Butterflies in Kenya GEF proj (fwd)

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From: Tom Gray <tgray@igc.apc.org>
Newsgroups: sci.environment
Subject: GEF program in Kenya
Message-ID: <APC&1'0'576a962c'0a7@igc.apc.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 05:02:39 -0800 (PST)
X-Gateway: notes@igc.apc.org
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/* Written  4:52 AM  Nov 23, 1994 by theearthtime in igc:earthtimes */
GEF program in Kenya
By Tim Ward

In Kenya, butterflies are helping to preserve the largest remaining
coastal forest in East Africa. A few years ago a survey revealed that half
the people in the area thought the forest should be cleared for farming,
despite the fact that many relied on it for fuel wood, medicines and food.
The forest is also home to one-third of Kenya's butterfly species, many of
them in great demand by collectors worldwide. 

Then the Kenya Museum Society hit upon the idea of sustainable butterfly
harvesting to increase local community incomes, and the GEF Small Grants
Program funded the project. Each month, 50 households, specially trained
in butterfly rearing, are supplied with 50 larvae apiece. When the larvae
grow into pupae, they are air freighted to a dealer in London, earning the
growers about US $50 monthly. (Kenya's annual per capita income is about
US $250). 

"It shows people that wildlife can be valuable in unexpected ways," says
Gerlindo Darnhofer of the Museum Society. 

The Small Grants Program, run through the UN Development Programme, gives
grants of up to $50,000 to local non- governmental organization for
projects that address any of the GEF's four focal areas: loss of
biodiversity, climate change, pollution of international waters and ozone
depletion). To date, it has sponsored more than 240 grants in 33
countries, mostly for biodiversity and climate change projects. 

SGP's purpose is to test small-scale activities and innovative approaches
that could help alleviate global problems if applied on a much larger
scale over a longer period of time. The oldest projects have been going on
for barely two years, yet already some have tapped local support to
sustain them past the funding stage. 

Although SGP accounted for only about 2 percent ($16 million) of the GEF's
Pilot Phase budget, it has proved very popular with developing countries.
Currently, there are 50 nations on the waiting list to set up SGP

"We're hoping to grow, both in financial and geographic terms," says Peter
Hazelwood, SGP's coordinator. 

During the GEF's Pilot Phase, though, questions were raised about the lack
of global significance of some of the projects approved by national
committees for GEF funding. For example, one project in Nepal was to
"build latrines and plant trees" at a secondary school. 

Hazelwood adds, though, that projects which may look irrelevant from afar
may yet be accomplishing their purpose: "Global warming doesn't mean
anything to a blacksmith in rural Nepal. But if you introduce him to the
use of energy efficiency technologies such as blowers--which reduce his
use of wood for charcoal and save him money--then you can explain to him
the global benefits. And then he may be open to hear about other
conservation practices as well."
The Earth Times says:

We welcome letters, comments, and requests to be placed on our free
mailing list.

Ashali Varma
Managing Director
The Earth Times
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-297-0488
fax: 212-297-0566
E-Mail: theearthtime@igc.apc.org

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