Welcome to the Darwin Initiative & IWT Challenge Fund Home Page

This online application portal is for UK Government funded Biodiversity Challenge Funds the Darwin Initiative, Darwin Plus and the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund. From this page, you can begin a new application or access your account and continue working on an existing application – see the panels at the bottom of this page. You can only work on an application when the fund is open.


The Darwin Initiative

The Darwin Initiative supports developing countries to conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty. The Darwin Initiative provides grants for projects working to help developing countries meet their objectives under:

  • the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
  • the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)
  • the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)
  • the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
  • the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Darwin Plus

The aim of Darwin Plus is to help deliver long-term strategic outcomes for the natural environment in the UK Overseas Territories (OTs).  

Biodiversity in the OTs is globally significant, with the OTs boasting some of the world’s most delicate and complex ecosystems, and habitats containing many endemic species. It is estimated that the OTs contain an estimated 90% of the biodiversity found within the UK and the Territories combined. 

The fund achieves its objectives by supporting both: 

  • Darwin Plus projects focused on environment and climate change issues in the UKOTs  

  • Fellowships for promising individuals to acquire skills and knowledge that will contribute to achieving Darwin Plus objectives 


The IWT Challenge Fund

The UK Government is committed to helping to end the global scourge of the illegal wildlife trade.

As well as the devastating consequences for biodiversity and the environment, the illegal wildlife trade is a serious criminal industry worth billions of pounds, which damages local communities and undermines sustainable development in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The objective of the IWT Challenge Fund is to tackle the illegal wildlife trade of both fauna and flora and in doing so, to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries, through projects which address one, or more, of the following themes:

  • Developing sustainable livelihoods to benefit people directly affected by IWT
  • Strengthening law enforcement
  • Ensuring effective legal frameworks
  • Reducing demand for IWT products

Status of application rounds

Darwin Initiative

Main Projects Stage 1: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 BST (GMT+01:00) Tuesday 28 September 2021

Main Projects Stage 2: Currently OPEN. Access by invitation only. Closing date: 23:59 BST (GMT+01:00) Monday 31 January 2022

Innovation Projects: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 GMT Monday 6 December 2021

Capability & Capacity Projects: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 GMT Monday 6 December 2021

Extra Projects: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 GMT Monday 6 December 2021

IWT Challenge Fund

Stage 1: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 GMT Monday 22 November 2021

Stage 2: Currently CLOSED. Access by invitation only. Closing date: 23:59 GMT Tuesday 22 March 2022

Darwin Plus (restricted to work in the UK Overseas Territories)

Darwin Plus Projects Stage 1: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 BST (GMT+01:00) Monday 20 September 2021

Darwin Plus Projects Stage 2: Currently CLOSEDAccess by invitation only. Closing date: 23:59 BST (GMT+01:00) Monday 10 January 2022 

Darwin Plus Fellowship Awards: CLOSED. Closing date: 23:59 BST (GMT+01:00) Monday 10 January 2022 

There is specific Flexi-Grant guidance available. For all queries specifically related to the use of the Flexi-Grant system, please email: Flexigrant@LTSI.co.uk