Forest Conservation Fund


Organizational profile: 
Forest Conservation Fund (FCF) is a not-for-profit Foundation, aiming to decentralize conservation by empowering local communities and private sector actors to protect forests under their control. Commodity buyers or other donors pay $40 per year to the Fund for each hectare of forests they want to conserve. FCF connects them to conservation projects in their sourcing landscapes, for maximum impact. FCF disperses funding based on field results and provides coaching and support on conservation management to ensure that the forest stays standing and that conservation goals are being achieved. FCF reports back to companies about how their donation is being used and use satellite imagery, field-based biodiversity monitoring tools and activity reports to minimize spending on overheads and direct a maximum amount of donations into the field. At the end of their annual cycle, each project also undergoes an annual financial audit. 
FCF has three funding streams. 

  • Stream 1: Forest Set-aside in Privately Owned or Managed Lands (Funding goes to wardens/community-led patrols, conservation education, alternative livelihoods); 
  • Stream 2: Community-based Forest Management (Funding goes to e.g. development of sustainable forest-based business, conservation patrols, initial land tenure legal fees); 
  • Stream 3: NGO-managed Reserves (Funding goes to wardens/community-led patrols, conservation education, alternative livelihoods).

Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: N/A
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global
Recipient categories: The Grantee can be a community-based organization, private company, private individual, NGO, research institution, university, or religious entity. Government agencies cannot be Grantees.

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Community-based organizations
  • Colleges, universities and academic institutions
  • Private sector organizations
  • Religious entity
  • Individuals 

Eligibility Criteria :
Project Area Requirements: 

  • Natural forest (non-native species <15%)
  • At least 500 contiguous hectares
  • Conservation status granted in the last 5 years

Organizational Requirements:

  • Legally registered community-based organization, private company, private individual, NGO, research institution, university, or religious entity
  • Tenure compatible with conservation for at least 20 years
  • Organization has legal use or management rights
  • Human and financial resources to ensure protection of the area and active involvement of the surrounding community in conservation activities
  • A policy that they will not deforest any natural forest areas
  • Demonstrate an understanding of risks to the project

Eligible Activities for Funding:

  • Management and monitoring of the site, including for biodiversity (SMART or equivalent) and social impact
  • Land taxes, licenses, or permits for the conservation area
  • Human resources and overheads related to conservation
  • Restoration with naturally occurring local forest species
  • Re-introduction of native fauna
  • Development of income-generation activities within the site (must comply with rules on right)
  • Development of income-generation activities with local communities off-site (must be part of a plan to gain support from communities for conservation)
  • Legal support to finalize conservation-based tenure

Activities not Allowed in Conservation Area:

  • No commercial logging or hunting
  • No hunting, fishing, harvesting of rare, threatened, or endangered species
  • No planting of non-native species
  • No cultivation of non-native species (except when already planted and <15% of area)

Commercial and subsistence activities which do not harm the long-term integrity of the forest are allowed. This includes sustainable collection of non-timber forest products, sustainable fishing, subsistence logging/hunting, ecotourism.

Application guidelines: 

  • If the organization believe their projects may be eligible for FCF funding based on the above Eligibility Criteria, please fill out the Enquiry Form on FCF website. FCF will reach out to all enquiries and help applicants to work out whether FCF is a good fit for their projects. The FCF Secretariat will work with applicants to prepare the application documents.
  • Company, NGO, or community submits project plan and budget (quarterly application rounds, the deadlines for which are the third week of March, June, September and December).  
  • FCF Secretariat prepares packet, including forest Area of Interest to be monitored through Airbus/Earthworm’s Starling forest mapping tool.
  • Grants Committee meets quarterly to review application for five-year grant.
  • Once approved by the Grants Committee, Financial Administrator disburses first 3 months of funds.
  • Each quarter, project submits brief activity report and budget of how grant was spent to FCF Secretariat.
  • FCF checks that forest is intact & approves next quarterly payment to be transferred by the Financial Administrator from the Fund.
  • Once per year, the applicant will submit an annual report of how their project used the previous year’s funds.
  • Grants Committee reviews and re-approves projects on an annual basis. They can also request specific or random field visits.

If organizations are unsure about whether they reach the eligibility requirements, FCF encourages them to still reach out to FCF using the Enquiry Form on the FCF website - FCF is working to be more flexible to the country and contexts where forest stewards are practicing.

Publication Date
Monday, 28 March 2022
Applicable location
Forest conservation and management
Forest landscape restoration
Community forestry
Financing opportunities