The forests, deserts, mountains, oceans, and other landscapes that support life on Earth are not defined by boundaries on maps. A single river—or a wildlife migration route—might pass through state, federal, tribal, and private lands. For this reason, collaboration that reaches across invisible borders is essential for effective landscape conservation, and the Catalyst Fund is making strategic investments in organizational capacity to make such collaborative conservation successful.
The Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund was created in 2018 by the Network for Landscape Conservation—a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation. The purpose of the Fund is to accelerate landscape conservation across the United States by investing in place-based, community-grounded Landscape Conservation Partnerships.
The Catalyst Fund will distribute approximately $335,000 this year through competitive grants to Landscape Conservation Partnerships, and proposals are due on April 23, 2021. Additionally, funded Partnerships will be invited to participate in an in-depth Peer Learning program.
The Network’s Catalyst Fund Manager Jonathan Peterson says they are looking for Partnerships that stand at pivotal points in their development.
“What we’ve observed is a growing trend of individuals and partners coming together to build a collective conversation about the future of the landscapes in which they live and care so deeply about,” says Peterson. “There is such potential in the trust and relationships that build within these collaborative efforts, yet there comes a point when dedicated funding is critical for transitioning from conversation to conservation.”
Peterson says that’s where the Catalyst Fund comes in, strengthening the collaborative capacity of these Partnerships and accelerating their development.
“We want the scale of our conservation successes to match the scale of 21st Century challenges like climate change, landscape fragmentation, and the biodiversity crisis.”
A portion of the Catalyst Fund is dedicated to supporting Indigenous leadership in landscape conservation, and Partnerships that are led by Indigenous peoples, organizations, and communities are encouraged to apply.
“Indigenous people have been naturally conserving land and resources for thousands of years and we have much to learn from their traditional approaches,” says Melly Reuling, Vice President for Conservation Programs at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and member of the Catalyst Fund Review Committee. “The Catalyst Fund is designed to ensure that Indigenous people are fully represented in the pool of grantees and engaged in the proposal review process.”
For those who would like to learn more about applying for Catalyst Fund grants, the Network is offering two informational webinars, scheduled for Monday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 30 at 2 pm ET. These webinars will offer a brief overview of the Request for Proposals but will be primarily dedicated to responding to questions. Interested parties are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time via the webinar registration form.
Funding for the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund is provided through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Fund is administered by the Center for Large Landscape Conservation.