Grant for Organizations to Advance Responsible Business Practice for Environmental Protection in Vietnam



Eligibility: Grant can be awarded to civil society and non-governmental organizations, including academic or educational institutions that are not state-owned or for-profit.
Maximum Grant available: USD 50,000
Duration: 1 November 2020 - 31 July 2021
Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 23:59 Tuesday 22 September 2020

1. Introduction

Over the past decades, environmental protection has increasingly become a central topic of discussion in the international sphere. Alarming statistics on environmental issues such as climate change, biological diversity, wildlife protection, air and water pollution have led to the adoption of a wide range of bilateral and multilateral environmental treaties to address such challenges. Some key examples of environmental agreements include United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under such agreements, States Parties are expected to develop minimum standards and strategies aimed and protecting the environment, including in the context of business activity.

In Viet Nam, rapid business-led economic growth has brought with it a unique set of not only opportunities but also risks to environmental protection. Impacts of business operations extend across local communities and natural resources. When left unchecked, where business is free to pursue its economic interests without effective regulation, respect for environmental standards can be undermined.

In response to this, the Government of Viet Nam has made a number of efforts to ensure greater environmental protection in the context of business activity. To address the most pressing environmental issues in an effective and timely manner, businesses are expected to comply with higher environmental standards and ensure responsible business practice through a variety of means, including compliance with environmental law, voluntary mechanisms to enhance environmental performance (e.g. voluntary auditing and monitoring, market-based incentives), incorporation of principles of environment-related corporate social responsibility into the business operations, increased energy efficiency and carbon trading. In this context, many free trade agreements ratified by Viet Nam (“FTAs”), including the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (“EVFTA”) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”), include separate chapters on the environment or sustainable development requiring Parties to encourage responsible business practices promoting environmental protection. These FTAs provide that Parties cannot weaken the level of protection afforded in domestic environmental law to gain trade or investment advantage and further recognize the need to enhance the contribution of trade and investment to the goal of sustainable development by taking corporate responsibility measures. They also include dedicated articles on global environmental challenges under the context of trade and investment activities such as impacts of climate change, loss of biodiversity, and over-use of natural resources.

While Viet Nam has been active in ratifying up to 300 bilateral and multilateral environmental agreements, there are shortcomings in implementing these agreements given many issues, including lack of capacity for monitoring  environmental standards and enforcement of sanctions for violations of such standards.

2. Grant Award

With the above environmental provisions in FTAs as a general framework, the UNDP “Grant for Organizations to Advance Responsible Business Practice for Environmental Protection”, with support from the Government of Sweden, aims to support organizations in their efforts to implement relevant environmental provisions of these FTAs and other key international agreements, including by monitoring and keeping track of the private sector’s progress towards environmental sustainability in Viet Nam. The Grant Award aims to promote environmentally responsible business practice in Viet Nam as well as to increase the capacity of the selected organization to lead on this work in Viet Nam.

UNDP will provide a grant to one organization. The proposals may address one of the areas mentioned in the FTAs related to environmentally responsible business practice in Viet Nam, including for example: (a) climate change mitigation strategies including low-carbon technologies, (b) sustainable forestry and fisheries, (c) international trade in wildlife, (d) monitoring air and water pollution, and/or (e) other sustainable business practices including voluntary mechanisms and commitments. The Grant Award also welcomes submissions on other areas and activities not specifically mentioned in the FTAs but contribute to advancing responsible business practice for environmental protection in Viet Nam.

Thematic orientations:

  • Corporate sustainable development and responsible business practice for environmental protection in Viet Nam
  • Upholding and monitoring the relevant provisions of trade agreements as they relate to environmental protection and climate action in Viet Nam
  • Building capacity of other organizations in Viet Nam to promote environmentally responsible business practice
  • Ethical and fair trade focusing on environmental protection in Viet Nam
  • Research on advancing environmentally responsible business practice in Viet Nam


  • The specific objectives of the grant:
  • To encourage businesses to take responsibility and to operate responsibly to protect the environment in in Viet Nam
  • To provide support to other organizations working to promote environmentally responsible business practice
  • To facilitate networking among organizations working on environmental protection issues in order to amplify voices and influence policies on environmental protection in the context of business activity
  • To strengthen implementation of FTA provisions related to environmental protection in Viet Nam

Suggested areas of intervention:

  • Monitoring
  • Capacity building
  • Awareness, knowledge and information sharing
  • Policy analysis, research and advocacy

3. Guidelines for the Submission of Proposals

Eligibility Criteria: The grant can be awarded to civil society and non-governmental organizations, including academic or educational institutions that are not state-owned or for-profit.

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria will involve the following proposed elements:

  • Capacity of the applicant organization
  • Relevance to the implementation of provisions of FTAs related to environmental protection
  • Simplicity and ease of implementation, yet adopting innovative or unconventional approach
  • Effectiveness and measurability of impact
  • Scalability
  • Timeframe

Proposals passing the eligibility criteria (see above) will be scored against the following:

  • Applicants’ institutional capacity and relevant experience (30 points);
  • Relevance of the proposal (20 points): Quality of the context analysis and assessment;
  • Implementation strategies (30 points): Soundness of strategy, proposed activities, and expected results against the problem analysis in designing the project; and
  • Budget proposal (20 points).

Selection process:

Eligible applicants are expected to submit proposals using the template provided (Annex I), together with Application Cover Sheet (Annex II).

Submissions and queries should be sent to Ms Ha Phung, Responsible Business Officer, UNDP Viet Nam: [email protected]

For full information, please click HERE

Funding details
Due Date: