Funding Opportunity: Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund

About the Organization

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a free forest monitoring system that provides timely and actionable information to support the sustainable management and conservation of forest landscapes. Since its launch in 2014, more than 7 million users have visited the GFW website from every country in the world. GFW is used by civil society organizations, journalists, communities, governments, and companies around the world to see where, when, and why deforestation is happening and take action to address it.

About the Grant  

The Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund (SGF) seeks to build the capacity of civil society organizations to effectively use GFW tools and data to reduce illegal or unplanned deforestation. Successful projects translate data into action, applying GFW to overcome challenges in protecting the world’s forests.

Project scope should fall into one or more of the following approaches:


Examples include:

  • Using data and imagery found on GFW alongside community territorial maps to advocate for land titles and other strengthened land rights.
  • Create an open data platform with MapBuilder by crowdsourcing, compiling and publishing data on concessions that overlap with ancestral community lands, and support communities in applying public pressure to get these concessions revoked.

Forest Monitoring and Enforcement

Examples include:

  • Develop the capacity of forest monitoring brigades to conduct field verifications of near-real time alerts with the Forest Watcher mobile application and other technologies, and work with enforcement officials to stop unplanned or illegal deforestation.
  • Support Indigenous communities in developing response protocols, formulating legal strategies and compiling evidence of illegal deforestation including satellite imagery, data and analyses, and submitting it to law enforcement through formal complaints or other legal processes.
  • Train police, prosecutors and/or judges to raise awareness as to how satellite imagery and data can be used to provide accurate, timely and cost-effective evidence of deforestation.

Journalism and Storytelling

Examples include:

  • Publish stories, data visualizations, and/or videos highlighting where illegal deforestation is occurring and how it impacts local livelihoods or ecosystems to raise public awareness and put pressure on authorities to respond.
  • Use data found on Global Forest Watch to analyze the direct and indirect impacts of proposed development projects on local livelihoods and forest biodiversity and share these through traditional media outlets and social media channels.

Stakeholder Engagement and Capacity Building

Examples include:

  • Build the capacity of Indigenous or local communities and/or law enforcement agencies to utilize alert systems accessed through GFW tools to monitor, verify, and respond to forest threats within community lands or protected areas.
  • Work with forest fringing communities to understand their needs for protecting their forest and co-design land defense strategies using GFW and other technologies to protect their forest landscapes.
  • Create an online course that specifically addresses issues of deforestation in your community and teaches non-experts how to use GFW tools to investigate and report on deforestation in their area.

Informing Land Use Management and/or Policy

Examples include:

  • Train a collective of smallholder farmers to monitor and manage their areas using forest, land use and carbon data.
  • Use data and insights found on GFW to conduct high quality research and put together policy briefs to influence land use policy for more sustainable land management and long-term land use planning.
  • Use GFW to identify and establish areas or jurisdictions as nature-based solutions, REDD+ or other payment for ecosystem services projects, and monitor compliance.

The SGF Award Small Grants Fund at a glance:

  • The Small Grants Fund awards organizations between $10,000 and $40,000 USD
  • The number of projects selected can range from 8-15, with 12 being the average
  • Projects for the 2024 grant cycle will run from June 1, 2024 – May 31 , 2025
  • Each grantee will be assigned a WRI staff member as an advisor, who will provide virtual technical support and other assistance.

In addition to the financial support and technical assistance, SGF recipients become part of a network of organizations and receive benefits that extend beyond the lifetime of their grant. These include opportunities to connect with others in the GFW network, invitations to GFW events, opportunities to test and provide feedback on new GFW features, and the potential to be featured in blogs, social media, or other WRI communications materials.


In order to meet WRI’s requirements for subgrant eligibility, organizations must:

  • Be legally constituted as non-profit and non-governmental;
  • Have a total annual budget greater than $50,000 USD;
  • Possess a computerized financial system for tracking and recording expenses (preferably a professional accounting software);
  • Receive a rating of medium to low risk on WRI’s organizational assessment (containing questions regarding organization governance, financial and compliance structure), which will be carried out once finalists are provisionally selected.
  • Be able to provide your organization’s most recent annual audit, or ALL three of the following documents:
  • a Balance sheet for the previous two years;
  • an Income Statement for the previous two years;

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted by 23:59 (ET) on February 13th, 2024.

Applications must be submitted in English to be considered.

Apply here: Link

For more information, visit: Link

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