Global Ecosystem-based Adaptation Fund


Organizational profile: 
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is a nature-based solution that harnesses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability and build the resilience of human communities to climate change. Specifically, Ecosystem-based Adaptation is the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. Led by IUCN and UNEP, the Global EbA Fund provides rapid and targeted support through seed capital for innovative approaches to EbA to climate change. The Fund supports catalytic initiatives to help overcome identified barriers to upscaling EbA. The Fund prioritises filling in planning, knowledge, and resourcing gaps with a broad thematic focus on innovation and urgency, and encourages creative solutions and partnerships. By supporting catalytic interventions, the Fund addresses research gaps, pilots innovative EbA approaches, engages in strategic EbA policy mainstreaming, and incentivises innovative finance mechanisms and private sector EbA investment.

The Global EbA Fund considers catalytic interventions as those that increase scalability or replicability of EbA interventions, shift social or behavioral norms, strengthen the case for economic viability or feasibility of EbA interventions, expand the evidence base for EbA effectiveness, integrate EbA into complementary climate adaptation strategies, create synergies between EbA initiatives, and/or mainstream EbA into policies, institutions, or other sectors. The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of such interventions.

  • Directed research addressing how to overcome specific constraints for EbA and address gaps in knowledge (e.g. economic valuation, gender integration, capturing mitigation co-benefits, incentives for private sector investment, trade-offs and limits for EbA, etc.)
  • Strategic pilot or demonstration actions, specifically where the Fund identifies the high potential for up-scaling through multilateral funds (e.g. GCF) and other adaptation finance options, for which the Fund would directly build the capacity of the grantee(s)
  • Piloting innovative or “unproven” approaches for EbA, where monitoring of impacts can build knowledge based on costs and benefits (impact)
  • Integrating EbA methods and approaches into traditional infrastructure projects
  • Removing barriers from up-scaling EbA interventions at the policy or landscape levels
  • Support for strategic and focused EbA policy mainstreaming (e.g. integrating EbA approaches into a municipal plan)
  • Innovative finance mechanisms for EbA (e.g. community incentive schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc.)
  • Incentivizing private-sector investment in EbA and de-risking lending for EbA approaches (e.g. through agricultural lending)

Financing Instrument: Grants
Project scale: USD 50,000 to USD 250,000
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Projects may have a global, thematic, regional and/or country-specific focus (see further details below). 
Recipient categories: 

A.    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
B.    International non-governmental organisations (INGOs)
C.    Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs)
D.    Community-based organisations (CBOs)
E.    Indigenous People’s Organisations
F.    Universities and other academic institutions
G.    Research institutes and think tanks
H.    Private sector companies
I.    Consortia of organizations that promote collaboration and greater impact around EbA. However, there should be a clearly defined lead agency, the “Applicant Organisation”, as detailed in the concept note template. This agency, if successful, would be the responsible contract party.

UNEP country and regional offices and IUCN offices are not currently eligible to apply for funding from the Global EbA Fund. In line with current IKI policies, the Fund will not grant directly to government partners but will provide grants to organisations working directly with national, sub-national and local governments to create an enabling environment for EbA and support the implementation of strategic partnerships.


Eligibility Criteria:
EbA is the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems (such as forest ecosystems) to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. While the Fund welcomes proposals with mitigation co-benefits, projects must have primary adaptation benefits. Potential applicants must clearly identify how their proposed projects will help communities adapt to climate change.

For full information on eligibility and criteria, please visit and the Grant Procedures Manual ( on the Global EbA Fund official website.

1. Applicant Eligibility:
The Fund seeks diverse applicants with relevant experience and local partnerships and presence. The Global EbA Fund seeks to catalyse new partnerships and collaborations and unlikely matches between new and non-traditional partners. The Fund seeks to reach out beyond traditional actors and constituencies to attract all actors and constituencies relevant to EbA and climate change adaptation. The Fund seeks diverse applicants with relevant experience and local partnerships and presence, and who support addressing specific gaps in technical knowledge and understanding among government actors. The Fund will consider private sector applicants under certain conditions, for example, no funding of sector-specific obligations nor compensatory or replacement measures, for-profit activities, etc. Overall, the common public interest will be a top priority. While not required, co-financing from the applicant would demonstrate an institutional investment in the project.

2. Geographic Eligibility

  • Projects may have a global, thematic, regional and/or country-specific focus.
  • The Fund will not grant directly to government partners. If the project has a country-specific focus, it must be targeted to one or more countries which are eligible for official development assistance (ODA) based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) list at the time of application.
  • Regional/multi-country projects, particularly projects designed to foster regional exchange and achieve regional-scale impacts, are eligible. For multi-country projects, which are projects involving activities in more than one country, all of the countries must be ODA-eligible.
  • Projects with a global or thematic focus, not targeted to a specific region or country, are also eligible.
  • UNEP and IUCN offices are not currently eligible. 

The Fund supports projects that

  • contribute to the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and align with the FEBA EbA Qualification Criteria & Quality Standards (see: 
  • result in catalytic impact, such as by piloting innovative or “unproven” approaches for EbA, removing barriers from upscaling EbA interventions at the policy or landscape levels, strategic and focused EbA policy mainstreaming, supporting innovative finance mechanisms for EbA, incentivising private sector investment in EbA, and supporting unlikely matches between partners.
  • add value to or upscale existing work. Global EbA Fund projects should not be standalone interventions. Projects should address a gap in existing work or knowledge, contribute to policy upscaling, enhance the impact of an investment, and/or serve to develop a larger proposal to another funding mechanism. Projects should leverage existing knowledge, standards, partnerships, and experiences. Projects should not be comprised exclusively of field implementation.

And prioritises applicants that

  • are well-grounded in the proposed region or area of work.
  • have experience of the size and type of project proposed.
  • are inclusive of local communities, indigenous knowledge and gender perspectives.


Application guidelines: 
Consult and to see if applicants’ project concept meets all grant-selection criteria and eligibility requirements. Follow the guidelines carefully when developing and drafting a proposal. The Fund encourages project durations of up to 24 months but may consider up to 36 months. Additional justification is required for projects seeking longer than 24 months.

The Global EbA Fund is a rolling program. The Fund accepts and reviews concept note submissions year-round, with biannual funding decisions and announcements.

Applications must be submitted in English. Official documents of the organization and register entries must be translated into English. All application documents must be submitted via email to At the concept stage, applicants must also fill out the submission form. The Fund accepts Concept Stage Application Packet submissions year-round. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal Stage Application Packet, including due diligence processes. Please visit How to Apply ( for further information and the most up to date submission guidelines.
Due to the high volume of submissions received, the Fund is unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful proposals at this time. If the applicant is not contacted, the Fund encourages applicants to reapply and review the eligibility and selection criteria for future consideration.

Publication Date
Sunday, 27 March 2022
Applicable location
Private sector and industry
Climate change
Forest landscape restoration
Forest conservation and management
Financing opportunities