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Media Grants to Strengthen Media Coverage of Environmental Crimes in the Amazon 2024

Call for Applications
Published on
20 Sep 2023
aerial view of deforestation of Amazon
3 November 2023, 11:59 PM, America/Bogota (UTC -05) (Extended Deadline) info.ejn [at]

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Internews’ EJN, in alliance with USAID and WCS, is offering organizational grants of $5,000 to $12,000 to media outlets, NGOs, academic institutions, and other interested groups to support media and journalism activities related to environmental crimes in the Amazon Region in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

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


The Amazon Basin is increasingly wracked by environmental crimes including trafficking in wildlife, illegal logging, deforestation and illegal mining, often driven by illicit drug trafficking, finds a new report by the United Nations, released in June this year.  An increase in environmental crimes poses significant risks to biodiversity and the well-being of Indigenous peoples and local communities in the region.

In this scenario, journalists, communicators, human rights and environmental defenders and independent media outlets working in the Amazon Basin, already pressured by the lack of adequate resources and training, are often confronted with violence and threats to their security.

To expose the issues that put the biodiversity of the Amazon region and the work of these professionals at risk, it is crucial to improve the capacity of local media to safely produce accurate and in-depth coverage of environmental crimes.

To help meet this need, Internews' Earth Journalism Network (EJN),  the Internews Americas team in alliance with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are pleased to announce a second round of media grants for organizations based in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

This opportunity seeks to strengthen the capacity of media outlets, journalist organizations or associations, and Indigenous and community-based organizations involved in communication and journalistic reporting to produce high-quality, factual and engaging public information about the impacts of environmental crimes in the Amazon.

Interested organizations will be awarded grants on the strength of their proposals to produce training courses, run workshops and webinars, and support the production of investigative and/or collaborative stories on environmental crimes. Selected media grantees will receive guidance, feedback and editorial support from Internews' Americas team and EJN.

This opportunity is offered as part of the Together for Conservation project, which aims to strengthen the capacities of civil society actors and their regional networks to conserve biodiversity and prevent environmental crimes in the Amazon. The project is led by the WCS in alliance with USAID and aims to strengthen independent media, journalists, communicators, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IP&LC) organizations to increase the quality and quantity of information on environmental crimes that endanger the Amazon ecosystem.

Project themes and objectives 

We welcome applications that seek to train journalists and/or communicators on environmental crimes in the Amazon region to improve the quality of media coverage of this issue.

The ideal project would be designed to empower Indigenous peoples, local communities and other marginalized groups to safely address the disproportionate impacts of environmental crimes by amplifying their voices and increasing their access to high-quality, publicly available information on environmental topics.

The proposals must focus on the priority geographies of Together for Conservation and its objectives. More information about the project can be accessed here.

Interested applicants should propose training activities for journalists, communicators and media professionals through workshops, webinars, online courses or other resources, and/or support the production of investigative stories on environmental crimes that expand reporting in regional languages.

Examples of possible activities include, but are not limited to:  

  • Field trips and/or training workshops that bring journalists and communicators together with experts on environmental crimes in the Amazon
  • Development of resources such as virtual learning courses or tools for reporters
  • Reporting grants for journalists and communicators
  • Mentoring of journalists and communicators
  • Investigative and/or collaborative reporting projects with a regional focus
  • Networking and partnership activities for journalists and communicators
  • Establishment of a network of journalists

We are especially looking for proposals that highlight the threats to biodiversity, and to Indigenous peoples and local communities as a result of activities such as illegal logging, unsustainable fishing, wildlife trafficking and illegal mining.

We expect selected projects to improve factual, relevant and reliable information on environmental crimes in the Amazon region and public access to that information especially among national and regional policymakers and corporate actors.

Proposals that highlight the efforts and solutions implemented by policymakers, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities, and business sectors to halt and mitigate the threats posed by environmental crimes in the Amazon are also welcome.


Media organizations, networks of journalists and/or communicators, universities, and journalistic institutions focusing on environmental crimes reporting in the Amazon region are invited to apply.

Civil society organizations, community groups and research institutes will also be considered, provided they operate with strong media and communication components. Please note that we will not consider applications focused on advocacy, activism or political campaigning.

We welcome applications from organizations in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, with a preference for those with established networks in the Amazon region and those willing to carry out transboundary work involving the four target countries that are the focus of the project. We generally prefer to support organizations that carry out work in the country where they are based, but we will consider applications from organizations seeking to collaborate with groups in the Amazon region of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Organizations must be legally registered in their country and maintain a bank account with the capacity to receive international funds.

For this grant opportunity, we will only accept applications in English, Spanish and Portuguese (translations of this call for proposals are available at the top and bottom of the page). Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English, Spanish or Portuguese or have a translator available to assist in communication with Internews staff. However, please note that project activities, such as publishing stories, can be conducted in any language.

Organizations that have received support from Internews or EJN in the past are eligible and we will consider past performance during the selection process. 

EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants who have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.

Grant amount and logistics 

We anticipate supporting 5-8 organizations with funding of $5,000 to $12,000 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.

All applicants must provide a detailed budget with justification for the requested amount as part of their application using the template linked below.

We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for the costs necessary for project implementation. Applicants may use a portion of the grant to purchase equipment. However, they 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 December 2023, with work starting in early January 2024. Projects should be completed within five months, by the end of June 2024. Applicants should consider this timeline when developing their work plan.

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.

Acknowledgment of support: Published stories and/or broadcasts must disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced with support from the Earth Journalism Network.” Other outputs resulting from this grant (such as training or courses) must disclose support from the Earth Journalism Network, USAID, and WCS by following a standard plan that will be shared when applicants are selected.

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 to the objectives and priorities of this grant program and the Together for Conservation project goals; 
  • The emphasis in the proposal on environmental crimes in the Amazon region;
  • 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 project;  
  • The ability of the applicant to carry it out; 
  • The geographical spread of the grantees.  

Application process 

  • Click the “Apply now” button at the top of the page. 
  • If you have an existing account, you'll need to log in. Since we recently updated our website, you might have to reset your password by clicking the “Forgot password?” link on the log-in page. If you don't have an account, you must register by clicking “Log in” on the top right of the page and clicking 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. 
  • If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click 'Save Draft.' To return to the draft, you'll need to go back to the opportunity and click 'Apply now' again to finalize the application. 
  • Applications should provide a detailed budget in an Excel spreadsheet with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.

If you encounter difficulties submitting your application or have questions about the grants, 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. Please consider submitting it at least one day before the deadline to avoid any issues.

This grant opportunity is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This call and the outputs produced by media grantees do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government or Wildlife Conservation Society.


Banner image: Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Brazil / Credit: Neil Palmer for CIAT via Flickr.

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