WAZA Nature Connect Grants

The grants are currently closed for application. Please watch this space for more news regarding further grant opportunities.
The Nature Connect Grants aim to develop initiatives that inspire kids and their families to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation.
These grants are made possible through the generous support of the Disney Conservation Fund and also the expertise of the International Zoo Educators Association.

Applying for a WAZA Nature Connect Grant

WAZA would like its global community of member organisations to create innovative ways to enhance the connection that families have with the natural world and get them involved in taking conservation action.
Grants are available to current WAZA Institutional and Association Members only. To see a list of current members click here.
We also welcome partnership working with other organisations. If you have a suitable project, why not see if you can find an eligible WAZA member to work with?
For this next year of funding we are looking for two types of projects:

Family conservation Action projects
(approx 20 grants available)

  • Projects connecting families & communities to their local nature and encouraging development of a “habit” of taking conservation action and integration of conservation thinking into daily life
  • Community based: Family groups (children and adults together) working together
  • Regular participation (approx monthly) over the 12mths of the grant
  • Opportunity to learn skills and strengthen family and community bonds
  • Local project(s) that the families can track over time and see the impact of their work
  • Activities might include: habitat restoration, clean ups/recycling, species monitoring, citizen science projects, training in conservation skills and sustainable livelihoods, sustainable living practices
  • Projects may take place local to the applying institution or as part of their field programs
  • In either case, collaboration with other NGOs with relevant expertise is encouraged
  • Funding of USD $10’000- USD $20’000 available for up to 20 projects.
  • Applications for these types of projects will be split into two rounds:
  • A (Round 3): Projects conducted from September 2018-August 2019 NOW CLOSED.
  • B (Round 4): Projects conducted from April 2019 – March 2020 – applications to be received by 10th January 2019.

Conservation campaigns culminating in action events for families (~10 grants available)

  • WAZA member led campaigns focusing on connecting families/ communities to nature and on particular actions, habitats or species
  • Conservation action events to run alongside and/or at the end of the campaign
  • Involving large numbers of families (>100) – the more the better!
  • Campaign to include information on the importance of individual action and opportunities to get involved
  • Funding of USD $5’000- USD $10’000 available for up to 10 projects
  • Applications will be accepted Oct 2018-Jan 2018. (Dates and application guidance still to be confirmed – to subscribe to updates please contact us)
  • Projects to be conducted during the period April 2019-March 2020
  • Application forms under development and closing dates to follow.
WAZA grants are for initiating new projects rather than funding established programs – think of them as seed money for you to try new ways of involving families in taking conservation action. (for example: helping non-nature orientated families become more comfortable or excited about Nature, initiating a community based conservation project, providing training and skills for sustainable living). Projects may take place local to the applying institution or as part of their field programs. In either case, collaboration with other NGOs with relevant expertise is encouraged.

A key thing to remember is that all initiatives should involve direct experiences of nature and active participation. We are not interested in projects based in classrooms, lecture halls or online. These projects should focus on supporting individuals, families and communities in taking action in support of nature.

The WAZA Nature Connect Program is also about learning what works and what doesn’t so we will be expecting you to build in evaluation steps and to be making adjustments to your project as you learn.

WAZA is learning too! We are conducting a research project monitoring trends in how people across the world value nature and take action to protect it and live sustainably. This is feeding into evaluation of progress against the CBD Aichi Target 1. people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.

By enrolling all the WAZA funded projects in this research we will not only collect useful monitoring data for Aichi 1 but also gather information on the range of interventions and their impact. Contact us for more information on the research project.

You should also consider how your projects could be extended and built upon once the WAZA grant comes to an end.

We will expect regular updates and a report on completion of the project. We will use your reports to publicise your work in WAZA publications and at the annual conference. We want everyone to hear about and be inspired by the great work you, the membership, are doing in connecting people to Nature!

Resources for Applicants

WAZA has put together a number of resources to inspire you:

Past Recipients WAZA Nature Connect Grants.

For the Family conservation action grant program in particular you may well find projects conducted by past recipients inspirational. Please feel free to talk to any of the recipient zoos about their experiences with this grant.
As of July 2018, we have funded 32 projects in 22 countries, reaching more than 3000 families and 12 000 individuals worldwide.

Round 1 projects are now complete and their final reports, videos and presentations can be accessed here as inspiration.

A complete list of WAZA Nature Connect Grant awardees as of July 2018 include:
  • Africam Safari, Mexico
  • Apheul Primate Park: Netherlands
  • Antwerp Zoo: Belgium
  • Bristol Zoo: UK
  • Calgary Zoo; Canada
  • Cali Zoo: Colombia
  • Cango wildlife: South Africa
  • Copenhagen Zoo: Denmark
  • Dublin Zoo: Ireland
  • Everlands zoological park: South Korea
  • Flamingoland: UK
  • Moscow Zoo: Russia
  • Ocean Park: Hong Kong
  • PAAZA: South Africa
  • Parques das aves; Brazil
  • Paris Zoo: France
  • Prague Zoo: Czech Republic
  • SAAMBR: South Africa
  • San Diego Zoo: USA
  • Tampa Zoo: USA
  • Twycross Zoo: UK
  • UWEC: Uganda
  • Virginia Zoo: USA
  • Wildlife Reserves Singapore: Singapore
  • Wroclaw Zoo: Poland
  • Zoo Liberc: Czech Republic
  • Zoo Ostrava: Czech Republic
  • Zoos Vicotria: Australia
  • ZSL: UK
For the Campaigning and conservation events grant, we plan to produce resource materials in collaboration with #NatureForAll. We will be publisizing and posting these resources on our webpages towards the end of 2018.


#NatureForAll is an IUCN led coalition of partners, including WAZA, who represent a variety of sectors — health, urban, protected areas, communications, technology, education, arts, tourism, science, youth, and more. The aim of this global movement to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers across all sectors of society to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation. At its core is a very simple idea: the more people experience, connect with, and share their love of nature, the more support there will be for its conservation.Click here to access a number of #NatureForAll resources.

The Children & Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network is a global movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership. Their website is packed with inspiration including relevant literature, tools, infographics, webinars and training events.

Do you have any questions or comments about the WAZA Nature Connect Grant?

We would love to hear from you. Click here to send us an email.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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