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Grant Opportunities: Up to £200,000 available under Darwin Initiative Innovation – Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Reduction

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Deadline: 7-Nov-22

Darwin Initiative’s Innovation welcomes applications for projects ranging from £10,000 to £200,000 which are aimed at projects intending to test a novel approach that if proven could scale to deliver results for biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

Darwin Initiative Innovation is aimed at projects intending to test a novel approach that if proven could scale to deliver results for biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

Funding Information

Darwin Initiative Innovation welcomes applications for projects ranging from £10,000 to £200,000.

Eligible Countries
  • Darwin Initiative is entirely Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded, and therefore projects must promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries as a primary objective, and the eligible countries are all on the current OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). However, projects will in practice be expected to be mostly focused on Low Income and Lower Middle-Income countries. Upper Middle-Income countries (UMICs) are eligible; however, projects applying to work in a UMIC must clearly demonstrate a stronger case for support. This includes operating in areas of high importance for biodiversity and a clear poverty reduction need.
  • Such applications must also clearly demonstrate that they will also:
    • Advance knowledge, evidence and impact in Least Developed or Low-Income Countries,
    • Contribute to a global public good, for example by advancing understanding and/or strengthening the knowledge base related to biodiversity conservation/sustainable use and poverty reduction, or
    • Contribute to serious and unique advancements on a critical issue as a result of specific circumstances of the upper-middle income country that could not be made elsewhere. Available funding will be ring-fenced to ensure that at least 70% is allocated to projects in Low Income and Lower-Middle Income Countries.
Project Requirements
  • Applications must be made by the Lead Partner (an organisation), not an individual, agreeing to the Terms and Conditions including managing the grant, its finances, reporting and governance.
  • The maximum annual value of funds requested should not exceed 25% of the Lead Partner’s average annual turnover/income for the previous 3 years. There is no limit on the number of applications a Lead Partner may submit, but they would encourage internal co-ordination to ensure all submissions are competitive; Defra may consider the number of applications from a partner as part of their decision-making process.
  • The Project Leader is the individual with the necessary authority, capability and capacity, and a full understanding of their role and associated obligations to take responsibility for delivering value for money, managing risk and financial controls whilst fulfilling the terms and conditions of the grant. Where the Project Leader is not employed by the Lead Partner, the reasoning behind should be made clear in the application, including their capability to control and be held accountable for the proposed project.
  • Given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Biodiversity Challenge Funds has taken the decision to suspend all bilateral engagement with Russia, including sending any funds to any Russian organisation. This means that Russian organisations cannot be a Lead Partner or Partner on any BCFs grant.
  • It may remain appropriate for projects to share data with Russian organisations in some circumstances but this should be discussed and agreed with Defra (via the Fund Managers) on a case-by-case basis. Any partnerships with Belarusian organisations will also be reviewed on a case by case basis


  • Partnerships between organisations aligning their interests around a common vision, combining their complementary resources, experiences and competencies and sharing risk, can maximise impact in terms of scale, quality, sustainability and benefits.
  • All projects are strongly expected to seek and work with in-country partners, with the meaningful and early engagement of in-country stakeholders.
  • Differing from Stakeholders, Partners have a formal governance role in the project, and a formal relationship with the project that may involve staff costs and/or budget management responsibilities. Projects should be co-developed with partners.
  • In contrast, Stakeholders would not have a budget management, or a formal governance role, within the project but are consulted, engaged and participate in project activities.

For more information, visit https://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/apply/

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