Environment - Tropical Rainforests Funding

Waterloo Foundation, The (TWF)

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Grant amount: £50,000 - £100,000

Next deadline: Dec 1, 2019

Later deadlines: Jun 1, 2020

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Preferred: United Kingdom Other eligible locations: Anywhere in the world

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Through our environment fund we want to support projects which can help mitigate the damaging effects that humans are having on the environment and contribute to a positive change both now and in the future. Tropical Rainforests is one of the themes which support for projects protecting tropical rain forest, principally through avoided deforestation


The world has approximately 4 billion hectares of forest, representing almost 30% of the Earth's landmass, with roughly 56 percent of these forests lying in tropical and subtropical areas. More than 1 billion people rely heavily on forests for their livelihoods, and they are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than half of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests also play a vital role in global climate regulation through the sequestration and storage of carbon.

But despite increased awareness of their importance, forests are experiencing escalating impact from human activities. Although the precise area is debated, each day at least 32,300 ha of forest disappear from Earth and at least another 32,300 ha of forest are degraded. Across the world’s extant tropical forests it is estimated that 24% are intact, 46% are fragmented and 30% otherwise degraded. It has been calculated that the deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for about 20 percent of current global carbon emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change.

What we will support

TWF will consider both practical local projects, and strategic initiatives.

Local projects

Applications for practical local projects that TWF will consider would typically be working on a specified tropical forest area, defined in hectares.

Applicants will need to demonstrate how their project involves:

  • Exposing, addressing and overcoming the local drivers of deforestation
  • Management of the specified area
  • Methods to measure and monitor the protected area
  • Sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities

Click here for examples of local projects we have funded through our Tropical Rainforests programme.

Strategic projects

TWF will consider applications for strategic projects that are working on addressing the drivers of deforestation on a wider or international scale. These could include:

  • Working on international or regional forest policy
  • Campaigning for improved practices in commerce
  • Innovative ways of reducing deforestation e.g. financial systems or solutions based on the value of forest ecosystem services

Click here for examples of strategic projects we have funded through our Tropical Rainforests programme.

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


  • TWF prioritises providing funding support to UK-based charities, many of whom work in close partnership with smaller local NGOs based in the countries in which they operate.
  • An organisation based outside of the UK must send contact details for a named person who is willing to provide a reference for the organisation's work.
    • This must be someone who:
      • Works for an international NGO with offices in the UK
      • Works for an organisation that the Foundation has previously given a grant to
      • Works for an organisation with offices in the UK, which has been a current or former donor to the organisation
      • Works for an academic institution, think tank or as an independent consultant who is based in the UK, and which has evaluated the organisation.
  • TWF will only consider proposals from US-based organisations under exceptional circumstances, due to the higher availability of environmental funding in the US compared to the UK.


  • Under TWF's Forests programme, preference will be given to initiatives working to protect tropical rainforests for their value to the climate, communities and biodiversity, principally through avoided deforestation. 
  • If your initial proposal to the Tropical Rainforests programme is deemed eligible, you will be expected to provide the following information. Therefore, applicants that refer to the availability of this information in their initial proposal will be given priority: 
    • For tropical rainforest local projects:
      • Applicants should be able to evidence previous successful tropical rainforest projects, with outcomes including:    
        • Demonstrable protection of an area of tropical rainforest specified by hectare and cost;
        • Implementation of a management plan;
        • Improved livelihoods and income levels of forest-dependent communities.
        • The area of tropical forest the project will protect in hectares.
    • For tropical rainforest strategic projects:
      • Evidence of previous successful strategic programmes e.g. an attributable change in policy or improved supply chain. We may ask to see a full copy of the supporting data and evaluation at a later stage;
      • For your proposed programme, the specific measurable outcomes that you expect the programme to achieve, and the methods you will use to monitor these outcomes;
      • The strategy put in place to ensure the sustainability of the programme’s objectives for the long term. 


  • We are not able to offer funding for:
    • Tree planting projects
    • Projects focused solely on the use of fuel-efficient stoves – we have selected one partner to undertake forest-related efficient stove interventions
    • Projects with animal conservation as the sole focus
    • Projects focusing on environmental education
    • We are currently not accepting proposals for REDD projects, pending a review of projects already funded.
    • In addition, we only consider proposals from US-based organisations under exceptional circumstances, due to the higher availability of environmental funding in the US compared to the UK.
  • The majority of TWF's grants support projects or programmes. Grants that are predominantly for core costs or unrestricted funding will only be open to organisations which TWF has previously supported with a grant, and which are invited to apply for this type of funding support.