Global Forest Watch – The Small Grants Fund

Deadline: 15 March 2019
Open to: proposals for projects that intend to use Global Forest Watch’s near real-time data to enhance local responses to forest threats non-profit by non-governmental organizations with total annual budget greater than USD 30,000
Benefits: financial and technical support from GFW to implement their proposed projects


Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a free, online forest monitoring and alert system that provides timely and actionable information to support sustainable management and conservation of forest landscapes. GFW data and tools have been used by journalists and civil society organizations around the world to conduct advocacy, launch campaigns, and strengthen local forest management and law enforcement activities on the ground.

Using GFW’s interactive online platform, users can visualize, analyze, and download a wide array of geospatial and statistical data related to forests, including near real-time alerts showing the precise location of recent forest disturbances. The Forest Watcher mobile app will allow users in remote areas to access GFW data offline via their cell phone or tablet. Anyone can build a customized platform using GFW’s Map Builder template.

Global Forest Watch is made possible by a growing partnership of over 90 organizations convened by the World Resources Institute.

The Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund (SGF) seeks to promote broad uptake and innovative use of GFW tools and data by civil society around the world. Successful projects translate information into action, applying GFW to overcome challenges in protecting the world’s forests. See past grantees winners here.

In 2019, the Small Grants Fund will continue to focus on rapid response to deforestation early warning – converting near real-time deforestation or fire alerts into action. Specifically, successful Small Grants Fund applicants will clearly articulate how they plan to incorporate two datasets – the Global Land and Discovery (GLAD) weekly deforestation alerts and/or the VIIRs active fire alerts – into improved forest management, law enforcement and advocacy.


A. Organization Eligibility

In order to be eligible, organizations must:

  • Be legally constituted as non-profit and non-governmental;
  • Have a total annual budget greater than USD 30,000;
  • Possess a computerized financial system for tracking and recording expenses;
  • Be able to complete an organizational assessment document (containing questions regarding organization governance, financial and compliance structure) in fluent English;
  • Receive a rating of medium to low risk on WRI’s organizational assessment, which will be carried out once finalists are provisionally selected.

NOTE: Grant recipients are required to undergo a grant-specific audit at the end of the project. GFW will cover the cost of this audit up to a pre-determined amount.

B. Project Eligibility

The Small Grants Fund seeks applications for projects that clearly demonstrate how the organization intends to use Global Forest Watch’s near real-time data (GLAD alerts and/or VIIRS active fires alerts) to enhance local
responses to forest threats. Applicants are also encouraged to use additional GFW data as relevant, including other datasets on forest changes (such as the GLAD annual tree cover loss layer), land cover (such as the Intact Forest Landscapes layer), and land use (such as concessions data). Applications should clearly articulate who the project
aims to influence and how project activities will lead to improved identification and response to deforestation.

Projects may target one or more of the following actors:

  • Companies;
  • Local or federal government agencies;
  • Communities;
  • Journalists;
  • General public.

Projects may employ one or more of the following approaches to influencing these

  • Capacity building;
  • Advocacy;
  • Enforcement;
  • Storytelling/journalism.

Check country eligibility here.


Successful applicants will receive financial and technical support from GFW to implement their proposal.

Each cycle:

  • The SGF awards organizations between USD 10,000 and USD 40,000;
  • The number of projects awarded can range from 8-15, with 12 being the average 3;
  •  Trainings and technical assistance are provided throughout the project implementation period, which will run from June 2019 – May 2020.

SGF recipients become part of a network of organizations and receive benefits that extend beyond the lifetime of their grant, including membership in the GFW Partnership, opportunities to connect with like-minded groups through GFW events and online forums, participation in GFW training and webinars, and opportunities to test
new GFW features and applications.

How to apply?

In order to apply, please register here.

For more information, please visit the official web page.