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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
WWF’s Russell E Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) invites proposals focused on collaborative capacity building related to (i) environmental and social impacts and risks of development projects on ecosystems and their services and (ii) enhancing inclusive conservation and sustainable development. The Environmental and Social Impact Grant aims to provide competitive financial support to teams and institutions working in Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar focusing on enhancing capacities to address environmental and social impact assessment capacity building needs with an emphasis on local communities and local practitioners.
The proposals should target diverse audiences involved in addressing social and environmental issues associated with the execution and management of conservation and development initiatives, particularly with a focus on WWF key goals including climate, food, forests, freshwater, oceans, and wildlife.
The proposed activities should be completed before August 2023 and applicants may request up to US$ 15,000. Please note that funding will vary and proposals should provide strong justification for all budgetary items. Applications must be submitted through the online portal by April 29, 2022 at 11:59pm ET.
At the heart of connecting nature and people is the inextricable link between inclusive conservation and sustainable development. Inclusive conservation plays a critical role in ensuring the diversity of human-ecosystem interactions with an emphasis on sustainable livelihoods and developing capacity to accelerate responsiveness in tackling potential adverse impacts to people and the environment. In Africa, efforts are underway to implement interventions and actions that collectively strengthen the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. However, the complexity of balancing loss of biodiversity with development continues to demonstrate that achieving inclusive conservation and sustainable development requires action to deliver institutional and individual capacities in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The capacities to achieve social, environmental and governance standards are still inadequate in many countries. International institutions and non-governmental organizations often rely on consultants to fill this gap, fulfilling requirements for due diligence, but not creating local ownership and therefore making implementation more difficult. Collectively strengthening capacities of country systems is crucial in ensuring ownership and accountability. This approach involves taking into account environmental and social risks while putting in place both direct mitigation measures and adaptation measures that are attuned to the long-term vision of inclusive conservation and sustainable development.
In the last 27 years, EFN has been at the forefront of advancing research, training, and education through the provision of funds to individuals and institutions to address critical challenges facing biodiversity conservation in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. EFN incorporates multidimensional and multi-partner capacity development strategies at different levels (individuals, institutions, and networks) and cycles (early, mid-career, and senior professionals). Further, WWF has made significant progress in implementing institutional mechanisms to enhance social well-being of communities and ensure adequate delivery of conservation outcomes in places where we work. Diversified efforts are needed to strengthen these institutional mechanisms and abilities, but cannot be reached without the work and support of national institutions, local communities and organizations, and youth, who often are ill-equipped to drive and achieve the goals of addressing environmental and social impacts.
Building on this extensive experience, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant seeks to build capacity and empower communities to achieve development objectives and inclusive conservation with projects that robustly address environmental and social issues.
Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant:
Proposals should seek to engage diverse groups and sectors with emphasis on the following:
Proposals will identify their contribution to improving one or more of the following ten thematic areas:
Project proposals will undergo a rigorous and competitive selection process and scored based on a set of criteria including, but not limited to the following score areas:
The call will close on April 29th, 2022 at 11:59pm ET. An overview of the grant timeline is below. The application is available here.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant, supported by Charlotte Bingham, seeks to build capacity and empower communities to achieve development objectives and inclusive conservation with projects that robustly address environmental and social issues. Charlotte believes the key to attaining inclusive conservation and sustainable development is collaboration at the local level among those who are engaged in development, conservation, and environmental and social impact assessment.
After 40 years doing environmental and social impact assessment, including training, Charlotte understands this is only part of the solution. She says, “Let us break down the silos of conservation, biodiversity restoration, impact assessment, economic development, etc., by interacting together whatever our roles (conservation managers, urban planners, impact assessors, food aid workers, farmers, fisherfolk, and so on). Let us focus on nature-based solutions and educate each other. To do so requires action anchored in thinking big about the whole planet and its interdependent resources, but at the same time delivering action locally, creating local ownership and using local knowledge to promote equity in access to resources and recognition of our place in nature.” Charlotte’s hope is that those who offer proposals will think broadly and deliver innovative solutions.
For all inquiries and questions about Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grants, please contact [email protected].