Tue, 12 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI/BusinessWire India): The Habitats Trust, a not-for-profit organization working towards the protection and conservation of India's natural habitats and their indigenous species, is inviting applications for its annual Habitats Trust Grants 2023. The portal for submission of applications can be accessed from https://www.thehabitatstrust.org and will remain open till 05th June, 2023. The Grants were instituted to encourage and promote conservation efforts by supporting organizations and individuals doing seminal work toward protecting and conserving India's threatened wildlife and natural habitats.

To connect with conservationists across India, symposiums will be organized in five cities including Pune (Fergusson College on 12th May from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm), Hyderabad (B Hub, Banjara Hills on 19th May from 6 to 8pm), Bangalore, Kolkata and Dehradun. These symposiums will be held from 12th to 27th May 2023 aiming at guiding prospective applicants on the grant's initiative and selection processes.

Talking about the success of the THT Grants, Rushikesh Chavan, Head of The Habitats Trust said, "We are happy to witness the impact that these grants are having on the conservation efforts. From the start of recovery of critically endangered species to the restoration of degraded habitats, we have witnessed progress in projects that have received the support. The grant provided to Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) in the year 2020 is a prime example, that led to achieve zero deaths of elephants in the Valapari region in Tamil Nadu in the last year and a half. These results show that our strategic investments in conservation are making a real difference on-ground."

Prospective grantees and not-for-profit organizations working to conserve India's biodiversity can apply for the Grants under the below grant categories. A total prize purse of Rs. 3.20 Crore (three crores and twenty lakhs) will be given

- THT Conservation Grant of Rs. 1 crore each to two organizations: The Habitats Trust Conservation Grant will support organisations working towards the conservation of lesser-known species and critical habitats. It will assist the grantees in addressing critical conservation challenges of India such including but not limited to habitat degradation and destruction, loss of biodiversity, conservation of endangered species, solutions for human-wildlife conflict. This grant is only open to organizations that have a proven record of working in wildlife conservation for a minimum of five years. The selected projects will have to be executed over a three-year period. This is aimed at allowing sufficient time for the winners to make the most of the Grant and create a deeper impact on ground.

- THT Action Grant of Rs. 25 lakhs, each for three organizations/individuals: The Habitats Trust Action Grant will support three individuals or organizations or both, working on-ground on lesser-known species and/or habitats that require urgent conservation intervention. The selected individuals or organizations should have been working in the field of wildlife conservation for a minimum of two years. The selected project will have to be executed over a period of two years.

The total grants amount awarded to grantees and finalists in 2022 was Rs. 3.32 crore. Four THT Action Grant, grantees received Rs. 25 lakh each (HT Lalremsanga, Bombay Natural History Society, The ERDS Foundation and ATREE) two THT Conservation Grant grantees received Rs. 1 crore each (The Forest Way and Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary. Six finalists received Rs 2 lakh and four finalists received Rs. 5 lakhs. These included:

- THT Action Grant Finalists (INR 2,00,000): Indian Grameen Service, Maharashtra Education Society, Pankaj Joshi, Rajni Mani, The Shola Trust and Zoo Outreach Organisation

- THT Conservation Grant finalists (INR 5,00,000): Care Earth Trust, Madras Crocodile Bank, Sahjeevan Trust and Wildlife Protection Society of India

Evaluation Process

Applications for the Grants will be evaluated through a multi-level screening process by a panel of experts from the field of conservation including scientists and subject-matter experts. These experts, who are also the sub-jury, will screen and shortlist 30 or more applicants across the two categories and will further assess these shortlisted projects through a field evaluation round. 20 applications overall will move to the final Jury Round. The five recipients of The Habitats Trust Grants 2023, two from THT Conservation Grant and 3 from THT Action Grant, will be announced by an eminent jury towards the end of this year. Applications will be measured on relevance, expected conservation impact, stakeholder engagement, scalability, replicability, and sustainability of the proposed project.

In 2022, The Habitats Trust also introduced another category - THT Seed Grant, aimed at supporting applicants with Rs 3 lakhs, each. This Grant supports organizations and individuals working on small, limited duration projects or conservation research efforts tackling issues related to lesser-known species/ habitats, or pilot projects in relatively unexplored landscapes or data deficient species. Applicants who are testing new methodologies and/or conducting rapid surveys would be eligible for this grant. The winners in this category in the last one year included:

- Feather Library: identified a novel opportunity to populate a new bird specimen collection by collaborating with bird rescue organisations that help thousands of injured birds every year, some of which unfortunately died. They intend to utilize this currently wasted resource, curate it and house it both online and in a museum collection, and make it available for science, conservation and education.

- Nagpur Centre for Peoples' Forum: The project aims to create a community-led grassland conservation movement in Vidarbha region, Maharashtra through Biodiversity Management Committees in 3 villages of Wardha district. The project also aims to create prospects of scientific documentation of flora and fauna of this region, along with building a well-informed community for the protection of grasslands and its eco-system.

Notes to the Editor

The Habitats Trust

Founded in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the Chairperson of HCL Technologies and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and Shikhar Malhotra, the Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, The Habitats Trust is working towards protecting natural habitats and their indigenous species of flora and fauna through strategic partnerships, sustainable on-ground efforts, engaging technology for conservation and generating conservation awareness. The Trust envisions a world where our natural habitats are secured for future generations, and humans live in harmony with the wildlife that share our planet.

The Habitats Trust Grants

India is a megadiverse country, with only 2.4% of the world's land area it accounts for 7% - 8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and over 91,000 species of animals. Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots: The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands, are found in India. However, rampant habitat loss and fragmentation, increasing biotic pressures on forests, and poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife and its parts, pose a grave threat to India's biodiversity. In 2018, the annual Grants programme was conceptualised to recognise, and support committed conservationists who have dedicated their lives to securing the country's vibrant flora and fauna.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

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