WLT Application Guidelines

Before applying for support from World Land Trust (WLT), please read the following Guidelines and carefully assess if your project and organisation meet the criteria. Concept notes or organisations that fall outside these criteria will not be supported by WLT.

WLT’s mission is to help people across the world protect and restore their land to safeguard biodiversity and the climate. Working through a network of partner organisations around the world, WLT funds the creation of reserves and provides permanent protection for habitats and wildlife.

Partners are typically non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or not for profit/charitable organisations, and with shared objectives around the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. However, we may also support other organisations, including those with a focus in other areas (for example, development NGOs and indigenous organisations) or for-profit organisations (such as eco-tourism companies), if these can deliver effective actions for bringing land into conservation and are unable to secure other funding for these activities.

The type of project supported by WLT

WLT funding aims to create long-term and sustainable support for on-the-ground conservation activities, including land acquisition, protected area creation, reserve protection and ecosystem restoration. WLT prioritises supporting projects in countries with high levels of biodiversity and which have the fewest resources available for biodiversity protection – consequently we mainly support organisations based in the Global South.

The main project activities supported by WLT are the creation of protected areas and the protection and restoration of threatened habitats. Project activities may include land acquisition through a range of mechanisms including land purchases, leases, conservation easements, community reserves the legal declaration of protected areas (gazetting).

WLT’s core focus is on bringing new areas of land into conservation protection, but we also support activities that support this core objective including habitat protection (e.g. rangers and patrols), habitat restoration, community activities that are essential for the success of new areas, research and monitoring, and income generation activities that support the financial sustainability of newly created areas or organisations. These latter activities are unlikely to be funded on their own and would only be considered if they are part of a wider conservation project with the creation or expansion of reserves as the main objective.

All WLT funded projects need to have clear benefits, and no net negative impact to biodiversity, communities and the climate.

World Land Trust is currently prioritising support for new projects that are in Asia, West Africa and North Africa, and proposals within existing geographies (Latin America, East and Southern Africa) are unlikely to prioritised unless they are of exceptional conservation value. Proposals for projects in North America, Western Europe and in other high-income countries are very unlikely to be supported. Please note, that small-scale tree planting projects (including wood lots and orchards) are unlikely to be supported in any country, unless there is a very clear link to the biodiversity benefits of such activities (i.e. linking existing protected areas).

Concept notes can be submitted at any time during the year and will be reviewed as soon as possible. If requested, full applications for new projects or the large-scale expansion of existing projects, are reviewed twice a year with WLT making decisions on support in September and March and with applications required ahead of these timepoints (WLT will inform you of deadlines for these review points). The link below will now take you to our online portal where you will be able to submit a concept note.