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Deadline: 1 May 2014
IUCN (National Committee of the Netherlands) provides Small Grants for the Purchase of Nature (SPN) to local NGOs Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Pacific to work towards protection of threatened nature, create safe reserves and connect wildlife habitats for endangered species.
The idea behind this grant opportunity is that if capable NGOs start purchasing land areas with the financial support from SPN to prevent rapid destruction of forests and nature, it will lead to better conservation. Although governments are making efforts to create protected lands and forests, the time taken by them to make such policy decisions is very long.
The SPN programme works only with carefully selected local conservation NGOs, with a proven capacity in management of natural resources. These NGOs will eventually own and manage the purchased areas. The SPN programme DOES NOT own any lands, it only provides the funds for the purchase. Buying land and placing the management, and/or ownership, in the hands of an NGO can be a delicate and sometimes complicated matter. For people living around the purchased area, access rights can change, as well as the right to use the resources available in the area. Therefore besides having a proven capacity in natural resource management, NGOs must also have the capacity to cooperate with local stakeholders, and know how to manage the area in a participatory manner.
The funds are eligible for local conservation NGOs working in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Although the geographical range of SPN is very broad, the bulk of the projects funded are located in Latin America. Legislation in most countries of this continent makes it relatively easy (compared to many countries in Africa and tropical Asia) for NGOs to purchase and manage land, and arrange for the title deeds to be registered in their name.
High funding priority will be given to;
Ø  Land purchase in or adjacent to areas with a high biodiversity value, like AZE – sites or IBAs;
Ø  Areas with ecosystems and/or species listed Critically Endangered or Endangered on the IUCN Red List;
Ø  Land purchase involving ecosystems under-represented in the public protected areas system (for example dry forests in Mexico, Ecuador);
Ø  Areas with a strategic importance for the protection of the hinterland (buffer zones) or connect important areas (corridors).

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