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Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

Funds for NGOs in All Countries
Last date 31 Oct 2017

Activities: Others

The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a  philanthropic endowment established to do the following:

Provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives
Recognize leaders in the field of species conservation; and
Elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate.
The Fund’s reach is truly global, and its species interest is non-discriminatory. It is open to applications for funding support from conservationists based in all parts of the world, and will potentially support projects focused on any and all kinds of plant, animal and fungus species, subject to the approval of an independent evaluation committee.

In addition, the Fund will recognize leaders in the field of species conservation and scientific research to ensure their important work is given the attention it deserves and to elevate the importance of species in global conservation discourse.

For the rest of 2017 the Fund would like to announce that applications received before 30th June, 2017 will be reviewed and applicants will receive a reply by late September 2017. The following deadline for applications will be the end of October 2017 and applicants will be informed in late December 2017. For more details on the application and review timetable please go to our grants timetable page.

In 2016 the Fund supported 172 projects selected from 1,780 grant applications. The selected projects, located in over 50 different countries across six continents, shared $1,532,118 in funding. 

The Fund had an initial endowment of €25,000,000, of which a small portion is spent each year on grants.  The species conservation case study section of our web site shows up-to-date information on where these funds have been allocated so far.

It is envisaged that the Fund’s establishment will act as a catalyst to attract additional donations from third party sources to ensure the Fund’s annual contribution to direct species conservation initiatives increases over time.

The Fund is the executing agency for the GEF-funded Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project taking place in eight countries of the Indo-Pacific region. 

Criteria:The Fund intends to be as flexible and accommodating as possible when reviewing applications, and to take into account as many different factors as is reasonable when assessing the merit of a suggested project. To support this and to try to streamline the application process, the review process is kept comparatively simple.

However, the Fund does receive many more applications for support than grants could possibly be provided, so please find below some criteria and guidelines which would be useful to bear in mind when submitting an application.
Language: Applications must be submitted in English.

Currency: Budgets must be submitted in US Dollars.

Maximum Grant: The Fund maximum grant size is $25,000, and any application asking for more than this from the Fund will be rejected. The total budget of a project can be higher if there are other sources of funding.


Conservation status: The Fund was established to support species conservation work, and so if your project is not about an endangered species it is probably not worth your while submitting an application.

The Fund will use the IUCN Redlist ( as the primary guide to the conservation status of a given species, although documented variations for sub-species, distinct populations and sub-populations will be taken into account. For those species not assessed through the IUCN Redlist we welcome other methods of assessment and the submission of quantative data to confirm a species status. Generally the Fund gives priority to those species facing a hight threat of extinction (with an emphasis on Endangered and Critically Endangered species), as well as those which are listed as Data Deficient or unlisted but are suspected as highly threatened. Please ensure that the conservation status mentioned in the application is correct and cross-referenced to a website or publication. It might be of use to consult with the relevant IUCN/SSC Specialist Group if you are in doubt or would like some guidance.

Please note that applications with clearly incorrect conservation status and no justification will NOT be considered for funding.

Content: Text provided in an application should be kept concise and clear, with clearly stated quantative goals, aims and methods. When writing an application, please bear in mind that there is only so much text which the Advisory Board and the Fund's board of directors are capable of reading. Priority will be given to those projects that support the professional development of young conservationists.

In situ conservation: Generally the Fund is primarily interested in providing support to in situ conservation work in the field (such as survey work and data gathering, direct action, recovery management, training and the like), focusing on the species in its natural habitat. However, the importance of ex situ work (genetic analysis, workshops, ex situ populations etc) is also recognised, and so a few grants may be given to projects which focus on ex situ conservation work in certain circumstances.

Core costs: The Fund will not contribute to the core running costs of an organisation or administrative overheads, and yet does recognise that sometimes support salaries, stipends, per diems and project related living costs can be a vital part of in situ conservation work.

Species: Generally the Fund would prefer to support projects which focus on a single species, but it also recognises that in some geographic and taxonomic circumstances it makes more sense to group a number of species.

Grant amount: The Fund will not provide a grant of more than $25,000.

Grants for continuation: The Fund is happy to provide continuation support for a project which had previously been supported, which is now completed and for which the Fund has received all required reporting by the time of the respective submission deadline.

External review: In some cases the Advisory Board and/or the Fund's board of directors may ask for an application to be passed on for additional review, which may add to the response time.

Online: Starting from December 1st, 2011 only applications submitted through the Fund's online, web-based system will be considered. Supporting documents can be sent as email attachments, but the application itself must be online.

For more information, please also check our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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