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Biodiversity Media Grants 2020

Call for Applications

Published on
15 Sep 2020
15 October 2020, 09:00 AM, BST info.ejn [at]


Many of the threats currently facing global biodiversity have been exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding for critical conservation and ecotourism projects has been redirected or lost, economic growth has been prioritized over protecting wild spaces, and media coverage of the outbreak has dwarfed reporting on conservation. 

Indeed, the biodiversity crisis is one that impacts all of humanity and has not received the media coverage that it deserves. Media organisations and reporters have an important part to play in raising public awareness of biodiversity and conservation issues, and highlighting potential solutions to these problems. 

As a part of the Earth Journalism Network’s Biodiversity Media Initiative project, we are pleased to announce a new round of grant opportunities  for journalist networks, media organizations, civil society organizations or academic institutions that are working to improve media coverage of biodiversity and conservation issues in countries where information is most under threat and most urgently needed. 

The Biodiversity Media Grants will support projects that: 

  • Build the capacity of journalism networks and media organizations to report on biodiversity and conservation issues 

  • Carry out biodiversity and/or conservation training activities for journalists 

  • Build internal capacity 

  • Organise local networks around these issues 

We are especially interested in projects that focus on conservation in biodiversity-rich regions of the world, such as the Amazon, Central Africa and Southeast Asia. 


What types of projects does this grant opportunity support?  

The Biodiversity Media Grant will support projects that generally focus on training and capacity building, with flexible spending guidelines that enable local networks to invest in strategic opportunities, build the capacities of their members, and respond to communities’ needs. 

Projects funded by this grant should build awareness of the threats to biodiversity and conservation-based solutions by spreading quality news and information, with a focus on audiences in lower- and middle-income countries. Projects should also build the capacity of journalists and communicators to report on threats to biodiversity and on conservation-based solutions, by building their skills, knowledge and contacts. 

While content production is an important aspect of any project, applications without some form of awareness-building, network-building or capacity-building component will not be considered.  If special opportunities arise, we are open to supporting fellowships and travel costs for journalists to report specific stories or cover key events, so long as these projects facilitate the creation of networks and/or are part of a training process. 

Please note that there will be a separate call later this year for applications by journalists looking for support to produce individual stories on biodiversity or conservation issues. 


Who is eligible to apply for this grant?  

The Biodiversity Media Grant Opportunity is designed to support the awareness- or capacity-building around biodiversity and conservation, network building, content production around these issues, or creating digital or other media outlets. Applicants should note their affiliations with existing media organizations or provide detailed plans about how this project would facilitate the creation of a new network or organization.  

As Internews is strictly a media development organization, we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning.  

This opportunity is open to journalist networks, media organizations, civil society organizations or academic institutions. Although we will consider applications by NGOs or environmental groups looking to build the capacity of journalists to cover conservation issues, preference will be given to applications from or affiliated with professional journalists, media organizations, journalism schools and the like. 

All activities must take place in the countries listed here. We will also consider applications for activities to be held in Russia.  


Where can this funding be used?  

This opportunity is focused on building capacity for reporting in countries where the need is often the greatest and the pool of available resources is limited. We are especially interested in projects in biodiversity-rich regions of the world, such as the Amazon, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, or other biodiversity hotspots.  


How much funding is available?  

This grant fund has US$48,000 available for awards this year, which we would ideally share among three to five projects. Although applications for funding of any amount within this total will be considered, we would expect the average grant size to be between $10,000 and $15,000, with potentially a greater share of the total going to projects that demonstrate a critical need.  

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2020. Please take note of the time zone for the application deadline, as applications submitted after this will not be considered. 


Selection process 

Grants will be awarded competitively by a panel of judges, consisting 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: 

  • the overall quality of the proposal; 

  • the relevance of the proposed project in contributing to the objectives and priorities of this grant program; 

  • the potential impact of the proposed project, including the quality and effectiveness of the project design; 

  • the financial viability and cost-effectiveness of the proposed activity; 

  • the ability of the applicant to carry it out. 


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: 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. 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. Projects that can offer or raise co-financing to complement the Earth Journalism Network’s support will be favorably viewed. 

Q: Can existing or former EJN grantees apply? 

A: Existing or former grantees are eligible to apply. We 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. 


How to apply 

  1. Fill in the online application form by clicking the “Apply Now” button located on the top right of the page. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]


These grants have been made possible thanks to financial support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and are part of a larger project being carried out by EJN to try and increase and improve reporting on biodiversity and conservation issues. Other activities that will be launched later this year and into 2021 include smaller grants for in-depth stories by individual journalists, webinars and online training courses on biodiversity-related topics and Scholarships and Fellowship programs for reporters to cover key international conferences. Please keep a look out for more opportunities via the EJN website. 

Applicants who are not yet members of the Earth Journalism Network should register for an account before applying. 


Banner image by Trevor Cole on Unsplash

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