Welcome to the Darwin Initiative & IWT Challenge Fund Home Page

This online application portal is for UK Government funded grant schemes the Darwin Initiative 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 and Darwin Plus

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)

The Darwin Initiative encompasses a number of schemes:

  • Main Projects
  • Partnership Projects
  • Fellowship Awards
  • Darwin Plus Projects and Fellowships, for projects in UK Overseas Territories


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: Tuesday 1 September 2020

Main Projects Stage 2: Currently CLOSED. Access by invitation only. Closing date: Tuesday 9 February 2021

Partnership Projects: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: Tuesday 19 January 2021

Fellowship Awards: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: Tuesday 19 January 2021

IWT Challenge Fund

Stage 1: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: Tuesday 14 July 2020

Stage 2: Currently CLOSED. Access by invitation only. Closing date: Tuesday 10 November 2020

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

Darwin Plus Projects Stage 1: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: Tuesday 8 September 2020

Darwin Plus Projects Stage 2: Currently CLOSED. Access by invitation only. Closing date: Tuesday 2 February 2021

Darwin Plus Fellowship Awards: CLOSED. Closing date: Tuesday 2 February 2021


Darwin and Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund: COVID-19 Rapid Response Round

For existing and recent grantees only.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Round: Currently CLOSED. Closing date: Monday 2 November 2020

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