What We Fund

What is Ecosystem-based Adaptation?

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is a nature-based solution that harnesses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability and build resilience of human communities to climate change.

EbA encompasses a broad set of approaches that include the management of ecosystems and their services to reduce the vulnerability of communities to the impacts of climate change – such as the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems (including forests, grasslands, wetlands, mangroves or coral reefs) to reduce the harmful impacts of climate hazards (including shifting patterns or levels of rainfall, changes in maximum and minimum temperatures, stronger storms, and increasingly variable climatic conditions).

Catalytic Interventions

The Global EbA Fund considers catalytic interventions as those that increase scalability or replicability of EbA interventions, shift social or behavioural norms, strengthen the case for economic viability or feasibility of EbA interventions, expand the evidence base for EbA effectiveness, integrate EbA into complementary climate adaptation strategies, create synergies between EbA initiatives, and/or mainstream EbA into policies, institutions, or other sectors.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of such interventions.

  • Directed research addressing how to overcome specific constraints for EbA and address gaps in knowledge (e.g. economic valuation, gender integration, capturing mitigation co-benefits, incentives for private sector investment, trade-offs and limits for EbA, etc.)
  • Strategic pilot or demonstration actions, specifically where the Fund identifies high potential for up-scaling through multilateral funds (e.g. GCF) and other adaptation finance options, for which the Fund would directly build capacity of the grantee(s)
  • Piloting innovative or “unproven” approaches for EbA, where monitoring of impacts can build knowledge based on costs and benefits (impact)
  • Integrating EbA methods and approaches into traditional infrastructure projects
  • Removing barriers from up-scaling EbA interventions at the policy or landscape levels
  • Support for strategic and focused EbA policy mainstreaming (e.g. integrating EbA approaches into a municipal plan)
  • Innovative finance mechanisms for EbA (e.g. community incentive schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc.)
  • Incentivising private-sector investment in EbA and de-risking lending for EbA approaches (e.g. through agricultural lending)
watercrafts on river

Grant Selection Criteria

The Global EbA Fund supports catalytic projects that help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

Global EbA Fund grants range from USD 50,000 to USD 250,000, with an encouraged duration of up to 24 months.

Our grant selection criteria concern both the project and the wider context for its implementation. Global EbA Fund grants should be complementary to and add value to existing work, by filling a gap in an existing project, enhancing the impact of an investment in EbA, contributing to policy upscaling of EbA, and/or serving to develop a larger proposal to another funding mechanism.

Image: © IUCN/MFF

In summary, we support projects that…

  • result in catalytic impact, such as by piloting innovative or “unproven” approaches for EbA, removing barriers from upscaling EbA interventions at the policy or landscape levels, strategic and focused EbA policy mainstreaming, supporting innovative finance mechanisms for EbA, incentivising private sector investment in EbA, and supporting unlikely matches between partners.
  • add value to or upscale existing work. Global EbA Fund projects should not be standalone interventions. Projects should address a gap in existing work or knowledge, contribute to policy upscaling, enhance the impact of an investment, and/or serve to develop a larger proposal to another funding mechanism. Projects should leverage existing knowledge, standards, partnerships, and experiences. Projects should not be comprised exclusively of field implementation.

And prioritise applicants that…

  • are well-grounded in the proposed region or area of work.
  • have experience of the size and type of project proposed.
  • are inclusive of local communities, indigenous knowledge and gender perspectives.


Projects may have a global, thematic, regional and/or country-specific focus.

  • If the project has a country-specific focus, it must be targeted to one or more countries which are eligible for official development assistance (ODA) based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) list at the time of application.
  • Regional/multi-country projects, particularly projects designed to foster regional exchange and achieve regional-scale impacts, are eligible. For multi-country projects, which are projects involving activities in more than one country, all of the countries must be ODA-eligible.
  • Projects with a global or thematic focus, not targeted to a specific region or country, are also eligible.

The Fund seeks diverse applicants with relevant experience and local partnerships and presence.

  • In line with current IKI policies, the Fund will not grant directly to government partners.
  • UNEP and IUCN offices are not currently eligible.

The Fund encourages project durations of up to 24 months, but may consider up to 36 months. Additional justification is required for projects seeking longer than 24 months.

Grants will be in the range of USD 50,000 to USD 250,000.

aerial photography of island

Header and Footer Image: © UNEP

Applicants should consider whether the project fulfils these requirements and whether they have the capacity to offer and implement projects of this nature.

For full details, please refer to the Global EbA Fund Grant Procedures Manual.

See more about How to Apply.