Marine Protected Areas and Other Effective Conservation Measures – Call for Proposals

The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) is launching a new Call for Proposals. This Call will support MPAs and OECMs on their journey to attract private finance.

Please read the Funding Guidelines before applying.

The natural capital found in coastal and marine environments is the backbone for functioning ecosystems and thus crucial to the resilient development of coastal communities and sustainable global ocean economy. Blue Natural Capital (BNC) brings significant support to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. The protection, conservation and restoration of BNC ecosystems can help achieve the climate targets set forth by the international community, from implementing the SDGs, NDC targets under the Paris Agreement, as well as the targets to be adopted under the CBD’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, in marine and coastal natured-based solution (NbS) are crucially needed to rise to the global climate and biodiversity challenges we face today.

This BNCFF Call for Proposals (CfP) for Strengthening and Scaling Marine and Coastal Protection and Conservation is supporting the global efforts:

  1. to accelerate and scale up the protective measures for Blue Natural Capital ecosystems; and
  2. to build a pipeline of investable NbS projects in MPAs and OECMs.

This is achieved by providing funding to innovative concepts and/or activities designed and implemented to advance sustainable investment in an MPA/OECM or a network of MPAs/OECMs.

BNCFF and the IUCN Green List

BNCFF is closely working with the IUCN Green List as part of this CfP. The IUCN Green List is a global campaign for successful nature conservation. At its heart is the Green List Sustainability Standard that provides a global benchmark for how to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. The winning proposals are expected to:

  • Include the Green List Gap Analysis (self-assessment) as a deliverable to be
    funded by BNCFF funds; and
  • General alignment of their application with the objectives of the IUCN Green List Standard and criteria.

As part of the CfP, the Green List will:

  • Organize an information webinar during the application period to respond to any question applicants may have around the Green List
  • Provide technical assistance to the selected project proponents in the form or:
    • A detailed presentation about the Green List, including its criteria and application process; and
    • Technical assistance during the implementation of the BNCFF funded project activities, notably on the completion of the Green List Gap Analysis

What are we funding?

The BNCFF supports projects to clarify business, design, and/or conservation related project aspects, in preparation for private sector financing.

Funding is available to non-governmental organizations (NGO) as managers, advisors or funders/investors in MPAs; private sector entities that develop, manage or have an essential stake in MPAs; not-for-profit community groups; and universities and other research-focused institutions.

Eligible activities include:

  • Feasibility assessments, including:
    • Environmental, economic and social cost benefit analyses
    • Project cash flows modeling (Costs (CAPEX, OPEX) and revenue forecasts)
    • Business model activities (design, strengthening, diversifying)
    • Business plan refinement and/or public-private partnership RFP development
    • Legal studies
  • Management plans and EIA, including:
    • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies
    • Environmental and Social Management Plans
    • General innovation to improve overall management effectiveness in MPA, MPA networks or OECMs
  • Stakeholder engagement efforts, including
    • Stakeholder mappings, discussion on free, prior and informed consent
    • Capacity building activities
  • Other preparatory work, including:
    • Preparation of regulatory filings and related public processes
    • Project monitoring, implementation planning and enforcement activities
    • Data collection, process and integration for MRV activities


20 February 2023


Funding guidelines DOWNLOAD

Word template – DOWNLOAD

Budget template DOWNLOAD


18 January 2023 at 2PM CET


Deadline and funding guidelines

Full eligibility and selection criteria, and information on how to prepare and submit a proposal are accessible in the Funding Guidelines. Deadline for the applications is 20 February 2023.

Grants issued will be up to a maximum of € 250.000 per project. Projects should be implemented during a maximum on 18 months, unless justification for a longer implementation period is provided and agreed.

What is the BNCFF?

The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) aims to support Nature-based Solutions (NbS) financing opportunities in and around marine and coastal environments. It works to strengthen specific projects that combine likely bankability (closing the deal with a private sector investor) and positive environmental and social impacts.

The BNCFF is supported by the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the UBS Optimus Foundation, and is managed by IUCN.