Global Forest Watch: Small Grants Fund

Global Forest Watch

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $40,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 15, 2020

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Angola; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Bahamas; Bangladesh Expand all

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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About this funder:



About Global Forest Watch

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a free, online forest monitoring and alert system that provides timely and actionable information to support sustainable management and conservation of forest landscapes. GFW data and tools have been used by journalists and civil society organizations around the world to conduct advocacy, launch campaigns, and strengthen local forest management and law enforcement activities on the ground.

Using GFW’s interactive online platform, users can visualize, analyze, and download a wide array of geospatial and statistical data related to forests, including near real-time alerts showing the precise location of recent forest disturbances. The Forest Watcher mobile app will allow users in remote areas to access GFW data offline via their cell phone or tablet. Anyone can build a customized platform using GFW’s Map Builder template.

Global Forest Watch is made possible by a growing partnership of over 90 organizations convened by the World Resources Institute. 

The Small Grants Fund

The Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund (SGF) seeks to promote broad uptake and innovative use of GFW by civil society around the world. Successful projects translate information into action, applying GFW to overcome challenges in protecting the world’s forests.

The Small Grants Fund will have a specific focus on rapid response to deforestation early warning – converting near real-time deforestation or fire alerts into action. Specifically, successful Small Grants Fund applicants will clearly articulate how they plan to incorporate two datasets – the Global Land and Discovery (GLAD) weekly deforestation alerts and/or the VIIRs active fire alerts – into improved forest management, law enforcement and advocacy. 

Successful applicants will receive financial and technical support from GFW to implement their proposal.

Each cycle:

  • The SGF awards organizations between $10,000 and $40,000 USD
  • The number of projects awarded can range from 8-15, with 12 being the average
  • Trainings and technical assistance are provided throughout the project implementation period, which will run from June 2019 – May 2020.

SGF recipients become part of a network of organizations and receive benefits that extend beyond the lifetime of their grant, including membership in the GFW Partnership, opportunities to connect with likeminded groups through GFW events and online forums, participation in GFW trainings and webinars, and opportunities to test new GFW features and applications.

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


  • Organization Eligibility: In order to be eligible, organizations must:
    • Be legally constituted as non-profit and non-governmental;
    • Have a total annual budget greater than $30,000 USD;
    • Possess a computerized financial system for tracking and recording expenses;
    • Be able to complete an organizational assessment document (containing questions regarding organization governance, financial and compliance structure) in fluent English.
    • Receive a rating of medium to low risk on WRI’s organizational assessment, which will be carried out once finalists are provisionally selected.
  • Project Eligibility:
    • The Small Grants Fund seeks applications for projects that clearly demonstrate how the organization intends to use Global Forest Watch’s near real-time data (GLAD alerts and/or VIIRS active fires alerts) to enhance local responses to forest threats.
    • Applicants are also encouraged to use additional GFW data as relevant, including other datasets on forest changes (such as the GLAD annual tree cover loss layer), land cover (such as the Intact Forest Landscapes layer), and land use (such as concessions data).
    • Applications should clearly articulate who the project aims to influence and how project activities will lead to improved identification and response to deforestation.
    • Projects may target one or more of the following actors:
      • Companies
      • Local or federal government agencies
      • Communities
      • Journalists
      • General public
    • Projects may employ one or more of the following approaches to influencing these actors:
      • Capacity building
      • Advocacy
      • Enforcement
      • Storytelling/journalism
  • Geographic Eligibility
    • With the recent expansion of the GLAD alert system, countries across the entire Pantropical region now have access to weekly updates on changing forest conditions in near-real time.
    • However, due to the nature of how tree cover loss is measured – i.e. tree cover greater than 5 meters in height with greater than 60% canopy cover – the Global Forest Watch (GFW) platform does not have data for some countries. 
    • To ensure that the geographic area of your project is eligible with the GLAD alert system, you will be asked to choose from the list of countries in the Appendix.


  • Special considerations will be given to projects that:
    • Promote gender equity or benefit women
    • Projects that are well aligned to test new GFW tools or features, such as the Forest Watcher mobile app, high resolution imagery for alert verification, and the alert subscription tool.