CoExistence Fund calls for proposals to support human-wildlife coexistence in India

Grants of up to £150,000 available

Registered not-for-profit organisations in India are invited to submit proposals for projects which focus on human-wildlife coexistence through the British Asian Trust’s CoExistence Fund.

With the ongoing destruction and loss of biodiversity, protecting key landscapes and finding better ways for humans and wildlife to live alongside each other is becoming critical.

India is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, and home to species ranging from rhinos to tigers and elephants. It also has one of the world’s most dense human populations which can lead to immense pressures on natural resources and increased sharing spaces between humans and wildlife.

The British Asian Trust’s CoExistence Fund has been established to support initiatives led by pioneering, local conservationists to find solutions that work for both people and wildlife.

Proposals must focus on either the Western Ghats or Northeast India and must identify a clear coexistence challenge to be tackled.

Three categories of funding are available :

  • Large grants(£100,000 - £150,000): for scaling or replicating projects with established evidence and high impact and prepare them for further investment from institutional funding
  • Medium grants(£50,000 - £100,000): for investing in ideas or projects that have demonstrated initial evidence of success through pilots and now want to track and assess impact, effectiveness and viability to help establish coexistence as an approach and provide proof of concept in the conservation sector
  • Small grants(£10,000 - £50,000): for small scale and early-stage/ pilot innovations to gather evidence and identify different possibilities, approaches and ideas in the conservation sector

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust said, “The need for action is now if we are to reduce the destruction of wildlife habitats and the biodiversity within them. This British Asian Trust funding aims to support practical and sustainable solutions so wildlife and humans can peacefully coexist, and our collective future is safeguarded.”

For further information and application forms can be found here. Applications close 11 November 2022.

The CoExistence Fund is the genesis of an environmental art exhibition and campaign called CoExistence, which featured 100 life size lantana elephants which build awareness and raised funds for conservation work in South Asia. It told the story of the effect of human encroachment on wild spaces and the inspiring ways we can coexist with wildlife. The herd started life in the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, where they were created by the local communities who live alongside their real-life counter parts in complete harmony. As part of the campaign, the herd was showcased throughout summer in 2021 across Royal Parks in London and accessible to public visitors.

Other conservation projects being led by the British Asian Trust in South Asia include:

  • In the Western Ghats our programme aims to increase protection of forests and animals working alongside government and communities that have lived in and around the forests for generations in order to stabilise populations of endangered wildlife, reduce human-wildlife conflict and improve livelihoods for local communities
  • In Northeast India we are developing an ambitious programme to facilitate coexistence in major human-elephant conflict hotspots in Assam and Meghalaya. We are empowering local communities through education about elephants, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, training them to install seasonal solar-powered electric fencing to protects crops without harming elephants and introducing other livelihood options for local communities, especially women, to generate additional income.
  • In Myanmar, our programme supported by the UK government, aims to reduce human-elephant conflict across five regions through installing seasonal electric fencing to protect farmers’ crops - while still allowing elephants to migrate, and large-scale education and outreach programmes.