Kate on Conservation

Whitley Awards offer rare opportunity for grassroots conservationists in the Global South

The Whitley Fund for Nature is now accepting applications for their flagship prizes from effective, mid-career conservation leaders who are working in their home country in the Global South. Whitley Award winners receive £40,000 in project funding; professional communications and media training; and PR assistance for winners to gain international profile.

The call for applications comes at a time when global trends show that grassroots conservation groups are often shut out of major environmental finance, despite being increasingly recognised as key to protecting nature.

Through their award winners, the Whitley Fund for Nature supports work rooted in communities and led by local people. Over the last three decades WFN has channelled £20 million to more than 200 grassroots conservationists in 80 countries, based on a model that reverses these trends.

Supporting changemakers leading local solutions to the global biodiversity and climate crises, the Whitley Fund for Nature offers laddered, long-term support to community-based projects that are using the latest available science to scale up their work. These coveted prizes also offer peer support and a boost in profile, helping recipient organisations to leverage further support.

Purnima Barman, who won a Whitley Award in 2017 for her work building a groundswell movement in Assam, India, to protect the Greater Adjutant Storks says:

“[The Whitley Award] was a life changing recognition for me, for my species, for my villagers, and for my family.”

Each year, Sir David Attenborough, a Trustee of WFN, offers his iconic narration to tailor-made films showcasing winners’ work; which can then be used as publicity materials for conservationists to gain further funding, press coverage and local governmental support.

“Whitley Award winners are local environmental heroes who harness the best available science and lead projects with passion.” Sir David Attenborough, WFN Trustee.

Whitley Awards are won competitively, following a global search and assessment by an expert judging panel, and are presented by WFN Patron, HRH the Princess Royal, at an annual Ceremony in London.

Applications for the Whitley Fund for Nature’s flagship Whitley Awards are open until midnight 31 October 2022. Learn more here.

Discover more about the Whitley Awards:

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