Darwin Initiative Round 30 Announcement


Round 30 of the Darwin Initiative is now open! We are welcoming applications under all four funding schemes – please see below for closing dates.

  • Deadline for Darwin Initiative Extra: Monday 18 September 2023
  • Deadline for Darwin Initiative Main Stage 1: Monday 3 July 2023
  • Deadline for Darwin Initiative Capability & Capacity: Monday 23 October 2023
  • Deadline for Darwin Initiative Innovation: Monday 23 October 2023

Further information on the new schemes, the guidance documents, and the scoring criteria can be found under the Apply page.

We have also recently awarded over 60 new projects under Round 29. To give a flavour of some of these projects, we’ve highlighted a few from each scheme below.



Scaling rights-based approaches for conservation and poverty reduction in Indonesia

  • Location: Indonesia
  • Lead Partner: Yayasan Planet Indonesia

In Indonesia, rural poverty coupled with environmental degradation results in negative socio-economic impacts for the most vulnerable communities. Evidence shows that when Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) manage their own resources, social conditions improve, deforestation is reduced, and biodiversity thrives. This project will work with village partners to secure land rights and manage forest areas sustainably and adaptively. By establishing new governance practices that are entirely community-led, it aims to create the enabling conditions to effectively engage locally led conservation solutions.

Deputy Project Leader and CEO of YPI, Novia Sagita, said:

“In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is at the centre of the interconnectedness of Indigenous rights, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Drawing on the wealth of knowledge on rights-based approaches as well as our team’s decades of experience in implementing community-based conservation programs our project looks to implement one of the largest IPLCs recognition projects ever undertaken in Sumatra and Borneo. We are grateful for the Darwin Extra award, and their crucial support in addressing the underlying drivers of biodiversity and cultural loss, helping communities make their vision for a better future a reality.”

Championing change: Living in harmony with wildlife in lowland Nepal

  • Location: Nepal
  • Lead Partner: ZSL

Globally significant and recovering wildlife populations are being forced to disperse outside protected areas (PAs) through increasingly fragmented habitats, increasing human-wildlife conflict with significant impacts for both people and wildlife. This project aims to scale-up proven approaches to address these challenges in lowland Nepal, through ‘Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWCx) champions’ to support up-scaling of HWCx; investments to mitigate HWC and effects of linear infrastructure (e.g., roads, irrigation canals) and habitat fragmentation alongside livelihood investments to support communities to coexist with wildlife.

Increasing ecological and socio-economic resilience of Upper-Ewaso Ng’iro North Ecosystem

  • Location: Kenya
  • Lead Partner: FFI

The Upper-Ewaso Ng’iro North Ecosystem supports 1.2 million people, critical habitats, and globally important wildlife. Unsustainable use and climate change have caused natural resource and water scarcity, leading to competition and conflict. This project provides a nature-based solution to these diverse challenges. Building capacity for sustainable natural resource management, facilitating adoption of nature-based solutions to deliver economic benefits, and restoring habitat, will increase water security, build resilience to climate change, and increase peaceful co-existence for people and wildlife.



Building resilient landscapes and communities for Rukiga’s cranes and wetlands

  • Location: Uganda
  • Lead Partner: Margaret Pyke Trust

The Rushebeya-Kanyabaha wetland is vital for Endangered Grey Crowned Cranes. This project will scale an integrated human and environmental health approach to landscape level, and strengthen human and ecosystem resilience against climate shocks. Through an enhanced and expanded programme of wetland and crane conservation, climate-smart agricultural livelihoods, and healthcare actions, it will reduce anthropogenic pressures on the wetland, build the climate resilience of 30,000 people who live in its catchment, and conserve Grey Crowned Cranes and other threatened species.

Community-based agro-biodiversity systems for improved livelihoods and climate resilience

  • Location: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
  • Lead Partner: The Development Fund

Climate change affects agricultural production in Central America, threatening food security. This project will improve rural households’ livelihoods and resilience to climate change by increasing smallholder farmers’ access to locally adapted seeds. By involving farmers and indigenous people in the development of new varieties of maize and beans and the conservation of the rich and native diversity in the region, and facilitate access to seeds through community seed banks, the project will contribute to improved food security in Central America.


Capability & Capacity:

Improved decision making through citizen science data

  • Location: Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Cameroon
  • Lead Partner: Tropical Biology Association

Citizen science plays an important role in engaging the public with research that can help solve conservation problems.  In particular, birds are barometers of environmental health. This project will build the expertise of African scientists and managers to analyse the rich source of bird data being collected by citizen scientists so it can be shared and used it to conserve vulnerable species and habitats.

Building capacity for reciprocal watershed agreements in the Tropical Andes

  • Location: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
  • Lead Partner: Fundacion Natura Bolivia

In the last ten years, more than a hundred municipalities from across the Andes have experimented with an innovative form of incentive-based conservation: Reciprocal Watershed Agreements (RWA). This project will build capacity and capability to adapt and improve the RWA model to finance biodiversity management. The facilitating organizations (Natura (Bolivia), CVC (Colombia), IBC (Peru), and ETAPA (Ecuador)) will also build their and their partners capacity to use the RWA model more effectively to support conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas.



A new tool for advancing locally led conservation

  • Location: Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal
  • Lead Partner: IIED

To combat the biodiversity crisis, governments, NGOs, and donors are advocating a stronger role for communities, requiring, at scale, a shift in the balance of authority/power towards “locally-led” conservation (LLC). But there is no tool to assess the balance of authority/power at site level and guide necessary changes. The project, with partners in the Philippines and Kenya (marine) and Nepal and Uganda (terrestrial), will develop and demonstrate such a tool, and its potential contribution to national and global conservation objectives.

The Banjinala Initiative for private investment in re-greening Madagascar

  • Location: Madagascar
  • Lead Partner: INDRI

In Malagasy, Banjin’ala means “Imagine the future forests”. The Banjinala Initiative aims to facilitate private sector investment towards the re-greening of Madagascar, biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. There are tremendous opportunities through virtuous agro-ecological supply chains, quality carbon projects, CSR investments, and the restoration of abandoned lands. There are also many obstacles, which the project aims to lift. We will develop a national strategy through an innovative approach mobilising collective intelligence, and will advocate for its implementation across the country.