Conservation Programmes

The African Bird Club (ABC) funds conservation projects across continental Africa and neighbouring islands through our Awards and Major Grants Programmes. Since our Conservation Fund was set up in 1996, it has disbursed over £500,000 to support almost 300 conservation projects in 46 different African countries. The full list of past projects and many of the final project reports can be viewed or downloaded here.

ABC’s long-running Awards Programme supports a wide range of small to medium-sized projects in African countries, which benefit the conservation of birds and their habitats, with funds raised from donations and corporate sponsorships. Click here for information about how to apply for an award.

Our Awards Programme is managed by a Conservation Committee, who independently review project proposals submitted to us and provide recommendations to ABC’s trustees as to whether these are suitable for funding.

Conservation Awards of up to £3,000 each may be made to individuals who are normally resident in an African country or to institutions based there. Between 10 and 15 such awards are made every year by ABC. Many different types of projects can be considered for support so long as there is a clear conservation objective, including:

– research and monitoring of birds and their habitats;
– educational projects or training courses;
 production of guides to the common birds of an area in local languages;
– support for local bird clubs;
– raising awareness of conservation issues.

The amount of any Conservation Award requested from ABC should be a major part of the project budget. Requests for contributions towards academic fees will not normally be considered, however funding for field projects that are being carried out as part of an academic study may be considered if funding from the academic institution is not available.

Expedition Awards of up to £5,000 each may be made for larger, more ambitious projects outside the applicant’s home country. Such an award is often only one component of the funding for the expedition, which must take place within continental Africa or neighbouring islands and be conservation-based with a strong bird component. The expedition must also be associated with a bona fide academic institution, conservation NGO or recognised natural history or bird club and[C1] be able to demonstrate prior approval from the government of the host country. In addition:

– the expedition’s objectives should preferably be derived from any of the publications identifying international conservation priorities, such as the IUCN Red List and IBA Directories;

– if an expedition originates from outside Africa, it must include substantial local participation from local NGOs such as BirdLife Partners, bird clubs, academic institutions, or relevant government agencies;
– salaries of local counterparts can be supported but those of professional researchers or academics will not be.

Because our Conservation Fund is relatively small and demands on it are great, we do have to turn down some project proposals. So, it is important that applicants follow all our guidelines when they apply for an award.

We ask successful applicants for a final project report, which we may at our discretion publish on our website and/or in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club.

Seasonal Wetland in Dakatcha Woodland, Kenya (Jeremy Là Zelle)
Taita Apalis (Ian Francis)

ABC’s new Major Grants Programme builds on the success of larger conservation projects supported by ABC, in partnership with World Land Trust and other organisations, to mark our 20th and 25th anniversaries. Grants from ABC totalling £45,000 helped Nature Kenya acquire parcels of land in Taita Hills and Dakatcha Woodland, which are critical habitats for birds including Taita Apalis (CR) and Kilifi (Clarke’s) Weaver (EN). A separate grant of £7,500 from ABC helped the Kasanka Trust manage parts of an important habitat for birds, including African Pitta, surrounding Kasanka National Park in Zambia.

Our Major Grants Programme is focused on achieving better protection and management of land of high conservation value for African birds. Our aim is to establish a new funding stream for this programme to support two larger conservation projects a year with grants of around £12,500 each from ABC, which would be matched by funding from a partner organisation.

ABC is currently partnering with Fundação Kissama to promote and collect funds for an ongoing project to protect Afromontane forest at Mount Moco, the highest mountain and a proposed new conservation area in Angola. The forest is home to several endemic birds, including Swierstra’s Francolin (EN). All funds raised will be spent in Angola, mostly on employing local community members to plant trees and burn firebreaks. If you would like to help reforest Mount Moco and offset your carbon footprint, please click here and donate whatever you can

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