants will support the National Biodiversity Institute to launch a school competition focusing on energy and water-saving installations, recycling systems, and school gardens. In addition to the provision of funds, the institutions are strengthened through intensive support in carrying out their own selection procedures.

“Small actors on the ground are the basis for effective climate action and biodiversity conservation worldwide. Through IKI Small Grants, we finance very specific projects and local solutions and at the same time support the selected organisations in developing even greater impact through networking and capacity development. The selected funding institutions also ensure that this approach to climate and biodiversity promotion is carried into their countries and regions,” says Nana Künkel, Head of IKI Small Grants, which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

IKI Small Grants is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.  

*ODA = Official Development Assistance

A group of women standing around a small seedbed in El Salvador. One of the women points to the seedbed and talks about the seedlings. The background is a larger garden area.

IKI Small Grants with big ambitions in El Salvador

A group of women standing around a small seedbed in El Salvador. One of the women points to the seedbed and talks about the seedlings. The background is a larger garden area.

El Salvador is the smallest but most densely populated country in Central America. 300 kilometres of coastline, volcanoes and forests characterise its landscape and result in a wide climatic diversity.

The country is, though, severely affected by the consequences of climate change. Severe droughts destroy crops and cause forest fires, whilst strong hurricanes lead to destruction. In addition, progressive soil degradation and ongoing urbanization processes are increasingly threatening food quality and water supplies.

Non-governmental organisations such as “CESTA Friends of the Earth” have been active in the field of climate and biodiversity protection for many decades.

In doing so, they have achieved important milestones, led by the introduction of several national Laws, namely the laws for the Promotion of Bicycles, for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in environmental work as well as the law to ban Metal Mining.

A sustainable future for El Salvador

CESTA (Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology) is one of the first organisations worldwide to increase their environmental impact with the support of the new IKI Small Grants programme of the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU). IKI small grants will thereby not only finance CESTA’s new project “Building capacities to reduce the impacts of climate change in urban areas near San Salvador” but also accompany the NGO in its ambition to grow and implement even more ambitious actions for a sustainable future through a customized capacity development strategy.   

With its project start in May 2021 and over the course of two years, CESTA will work with various social groups, including religious communities as well as young environmental activists. Together, they aim to systematically and sustainably address environmental issues in three urban regions around the capital San Salvador focusing on jointly developed and concrete adaptation measures.

A key aspect of the project is its strong focus on gender equality

These measures include assisting small-scale farmers to efficiently increase seed biodiversity, organising educational programmes in schools to promote sustainable lifestyles and introducing local composting systems to counteract soil erosion. A key aspect of the project is its strong focus on gender equality. CESTA actively involves and strengthens women’s organisations in the production of organic and local food to lead the transformation of agricultural practices.

This picture shows project members gathered in front of banners drawing attention to their environmental efforts.

“These working alliances with IKI will contribute to leading municipalities on the path to sustainability. They allow us not only to implement concrete solutions to existing problems, but also raise awareness about the need to protect the resources of Mother Nature, with the establishment of schools for political environmental training, incorporating especially young people and women.”

Ricardo Navarro, president of CESTA

All project activities are based on a sound analysis of CESTA’s professional experiences and capacities. Strengths and weaknesses as well as potentials of the institution have been identified during a workshop in spring 2021, in order to fully utilize existing skills and to further develop over the course of the project. To achieve this, CESTA works in close cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which implements the IKI Small Grants programme on behalf of BMU. Setting up trainings on project development and management as well as environmental policy trainings in schools, and promoting youth involvement are only some of the various components of CESTA´s project in the next two years. Some of these trainings will be facilitated in cooperation with GIZ El Salvador.

As Ricardo Navarro, president of CESTA stated: “These working alliances with IKI will contribute to leading municipalities on the path to sustainability. They allow us not only to implement concrete solutions to existing problems, but also raise awareness about the need to protect the resources of Mother Nature, with the establishment of schools for political environmental training, incorporating especially young people and women.”

In addition to the practical improvements on the ground, the strong awareness-raising component of the project will contribute to increasing pressure on the legislative assembly to refocus on even more ambitious environmental laws.

IKI Small Grants: High participation in the 2nd call for proposals

With an enormous participation of about 520 project entries, the second call for proposals of the  IKI Small Grants programme ended on the 9 February. More than 500 organisations from 83 developing and emerging countries have submitted applications to the funding programme of he Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) for the protection of the climate or biodiversity.

All complete project applications received will be subjected to a technical and legal/commercial evaluation and selected in consultation with the BMU in due time. The IKI Small Grants Team of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responsible for the assessment. Grants can amount to up to 200,000 euros under certain circumstances.

All applicants are informed whether their application has been selected for funding (or not) after the selection process has been completed.

About 80 percent of project applications has been received from Africa and Asia

Applications have been received mostly from Africa and Asia and accounted for about 80 percent of project applications while Europe and Latin America represent about 20 percent of submitted project applications submitted. All applications reflect a wide variety of activities. The topics with which the organisations applied range from culture, education, health and mobility to energy efficiency and agriculture. Most have very concrete plans at the local level. Submitted project applications include proposals for supporting specific communities in the control and management of invasive plant species or using education to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change.

Two-thirds of the projects submitted relate to the funding areas of adaptation to the impacts of climate change and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Among other things, organisations have submitted applications to support the construction of solar irrigation systems or to promote particularly vulnerable population groups such as women and children in climate-relevant training programmes.

IKI Small Grants – specifically its “International Calls” funding line – aims to support small subnational, national and regional organisations. These must be based and registered in countries that meet the criteria for Official Development Assistance (ODA) defined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The selection process is single-staged; organisations apply directly for a grant to implement local or regional climate and biodiversity projects. A special feature of IKI Small Grants is its capacity development strategy. That means that selected projects – within the framework of financial support as well as through the GIZ external structure in the partner countries – receive special support for their organisational capacity development.