Organizational profile: USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

USAID supports biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management in more than 50 countries. The Agency partners with foreign governments, civil society, the private sector, and local communities to help them conserve and benefit from natural resources. USAID focuses its biodiversity and sustainable landscapes programs on the conservation of globally important forests and the benefits they provide. Whenever possible, programs work across an entire landscape to achieve results at scale. Landscape-level programs often center around the protection of natural standing forests, complemented by sustainable management and reforestation in surrounding areas. Protecting mature, natural forests provides the most benefit for the least cost, especially with regard to biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and water resources preservation. For sustainable landscape programming, USAID helps partner countries protect, manage, and restore globally important forests, as well as wetlands, peatlands, and agricultural lands where degradation impairs development and drives emissions. USAID helps local institutions improve policies, create incentives for stewardship, promote sound management practices, and build systems to conduct forest inventories and monitor carbon emissions. In FY 2015, USAID invested $250 million to address threats to biodiversity in high-priority forests, grasslands, coral reefs and other ecosystems.

USAID's work to address climate change is guided by their Global Climate Change and Development Strategy (2012-2018). It spans four types of activities, which come together to prepare countries to address climate risks and opportunities even as they pursue economic growth, stability and security.

- Adaptation activities help countries and communities anticipate and prepare for climate-related risks so they can avoid setbacks and continue to increase economic growth and stability.

- Clean energy activities help countries attract the private investment they need to scale up sustainable and cost-effective renewable energy, minimizing pollution and keeping pace with today’s changing energy landscape.

- Sustainable landscapes activities help countries improve forest and landscape management, which in turn helps to curb landscape destruction and improve livelihoods and disaster resilience.

- Integration activities ensure climate change knowledge and practice is applied, where appropriate, across USAID’s development portfolio to protect U.S. investments from unforeseen risks.

Financing Instrument: Grants, Loans

Project scale: In FY 2018, USAID’s forestry investments totaled $189.5 million in approximately 40 countries, with $186.4 million focused on tropical forests. In addition to direct funding, more than $29 million in USAID’s funding indirectly contributed to the conservation of biodiversity. Funding streams for natural resources and the environment reduce emissions from deforestation and the degradation of woodlands, and such programs manage and protect watersheds, fisheries, and mangrove forests.

Recipient countries/regions/country groups: Global

Recipient categories: Governments, NGOs/NPOs, Businesses, Universities

Eligibility Criteria: While all proposals will be received and reviewed for funding, anyone who applies must keep in mind that resources are limited. Potential offerors should be aware that USAID will be able to approve only a small number. To be legally eligible for consideration, unsolicited proposals should be:

- Innovative and unique

- Independently originated and developed by the offeror

- Prepared without U.S. Government supervision, endorsement, direction, or direct Government involvement

- Include sufficient detail to permit a determination that USAID support could be worthwhile and the proposed work could benefit USAID's research and development or other responsibilities

- Not be an advance proposal for a known USAID requirement that can or will be acquired by competitive methods.

Application guidelines: The majority of USAID’s funds are awarded through a competitive process. To solicit support for its programs, USAID typically uses a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contracts and a Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for cooperative agreements and grants. Contract opportunities are posted on Grants and cooperative agreements are posted on

Step 1: Project Design

- To understand challenges and the resources available to address them, USAID Missions develop an overarching Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) with substantial input from partner governments and from industry, civil society, and development partners. From the CDCS, we design projects and activities to create an Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) plan.

Step 2: Activity Requirement

- USAID defines the expected results for distinct activities, which may be funded through an A&A award. Organizations interested in working with us submit a proposal in response to a solicitation that describes the program and explains how USAID will make its decision.

Step 3: Market Research

- USAID conducts market research to explore different ways to achieve our development objectives and to gather information about local capacity, the participation of small business, and the feasibility of our anticipated requirements. One way we do this is through a Request for Information (RFI). For more information, see ADS 302.

Step 4: Solicitation

- Solicitations describe the requirement or program and explain how USAID will evaluate submissions. They can take different forms, such as a Request for Proposal (RFP), a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), an Annual Program Statement (APS), or a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).

USAID also accepts unsolicited proposals and applications, but only a small number are approved.

An unsolicited proposal refers to contracts. It is a written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the Government, and that is not in response to a request for proposals or any other Government-initiated solicitation or program. An unsolicited application refers to grants or cooperative agreements. It is a written request for a grant that represents an appropriate use of Agency funds to support or stimulate a public purpose.

Publication Date
Thursday, 01 April 2021
Applicable location
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change
Forest landscape restoration
Forest conservation and management
Financing opportunities