About us


The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grants scheme that helps protect biodiversity, the natural environment and the local communities that live alongside it in developing countries.

 Most projects will include one or more of:

  • building environmental knowledge
  • capacity building
  • research
  • implementing international biodiversity agreements

Since 1992, the Darwin Initiative has awarded over £164m to more than 1,143 projects across 159 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For further information on the related funds, Darwin Plus working in the UK Overseas Territories and the IWT Challenge Fund, please follow the links provided below:


Darwin Expert Committee membership

The Darwin Expert Committee, consists of experts from government, academia, science and the private sector. The committee advises ministers on development of the initiative, reviews applications and makes recommendations to ministers on applications for funding.

The Darwin Expert Committee is one of the Biodiversity Challenge Funds Expert Groups. There is a joint Biodiversity Challenge Funds Expert Groups Handbook which outlines their purpose, management and activity. The Expert Groups also use Defra’s Travel & Subsistence Policy.

EJ Milner-Gulland (Chair) – University of Oxford

Amy Dickman – University of Oxford

Chris McOwen – UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)

Chris West – Independent

Dave Pritchard – Independent

Debbie Pain – Independent

Dilys Roe – International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

James Gordon – WWF

Jo Elliot – Fauna & Flora International (FFI)

Julia Jones – Bangor University

Katharine Abernethy – University of Stirling

Matthew Gollock – Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Mark Infield – Independent

Mike Harrison – Independent

Patricia Davis – C3

Patricia Mupeta-Muyamwa – The Nature Conservancy


Ex-officio members:

Chris Lyal – National History Museum

Ed McManus – Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Professor Monique Simmonds – Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew



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