New Delhi, Delhi, India | 23rd January 2020: The Habitats Trust, which works towards the protection and conservation of natural habitats and their indigenous species, today announced that its application portal for The Habitats Trust Grants 2020 will open from January 23rd to February 29th, 2020. The Habitats Trust Grants was established in 2018 to recognize and support individuals and organizations doing seminal work in the field of conservation. Any organization working to conserve India’s biodiversity can apply for the Grants in their specific categories, which will include the Strategic Partnership Grant; the Lesser-known Habitats Grant and the Lesser-known Species Grant.

Committed individuals who are working to protect India’s endangered and fragile biodiversity and natural habitats can apply for The Conservation Hero Grant. The work these unsung heroes have a significant impact on the conservation efforts being made in the country, and the Grant seeks to provide them with a platform of recognition that they can leverage to expand their work.

The four grant categories include:

  • Strategic Partnership Grant (Rs. 25 lakhs)

This flagship grant will primarily reach out to mid to large sized field work oriented organisations to create a two-way partnership for our common cause of conservation. This grant is directed towards the running costs of on-ground projects. The grant is aimed at enabling the creation of a sustainable and replicable conservation model to address some of the key conservation issues in India.

  • Lesser-known Habitats Grant (Rs. 20 lakhs)

This first of its kind initiative aims to secure and regenerate the overlooked and unaddressed habitats of the country that are in urgent need of conservation attention. These lesser-known habitats are home to an array of biodiversity and serve as important connections between key wildlife landscapes and as havens for dispersal populations from the “celebrity” parks. Through the Lesser-Known Habitats Grant, we hope to secure and bring into the limelight these vital habitats.

  • Lesser-known Species Grant (Rs. 15 lakhs)

In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to the “glamour” species of the country such as tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos. Unfortunately, several of our equally endangered species have not received the same level of conservation support. This unique grant aims to support organizations working to secure a future for our lesser-known endangered species.

  • Conservation Hero Grant (Rs. 10 lakhs)

Across the country there are grassroots conservationists working dedicatedly, with little to no support, to protect our biodiversity. The work they do in their individual capacity has a huge positive impact on conservation in the country. This grant aims to recognize these conservation heroes and provide them a platform to expand their activities and garner further support for their work.

Along with awarding the Grants to the winners across the four categories, The Habitats Trust will also give 10 percent of the Grant amount in each category to the other finalists, taking the total grant purse to Rs 84 lakhs and ensuring that their efforts and work is recognized.

Like last year, every application will be evaluated through a multi-level screening process by sector specialists, external auditors, The Habitats Team and a Jury of eminent conservationists from India and abroad. The parameters which will be measured include but are not limited to – relevance, expected impact, stakeholder engagement, scalability, replicability and sustainability of the proposed project. Post first-level screening and shortlisting, 24 applicants, six in each category, will move to the field verification round, and applicants clearing this round will face the final jury round. The four winners, one in each category, of The Habitats Trust Grants 2020 will be announced at a Felicitation Ceremony in November 2020.

To ensure that the Trust is able to share the knowledge and insights collected during the evaluation process of the Grants with the larger community, the Habitats Trust plans to create an annual compendium starting this year, detailing out the work of the finalists and past winners. This compendium can then become a point of reference for other organizations or individuals looking to support conservationists across India.

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