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Wildlife Conservation Society: Climate Adaptation Fund

Deadline: April 3, 2018

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Climate Adaptation Fund seeks to support actions that anticipate and respond to potential climate change impacts and maximize long-term conservation success. To achieve these ends, the program prioritizes projects that manage for dynamic ecological processes, landscape functionality, and species assemblages, rather than those aimed at maintaining historical conditions or individual species. Applicants must specify the sources of science and analyses upon which their adaptation project is based, and articulate how that climate adaptation science informs the proposed conservation goals and actions. The program also prioritizes projects that will use strategic communications activities to scale up their conservation impact.

The Climate Adaptation Fund is focused on a narrow range of wildlife conservation projects projects that are conducting applied, on-the-ground management for climate change adaptation, and that are able to achieve tangible outcomes over a two-year time frame. Specifically, the Fund will support projects that demonstrate land and water management techniques to assist wildlife adaptation to climate change, for example:

  • Projects that demonstrate applied management responses for wildlife adaptation in terrestrial, freshwater, or estuarine systems, including efforts to enhance resilience of climate-impacted habitats or facilitate their transition to a different yet functional ecological state
  • Projects to enhance or sustain the adaptive capacity of ecosystems, landscape functionality, and critical biological processes in the face of climate change
  • Projects that restore and sustain core habitat or create connectivity for fish and wildlife in order to achieve explicit climate adaptation goals
  • Pilot projects to exhibit successful on-the-ground actions for climate adaptation that can be replicated across a landscape
  • Projects that implement innovative or novel conservation activities in response to existing or expected climate-driven changes; or likewise mitigate pressures on wildlife and ecosystems caused by potential human responses to the impacts of climate change
  • Projects that mitigate pressures on wildlife and ecosystems caused by current or potential
    human responses to the impacts of climate change

In 2018, WCS is also introducing a new category: Joint Mitigation and Adaptation (JMA) projects. While all of the projects supported by the Climate Adaptation Fund need to be designed to achieve adaptation outcomes, some of the available funding this year will be directed to adaptation projects that accomplish climate mitigation (i.e., are JMA projects). WCS intends to support adaptation projects with joint mitigation outcomes. It encourages the development of more mitigation strategies that offer co-benefits to wildlife, ecosystems, and people. For example, a desirable JMA project could be a watershed restoration that simultaneously facilitates forward thinking habitat conservation, increases carbon uptake, and provides benefits to human communities. Adaptation proposals are not required to conduct JMA approaches. However, WCS views JMA work as another pathway to help wildlife and ecosystems adapt while providing emissions reductions through carbon gains.

Amount: A total of $2,500,000 is available with grants ranging from $50,000-$250,000 per project. Grants will be one to two years in length. A 1:1 match is required (50 percent of the matching funds may be in-kind).

Eligibility: U.S.-based nonprofit conservation organizations with approved IRS 501(c)(3) status. Grants can be awarded for projects only within the 50 U.S. states and U.S. territories. Public agencies, tribal governments, and universities may partner on proposals submitted by an eligible nonprofit conservation organization or work as paid contractors on funded projects. WCS encourages and expects that many project proposals will emerge from collaborations between the applicant organization and any number of partners from academia, public agencies, and other nonprofit organizations.

Link: https://www.wcsclimateadaptationfund.org/program-information

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