Plastic Free Rivers and Seas for South Asia Project

Regional Block Grants

Accepting Project Proposals from Sri Lanka | Deadline: 18th October, 2023
Introduction to the PLEASE Project
Funded by the World Bank and Parley for the Oceans, and implemented by South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP),

with the support of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the project development objective of the Plastic Free Rivers and Seas for South Asia (PLEASE) Project is to catalyze actions that reduce the flow of plastic pollution into South Asian Seas.

This website contains information for Regional Block Grant applicants.

For more information about the PLEASE Project, visit the PLEASE Project Knowledge Management website.

A summary of activities is provided as follows:
Component 1
Supporting Competitive Block Grant Investments to Reduce Plastic Waste

> Supporting circular plastic economy solutions to reduce plastic waste by implementing a program of regional competitive block grant investments, providing Regional Competitive Block Grants (“RBGs”) to eligible organizations in South Asia (“Eligible RBG Beneficiaries”).

> Facilitating exchange of circular plastic economy knowledge between Eligible RBG Beneficiaries and selected South Asian countries and promoting awareness raising activities.

Component 2
Leveraging Public and Private Sector Engagement and Solutions

> Supporting development of strategies, action plans, policies, and standards to harmonize plastic pollution mitigation measures through: (a) developing and implementing a multi-year plastic policy support program, working with leading universities and organizations; (b) developing a database for lifecycle analysis, data collection, and modelling related to plastic across selected industry value chains; and (c) supporting communication activities.

> Supporting circular use of plastic in the economy through regional public private collaboration and engagement in South Asia, including designing and organizing annual or more frequent meetings of representatives from public and private sectors.

Component 3
Strengthening Regional Integration Institutions

> Carrying out works to support construction of SACEP’s new headquarters and providing technical assistance to, and building capacity of, SACEP to discharge its functions, including coordination with relevant regional organizations and uniform collection, analysis, and interpretation of pollution data.

> Supporting the development of a fund for the sustainability of existing activities and accelerating circular plastic economy solutions (“Sustainability Fund”).

The South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1982 by the governments of South Asia to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. SACEP member countries are Afghanistan , Bangladesh , Bhutan , India , Maldives , Nepal , Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For more information about SACEP please visit
Call for Project Proposals
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The PLEASE Project is accepting project proposals that can result in a meaningful and recurrent reduction in plastic waste that otherwise would have accumulated in South Asia’s rivers and seas.

Eligibility: Current Project Proposal submissions are open to eligible RBG Beneficiaries registered in Sri Lanka.

Grant Amount*: Up to USD 1.5M. for each proposal; two grants are expected to be awarded
* The final award decision is subject to the donor approval

Please find the detailed call for proposals in this link, describing the important requirements and criteria for the submission of the proposals.

All proposals are required to be submitted through the Grant Management System Applicant portal.

Supporting Documents

1. Criteria
2. ESMP for Block Grant
3. Proposal Template

For more information on the goals the PLEASE Project is looking to achieve through these grants please refer to the Project Operating Manual in the “Project Guidelines” section.

To receive email updates on the grants process such as deadline reminders or notifications of the opening of a call for Project Proposals please register your contact information with us by completing this form

Parley AIR
All applications must be rooted in Parley AIR thematic categories:
Avoid (Reduce and Replace)

> Avoid plastic wherever possible and replace it with alternative, eco-innovative materials.
> Opt for minimal or no packaging and refuse single-use plastics (e.g. bags, bottles, utensils, straws, lids).
> Plan ahead. Carry reusable alternatives.
> Talk about it. Educate and empower your friends and family to adopt a plastic-conscious mentality.

Intercept (Retrieve and Recycle)

> Inform yourself on local recycling and composting
> Support businesses that support the oceans – look for recycling and upcycling initiatives, plastic alternatives, waste reduction policies, etc.
> Participate in a beach cleanup (or lake, river, park cleanup). It’s one thing to talk about the problem and another to confront it head on.
> Speak up. If you come across a major pollution source or plastic waste emergency, let Parley know

Redesign (Move beyond the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Framework)

> To solve plastic for good, we must reinvent the material, methods and thinking behind it. Get creative. We have imaginations for a reason.
> Question both the reason-to-be and end-of-life for every item you use.
> Support the use of eco-innovative materials and alternatives to plastic
> Support/implement policies that prevent unnecessary plastics (like microbeads and plastic bags).


Except for the due date of concept note submission, the dates provided below are only indicative and will be updated if necessary. It is provided here for the applicants' understanding of the overall contracting process. The updated timeline for Nepal will be published soon. Watch this space.

Event Bangladesh Maldives Nepal Pakistan Bhutan Sri Lanka
Launch of Call for Proposals Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed 11th September 2023
Full proposal submission Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed 18th October 2023
Appraisal and final decision Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing 29 November 2023
Grant agreement negotiation Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing TBC
Please complete this form if you have any questions regarding the Call for Proposal published for Sri Lanka.

As questions come in, we will aim to respond to them publicly in the section below

Please find FAQs and responses to previously submitted questions here.
General Information

Ongoing activities

Nepal - Completed Project Proposals are being evaluated
Pakistan - Entering final stage of selection
Bhutan - Entering final stage of selection
Maldives - Entering final stage of selection
Bangladesh - Entering final stage of selection

Sri Lanka - Opening call for Project Proposals
Information Session
The 1st information session will be held on 25th September, 2023 at 3:00 pm Sri Lanka time. To register, please complete this form by 23rd September, 2023.

The 2nd information session will be held on 2nd October, 2023 at 10:00 am Sri Lanka time. To register, please complete this form by 29th September, 2023.

The final information session will be held on 16th October, 2023 at 10:00 am Sri Lanka time. To register, please complete this form by 13th October, 2023.
Project Guidelines
Project Operations Manual
Negative List
The World Bank is providing funding for the PLEASE Project
Parley for the Ocean is providing funding and technical advice for the PLEASE Project
UNOPS Sri Lanka is providing technical support for the Project Implementation Unit
Grievance Mechanism
Managed by the Project Implementation Unit, the PLEASE Project is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any instances of misconduct. Please complete this form to log a complaint related to the PLEASE Project.
Telephone: +94-11-2662106
Address (Project Implementation Office): 108/4, Rosmead Place, Colombo 07.
Complete this form to report any grievances related to the PLEASE Project.
Complete this form for technical issues with the website.