SACEP Plastic free Rivers and Seas for South Asia Project

PLEASE Project

Call for Concept Notes for Eligible RBG Beneficiaries in Nepal, Maldives and Bangladesh before 5 November 2022
Project Description
Implemented by South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), and funded by the World Bank and Parley for the Oceans, 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. 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 Concept Notes
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The PLEASE Project is searching for concept notes that can be developed into project proposals and can result in a meaningful and recurrent reduction in plastic waste that otherwise would have accumulated in South Asia’s rivers and seas. For more information on the goals the project is looking to achieve through these grants please refer to the Project Operating Manual in the “Project Guidelines” section.

Eligibility: Currently the Call for Concept Notes is open to Eligible RBG Beneficiaries registered in Nepal, Maldives and Bangladesh. The Call for Concept Notes for Eligible RBG Beneficiaries registered in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will be issued at a later time.

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

Grant Amount: Up to USD 1.5M.

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

Complete this form to submit your completed concept note before 13:00 Sri Lanka time on November 5, 2022. Concept notes submitted after this time will not be considered.

Awareness Programme

Invitation for Expression of Interest from National Consulting Firm to implement an awareness programme developed by the Ministry of Environment - Sri Lanka under the PLEASE project.

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

> Avoid plastic wherever possible and replace 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.

Call for Concept Notes release 22nd September 2022
Information session for applicants 7th October 2022
Deadline for receipt of written inquiries 21st October 2022
Last written responses to inquiries distributed 28th October 2022
Concept Note submission deadline 5th November 2022
Appraisal and Concept Note selection 30th November 2022 (3.5 weeks for selection)
Launch of Closed Call for Proposals with selected applicants 1st December 2022
Full proposal submission TBC 15th January 2023 (6 weeks after release)
Appraisal and final decision TBC 31st January 2023 (2 weeks for selection)
Grant agreement negotiation 15th February 2023 (2 weeks)
Please complete this form if you have any questions regarding the Call for Concept Notes. The deadline to submit questions is October 21st. As questions come in, we will aim to respond to them publicly in the section below by October 28th. Please find the written response to submitted questions here.
Information Session
An information session was held on October 7th at 10:00 am Sri Lanka time. Please find the recording here as well as the presentation here. Another information session will be held on October 20th at 10:30 am Sri Lanka time. To register please complete this form by October 18th. Registrations after October 18th are not guaranteed to receive the link in time.
Project Guidelines
Project Operations Manual
Call for Concept Notes W1P1 (Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal)
The World Bank is providing funding for the PLEASE Project
Parley for the Ocean is providing funding and technical advice for the PLEASE Project
Grievance Mechanism
Managed by SACEP, 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 report any wrongdoings related to the PLEASE Project.
Complete this form to submit your concept note.
Complete this form for questions regarding the call for concept notes.
Complete this form to register for the Information Session.
Complete this form for technical issues with the website.
Complete this form to report any wrongdoings related to the PLEASE Project.

The deadline for the submission of the concept notes is 13:00 Sri Lanka time on November 5, 2022.
The deadline for written questions is October 21, 2022.
Answers are published on this website latest by 28 October 2022.
The deadline to register for the Information Session is October 18, 2022.