"The Global Environmental Facility was established in 1992 at the time of the Rio Conference on Environment and Development in order to enable or help states to meet the commitments they had made to the international community. So that is what the GEF does in many countries. The GEF provides funds to build the capacity of member states to meet their international obligations. The GEF Small Grants Programme is a wonderful example of this on the micro level. Because I think everybody understands that in the end, the environment is a local, personal issue. Although the discussion of the environment is often is very abstract in terms of ideas such as sustainability and global climate change, the reality has to be translated into changes in people's lives. The GEF Small Grants Programme, which I have seen operate in several different countries, provides small grants, - sometimes no more than $8,000 to $10,000. Much more of the resources comes from the individual communities themselves, mostly in kind. And that brings forth some remarkable community collaboration in these areas."