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Wildlife Conservation Society: Climate Adaptation Fund

Deadline: April 5, 2019

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Climate Adaptation Fund seeks to support projects focused on achieving wildlife and ecosystem conservation outcomes in the face of a changing climate by supporting 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 individual species or historical conditions that may not be possible in an altered climate. Applicants must specify the sources of science and analyses that provide the basis for their adaptation project and articulate how that climate adaptation science informs the proposed conservation goals and actions. The program also prioritizes projects that use strategic communications activities to amplify their conservation and adaptation impact.

The Climate Adaptation Fund is focused on a narrow range of wildlife conservation 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 and ecosystem adaptation, including efforts to enhance the resilience of climate-impacted habitats or facilitate their transition to a different yet functional ecological state
  • Projects that 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 that 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
  • Projects that mitigate pressures on wildlife and ecosystems caused by current or potential human responses to the impacts of climate changes
  • Projects that help wildlife and ecosystems respond and adapt to climate changes while also providing co-benefits, including climate mitigation benefits

While all of the projects supported by the Fund need to be designed to achieve adaptation outcomes for wildlife and ecosystems, WCS is interested in projects that provide additional benefits. These “co-benefits” could include the mitigation of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. WCS views these Joint Mitigation and Adaptation (JMA) projects as an important pathway to help wildlife and ecosystems adapt to climate change while simultaneously providing emissions reductions through methods like carbon sequestration. Other co-benefits include outcomes that directly affect people, for example by positively impacting human health and welfare, safety, or livelihoods. Proposals are not required to provide co-benefits, but some of the available funding this year will be directed towards projects that conduct JMA approaches.

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

Note: An optional applicant webinar will be held on March 12, 2019.

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