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BEST 2.0 Medium Grants

European Commission

Grant amount: €100,000 - €400,000

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit For-Profit Business

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Capital Project

Location of project: French Southern Territories, British Indian Ocean Territory, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Greenland, Saint Helena Expand all

Location of residency: French Southern Territories, Austria, Belgium, British Indian Ocean Territory, Bulgaria Expand all


NOTE: At the current time no further calls are foreseen under the BEST 2.0 Programme

The BEST 2.0 Programme is a funding facility, supported by the European Commission (DG DEVCO) as part of the EU Biodiversity for Life (B4Life) flagship. It aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as a basis for sustainable development in Europe's Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).


  • The overall objective of BEST 2.0 is to promote the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as a basis for sustainable development in OCTs.
  • The specific objective is to enable, empower and strengthen local authorities and civil society organisations which are committed to local development, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in OCTs.
  • BEST 2.0 is designed to provide substantive and effective support for actions at the local, as well the regional level; regional cooperation being key in the regions where the OCTs are located. BEST 2.0 will as well catalyse the efforts and will constitute a key contribution to the achievement of the global objectives and goals in terms of biodiversity, sustainable development and climate change.

Medium Grants

BEST 2.0 Medium Grants are available for medium scale projects to be implemented in one or more of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

The second Medium Grant call for proposals has been launched for the regions below:

  • Indian Ocean
  • Polar and Sub-polar
  • South Atlantic

Projects that focus on the following topics in the OCTs of the above regions will be considered for funding:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Sustainable use of ecosystem services and natural resources
  • Ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Project Eligibility: The project activities must: 
    • Be located in one or more of the Overseas Countries and Territories in the following regions:
      • Indian Ocean
      • Polar and Sub-Polar
      • South Atlantic
    • benefit local OCT actors
    • contribute to BEST 2.0 objectives
    • contribute to tangible impacts in terms of the conservation, sustainable development and/or sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based climate change adaptation or mitigation. 
    • comply with the BEST 2.0 and IUCN environmental and social safeguard aspects (see Annex 3). 
  • Lead Applicant Eligibility: 
    • In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must be: 
      • Directly responsible for the preparation and implementation of the grant project.
      • A public or private body, actor or institution.
      • Registered/incorporated in one of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories, OR
      • Registered/incorporated in an EU Member State, OR
      • Have the status of a Regional Organisation (RO) or an International Organisation (IO).
    • Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant.
    • The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).
      • Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s). 
      • See full details of Affiliated Entity eligibility here.
  • Organizational Eligibility
    •  The target beneficiaries for medium grants are: 
      • Local non-governmental organisations (NGOs),
      • Local civil society organisations (CSOs),
      • Local community-based organisations (CBOs),
      • Local non-profit organisations,
      • Local for-profit and socio-professional organisations that meet the criteria of microenterprise as defined in EC recommendation of 06.05.2003. (See here for details.)
      • Local government bodies i.e. municipalities, cities of a territory, communal services,
      • Organisations registered in an EU Member State,
      • Regional organisations,
      • International organisations.
    • Government-owned enterprises or institutions are eligible provided they can establish that: 
      • The enterprise or institution has a legal personality independent of any government agency or actor,
      • The enterprise or institution has the authority to apply for and receive private funds,
      • The enterprise or institution may not assert a claim of sovereign immunity.
    • Organisations in the following categories must apply in parternship with at least one other eligible organisation (i.e these applicants cannot submit an application as a sole beneficiary, but can be either the lead applicant or a co-applicant)
      • Local non-government organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), nonprofit organisations
      • Small socio-professional organisations, small for-profit organisations (<10 permanent staff, annual balance or turnover < €2 million)
      • Local sub-governmental bodies i.e. municipalities, cities of a territory, communal services etc
    • Projects involving the following categories of applicant must demonstrate the existence of a partnership with the local government and/or local civil society and socio-professional actors and must involve the implementation of capacity building activities:
      • Organisations based in (registered/incorported in) an European Union Member State
      • Regional Organisations
      • International Organisations
    • Organisations that are a member of IUCN are eligible to apply for grants provided they can demonstrate their legal and structural independence from IUCN-HQ and IUCN French Committee.
  • Funding Eligibility
    • The BEST 2.0 grant can only be used to cover costs related to actions implemented in the OCTs.
      • Regional projects can include actions in the EU OCTs as well as in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and/or independent neighbouring countries, but the costs related to actions outside of the OCTs cannot be covered by the BEST 2.0 grant.
      • In this case the project must have additional financing to fund the actions in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and/or independent neighbouring countries.
    • The minimum percentage of co-funding required is 5%.


  • Partnerships between government and local civil society, local community based organisations and socio-professional organisations civil society are encouraged where appropriate for the implementation of the project.


  • Individuals are not eligible to receive a grant from BEST 2.0.
  • Fundamental research projects will not be funded.
  • Applications submitted by a body acting as an intermediary for a third party are not eligible. 
  • Grants will not be awarded to applicants whose staff includes an individual currently employed by, or closely related (i.e. immediate family) to, an IUCN employee or an employee of one of the partners involved in the management of the BEST 2.0 Programme on behalf of the European Commission.
  • Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide.
  • The following types of action are ineligible:
    • The purchase of land, involuntary resettlement of people, or activities that negatively affect physical cultural resources, including those important to local communities
    • Activities adversely affecting individuals and local communities or where these communities have not provided their broad support to the project activities
    • The removal or altering of any physical cultural property (includes sites having archaeological, paleontological, historical, religious, or unique natural values)
    • Activities that duplicate work previously funded by BEST