Applications are now open for the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities organizations to submit Expressions of Interest to join the Inclusive Conservation Initiative (ICI).

The Inclusive Conservation Initiative is a pilot initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the goal of enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ (IPLCs) efforts to steward high biodiversity lands, waters and natural resources to deliver global environmental benefits (GEB).

Thematic Areas

Impact Strategies will be developed to ensure that investments achieve IPLC-led transformational impact that generate the global environmental benefits. While strategies will be highly adapted to each context, several main categories of work have been identified for the project. Expressions of Interest may address multiple categories and these include:

  • Enhancing IPLC rights and governance of natural resources.
  • Improving management of natural and cultural resources in IPLC lands and territories.
  • Addressing the drivers of environmental degradation affecting IPLC sustainable development.
  • Supporting the economic and financial sustainability of IPLC-led conservation.

Funding Information

  • The GEF-7 Inclusive Conservation Initiative will invest approximately between $500,000 to $2,000,000 in each candidate geographical region to implement a set of activities that yield substantial tangible and transformative impacts.
  • Budgets will be revised and refined to align with each Impact Strategy during the full project design.

Period of Execution

On the ground project activities are expected between 2021-2025.

Geographic Regions

Expressions of interest may be submitted for work in the following candidate geographical regions. Within these eligible candidate regions, Expressions of Interest should focus on a defined geographical area at the scale of a Indigenous territory, landscape/seascape.

  • Africa: East Africa Drylands, Coastal East Africa, Congo Basin
  • Americas: Mesoamerica, Andes/Amazon, Southern Cone, Gran Chaco
  • Asia: South East Asia (mainland), South East Asia (islands), Himalayas
  • Pacific: Melanesia and Polynesia

Eligibility Criteria

Candidate Indigenous Peoples and Local Community organizations should meet the following criteria:

  • IPLC organization with leadership, presence, partnerships and track record of successful work in the priority geography (Indigenous territory, landscape/seascape) proposed for inclusion in the project.
  • Capacity to take on the large-scale actions and Global Environmental Benefits (GEB) outcomes required by the ICI project.
  • Direct and substantial involvement in the implementation of at least some aspects of the ICI project for that geography (not a pass-through).
  • Capacity to manage funding levels associated with the priority geography project, or to develop this capacity over the project term (with support from the ICI).
  • Potential to bring co-financing and build synergies with the work of related initiatives.
  • Organizations must have their own bank account and be authorized under relevant national laws to receive charitable contributions.

Selection Criteria

  • Over the course of 2020, key steps to develop the full Inclusive Conservation Initiative are anticipated to include:
    • Reception of Expressions of Interest: March to May 2020
    • Selection of Expressions of Interest: June to July 2020
    • Preparation of Project Proposals: August to October 2020
  • This is an advance selection.
  • The shortlisted organizations will be requested to provide detailed proposals.
  • The financing agreement (a grant agreement or a contract) with the selected organizations will be signed only following GEF CEO Endorsement of the full proposal for the project, which is anticipated in the period January-June 2021.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria shall be used in the evaluation of technical proposals:

  • Experience & strengths relevant to the proposed Indigenous territory, landscape/seascape (30 points); In the following areas:
    • Importance of the Indigenous territory, landscape/seascape for biodiversity, with additional consideration to climate benefits.
    • Geographical focus in an area managed by IPLCs under traditional governance systems.
    • Vulnerability of the proposed IPLC lands/waters/natural resources to threats.
    • Opportunities for ICI results – including enabling policy conditions, positive government support and presence of successful IPLC-led conservation initiatives that could be scaled up.
    • Cofinance and synergies with existing investments.
    • Long term sustainability of proposed approach.
      • Note: Consideration will also be given to including a diversity of regions, ecosystems, cultures, and ways of life across the portfolio as a whole.
  • Quality and ability of the proposed approach and interventions to achieve transformational impact that generate the global environmental benefits (40 points), In the following areas:
    • Quality of proposed approach and ability to support traditional structures, knowledge and community practices in the delivery of global environmental benefits.
    • Potential of the proposed activities to achieve IPLC-led transformational impact that generate global environmental benefits.
    • IPLC-led conservation that advances national and global environmental priorities.
    • Demonstrated gender mainstreaming in all activities.
    • Innovation and Potential to scale up.
  • Qualifications and experience of the Organization (30 points), In the following areas:
    • Indigenous Peoples or Local Community organization legally recognized under national laws.
    • Demonstrated on the ground leadership related to Indigenous Peoples and/or Local Community Conservation.
    • Proven relevant experience in working with IPLC’ networks, alliances and organizations/ strength of partnerships on the ground.
    • Technical expertise and capacity to address environmental problems, root causes and barriers.
    • Project Management capacity.
    • Past project performance.

For more information, visit GEF.

Name of the Organisation
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Grant Amount
Closing date of Proposal
Sunday, 31 May, 2020
RFP Email
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