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Biodiversity Media Grants 2024

Call for Proposals
Published on
12 Mar 2024
a frog on forest underfloor
9 April 2024, 11:59 PM, Pacific/Niue (UTC -11) info.ejn [at] internews.org

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering 3-4 grants to organizations averaging 10,000-12,000 EUR each to support activities that strengthen media reporting on biodiversity issues. 

Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process. 


Overview 

Biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history. Habitat loss, land use change, and over-exploitation are among the main culprits driving this unprecedented and catastrophic biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is essential not only for climate regulation and clean air but for food and water, medicine and wellbeing.  

Many international and multilateral organizations work to implement and monitor agreements in which governments are held accountable for the biodiversity loss happening within their borders. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is such an example — as a global but not legally binding agreement in which signatories commit to a set of goals and targets, it aims to prevent further loss of nature, repair ecosystems and safeguard biodiversity and Indigenous rights.  

Media organizations have a key role in spotlighting nature’s role as the linchpin of human prosperity, security and survival, highlighting potential solutions and mitigations, and holding policymakers accountable to their commitments.  

As part of EJN’s  Biodiversity Media Initiative, we are pleased to announce a round of organizational grants for journalist networks, media organizations, civil society organizations or academic institutions that are working to improve media coverage of biodiversity and conservation in areas of the world.  


Project themes and objectives 

The Biodiversity Media Grants will support projects that:   

  • Produce in-depth stories to expand the breadth and depth of coverage of   biodiversity and conservation issues;  

  • Carry out biodiversity and/or conservation training activities for journalists and/or media organizations to build their capacity to report on biodiversity and conservation issues more effectively.

  • Create or strengthen journalist networks focused on these issues, enabling them to invest in strategic opportunities, build the capacities of their members and respond to communities’ needs.  

Special consideration will be given to applicants looking at monitoring and evaluating progress toward the goals outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, in the lead up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP16 taking place in Colombia in October this year.

Projects funded by this grant should build public awareness of the threats to biodiversity, and of conservation-based solutions, with a focus on informing audiences in low- and middle-income countries. Projects should also build the capacity of journalists and communicators to report on these issues, 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. 

Please note that there will be a separate grant opportunity later this month for journalists looking for support to produce individual stories on biodiversity or conservation issues.  Applications by individual journalists will not be accepted for this media grant opportunity. 
 

Grant amount and logistics 

We anticipate supporting 3-4 organizations with grants of 10,000-12,000 EUR each. In general, proposals with smaller budgets will be more competitive. Larger grant amounts will be considered for projects that use innovative approaches and may be more resource- and time-consuming. 

We expect to notify successful applicants in April 2024, with work starting in May 2024. Projects should be completed within 12 months, by the end of April 2025. Applicants should consider this timeline when developing their work plan. 

All applicants must provide a detailed budget with justification for the requested amount as part of their application using this template. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for the costs necessary for project implementation.  

Applicants can use a portion of the grant 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.   

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.  

For projects that involve publishing 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. 

Acknowledgement of EJN support: Published work must disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced with support from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.”  
 

Eligibility 

This opportunity focuses on building capacity for reporting in countries where the need is often the greatest and the pool of available resources is limited.  All activities must take place in countries classified as either low- or middle-income by the World Bank. These classifications can be reviewed here. 

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.   We would also like to hear from applicants based in countries in which we have not offered grants to previously. We encourage applications in particular from West Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe, and specifically from the following countries:  Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

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.   

Applicants must either 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.    

We will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning.    

Existing or former EJN grantees are eligible to apply, although preference will be given to grantees we have not supported previously. We will take the performance of existing or previous grantees into consideration during the selection.    

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, we will only be accepting applications in English. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff. However, applicants may produce stories and training materials in any language. 

Applicants are required to be transparent about the use of generative AI tools, if any, in the development of their proposals. EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct, including, but not limited to, plagiarism and submitting AI-generated content as their own. 


Judging criteria 

All applications we receive are reviewed and discussed by a panel of international judges, comprising Internews staff and experts in environmental journalism.  

Applications will be evaluated using 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 innovative characteristics of the proposed activities;

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

  • the ability of the applicant to carry it out; 

  • the geographical spread of the selected grantees. 
     

How to apply   

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

  2. If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you will need to create an account by clicking “Log in” on the top right of the page and click the “Sign up” link at the bottom of the page that opens.  Click here for detailed instructions on how to create an account, and here for detailed instructions on how to reset your password. 

  3. 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, ensure you are logged in, and click “Apply Now” again to finalize the application.   

  4.  Applications should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.  

Note: You'll be asked to upload these supporting documents once you start the application process, so please have them handy.   

If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the fellowships, please email [email protected]. Do not contact any other Internews email regarding this opportunity, as we will not receive it.   

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 

These grants are part of EJN’s Biodiversity Media Initiative, a project aiming to increase and improve reporting on biodiversity and conservation issues.  Stay informed about the latest opportunities available under our Biodiversity Media Initiative by joining our Google Group or subscribing to our monthly newsletter.


Banner image: Frogs are known as indicator species, meaning they can give insights the health of an ecosystem/Credit: Daniel Higuita Tamayo via Pexels.

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