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Why we want to help:

The world has approximately 4 billion hectares of forest, representing almost 30% of the Earth's landmass, with roughly 56 percent of these forests lying in tropical and subtropical areas1. More than 1 billion people rely heavily on forests for their livelihoods2, and they are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than half of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects3. Forests also play a vital role in global climate regulation through the sequestration and storage of carbon.

But despite increased awareness of their importance, forests are experiencing escalating impact from human activities. Although the precise area is debated, each day at least 32,300 ha of forest disappear from Earth and at least another 32,300 ha of forest are degraded4. Across the world’s extant tropical forests it is estimated that 24% are intact, 46% are fragmented and 30% otherwise degraded5 . It has been calculated that the deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for about 20 percent of current global carbon emissions6, making it a major contributor to climate change.


What we will support:

Under our Tropical Rainforests programme, preference will be given to initiatives working to protect tropical rainforests for their value to the climate, communities and biodiversity, principally through avoided deforestation. We will consider both practical local projects, and strategic initiatives.


Local projects

Applications for practical local projects that we will consider would typically be working on a specified tropical rainforest area, defined in hectares. We will generally only accept applications for the protection of areas larger than 10,000 hectares. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their project involves:

  • Exposing, addressing and overcoming the local drivers of deforestation
  • Management of the specified area
  • Methods to measure and monitor the protected area
  • Sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities

Click here for examples of local projects we have funded through our Tropical Rainforests programme.


Strategic projects

We will consider applications for strategic projects that are working on addressing the drivers of deforestation on a wider or international scale. These could include:

  • Working on international or regional forest policy
  • Campaigning for improved practices in commerce
  • Innovative ways of reducing deforestation e.g. financial systems or solutions based on the value of forest ecosystem services

Click here for examples of strategic projects we have funded through our Tropical Rainforests programme.



We are not able to offer funding for:

  • Tree planting projects
  • Projects focused solely on the use of fuel-efficient stoves – we have selected one partner to undertake forest-related efficient stove interventions
  • Projects with animal conservation as the sole focus
  • Research projects
  • Projects focusing on environmental education
  • We are currently not accepting proposals for REDD and carbon finance projects
  • Projects based in countries that are not secure and politically stable. We are therefore unlikely to support projects in conflict-affected areas such as within DRC and CAR.
  • In addition, we only consider proposals from US-based organisations under exceptional circumstances, due to the higher availability of environmental funding in the US compared to the UK.



If you think that you are eligible for funding, please see the Environment - Application Guidelines page for guidance about how to submit a funding application. 
Please note that all applications must be submitted to



  1. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) 2007. State of the World’s Forests 2007, FAO, Rome
  2. World Bank 2004. Sustaining Forests: A Development Strategy, Washington
  3. UNEP About Forests
  4. Mongabay (2012) A World Imperiled: Forces Behind Forest Loss
  5. Lewis et al. (2015). Increasing human dominance of tropical forests. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9932
  6. IPCC 2007. Summary for Policymakers In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Sciences Basis (1 June 2009)





Last updated Tuesday 4 February, 2020