You will find the answers to many of your questions about the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) below, otherwise please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is a UNESCO natural World Heritage site?

World Heritage sites are sites around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
The sites (also referred to as ‘properties’ by UNESCO) are protected by international law, under the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. World Heritage sites are categorised as either cultural or natural sites, or can be a combination of the two (known as mixed sites).
A full list of all the sites (including their categorisation) can be found on UNESCO’s website.
Each site on the World Heritage list must have originally met at least one of ten standardised criteria which determine whether the site is of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ (OUV). The specific criteria met by each individual site will vary depending on the site, but these key features are collectively referred to as the OUV of the site. An example of the OUV of a site might include key species found at the site, or the occurrence of natural phenomena.
The RRF prioritise applications that address emergencies threating the OUV of natural World Heritage sites. The RRF does not support sites designated for cultural values.

My site is not a UNESCO natural World Heritage site, can I still apply to the RRF?

The RRF prioritises UNESCO natural World Heritage sites; we will also consider mixed World Heritage sites, if the threat is affecting the identified natural values at the site.
We do not support UNESCO cultural World Heritage sites. Sites on the tentative World Heritage list are considered – if they are on the tentative list for their natural values.
In exceptional circumstances, the RRF may provide funding to address conservation emergencies in sites that are currently outside the World Heritage network. For example we may choose to support actions that address emergency situations outside a World Heritage site’s border, when the threat is directly impacting the integrity of the World Heritage site itself.
In rare cases, we may make a grant to a protected area internationally recognised for its importance to conservation – for example UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserves or Ramsar sites.
We would advise contacting the RRF for advice in both these cases, before applying for funding.
National Parks and other protected areas won’t be eligible for funding unless they have an associated international designation (see above). We only would consider such sites when the emergency is directly impacting the integrity of a World Heritage site, as described above.
My project addresses threats affecting biodiversity in a UNESCO cultural World Heritage site, can I still apply?
UNESCO cultural World Heritage sites are not eligible for funding as they were not listed for their outstanding natural values. We will consider mixed World Heritage sites, if the threat is affecting the identified natural values at the site.

The threats affecting my site/species need to be urgently addressed – will the RRF fund my project?

The fund recognises that many conservation projects are addressing urgent issues but the RRF has a very specific definition of an emergency - please see our emergency criteriafor more information. We only fund sudden, unpredictable catastrophes that have arisen recently. The RRF does not support work addressing long-standing conservation issues, or research.
Applications are judged against our definition of an emergency and your project must match these criteria as closely as possible to qualify for funding. If you are unsure whether your situation qualifies for funding after reviewing the criteria, please contact the RRF Secretariat for advice.

What things don’t you fund?

The RRF does not support:
  • long-standing conservation or environmental issues
  • projects in UNESCO cultural World Heritage sites
  • World Heritage sites in an OECD country
  • humanitarian relief projects
  • scientific research (unless applicants can clearly demonstrate that it is required to respond to an emergency situation)
  • study costs for individuals
  • projects led by an individual, we only support organisations with a mandate to work at the site in question
  • long-term projects; typical RRF projects last less than one year

I have an emergency that is impacting local communities – will the RRF fund my project?

All RRF projects must address issues affecting biodiversity, but the response may require working with local communities or other stakeholders. In such cases applicants should demonstrate such activities a) are the best strategies to resolve the emergency situation and, b) will directly benefit the key biodiversity at the site. The RRF does not support humanitarian relief projects.

Does the RRF provide humanitarian relief?

The RRF does not support humanitarian relief projects. If a response requires some form of relief effort as part of activities it may be considered, as long as the benefit to biodiversity and the overall integrity of the project site is clear. For more information on funding for humanitarian emergencies, please visit the UK government website.

Does the RRF support individuals to undertake travel or study?

The RRF does not support travel or study costs.

What amount of funding can I apply for from the RRF?

The RRF accepts applications for any amount up to a maximum of US$40,000, depending on need.
Galápagos fur seal. Credit: Francesco Bandarin