Globally, unsustainable consumption and production patterns are fueling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. A ‘polycrisis’ that the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned is humanity’s number one existential threat.
In the past three years, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed human’s vulnerability and provided a small glimpse to the destruction viral spill over can create, if preventive actions to address intensive farming, encroachment of natural habitats, wildlife trading and other environmental root causes are not taken. It also underlines the urgency and importance of recognising that the health and wellbeing of humans, animals and their environments are intrinsically linked.
This round of grants is awarded as part of the Earth Journalism Network’s Asia-Pacific project, which aims to boost the quantity and quality of environmental coverage in the region and empower at-risk communities by informing them about environmental issues and amplifying their voices in the media. This project has received generous financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
In this round of media grants, we are seeking innovative ideas from journalist networks, media organizations, civil society organizations and academic institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific that would strengthen public awareness of the interconnection of human, animal and environmental health, and the need for collaborative and multidisciplinary solutions to humanity’s biggest threats.
Examples of activities that can be supported include, but are not limited to:
- An environmental reporting project that highlights the interdependence of the health and well-being of humans, animals, and their environments. Examples of themes include intensive food production, climate change, heavy metal contamination, antimicrobial resistance, pesticide poisoning and pollution, biodiversity loss, wildlife trafficking, natural resources management, and large-scale infrastructure development.
- Transboundary reporting projects and content sharing among media outlets based in different localities or countries.
- Cross-sectoral collaborations and knowledge exchange between journalists, information providers and other key actors, such as researchers and governmental bodies.
- Partnerships and network building for environmental reporting, such as the formation of an environmental journalists’ network or an investigative environmental reporting partnership.
- Innovative tools to support media investigation into environmental threats and the distribution of environmental stories.
- Institutional capacity building activities that build skills and knowledge on topics, such as but not limited to, financial reporting, monitoring and evaluation, gender inclusion, and in-person or virtual activities that support environmental reporting.
Proposed activities should contribute to the following objectives:
- Strengthen the capacity of journalists and media organizations to produce high-quality, evidence-based and engaging environmental stories on the consequences of human impacts on the environment and viable solutions to mitigate and respond to these impacts.
- Increase high-quality content and media coverage on key environmental themes to focus public attention on the interdependence of the health and well-being of humans, and their environments.
- Increase public attention to the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation on women, the poor, youth, indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable groups and increase their access to high-quality, publicly available environmental information.
- Contribute to positive changes in government policies, businesses environmental standards or consumer habits for a more sustainable way of life.
Grant amount and logistics
This grant fund has US$120,000 available for awards this year, which would ideally be shared among six to eight projects. The grant amount can range between US$5,000 to US$20,000 depending on the scope of the proposed activities.
Generally speaking, applications with smaller budgets will be more competitive, but we will consider larger grant amounts for projects using innovative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming.
All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for project implementation. Applicants may use a portion of the grant to purchase equipment but should clearly state how the equipment will contribute to the expected outcomes and it should make up a relatively small portion of the overall budget.
Applicants are permitted and encouraged to raise co-financing for the proposed activities, but it is not required. If you have received any co-financing, please indicate the amount and the source in your application.
We expect to notify successful applicants in February 2023. Projects should be completed within 12 months. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan.
As part of EJN’s support to the grantees, the selected organizations will undertake a participatory Organizational Capacity Assessment. Based on the finding of the assessment, they may receive additional assistance to strengthen their organizational capacity.
One representative of each selected organization will be invited to participate in a virtual or in-person (public health conditions allowing) Training of Trainers activity where they will have the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and skills, and network with each other and EJN staff. As part of this activity, participants will also receive a sensitivity and awareness training on gender and marginalized groups’ needs.
For projects that involve the publication of stories or other material, please note that Internews, EJN, its partners and the grant funder will be given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute those materials freely.
Media organizations, journalist networks, universities and academic institutions focusing on environmental reporting in the Asia and Pacific region are welcome to apply. Civil society organizations, community-based groups and research institutes will also be considered – but only those with strong media and communication components that are dedicated to supporting fair and accurate environmental reporting. Please note that we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning.
For the purpose of this call, we are only accepting applications from low-and-middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We are unfortunately, unable to accept applications from Pakistan, and Central Asian or Middle Eastern countries. Examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:
- Training workshops;
- Development of reporters’ resources and e-learning tools;
- Development of new digital tools;
- Story grants for journalists;
- Mentoring of journalists;
- Special reporting projects;
- Networking and partnership activities for journalists;
- Development of new storytelling platforms;
- Establishment of a journalist network.
For examples of present and past EJN media grantees’ projects, please click here and here.
Grants will be awarded competitively through a judging process. The panel of judges will consist of Internews staff and experts in environmental reporting. Following a first-round review, potential grantees will be shortlisted. The jury may interview shortlisted applicants to seek further information on the proposed activity. The jury will then reconvene again after the interviews to make a final selection of the grantees.
The jury evaluates all eligible applications in a comparative context and makes funding decisions based on the availability of funds, the program objectives, and the following assessment criteria:
- overall quality of the proposal and effectiveness of the project design;
- relevance of the proposed project in contributing to the objectives and priorities of this grant program;
- potential of proposed project to bring about positive change;
- innovation of the proposed activities;
- financial viability and cost-effectiveness of the proposed project;
- the ability of the applicant to carry it out;
- geographical spread of the grantees.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can the grant be used to purchase equipment?
A: Applicants can use a portion of the grants to purchase equipment but should clearly state how the equipment will contribute to the expected outcomes and outputs. The cost of equipment should also make up a relatively small proportion of the overall budget.
Q: Will geographical representation will be considered during the selection of grantees?
A: Yes. We hope to award grants to applicants from a range of countries across the region.
Q: Are grantees expected to include monitoring and evaluation in their proposed activity?
A: Grantees are encouraged to submit their own monitoring and evaluation plan along with their application, and budget accordingly for monitoring and evaluation activities. The final monitoring and evaluation plan will be agreed upon by EJN and each grantee. They are also expected to give their full cooperation to EJN for the monitoring and evaluation of the results of the project.
Q: Can applicants offer or raise co-financing for the proposed activity?
A: Yes, please indicate the amount and source of co-financing, if any, in the budget. Co-financing is not required but would be a plus.
Q: Can existing or former EJN grantees apply?
A: Existing or former grantees are eligible to apply. However, we will prioritize new grantees, and will take the performance of existing or previous grantees into consideration during the selection.
Q: When will applicants know whether they’ve been selected?
A: We expect to update applicants on the status of their proposals within a month after the closing of the call.
Q: What period can proposed projects cover?
A: Up to 12 months, starting in April 2023.
How to apply
- Fill in the online application form by clicking the “Apply Now” button located on the top right of the page.
- If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you will need to create an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page.
- If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later you can click “Save Draft.” To return to your draft, you’ll need to go back to the opportunity and click “Apply Now” again to finalize the application.
- All applicants are required to submit a budget with the application form. Please download this template now and use it to build your project budget.
The deadline for applications is midnight on January 31, 2023, UTC-11. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues. If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected].
Banner image: According to Global Forest Watch, Laos lost 21% of its tree cover from 2000 to 2021, deforestation that resulted in 2.12 Gt of carbon dioxide emissions and forced wildlife into closer contact with humans / Credit: Adam Jones via Flickr.