New Delhi: The Habitats Trust, a not-for-profit organisation working towards the protection and conservation of India’s natural habitats and their indigenous species, is inviting applications to financially support organisations and individuals doing seminal work towards protecting and conserving India’s threatened wildlife and natural habitats. The Habitats Trust Grants, with a total prize purse of Rs. 3.20 Crore (three crores and twenty lakhs), will be given into three categories to secure India’s rich biodiversity. The application portal for the Grants will remain open from June 23 to August 5, 2022, and forms can be filled online and accessed from https://www.thehabitatstrust.org/
Rushikesh Chavan, Head of The Habitats Trust said, “The need to conserve biodiversity is pressing as India stares at an unprecedented crisis when it comes to mitigating the biggest challenges that humanity faces. According to a 2021 report by the Centre for Science and Environment, our country has lost over 90 per cent of the area under its four biodiversity hotspots and 25 species from these have already become extinct. The Habitats Trust Grants is an effort to mobilise and scale on-ground efforts by passionate conservationists to help secure and restore our rich biodiversity.”
“Our Grants categories will help ensure that we can support a diverse range and scale of projects. A significantly enhanced grant purse of Rs. 3.20 Crore (from Rs 1.26 Crore last year) with longer duration grants projects will enable our grantees to drive deeper and more sustained impact year-on-year. I am particularly excited about the Seeds Grant as it will allow us to nurture a young generation of conservationists while giving them the opportunity and freedom to work on experimental projects.”
Not-for-profit organisations working to conserve India’s biodiversity can apply for the Grants. The revised grant categories include:
- THT Conservation Grant of Rs. 1 Crore each, to two organisations
The Habitats Trust Conservation Grant will support organisations working towards the conservation of lesser-known species and critical habitats. It will assist the grantees in addressing critical conservation challenges of India including but not limited to habitat degradation and destruction, loss of biodiversity, conservation of endangered species, and solutions for human-wildlife conflict. This grant is only open to organisations that have a proven record of working in wildlife conservation for a minimum of five years. The selected projects will have to be executed over three years. This is aimed at allowing sufficient time for the winners to make the most of the Grant and create a deeper impact on the ground.
- THT Action Grant of Rs. 25 Lakhs each, for three organisations/individuals
The Habitats Trust Action Grant will support three individuals or organisations or both, working on-ground on lesser-known species and/or habitats that require urgent conservation intervention. The selected individuals or organisations should have been working in the field of wildlife conservation for a minimum of two years. The selected project will have to be executed over two years.
New Evaluation Process
Applications for the Grants will be evaluated through a multi-level screening process by a panel of experts from the field of conservation including scientists and subject-matter experts. These experts, who are also the sub-jury, will screen and shortlist 30 applicants across the two categories and will further assess these shortlisted projects through a field evaluation round. 20 applications overall will move to the final Jury Round. The five recipients of The Habitats Trust Grants 2022 will be announced by an eminent jury towards the end of this year. Applications will be measured on relevance, expected conservation impact, stakeholder engagement, scalability, replicability, and sustainability of the proposed project.
This year, the organisation has also introduced a new category – THT Seed Grant is a year-round grant, which will support up to 15 applicants with Rs 3 Lakhs, each. This Grant will financially support organisations or individuals working on small, limited-duration projects or conservation research efforts that tackle issues related to lesser-known species/habitats, or pilot projects in relatively unexplored landscapes or data deficient species. Applicants testing new methodologies and/or conducting rapid surveys will be eligible for this grant. While the grant application window for this category was opened on June 23, individuals and organisations can apply for this category throughout the year on the same portal. The selection for this grant will be done by subject matter experts within The Habitats Trust.