Darwin Initiative: Main Project Funding – Protecting Biodiversity and Contributing towards Sustainable Development in Developing Countries


Deadline: 16 July 2019

The UK Government has launched a grant scheme entitled “Darwin Initiative: Main Project Funding” to protect and enhance biodiversity and, in doing so, to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries for the reduction of poverty.

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Projects supported under the grant scheme should contribute to one, or more, of the following:

  • Protection or enhancement of ecosystems, species or genetic resources through in-situ or ex situ conservation or remedying environmental damage;
  • Integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services within host country development objectives and economic decision making, through institution building, capacity development, strengthening regulatory and policy
    frameworks or research; or
  • Assisting host countries’ efforts to meet their obligations under at least one of the international conventions/agreements.

Darwin projects are expected to address key threats to biodiversity, such as:

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  • Habitat loss or degradation;
  • Climate change;
  • Invasive species;
  • Over-exploitation;
  • Pollution and eutrophication.

Projects should address the following issues:

  • Addressing biodiversity loss, climate change, and land and ecosystem degradation through holistic approaches including nature based solutions;
  • Securing the benefits of biodiversity for the poorest communities and those most vulnerable to the degradation of the natural environment by tackling issues such as agrobiodiversity, food and water security, and biodiversity and health;
  • Helping prevent the extinction of known threatened species, and improve and sustain their conservation status, for example through conservation corridors;
  • Tackling threats to marine biodiversity, such as damage to coral reefs and plastic waste, and building resilience to ocean acidification;
  • Look at the opportunity for synergies between tackling climate change and halting or reversing biodiversity loss.

Funding Information

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  • There is no minimum or maximum award size. The overall funding pot in any given year is, however, limited. In previous rounds, awards have ranged from £50,000 to around £430,000, with an average project award of around £300,000 for around 36 months.

Length and Duration of Project

  • The minimum length of a project is 1 year and the maximum length is 3 years. Any budget commitment must end by 31 March 2023. Applicants for Round 26 of the Darwin Initiative:
    • Should plan to start on or after 1 April 2020. Applicants cannot start earlier and it is unlikely the final list of projects will be accepted until March 2020 at the earliest.
    • Must ensure their budget commitments end by 31 March 2023.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applications must come from an organisation, and not an individual. Applicant organisations can be based in any country.
  • One of the aims of the Darwin Initiative is to build capacity. It is therefore common for an organisation from a developed country to be working with an organisation from the eligible developing country hosting the project, to jointly manage its implementation. Darwin Initiative would encourage joint management of the project through a formal agreement setting out the responsibilities of each partner in advance.
  • Funding would be awarded to the lead organisation who would normally provide the named Project Leader, but on a day to day basis the project could be managed by two or more individuals. These arrangements should be described in the application form.
  • Darwin Initiative does not expect governments and their agencies to lead on projects, though they may be partners. Darwin funding cannot be used as a substitute for activities that would normally be part of a government’s core functions (such as full-time staff salaries or routine management activities).
  • Organisations applying for funding must:
    • have a credible record of working on similar types of projects;
    • have demonstrated experience managing projects of a similar size;
    • nominate a Project Leader who will be responsible for the technical direction of the project and be the main point of contact.
  • The countries in the fourth Column are classed as “Upper Middle Income Countries” (UMICs) by the OECD. They are eligible for Darwin funding if the application clearly demonstrates that the project will either:
    • advance knowledge, evidence and impact in Least Developed or Low Income Countries; OR
    • contribute to the global public good, for example by advancing understanding and/or strengthening the knowledge base related to biodiversity conservation/sustainable use and poverty reduction; OR
    • contribute to serious and unique advancements on a critical issue as a result of specific circumstances of the upper middle income country that could not be made elsewhere.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply via given website.

For further information, please visit https://bit.ly/2Xfvqoo

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