The Habitats Trust, a not-for-profit working towards the protection and conservation of India's natural habitats and their indigenous species, has announced that its application portal for The Habitats Trust Grants 2021 is open. The last date to apply for the Grants is 31st March 2021. Aimed at addressing critical conservation issues, ranging from the need to save species on the verge of extinction to protecting habitats that are fast disappearing and in urgent need of attention, the total grants purse for The Habitats Trust Grants 2021 has been increased to Rs. 1.05 crore (one crore and five lakh) from Rs. 84 lakhs in 2020.Additionally, 10 per cent of the grant amount in each of the four respective grant categories will be awarded to the eight finalists who reach the final round of evaluation, bringing the total grants corpus to Rs 1.26 crore this year. The Habitats Trust has also increased the period during which the Grant will be administered for the selected projects across the four categories to two years vs. one year in the past. This is aimed at allowing sufficient time for the winners to make the most of the Grant and create deeper impact on-ground.
Any organisation working to conserve India's biodiversity can apply for the Grants in their specific categories, which will include:
- Strategic Partnership Grant (Rs. 35 lakhs)
This flagship grant primarily reaches out to mid to large sized field work-oriented organisations to create a two-way partnership for a 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. 30 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. 25 lakhs)
In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to the "charismatic" 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 organisations working to secure a future for our lesser-known threatened species.
Individuals who are not associated with any registered not-for-profit as a full-time employee or board member may apply for the following grant:
- Conservation Hero Grant (Rs. 15 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 recognise these conservation heroes and provide them a platform to expand their activities and garner further support for their work.
Similar to the previous three editions, every application for The Habitats Trust Grants will be evaluated through a multi-level screening process by sector specialists, external auditors, The Habitats Trust 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 conservation 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 level verification round. Project applications and field level verification findings will be evaluated by a Sub-jury, following which 12 shortlisted applicants, three in each category, will move forward to the final Jury Round. The four recipients, one in each category, of The Habitats Trust Grants 2021 will be announced towards the end of this year.
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 will be creating a compendium detailing the work of our 12 finalists. This compendium is aimed at becoming a point of reference for other organisations or individuals looking to support conservationists across India.
About The Habitats Trust
Founded in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the Chairperson of HCL Technologies and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and Shikhar Malhotra, the Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, The Habitats Trust is working towards protecting natural habitats and their indigenous species of flora and fauna through strategic partnerships, sustainable on-ground efforts, engaging technology for conservation and generating conservation awareness. The Trust envisions a world where our natural habitats are secured for future generations, and humans live in harmony with the wildlife that share our planet.
About The Habitats Trust Grants
India is a megadiverse country, with only 2.4% of the world's land area it accounts for 7% - 8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and over 91,000 species of animals. Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots: The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands, are found in India. However, rampant habitat loss and fragmentation, increasing biotic pressures on forests, and poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife and its parts, pose a grave threat to India's biodiversity. In 2018, the annual Grants programme was conceptualised to recognise, and support committed conservationists who have dedicated their lives to securing the country's vibrant flora and fauna.
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