Call for Proposals 4th round Western Ghats Grants

We have stopped accepting applications for the fourth call for proposals for the CEPF-ATREE Western Ghats Small Grants as of 5:30 pm (1730 hrs) Indian Standard Time on 15th December 2012. This is an archived page.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS - FOURTH ROUND


CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM PARTNERSHIP FUND WESTERN GHATS - GRANTS PROGRAM

Background

The Western Ghats region of India is part of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka global biodiversity hotspot, which is extraordinarily rich in plant and animal species. Although the Western Ghats occupy less than 6 percent of the land area of India, they contain almost 30 percent of all plant and vertebrate species found in the country. There are more than 5,000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 birds, 157 reptiles and 126 amphibians, a high proportion of endemic species and spectacular assemblage of large mammals The Western Ghats support a diversity of natural, semi-natural and agro-ecosystems, numerous medicinal plant species and important genetic resources, such as wild relatives of grains, fruits, and spices. The Western Ghats directly and indirectly support the livelihoods of over 200 million people through ecosystem services. In addition to rich biodiversity, the Western Ghats are home to diverse social, religious, and linguistic groups.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Commission, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. To this end, CEPF provides strategic assistance to NGOs, community groups and other civil society partners to help safeguard biodiversity hotspots. This conservation investment is guided by region-specific investment strategies, developed with inputs and in consultation with diverse stakeholders. The Ecosystem Profile for the Western Ghats was developed by conservation and scientific institutions, with inputs from civil society, to guide the strategic and catalytic conservation investment in the Western Ghats.

The council of donors that governs CEPF approved a US$4.5 million, 5-year investment strategy for the Western Ghats in April 2007, based on this Ecosystem Profile. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) was selected as the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) in partnership with CEPF. The RIT leads implementation of the CEPF investment strategy for achieving conservation goals identified in the Ecosystem Profile, and provides assistance to civil society groups in designing, implementing, and replicating successful conservation activities.

The CEPF investment program in the Western Ghats Region was launched in April 2008. To date, there have been three rounds of grants made under this program. The program was originally scheduled to end in April 2013. However, based upon strong performance of the grant portfolio, the program has been extended for a further two years, until April 30, 2015.

CEPF and the RIT will provide grants to civil society organizations to work towards safeguarding globally threatened species and critical sites in the Western Ghats. These investments will promote innovative partnerships between NGOs, government, local communities and land-owners to enhance conservation and connectivity in five landscape corridors in the Western Ghats, and improve the conservation of globally threatened species through systematic conservation planning and action. The grants program expects to achieve this by enhancing the capacity and participation of a wider group of civil society organizations through involving them in creative and innovative long-term conservation partnerships. All grants must address the Strategic Directions in the Western Ghats Ecosystem Profile and their nested Investment Priorities.

This Call

This is the fourth call for proposals issued by ATREE and CEPF for the Western Ghats. This call for proposals covers only the Indian part of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Hotspot. It builds on the results and information generated by the CEPF grant portfolio until date, and is informed by recent developments in the policy, institutional and governance framework for biodiversity conservation in the region.

CEPF-ATREE Western Ghats Small Grants - List of projects granted

Objectives

On the basis of the Strategic Directions in the Western Ghats Ecosystem Profile, the grants program has two main objectives:

  1. To enable action by diverse communities and partnerships to ensure conservation of key biodiversity areas and enhance connectivity in the corridors.
  2. To improve the conservation of globally threatened species of the Western Ghats through systematic conservation planning and action.

Strategic Direction 1: Enable action by diverse communities and partnerships to ensure conservation of key biodiversity areas and enhance connectivity in the corridors

Investment Priority 1.1: Test pilot models of community and private reserves to achieve conservation outcomes at priority sites and critical links in unprotected areas of the priority corridors.

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically address the following issues:

  1. develop and support implementation of management plans for conservation and community reserves designated through CEPF projects;
  2. explore and test opportunities for leveraging financial support for conservation, community and private reserves from public and private sector sources, with a particular emphasis on financial incentives for local communities to manage natural ecosystems sustainably; and
  3. develop value chains for naturally sourced products, to expand the economic value of forests for local communities and connect them with green economies; and (iv) conduct meta-studies to capture lessons learned from CEPF projects exploring community forest rights for scheduled tribes under the Forest Rights Act, and incorporate into plans and policy.

Investment Priority 1.2: Promote partnerships to identify, evaluate, and advocate for suitable mechanisms that incorporate critical links (biological corridors) into the protected area network in the priority corridors

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically address the following issues:

  1. develop criteria and protocols for defining biological corridors, and use them to develop strategies for consolidating corridors with broad ownership of government and civil society;
  2. pilot economic incentive mechanisms to encourage landholders to restore, enhance and preserve ecological connectivity on private lands, including plantations (tea, coffee, rubber, etc.); and
  3. promote partnerships that demonstrate effective responses to the impacts of linear infrastructure (highways, railways, power lines, etc.) and other development projects on ecological connectivity.

Investment Priority 1.3: Support civil society to establish partnerships with state agencies to implement science-based management and conservation of priority sites in the priority corridors

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically address the following issues:

  1. build networks of local stakeholders who can take responsibility for ecological monitoring of priority sites beyond the end of CEPF funding;
  2. conduct targeted research on ecosystem services and ecological flows to inform policy with regard to restoration of highly threatened ecosystems (grasslands, wetlands, Myristica swamps, etc.); and
  3. build understanding and constituencies of support among stakeholders at all levels for World Heritage Site status for the Western Ghats.

A list of priority sites and critical links for CEPF investment is provided in the Ecosystem Profile.

Strategic Direction 2: Improve the conservation of globally threatened species through systematic conservation planning and action

Investment Priority 2.1 Monitor and assess the conservation status of globally threatened species with an emphasis on lesser-known organisms such as reptiles and fish

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically update the analysis of Key Biodiversity Areas and critical links (biological corridors) in the Western Ghats, incorporating data generated by CEPF projects.

Investment Priority 2.2 Support efforts to conserve Critically Endangered and Endangered species through the creation and implementation of species recovery and management plans

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically address the following issues:

  1. develop and implement conservation management plans for Alliance for Zero Extinction Sites (i.e. irreplaceable sites for the conservation of Critically Endangered and Endangered species); and
  2. consolidate efforts to conserve Critically Endangered and Endangered vulture species in situ, including by integrating results into policy.

Investment Priority 2.3 Evaluate the existing protected area network for adequate globally threatened species representation and assess effectiveness of protected area types in biodiversity conservation

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically evaluate the existing protected area network in one or more corridors for adequate globally threatened species representation, drawing on the results of CEPF projects and closely engaging the relevant Forest Department(s).

A list of priority species for CEPF investment in the Western Ghats is provided in the Ecosystem Profile.

Investment Priority 2.4 Support interdisciplinary efforts to analyze and disseminate biodiversity data

ATREE and CEPF invite proposals that specifically address the following issues:

  1. produce local-language materials and use them to disseminate the results of on-going and completed CEPF projects among local communities, Forest Departments and other key stakeholders; and
  2. facilitate networking and information exchange among civil society groups on themes of common interest (human-wildlife conflict, ecosystem services, green economy, sacred groves, etc.).

Eligibility

Projects must address at least one of the specific issues outlined in the call for proposals, above. Projects are restricted to the boundaries of the Western Ghats Region, as defined in the Ecosystem Profile, within the states of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Non-governmental organisations, community groups, universities, private enterprises and other civil society applicants may apply for funding. Individuals are encouraged to work with civil society organisations to develop applications, rather than to apply directly. Organisations must have their own bank account and be authorised under relevant national laws to receive charitable contributions. Indian non-governmental organizations must be eligible to receive foreign funds, according to the provisions of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA). Government-affiliated enterprises or institutions are eligible only if they can demonstrate that the enterprise or institution (i) has a legal personality independent of any government agency or actor; (ii) has the authority to apply for and receive private funds; and (iii) may not assert a claim of sovereign immunity.

Grants cannot be used for: (i) purchase of land; (ii) involuntary resettlement of people (including displacement of land uses); (iii) activities adversely affecting Indigenous Peoples, or activities for which these communities have not provided their broad support; or (iv) removal or alteration of any physical cultural property (archaeological, palaeontological, historical, religious, etc.) including those important to local communities. Proposed activities must observe all other environmental and social safeguard policies of the World Bank.

For further clarifications, please contact the RIT at cepfwghats (at) atree (dot) org

Application Procedure

CEPF supports biodiversity conservation through two types of grants: Small Grants of less than US$20,000; and large grants of US$20,000 and above this amount. The maximum duration of grants awarded under this call will be 24 months, and all projects must be completed by April 30, 2015.

CEPF’s working languages are English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. To facilitate review of proposals, however, applicants are encouraged to apply in English. Please note that hard copy proposals are not acceptable.

Before formally submitting proposals, applicants are encouraged to discuss their project ideas and eligibility with the CEPF-Regional Implementation Team at cepfwghats (at) atree (dot) org

Applying for small grants of US$20,000 or less is a one-stage process. Applicants should download an application form (questionnaire, proposal, work plan and budget). Completed applications should be sent as an e-mail attachment to cepfwghats (at) atree (dot) org Receipt of the application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate team member. The submitted proposals will be reviewed by the Regional Implementation Team and external technical experts. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to give a presentation to the review committee, and will have an opportunity to respond to feedback and questions on their proposal. The review committee is expected to meet in Bangalore during the week commencing 18 February 2013. Successful applicants will have an opportunity to make revisions to their proposal before the contract is awarded.

Applying for large grants of more than U$20,000 is a two-stage process. Applicants should download a Letter of Inquiry (LoI) template. Completed LoIs should be sent as an e-mail attachment to cepfgrants (at) conservation (dot) org Receipt of the LoI will be acknowledged by e-mail, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate team member. The submitted LoIs will be reviewed by the CEPF Secretariat, the Regional Implementation Team and external technical experts. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to give a presentation to the review committee, and will have an opportunity to respond to feedback and questions on their proposal. The review committee is expected to be held in Bangalore during the week commencing 18 February 2013. Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals and other supporting documents.

References/Endorsements

Each application has to be supported / endorsed by 2 referees/experts closely matching the context of the proposal. Reference letters should highlight the referee’s honest opinion on:

  1. relevance and importance of the proposal in conserving biodiversity especially within the CEPF Priority sites and Critical links
  2. capacity and proficiency of the applicant organization in taking up the proposal topic and completing it successfully
  3. integrity and ability of the Principal Investigator in achieving the conservation outcomes as proposed in the proposal.
  4. any other relevant information referee has to offer.

Reference letters should be on official letterheads with signature and clear contact information, subsequently scanned and emailed to cepfwghats(at)atree(dot)org, preferably in PDF format. Alternatively, referees may email their references to cepfwghats(at)atree(dot)org from their official/organizational email ID. Reference emails from web-based email servers will not be accepted unless they contain the scanned official letter.

Deadline

We have stopped accepting applications for the fourth call for proposals for the CEPF-ATREE Western Ghats Small Grants as of 5:30 pm (1730 hrs) Indian Standard Time on 15th December 2012.

Downloads:
Small Grant Application Templates (185 kb)
Large Grant Application Template (90 kb)
CEPF Species Outcomes (48 kb)
CEPF Site Outcomes (325 kb)


For further information and assistance, please contact:

Dr Bhaskar Acharya,
Project Co-ordinator,
CEPF-Western Ghats Regional Implementation Team,
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment,
Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Jakkur Post, Bangalore 560064, India
Tel: (+91)80-23635555 (Ext: 323 or 307), Cell: (+91)9008322664 Fax: (+91)80-23530070
Email: cepfwghats(at)atree(dot)org
Website: http://www.atree.org/cepf_wghats

Useful Links:
CEPF - http://www.cepf.net/
ATREE - http://www.atree.org/
Western Ghats Ecosystem Profile: html, (1.9 MB)

Western Ghats Fact sheet: (136 KB)

Western Ghats Conservation Priority Map: (2.8 MB)