Fondation Nature & Découvertes
Nature et Découvertes is a French chain of shops founded in 1990. After its first profits, the company decided to create a foundation (Fondation Nature & Découvertes) dedicated to the protection and knowledge of nature, in France and then internationally. Since 2005, Fondation Nature & Découvertes has been a member of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The foundation’s mission is to initiate and implement associative projects in the field, for the protection of biodiversity and nature education. Since its inception, it has financed 2,700 projects for an amount of 13.2 million euros.
The Foundation has two areas of commitment – (1). biodiversity and (2) active pedagogy in contact with nature.
• Biodiversity: Through Fondation Nature & Découvertes’ actions, they alert, raise awareness and fight against the erosion of biodiversity. They forge lasting links with associations to develop and finance field projects that have a real positive impact on local biodiversity. And, the disappearance of habitats (forests, coral reefs, etc.), degradation and destruction of landscapes, climate change, conversion to agricultural land, desertification, etc. are all causes that affect biodiversity.
• Active pedagogy in contact with nature: Disappearance of habitats (forests, coral reefs, etc.), overexploitation of life (hunting and overfishing), industrial and agricultural pollution, the extension of cities and transport infrastructure, degradation and destruction of landscapes, the introduction of invasive species, climate change, conversion to agricultural land, desertification, etc. are all causes that affect biodiversity. The Foundation believes in the virtues of active pedagogy for us and our children in order to be dynamic and autonomous actors in the change we want for our planet.
Financing Instrument: Grants
Major projects: These are reference projects in terms of active pedagogy and which take place for the most part in nature. They represent around twenty winning projects for €200,000 distributed per year. The grants range from €6,000 to €15,000 and only reference projects at the national level can claim amounts above €10,000.
The “Helping Hand” projects: These are projects with a local dimension, with a strong share of voluntary work, to carry out concrete actions. They represent around a hundred projects per year for the aid of between €500 and €3,000.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: France, Belgium and Luxembourg
Recipient categories: NPOs
The Foundation funds applications located in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. These projects are proposed by non-profit associations and concern:
• Nature protection:
- Study, inventory or reintroduction in precarious conservation status.
- Development, rehabilitation or acquisition of a natural site, support for emerging initiatives that respect cultivated biodiversity.
- Biodiversity awareness campaign involving the general public or a targeted audience.
• Reconnection to nature: Projects carried out in pedagogy of projects leading to the creation of tools or actions adapted to children.
The Foundation does not fund projects:
- offered by individuals, commercial or tax-collecting structures;
- already made when the grants were awarded;
- for-profit, promotional or advertising purposes;
- end of studies, theses or university dissertations;
- book or film publishing;
- of a personal nature such as a trip, a world tour, participation in a rally, etc.
- events (festivals, meetings, green classes, etc.).
Note: social and/or societal projects are welcome as long as the main objective remains centered on the protection or discovery of local biodiversity.
Firstly, applicants should verify that their project corresponds to the selection criteria. Then, applicants should familiarize themselves with the calendar of the Major Project and “Helping Hand” project committees. After that, applicants need to complete the online application form on the Foundation’s website.
The Major Project Committees support flagship and experimental projects, co-constructed with the associations, responding to major issues in terms of biodiversity for one and active education in contact with nature for the other. Each annual committee examines between 10 and 20 proposals pre-selected by the Foundation's team, which will be financed from €6,000 and up to €15,000 for projects with a national scope.
- The “Active pedagogy in contact with nature” committee supports reference projects in connection with nature. It meets in June to vote on the allocations.
- The “Biodiversity” committee supports benchmark projects for the conservation of nature and species. It meets in October to select the winners.
Applications for the “Helping Hand” projects are open throughout the year with deliberations throughout the seasons: in February, April, June and October. This rotating jury is made up of Nature & Découvertes teams accompanied by a few experts.