ICFC's Project Selection Criteria

ICFC strives to achieve lasting conservation gains, with good value in relation to cost and risk.

We specialize in direct conservation action, rather than research or sustainable development projects with a conservation component. Our projects are based on existing science. Science is vital for conservation, yet in many cases, conservation action lags behind the science needed to undertake it.

By "direct conservation action" we mean measures that reduce threats to species or ecosystems.

We work with local partner NGOs, who carry out project activities through an independent contractor agreement. (Canadian charity regulations prevent us from making grants or donations to foreign organizations.) We sometimes collaborate with peer international conservation organizations, especially on land acquisitions (in such cases, a local partner NGO is still involved). 

Our Project Selection Criteria

Conservation projects or actions must:

  • have biodiversity conservation at a primary goal, with a good chance of succeeding;
  • provide lasting conservation gains that are ecologically sustainable;
  • represent good value in relation to cost and risk;
  • take human interests into consideration, especially those of local communities, and involve local communities and others as appropriate;
  • not have scientific or other research as a primary purpose;
  • not be sustainable development projects with conservation as a secondary component.

Conservation projects or actions may:

  • involve terrestrial, wetland, freshwater or marine habitats;
  • include an educational component if that is expected to yield conservation benefits;
  • involve purchase of land as a nature reserve, provided that (i) legal protections are in place and (ii) there is connectivity over a large enough area to provide for ecological sustainability;
  • entail providing long-term finance through a conservation trust fund;
  • involve urgent funding or bridge financing needs.

For Prospective Partners

Although most of our funds each year go toward ensuring the success of our ongoing work, we occasionally take on new projects. We recommend that unsolicited proposals be in the form of a short enquiry or concept with a brief description of the work, why it’s important, total budget and time period. Please review our selection criteria above.

Also please note, ICFC has an extremely small and busy staff (which helps keep our administrative costs down), and limited funds that aren’t already spoken for.  So while we are interested to learn about conservation opportunities around the globe and welcome inquiries, we can’t always respond immediately.  We do try to respond to all inquiries but if you have not heard from us in a month, it is unlikely we will be able to fund your project.

You may send your enquiry to projects@ICFCanada.org.

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