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Call for Concept Proposals – Youth & Climate Innovation Programme
(Deadline: 13 October 2019)



Young generations occupy a unique position in relation to the threat of climate change. Unlike with other environmental challenges, the most severe impacts of climate change will affect future generations, who will be forced to address the threat and make radical transformations possible.

SGP has been prioritizing youth as one of the vulnerable groups in the context of its environment and development work. According to the latest annual report of 2017-18, 450 SGP projects were completed with youth participation or leadership, which is 45% of total completed projects during the period. Over 300 youth organizations participated in SGP projects, and majority of SGP countries have a dedicated youth focal point in their national steering committees.

In the context of climate change, the support for youth is critical as they bring in unique and innovative ideas as solutions. For the past 5 years, SGP with UNFCCC and other partners have been jointly supporting Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change for 5 years, starting from COP21 in Paris. UNFCCC, SGP and partners (World Bank’s Connect4Climate, Television for the Environment, TVE, BNP Paribas, UNCBD, UNCCD) hosted special award ceremonies at the UNFCCC COPs to recognize the winners and showcase the power of young people as key players in reaching innovative and ambitious solutions to combat climate change.

Building on the success of this collaboration, UNFCCC, SGP, and other partners are developing a broader partnership initiative aiming to connect and support local, national and global youth climate actions and bridge the gap between local activities and global processes to achieve greater scale and impact. The partners aim to empower the youth through raising awareness, developing capacity, supporting practical local climate action, fostering knowledge sharing and exchange of good practices as well as showcasing youth climate action at the global level.

The United Nations, in preparation for the 2019 Climate Summit of the Secretary-General has stressed that youth participation and leadership is key for the success of the summit. Several UN agencies, including UNDP and UNFCCC are working on the joint Youth Engagement Strategy aiming to increase ambition and accelerate climate action. UN’s youth engagement is focused on mobilizing young people and their organizations, movements and networks around the world to push for climate momentum and help to ‘gain ground’ in appropriate national and regional contexts. The SGP and its partners’ Youth and Climate Innovation Program is a timely and critical initiative aiming to support youth engagement efforts in the context of climate change by showcasing practical solutions and demonstrate youth climate action to contribute to the implementation of UN-wide youth engagement strategy.

Young people are increasingly aware of the seriousness of climate change problem and the impacts affecting them. They have enthusiasm and passion to contribute to climate action. However, youth in developing countries in particular very often face the barriers to implement their ideas, due to lack of awareness, education and skills, and funding. This Innovation Program proposes to address these issues by empowering and engaging youth to implement climate action through training, awareness and practical projects.

The program will identify and support innovative pilot projects in selected countries and showcase the results and share lessons at the global level to demonstrate practical and specific ways for youth engagement in advancing energy system transformation and concrete measures to address climate change in their countries and globally.

When selecting projects, priority will be given to creative and innovative youth-led experimental initiatives, which can inspire others. The projects should foster youth leadership, learning, sustainability and self-reliance and, ideally, have a potential for scaling up through national policies and frameworks. The most successful initiatives will be featured globally as success stories for youth climate action. The project proponents will also be recognized at COPs and other global events. The project information and success stories will be included in relevant online platforms and other communication channels (managed by SGP, UNFCCC, UN, UNDP, GEF and other partners).

The program will support youth-led climate projects at the local and country levels that aims to provide young people an opportunity to implement impactful and innovative local ideas. The program also hopes to identify successful approaches, which can be elevated beyond local level to help raise ambition and inspire youth at the country and global levels. The program also aspires to connect young climate activists and practitioners globally to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange of good practices.

The projects will be selected in accordance with SGP criteria and operational guidelines focusing on the following themes.

Theme 1: “Green jobs” for young generation
The projects will pilot practical, economically sustainable community-based initiatives addressing climate change and improving livelihoods for young generation. They may focus on one of the following themes:

  • Renewable and energy efficiency technologies for productive use that results in youth employment and/or supporting youth entrepreneurship. Relevant project examples from SGP climate change portfolio include creation of youth-led enterprises (e.g. green charcoal production and solar energy entrepreneurs), provision of vocational training (e.g. trainings for inner-city youth on renewable technologies; rural youth on solar technology, etc.);
  • Youth-led initiatives that implements nature-based solutions to climate change, leading to income generation and improved livelihoods. Relevant projects examples from SGP portfolio across focal areas include, coastal and mangrove restoration, community-based forest restoration and REDD+ initiatives.


Theme 2: Develop awareness, skills and competencies of young people to lead climate action on local, national and global levels.
The projects selected under this theme will focus on raising awareness of youth, creating learning opportunities and supporting outreach initiatives implemented by young people on local and national levels. The projects can be local and/or national and could include CSO-Government Dialogues focusing on youth and climate issues and have potential national and global policy and programme linkages. These initiatives could involve active use of social media, art and music. The projects may also help develop ability of young people to influence policies related to climate change through targeted training and participation in national, regional and global networks. The projects should be able to reach large audiences, demonstrate innovation, impact, potential for regional or global reach, and policy influence. These initiatives will be linked to national policies, particularly NDCs, and UNFCCC global civil society mobilization efforts focusing on raising awareness and youth participation in global climate policy processes as well as to UN wide youth engagement efforts.

The program is expected to generate highly innovative and visible youth-led projects, which can be featured globally and serve as an inspiration and example for youth engagement in climate action that are critical for implementation of Paris Agreement. The lessons learned from this pilot program will potentially inform longer-term initiative focusing on youth engagement, “green” employment and income generation engaging private sector. In the course of the program implementation SGP will facilitate knowledge sharing and exchanges between young program participants. The program results will also inform further strengthening partnership with UNFCCC and facilitate creation of youth climate action network among the young climate champions, which will help support youth mobilization and raising ambition for climate action on the ground.

The results of the Innovation Program will be disseminated widely through collaborative activities targeting young people globally to inspire and replicate successes. SGP in collaboration with UNFCCC will organize events to showcase success stories and celebrate climate leaders emerging from the partnership activities and projects at the UNFCCC COPs, including Young and Future Generations and Education Days and other relevant international fora such as Climate Weeks, International Summits etc. Case studies and audiovisual materials will be developed and accessible online. SGP, UNFCCC and partners will also continue to support Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change linking young climate activists with youth grantees participating in the Innovation Program encouraging knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas.


Eligible Project Activities

  • Proposals should be bold, innovative, and transformative, and have the potential for replication and scaling up;
  • Successful projects should consider strong social inclusion elements, including gender equality and women’s empowerment, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities;
  • All applications should explicitly state the plan for measuring and evaluating the impact of the work and show quantifiable results in line with the National Determined Contributions (NDCs);

Eligible Organisation

  • Locally registered Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). GEF SGP Malaysia grants are available ONLY for not-for-profit NGOs/CBOs/CSOs, etc. Applicant who fail to provide a copy of certificate of registration will not be considered for full proposal development.
  • Local registered bank account of the organisation.
  • Organisation must have strong organizational capacity to implement SGP grant projects and meet SGP requirements.

Maximum grant amount: US$50,000

Deadline:  13 October 2019 (5.00 PM).

ONLY qualified applicants will be notified for further development into Full Project Proposal.

The concept Proposal template and the Guidance Notes document:

  1. Concept Proposal Template


To obtain more details on SGP and guidelines for application please contact:

Lee Shin Shin
National Coordinator
GEF Small Grants Programme – Malaysia
United Nations Offices in Malaysia

Menara PJH
Level 10,
No. 2, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak
Precinct 2, 62100
Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: (60-3) 8689 6055