Join Us as a Partner to Create New Protected Areas
We partner with local conservation organizations to create new protected areas and expand existing ones for Critically Endangered and Endangered species.
Applications to create new protected areas are reviewed three times per year. Application deadlines for 2018 are March 1, July 1 and November 1.
Project selection criteria
Partnership applications should meet the following criteria:
- Clear focus on creating a new protected area or the expansion of existing protected areas (i.e., through land purchase, designation as a national park or other officially recognized protected area, conversion of logging concessions to reserves, community protection)
- Proposed sites must be currently unprotected. Use IUCN’s World Database of Protected Areas (www.protectedplanet.net) to determine if the area is already recognized as protected (category 1-6) before submitting an application
- Recent, verifiable evidence that species assessed as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species occur within the proposed protected area
- Endorsement from project stakeholders, including local environmental agencies, government officials and especially communities
- The applicant must be an NGO based in the country of the proposed protected area
- Priority is given to proposed sites located in the tropics
- The applicant organization should have an independent and autonomous oversight and management committee (e.g., a non-executive board) if land purchase or leasing is the proposed conservation strategy
Partnership applications should not include:
- Overhead costs (e.g., 15% of grant amount for indirect costs)
- Ecological monitoring or research
- Habitat restoration (e.g., tree planting)
- Vehicle purchases other than motorcycles
- International travel
- Environmental education
See here for additional details on our project selection criteria.
Project Review Process
Project development and review at Rainforest Trust is a dynamic process where partners work extensively with Rainforest Trust conservation staff to develop project proposals. Before submitting a partnership application please complete the eligibility questionnaire below.
If your project is deemed to be a good fit for Rainforest Trust one of our staff members will contact you and work with you to develop the partnership application. We ask that you submit a draft of your application by the relevant deadline listed at the top of this page. If a satisfactory application is developed, we will proceed with our project vetting process. With your permission we will send your proposal to at least two independent conservation experts to get their comments on the project’s viability. Finally if the project receives favorable external reviews we will present the proposal to our Board of Directors for final review and consideration. Board meetings are held approximately 2.5 months after the initial submission deadline. If you have any questions feel free to send them to SAVES@rainforesttrust.org. We look forward to collaborating with you to save the world’s most endangered species!
Urgent project pipeline
As noted above, the normal project review process takes approximately 2.5 months to complete. If your land protection project is truly urgent, we may able to process it by calling an emergency meeting of our Board of Directors. We only do this in exceptional circumstances such as if there are imminent threats to irreplaceable habitats, if the land is up for auction, or if an impending election is likely to make habitat protection impossible in the future. Please send an email to SAVES@rainforesttrust.org if you think your project qualifies for our urgent review pipeline.
If you are interested in applying to become a partner through the SAVES Challenge, complete the eligibility questionnaire. If you have any questions about the process, email SAVES@RainforestTrust.org to contact a Rainforest Trust conservation officer.
Take the Eligibility Questionnaire
Take the Feasibility Study Questionnaire
Rapid Protected-Area Feasibility Awards
Applications for Rapid Protected-Area Feasibility Awards are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Rainforest Trust provides Rapid Protected-Area Feasibility Awards to encourage conservationists and researchers to evaluate important potential sites for creating new Protected Areas. Awards average $5,000.
Successful applications should exhibit clear intent to establish a new Protected Area and one or more of the following:
- Plan to evaluate the presence and abundance of Endangered or Critically Endangered species within unprotected sites
- Efforts to evaluate land ownership of unprotected sites where Endangered or Critically Endangered species are found
- Efforts to negotiate land prices and gauge willingness to sell privately owned land
- Assessments of community and government interest in Protected Area creation
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