Preventing Extinction Fund: A joint RFP by QRFN and Rainforest Trust Preventing Extinction Fund: A joint RFP by QRFN and Rainforest Trust

Preventing Extinction Fund: A joint RFP by QRFN and Rainforest Trust

Quick Response Fund for Nature | Rainforest Trust

In March 2022, Quick Response Fund for Nature and Rainforest Trust jointly launched The Preventing Extinction Fund, a new USD 1,000,000 partnership to protect habitat for the world’s most threatened species.


The Preventing Extinction Fund provides grants to local Civil Society Organizations focused on securing protection for species at the highest risk of extinction across the tropics and subtropics. Funding is intended primarily for land protection projects, including purchase, lease, land designation, and community conservation mechanisms.

Priority will be given to “Rare Species Sites” as defined on the Global Safety Net. Rare Species Sites are defined as currently unprotected areas with species that are rare naturally or are at high threat of extinction due to human activities (Dinerstein et al 2020). Rare Species sites comprise of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), including Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites; and sites that capture important populations of rare, endemic, and range-restricted vertebrates and plants.

Applications endorsed by IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) or World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Specialist/Working Groups or Task Forces will be viewed favorably as will applications with a clear linkages to other IUCN Commissions and the KBA Secretariat.

Two types of grants are available under the Preventing Extinction Fund:

1. Protected Area Conservation Action Grants will support actions that establish or expand protected areas during the timeframe of the grant. Projects will help improve the status of threatened animal species and their habitats. Two levels of funding are available:

  • Rapid Response Awards
    Typical duration of the project: 1-6 months
    Typical amount: $10,000 to $50,000
    Typical duration for funding decision: < 2 months
    What we fund: 100% of funding must go directly towards establishment or expansion of protected areas.
  • Extended Awards
    Typical duration of the project: 24–60 months
    Typical amount: $100,000 to over $1,000,000
    Typical duration for funding decision: 6 months*
    What we fund: Funding is available for protected area creation and management costs. For more information on what activities are eligible for funding under the PEF Extended Awards grants, please see the Rainforest Trust website.

*The Extended Awards have a two-step review process. Applicants first submit a Concept Note and will be notified in 1-2 months if they are selected to move forward. If so, the applicant will develop a Full Proposal to Rainforest Trust, which may take 3-6 months for review and approval.

2. Species Planning Grants will be provided to IUCN Specialist Groups, KBA regional focal points or local Civil Society Organizations to support the identification and assessment of priority sites for protected area establishment. These grants are intended to provide groups with the opportunity to identify key sites and begin the process of protection. Follow-up grants for site protection can be applied through the Protected Area Conservation Action Grants.

  • Maximum duration: 9 months
  • Maximum amount: USD 10,000
  • Typical duration for funding decision: 3-6 months
    • Eligible projects must include at their core one or more of the following activities:

      • The creation of a new protected area or the expansion of existing protected areas through land purchase (either government or private protected areas);
      • Designation as a national park or other officially recognized protected area;
      • Conversion of logging concessions to reserves;
      • Long-term land leases; or
      • Land-titling or other mechanism of providing for Indigenous ownership and management, with the formal stipulation that the Indigenous or community lands will be managed for conservation.

      Establishment of Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) may be considered for project eligibility on a case-by-case basis where they provide for effective long-term conservation of habitat and otherwise meet Preventing Extinctions Fund  criteria.

      Eligible projects should also meet the following criteria:

      • Projects must be in the tropics or subtropics.
      • Proposed sites must meet at least one of the following two criteria:
        •  Qualify as a Rare Species Sites as defined on the Global Safety Net.
        •  Protect globally significant populations of CR or EN species with preference given to proposed sites that qualify as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) under criteria A1.
      • There must be recent, verifiable evidence that the priority species occur within the proposed site.
      • The Preventing Extinctions Fund will take into consideration evidence provided on species considered Threatened but have not been evaluated or require an updated evaluation by the IUCN Red List
      • Projects should have endorsement from project stakeholders, especially local communities.
      • All projects are expected to obtain Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of any impacted communities, relevant evidence or documentation demonstrating that FPIC has been or must be (i.e. legally required in the process with the government) obtained will be required
      • Projects should strive to address sustainable financing mechanisms for long-term management of the proposed protected area--development of such mechanisms is a reasonable project cost.
      • All projects will require the establishment of the protected area within the project term.

      For projects outside of the tropics, subtropics, or Rare Species Sites, please consider applying for the Quick Response Fund for Nature.

      The Preventing Extinctions Fund does not support the operationalizing of already formally established protected areas (including salary, management, or research), nor does it fund under-resourced protected areas. All proposed sites should be free of other formal protected area designation that place biodiversity conservation at their core. The World Database of Protected Areas should be consulted as guidance to determine if the area is already recognized as protected (IUCN categories I–VI). Ramsar and UNESCO designations are not considered protected areas on their own.

      Proposals will be evaluated based on:

      • Significance of the site: how might the acquisition help protect species that are globally Endangered or Critically Endangered?
      • Urgency of the acquisition: how important is a rapid response?
      • Capacity of the implementing organization: is there a high likelihood the applicant can successfully transfer the land, address any social implications, and successfully manage the site for the targeted conservation outcomes?
    • To apply, please complete this concept note and e-mail it as an attachment to [email protected]. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and there is no deadline for application.

      All proposals will undergo evaluation by staff at Rainforest Trust and the Quick Response Fund for Nature. Grantees will be contacted within two weeks from date of application and notified if they will be invited for a full proposal. All full proposals are reviewed by an external advisory panel of experts.

      For inquiries, please contact [email protected].


Sanjiv Fernando, Coordinator, Quick Response Fund for Nature
[email protected]

Steve Bernacki, Director of Conservation Strategy, Rainforest Trust
[email protected]