The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) announced that eight out of 62 project proposals were selected during the second grant cycle of the BIMP-EAGA–Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (BKCF). The selection criteria included the development priorities of the subregion, particularly connectivity, environmental sustainability, and tourism, and prioritized projects that put forward a specific COVID-19 recovery approach.
The eight projects are
- Waterworks Improvement Project of Rural Areas in Sabah (Malaysia);
- Mainstream Energy Efficiency in MSME Buildings in the Philippines (Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines);
- Creating Livelihood Options through Agro-enterprise Development toward the Reinvention of the Municipality of Butig as a Premier Agro-Ecotourism Destination in Lanao del Sur (Peace Corps Incorporated, Philippines);
- Strengthening Social Forestry in Supporting Sustainable and Low-Emission Landscape Management in the Meratus Mountains, South Kalimantan (Indonesia);
- Promoting Low-Carbon Schools in East Malaysia;
- Off-Grid Solar Home Systems Deployment in Disaster-Vulnerable Low-Income Communities in Surigao Islands, Mindanao (Light of Hope PH Venture, Inc., Philippines);
- Farm Konek Agri-Tech Supply Chain Platform for BIMP-EAGA Markets (Project Zacch, Philippines); and
- Increasing Resilience of Small-Scale Fisheries to Climate Change Impact.
The last two projects were conditionally approved.
The Korean government established the BKCF in 2021 to help promote inclusive and balanced growth in Southeast Asia and contribute to ASEAN connectivity. The fund supports Vision 2025 of BIMP-EAGA, a cooperation initiative established in 1994 by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It provides grants for programs or projects of BIMP-EAGA or its member countries. GGGI, a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organization in Seoul, serves as a depositary of the BKCF and manages the fund.
Last year, the Korean government increased its contribution to the BKCF to $3 million from $1 million in 2021.
The first batch of projects were approved in June 2022. These were Developing Land Management Options for Diverse Cacao-based System in Mindanao project of the University of Southern Mindanao, a state university in Cotabato province in the Philippines, and the Renewable Energy Certificate Potential in the Areas of BIMP project of the ASEAN Centre for Energy, an intergovernmental organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
GGGI said it will call for more project proposals under a third grant cycle.
The BKCF provides grants with a 1-year term, which may be between $50,000 and $300,000, and grants that last 2 years, which may be between $100,000 and $300,000. For projects with multiple countries, a maximum of $200,000 per country may be approved. The fund’s release for 2-year projects is based on performance. All projects must include gender and social inclusion targets and outcomes/outputs.