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The Habitats Trust Grants Invites Applications for its 2019 Edition

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Press Trust of India NEW DELHI
/ -- The Trust increases the total Grants corpus and also introduces a fourth grant category: The Conservation Hero Grant

The Habitats Trust, which works towards the protection and conservation of natural habitats and their indigenous species, today announced that its application portal for The Habitats Trust Grants 2019 will open on April 1st, 2019. The Habitats Trust Grants was established in 2018 to recognize and support individuals and organizations doing seminal work in the field of conservation. Any organization working to conserve India's biodiversity can apply for the Grants in their specific categories, which will include the Strategic Partnership Grant; the Lesser-known Habitats Grant and the Lesser-known Species Grant. The Habitats Trust Grants has also increased the grant amount by Rs. 5 Lakhs each, for two categories - the 'Lesser-known Habitats' and 'Lesser-known Species' grants.
This year, the Habitats Trust Grants has introduced a new category specifically for individuals - The Conservation Hero Grant - to identify and support grassroots conservationists who protect India's endangered and fragile biodiversity and natural habitats. The work these unsung heroes do has a significant impact on the conservation efforts being made in the country, and the Grant seeks to provide them with a platform of recognition that they can leverage to expand their work.
The four grant categories include:

Strategic Partnership Grant (Rs. 25 lakhs)

This flagship grant will primarily reach out to mid to large sized field work oriented organisations to create a two-way partnership for our common cause of conservation. This grant is directed towards the running costs of on-ground projects. The grant is aimed at enabling the creation of a sustainable and replicable conservation model to address some of the key conservation issues in India.
Lesser-known Habitats Grant (Rs. 20 lakhs)

This first of its kind initiative aims to secure and regenerate the overlooked and unaddressed habitats of the country that are in urgent need of conservation attention. These lesser-known habitats are home to an array of biodiversity and serve as important connections between key wildlife landscapes and as havens for dispersal populations from the 'celebrity' parks. Through the Lesser-known Habitats Grant, we hope to secure and bring into the limelight these vital habitats.
Lesser-known Species Grant (Rs. 15 lakhs)

In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to the 'glamour' species of the country such as tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos. Unfortunately, several of these equally endangered species have not received the same level of conservation support. This unique grant aims to support organizations working to secure a future for the lesser-known endangered species.
Conservation Hero Grant (Rs. 10 lakhs) Across the country there are grassroots conservationists working dedicatedly, with little to no support, to protect the biodiversity. The work they do in their individual capacity has a huge positive impact on conservation in the country. This grant aims to recognize these conservation heroes and provide them a platform to expand their activities and garner further support for their work.
Along with awarding the Grants to the winners across the four categories, The Habitats Trust will also give 10 percent of the Grant amount in each category to the other finalists to ensure that their efforts and work is recognized. With this, the Trust will award a total of Rs 84 lakhs as Grants in 2019 for projects with a duration of approximately one year.
Talking about the call for applications for the 2019 edition of the Grants, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO, HCL Corporation and Founder & Trustee, The Habitats Trust said, "Our natural resources are precious and as we battle an era where several species are on the brink of extinction we need focused efforts to ensure sustainability and continued ecological balance. The Habitats Trust Grants was established to help individuals and organizations working in this field with financial and organizational support. To further this objective, we are introducing the new 'Conservation Hero Grant' this year and have increased the overall grant amount. I'm looking forward to a great response to our call for applications for the 2019 edition."

Like last year, every application will be evaluated through a multi-level screening process by sector specialists, external auditors, The Habitats Team and a Jury of eminent conservationists from India and abroad. The parameters which will be measured include but are not limited to - relevance, expected impact, stakeholder engagement, scalability, replicability and sustainability of the proposed project. Post first-level screening and shortlisting, 24 applicants, six in each category, will move to the field verification round, and applicants clearing this round will face the final jury round. The four winners, one in each category, of The Habitats Trust Grants 2019 will be announced at a Felicitation Ceremony in November 2019.
To ensure that the Trust is able to share the knowledge and insights collected during the evaluation process of the Grants with the larger community, the Habitats Trust plans to create an annual compendium starting this year, detailing out the work of the finalists and past winners. This compendium can then become a point of reference for other organizations or individuals looking to support conservationists across India.
About The Habitat Trust

Founded in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the CEO of HCL Corporation and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and Shikhar Malhotra, the Vice Chairman of HCL Healthcare and Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, The Habitat Trust will work towards protecting natural habitats and their indigenous species through strategic partnerships, focused on-ground efforts, engaging technology for conservation and conservation awareness generation. The Trust envisions a world where our natural habitats are secured for future generations, and humans live in harmony with the wildlife that share our planet.
About the Habitats Trust Grants

India is a megadiverse country, with only 2.4% of the world's land area, it accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots: The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands, are found in India. However, rampant habitat loss and fragmentation, increasing biotic pressures on forests, and poaching and the illegal wildlife trade in species, pose a grave threat to India's biodiversity. Committed conservationists have dedicated their lives to securing the country's vibrant flora and fauna, and The Habitats Trust Grants seeks to support their efforts.

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First Published: Mar 28 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

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