WWF Environmental and Social Impact Grant of $15,000

Guidelines for Grant Application

Prioritizes local ownership, stakeholder engagement, and alignment with WWF's goals for impactful projects.
Prioritizes local ownership, stakeholder engagement, and alignment with WWF's goals for impactful projects.

WWF NATURE Environmental and Social Impact Grant of $15,000


  • Grant aims to bridge nature and people through inclusive conservation and sustainable development.
  • Focuses on building capacities, empowering communities, and addressing environmental and social issues.
  • Prioritizes local ownership, stakeholder engagement, and alignment with WWF’s goals for impactful projects.

Connecting People and Nature: The Significance of Inclusive Conservation and Sustainable Development

At the core of the relationship between humanity and the environment lies the inseparable connection between inclusive conservation and sustainable development. Inclusive conservation plays a pivotal role in ensuring a diverse spectrum of interactions between humans and ecosystems, emphasizing the sustenance of livelihoods while building the capacity to swiftly address potential adverse impacts on both people and the environment. In Africa, ongoing endeavors strive to implement interventions and initiatives that collectively reinforce the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental.

However, the intricate balance between biodiversity preservation and development continues to underscore the necessity of concerted efforts to achieve inclusive conservation and sustainable development. This pursuit demands action to bolster institutional and individual capacities in alignment with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite progress, many countries still grapple with insufficient capacities to meet social, environmental, and governance standards. Often, international institutions and non-governmental organizations rely on consultants to bridge this gap, satisfying due diligence requirements but failing to cultivate local ownership, thus impeding effective implementation. Strengthening the capabilities of national systems collectively remains pivotal, ensuring ownership and accountability in the process. This approach necessitates considering environmental and social risks while implementing direct mitigation and adaptation measures that harmonize with the long-term vision of inclusive conservation and sustainable development.

Over nearly three decades, the Environmental Funders Network (EFN) has been at the forefront, championing research, education, and training. By providing financial support to individuals and institutions across Africa, Latin America, and Asia, EFN has addressed critical challenges confronting biodiversity conservation. Recognizing the urgency, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) emphasizes the need to fortify institutional mechanisms and capacities, particularly those of national institutions, local communities, organizations, and youth, who often lack the resources to drive and attain environmental and social goals.

With generous support from Charlotte Bingham, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant aspires to augment capacities and empower communities to realize developmental objectives while embracing inclusive conservation. Projects funded under this initiative are expected to robustly confront environmental and social issues.

Eligibility Criteria

For consideration of a grant, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Legally registered organizations in eligible countries (Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar).
  • Proven track record in capacity building related to environmental and social impacts, application to local activities in conservation and development, and ability to monitor results.
  • Submission of all necessary documents by the application deadline.
  • Completion of all grant activities before August 2025.
  • Inclusion of active learning, practical skill components, mentoring, or field-based learning activities for local stakeholders, institutions, and networks.

Additionally, applicants must adhere to country-specific regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and commit to supporting work aligned with WWF’s six ambitious goals: climate, food, forests, freshwater, oceans, and wildlife.

Focus Areas

Proposals are encouraged to engage various groups and sectors, with a focus on:

  • Developing skills, good practices, and standards that directly address institutional challenges and bridge gaps in understanding and mitigating social and environmental impacts associated with development programs.
  • Involving diverse stakeholders, particularly gender mainstreaming and local and indigenous communities.
  • Establishing professional networks to facilitate collaboration and information exchange, with priority given to collaborations with local associations.
  • Strengthening institutional capacities to tackle governance challenges related to conservation and development, enhancing expertise at individual and community levels.


Selection Criteria

Project proposals will undergo a thorough and competitive selection process based on various criteria, including:

  • Proposed Objectives and Goals: Demonstrating a clear rationale, feasible activities within the proposed work plan, and a realistic budget.
  • Project Impact: Assessing short- and long-term impacts, considering far-reaching outcomes on environmental and social sustainability.
  • Measurability: Ensuring the initiative has measurable outcomes and outputs.
  • Scalability and Transferability: Assessing the potential for scaling activities to specific contexts and their replicability.
  • Collaborations: Recognizing projects that enhance partnerships and delineate each stakeholder’s role in achieving proposed objectives.

Application Process Timeline

The application process entails the following timeline:

December 18, 2023:

Deadline for submission of applications in the portal.

  • January – March 2024:bSelection process.
  • April 2024: Successful applicants notified.
  • June – July 2024: Contracts signed, and grants issued.

Insights on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant, bolstered by Charlotte Bingham’s support, aims to strengthen capacities and empower communities to attain developmental goals while embracing inclusive conservation. Charlotte emphasizes the pivotal role of local-level collaboration among stakeholders engaged in development, conservation, and environmental and social impact assessment.

Having spent four decades in environmental and social impact assessment, including extensive training, Charlotte recognizes that collaboration represents only a fraction of the solution. She advocates for breaking down the silos in conservation, biodiversity restoration, economic development, etc., urging diverse roles (conservation managers, urban planners, impact assessors, farmers, etc.) to collaborate. This collaboration should focus on nature-based solutions, promoting equity in resource access and acknowledging humanity’s place in nature.

Charlotte hopes that proposals will embrace a broad perspective and deliver innovative solutions. For inquiries about the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Grant, please contact efn@wwfus.org.

Applications must be submitted online by December 18, 2023, by 11:59 PM US Eastern Time.

This comprehensive grant opportunity seeks to bridge the gap between conservation and development by empowering local communities, fostering collaboration, and addressing critical environmental and social challenges.


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