Fonseca Species Conservation Fund

Who is this fund for?

The Fonseca Species Conservation Fund (FSCF) is for early career conservationists 35 years of age and younger in GEF-recipient countries to either start or progress their careers.

The fund provides grants of up to $25,000 to support conservation efforts for five threatened species groups — amphibians, freshwater fish, primates, small mammals, tortoises and freshwater turtles — in urgent need of intervention and conservation action.


The Fonseca Species Conservation Fund (FSCF) was established in 2024 by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Re:wild to honor the passion of the late Gustavo Fonseca, long-standing GEF director of programs, for species conservation and building capacity of the next generation of conservationists.

The FSCF draws on the expertise of IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups and other key partners to ensure all funding goes toward priority projects. Through the FSCF, grantees will access funding support, the expertise of the selection committees, and connections with partner organizations.

Request for proposals

The FSCF will issue three requests for proposals. Each proposal period has a designated geographic range and submission deadline.

  • [closed] May 21 – July 19, 2024: Accepting proposals for species of the African continent and the Indian Ocean

  • [closed] September 15 – December 15, 2024: Accepting proposals for species in the Asia-Pacific

  • [closed] January 15 - April 15, 2025: Accepting proposals for species in the Americas

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the RFP geographic scopes defined?
Proposals should be submitted for species occurring in GEF-recipient countries within the geographic scope of the RFP. The applicant / project leader must be a citizen of a GEF-recipient country within the geographic scope of the RFP. The species range country and the applicant citizenship country do not need to be the same.

What does "early career" mean?

The age limit is 35 years of age.

Do my collaborators have to meet the age and location requirements?
There are no age or citizenship requirements for junior project staff, project advisors, and academic mentors.

Does the applicant's citizenship and country where the project is taking place have to be the same?
The applicant's citizenship must be from a GEF-recipient country. The project location must be in a GEF-recipient country. They do not have to be the same country.

When will I know if my proposal was successful?
Applicants will receive confirmation that their proposal was received and successful applicants will be notified when proposal review has completed. The review dates are specified in the request for proposal documents.

Do proposals have to be limited to activities for a single species?

What is the maximum project timeline?
Proposed activities may be part of a broader project that takes place beyond the grant period. All proposed activities should occur over a 12-18 month time period, starting from the date when a grant agreement is signed with Re:wild. Written requests for no-cost extensions may be granted. All proposed activities must be completed by or before 30 September 2026.

Must the project be field based or is a project that focuses on species or regional action planning allowed?
The project must primarily be field-based but species or regional action planning may be a component of the project.

Should the project be standalone or can it form part of either an ongoing project or form part of a larger new one?
The proposed activities can be part of an existing project and can also be the start of a new project.

Are there any rules around collecting specimens? Can I collect specimens to describe new species?
No specimen collection is allowed for any purpose.

Can the project form part of a Masters, PhD or postdoc?
Yes, if the proposed activities meet the criteria.

Can an individual apply or must the person be linked to an NGO or academic institution?
The grants are available to individuals. However, it is preferable that the project be linked to an institution.

Do I have to be a fellow of the Fonseca Leadership Program to submit a proposal to the Fonseca Species Conservation Fund?

No you do not. Fellows are encouraged to submit, but will not be given greater consideration.

Materials for download

Click to download criteria and form for amphibians proposals.

Click to download criteria and form for freshwater fish proposals.

Click to download criteria and form for primates proposals.

Click to download criteria and form for small mammas proposals.

Click to download criteria and form for tortoises and freshwater turtles proposals.

Click to download the proposal budget template for submission with each proposal.

Gustavo Fonseca addresses the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016 in Hawaii, USA. Photo (c) IUCN.
Gustavo Fonseca addresses the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016 in Hawaii, USA. Photo (c) IUCN.

In Memoriam: Gustavo Fonseca (1956 – 2022)

"Gustavo was a force of nature, a real leader, a world class biologist, and an astute politician. I learned a great deal from him, and always enjoyed his company. In the many different positions he held, he was able to save species, create many new protected areas, influence public policies, and move large amounts of funding to places that needed it most. What is more, he helped to train many students while in his university positions, and they continue to carry his legacy forward today."

— Dr. Russell Mittermeier, Re:wild Chief Conservation Officer

Read more: IUCN mourns the loss of leading conservationist Gustavo Fonseca

In partnership with: