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Requests for Proposals

Equity and the Natural World

Me observing canopy-flying butterflies in a primary montane forest in Negros Island, Philippines. Jade Aster Badon researching the effects to typhoons on the diversity and population of butterflies in the Philippines. Photo by Leandro Cabrera.

National Geographic

Ensuring our planet is healthy is one of the most critical challenges we face today. If left unchecked, our growing footprint on the Earth will leave it uninhabitable for human life. This is why environmental reporting has become more important than ever before.

But some communities are clearly underrepresented in this reporting—and in the environmental movement at large—because of systemic injustice and inequality. We are determined to build on critical work those in the environmental movement and others have done to bend the movement in the direction of justice, toward all voices having equal weight and toward a new, human-oriented focus that is crucial to the long-term health of people and the planet.

We need your help. We want to bring hidden stories to the surface and to understand in rich detail those who have been given far too little consideration in the environmental movement. We want to tell stories that illuminate the policies and actions that have brought our global community to an unprecedented moment on the precipice of planetary climate disaster—and how frontline communities will feel the consequences much more than wealthy ones. 

We recognize that it’s important for the world to learn from and listen to the collective wisdom of frontline communities around the world. Join us in our effort to tell stories of environmental challenges and equitable solutions with all communities in mind, ensuring this Earth is hospitable to everyone. 

Please note: We have postponed the original deadline for this opportunity in response to global disruptions from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). October 21, 2020, is the next deadline to submit a proposal for this funding opportunity.


Examples of potential story angles:

  • Land use issues and access to healthy food
  • Local and Indigenous heroes  and the power they bring to protecting the natural world
  • Impacts of environmental degradation and resource extraction on local communities
  • Health impacts of access—or lack of access—to urban green spaces
  • Solutions and ways in which countries with less material wealth are leading in mitigating plastic use or pollution
  • Examining the complex relationships many cultures have with nature
  • Climate-related forces driving people to migrate from their homes
  • Rural communities and their changing connection and access to nature

Projects that benefit local audiences or incorporate local voices are strongly encouraged. Additionally, storytellers with unique access or perspective to/on the proposed project because of their personal identity or experience with the community they propose to work with will have higher likelihood of funding. Applicants MUST have strong track records as storytellers (journalists, photographers, videographers, cartographers, etc.) and demonstrated publication success.

Applicants may request up to $80,000. Budgets of successful proposals will include reasonable, well-justified costs directly required to complete the project. Please see the Preparing Your Proposal page for budgetary guidance. Successful applicants may use awarded funds over the course of one year. All applications should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the proposed work. Applicants may use a portion of the budget for HEFAT (Hostile Environment and First Aid Training) or other security training, if applicable.

Ready to Apply?

Learn more about what you will need to prepare your grant proposal
and begin your application.

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