The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced 11 new grants to conservation nonprofit organizations implementing innovative approaches or mainstreaming methods for helping wildlife, ecosystems, and the people who depend on them adapt to climate change. These grants are made through the award-winning Climate Adaptation Fund, which awards grants between $50,000 and $300,000 to conservation non-profit organizations annually, for a total of $5 million in grantmaking over the course of two years.

With funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund has awarded over $24 million to 123 conservation projects since its inception. During the release of its Request for Proposals in March, the Fund announced that for the first time, it would be awarding grants in two different categories: Adaptation Implementation and Adaptation Mainstreaming. This shift in funding priorities comes in response to the increasing urgency of the climate crisis and findings from a ten-year retrospective evaluation conducted in partnership with scientists at the University of British Columbia. The need for innovative, science-driven work, to be executed at a faster pace and broader scale has been made even clearer after the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow.

Projects funded in the Implementation category include innovative interventions and evidence-gathering components to accelerate learning. Mainstreaming projects will bring adaptation approaches with demonstrated success to scale where there is a need or demand.

Organizations receiving grants this year include:


CoRenewal Inc.

Methow Beaver Project

National Wildlife Federation, District of Columbia

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina

Trout Unlimited, Idaho

Tucson Audubon Society


The Nature Conservancy, Minnesota

Wetlands Watch

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Work to be conducted by the 2021 award recipients spans a breadth of geographies and ecosystem types, from the grasslands of the Hudson Valley in New York, to the pine forests of California and Oregon. The diversity and innovative nature of these projects will accelerate the adaptation community’s understanding of climate impacts and solutions for different habitats. This year’s cohort was also asked to incorporate co-benefits to people and the carbon mitigation impacts of their work, since approaches with multiple benefits will be key to addressing the climate crisis.

Each implementation project includes a plan for sharing results through strategic communications to ensure their findings serve a broader purpose in addition to delivering positive impacts at local sites. With the threats of climate change more pressing than ever, the Fund advocates for peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and disseminating results to accelerate learning. Strategic communications can also serve to garner public and funder support, inspire regulatory change, and engage new audiences about key climate issues. Through these pathways, the individual impact of each project can be much larger and ultimately lead to better climate solutions at greater scales.

For detailed descriptions and videos of projects supported by the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, visit our website:

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