Specific International Programme to support Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance

The Specific International Programme to support Capacity Building and Technical Assistance (SIP) is one of the two components of the financial mechanism of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It was defined by Article 13 of the Convention, and in 2017 the First Conference of the Parties (COP-1) decided on its duration and the arrangements for its operation (Decision MC-1/6). As requested by decision MC-1/6, UNEP established the Specific Trust Fund, effective 1 January 2018, to receive funds for the SIP.

Overview of the Specific International Programme

The Specific International Programme to support Capacity Building and Technical Assistance (SIP) was defined to deliver direct capacity-building and technical assistance to developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition in implementing their obligations under the Convention.

The First Conference of the Parties (COP-1), in Decision MC-1/6, approved the Terms of Reference for the SIP, established the SIP Governing Board, and decided that the hosting institution of the SIP would be provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and that the SIP would be administered through the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention. The SIP is open to receive contributions and applications for support for a period of 10 years from the establishment of the Specific Trust Fund on 1 January 2018. The COP may decide to extend this period, not exceeding an additional 7 years.

Applications for SIP funding can only be submitted by Parties to the Minamata Convention. SIP projects are exclusively aimed at supporting the implementation of specific obligations defined by the Minamata Convention, and provide support for priority implementation needs as defined by the applicant party itself. The SIP is able to support projects to be carried out on a regional, sub-regional or inter-regional basis, in addition to national projects. The SIP can provide support from USD 50,000 to USD 250,000 per project.

Activities that are already funded or planned to be funded by the Global Environment Facility (through a Minamata Initial Assessment, an ASGM National Action Plan, or other sector-based mercury reduction projects), or by the Special Programme on Institutional Strengthening cannot be funded by the SIP. However, SIP projects can be designed to be complementary to the support that a Party may be considering from those or other sources. For example, a project could lay the groundwork for a larger investment project. Or, a project could make use of mechanisms created to support institutional strengthening and mainstreaming to advance its legally-binding Convention obligations. In other words, the SIP has a specific function of direct support for implementation of Convention obligations among the various sources of support.

For more information on the rounds of applications to the SIP launched and each of the current and completed projects, please see the tabs on the First, Second, Third and Fourth Rounds.

For regular updates on the Specific International Programme, please see the SIP MATTERS newsletter
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