Through its Climate Adaptation Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is soliciting proposals from U.S.-based non-profit conservation organizations implementing new methods that help wildlife adapt to the rapidly-shifting environmental conditions brought about by climate change. The need for urgent climate solutions is becoming more recognized, as evidenced by November’s UNFCCC COP 26 in Glasgow, which was the most highly-attended climate conference ever. One result of this COP was the Glasgow Climate Pact, which covers adaptation, mitigation, finance, collaboration and implementation in the climate community. The Pact cites alarm at the current 1.1°C of global warming, further emphasizing the urgency of climate action now. Accelerated action will be needed to keep warming below 1.5°C, which will result in far fewer climate impacts than the current trajectory.

Last year, in response to the ever-increasing urgency of climate change, WCS’s Climate Adaptation Fund shifted its funding priorities to advance learning and increase the pace and scale of impact in adaptation for wildlife and ecosystems. In 2022, the Fund will award up to $2.5 million in grants across two grant categories:

  1. Adaptation Implementation - up to $300,000 over three years for adaptation implementation projects with an innovative component. These projects must include a monitoring plan to inform adaptive management decisions and evaluate progress towards project outcomes
  1. Mainstreaming - up to $100,000 over two years for projects facilitating the conditions necessary to increase the uptake of an adaptation approach with known benefits.

Since 2011, the Climate Adaptation Fund has invested over $23 million in grant awards to U.S. conservation non-profits in order to catalyze innovative, science-driven projects responding to the impacts of climate change on wildlife and people. In 2022, as a continuation of its shift in funding priorities, the Fund is focused on increasing the scale at which conservationists are able to implement their adaptation work and the rate at which they are learning to keep pace with climate change impacts.

In addition to exploring innovative approaches to adaptation, projects in the Adaptation Implementation category must include a monitoring plan to evaluate progress toward project outcomes. However, The Fund recognizes some organizations may have limited in-house capacity to meet this requirement. To support a range of applicant organizations of varying sizes, internal capacity, and compositions, WCS is offering one-on-one coaching with a monitoring and evaluation expert to qualifying organizations. This coaching will be funded by the WCS CAF separately from the grant awards. Review the Fund’s Applicant Guide for eligibility guidelines.

Applicants will also be required to articulate the co-benefits that their work will deliver. While the primary focus of these grants is to serve wildlife and ecosystems, the Fund believes that co-benefits such as carbon mitigation benefits, physical and sociocultural benefits, and economic benefits are embedded in adaptation work and should be acknowledged. Further, the Fund’s ten year evaluation determined that highlighting co-benefits is an enabling factor for mainstreaming adaptation work and garnering more support.

“We are excited to begin another year of grant-making for the Fund, and to review this year’s submissions for innovative implementation and mainstreaming projects,” said Liz Tully, Associate Director for the Climate Adaptation Fund. “We encourage applicants to consider diverse forms and sources of knowledge and value systems as they craft their adaptation work – including Indigenous knowledge and science, local knowledge, and expert opinion.”

The WCS Climate Adaptation Fund is a program made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Applicants can read the Request for Proposals and Applicant Guidance Document for more details, and must complete a pre-proposal application using the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund’s online form no later than 7:00pm ET on Friday, April 8, 2022.

For weekly updates and resources from the Climate Adaptation Fund, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WCSAdapts.

For more information, videos, and detailed descriptions of projects previously supported by the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, visit our website:

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through the preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The mission of the DDCF’s Environment Program is to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. In addition to funding researchers from the WCS Global Conservation Program, DDCF also funds the WCS Climate Adaption Fund. For more information, visit