Organizational profile: The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide. The initiative funds projects that help countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives. The Darwin Initiative aims to build local capacity to manage local biodiversity and the natural environment for the future, securing the benefits of these natural resources for people. Any project is welcome to apply provided it is contributing towards reversing the increase in threats of extinction to the world’s flora and fauna, halting the overall decline in biodiversity at the ecosystem level (including improving ecological connectivity), species level, and/or genetic level.
Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: Darwin projects should be a minimum of £50,000 and no more than £500,000.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Upper-middle income countries (UMICs) are now fully eligible for Darwin funding. However, the objectives for the fund include support to sustainable development and poverty alleviation in the poorest countries in the world. This means that projects applying to work in a UMIC must clearly demonstrate poverty alleviation benefits, be technically excellent, and will be operating in areas of high importance for the conservation of biodiversity or most at risk of biodiversity loss.
Recipient categories: Governments, Businesses, NGOs/NPOs, Universities
Eligibility Criteria: Projects typically try to address threats to biodiversity such as:
- habitat loss or degradation
- climate change
- invasive species
- pollution and eutrophication
Organisations making the application must:
- have experience of managing similar projects in developing countries
- be able to demonstrate financial stability and provide audited accounts
- The proposed project leader must have suitable qualifications or a minimum of around 10 years’ experience working on similar projects in developing countries
Application guidelines: Darwin Initiative Main Projects follow a two stage application process.
Stage 1: Open call for applications. A shorter application.
Stage 2: By invitation only. A larger, more comprehensive application form.
Stage 1 applications are typically announced mid-year, with stage 2 applications by invitation only announced by the end of the year.