WAZA Nature Connect Grants

Currently Closed for New Applications - further rounds to be announced.

WAZA is excited to announce the launch of the next phase of its Nature Connect Grants to develop initiatives that inspire kids and their families to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation.

These grants are made possible through the generous support of the Disney Conservation Fund and also the expertise of the International Zoo Educators Association.


Applying for a WAZA Nature Connect Grant

WAZA would like its global community of member organisations to create innovative ways to enhance the connection that families have with the natural world and get them involved in taking conservation action.

Grants are available to current WAZA Institutional and Association Members only. To see a list of current members click here.

We also welcome partnership working with other organisations. If you have a suitable project, why not see if you can find an eligible WAZA member to work with?

For this next year of funding we are looking for two types of projects:

Family conservation Action projects NOW CLOSED FOR NEW APPLICATIONS

  • Projects connecting families & communities to their local nature and encouraging development of a "habit" of taking conservation action and integration of conservation thinking into daily life

  • Community based: Family groups (children and adults together) working together

  • Regular participation (approx monthly) over the 12 mths of the grant

  • Opportunity to learn skills and strengthen family and community bonds

  • Local project(s) that the families can track over time and see the impact of their work

  • Activities might include: habitat restoration, clean ups/recycling, species monitoring, citizen science projects, training in conservation skills and sustainable livelihoods, sustainable living practices

  • Projects may take place local to the applying institution or as part of their field programs

  • In either case, collaboration with other NGOs with relevant expertise is encouraged

  • Funding of USD $10'000- USD $20'000 available for up to 20 projects.

  • Applications for these types of projects will be split into two rounds:


  • B (Round 4): Projects conducted from April 2019 - March 2020 NOW CLOSED TO NEW APPLICATIONS.


    Conservation campaigns culminating in action events for families NOW CLOSED FOR NEW APPLICATIONS

    • WAZA member led campaigns focusing on connecting families/ communities to nature and on particular actions, habitats or species

    • The campaign should be community based involving people of all ages (not just focusing on kids but on the whole family/community).

    • The campaign should focus on the value / importance of nature to the community (cultural, ecological, spiritual, health and well-being, economic etc) and should provide opportunities for the community to encounter their local biodiversity and connect to their local nature.

    • A wide variety of methods could be used to engage the community with the key messages e.g media (social, print, radio, TV), art, crafts, music, theatre, story telling, sharing of indigenous knowledge, involvement of community leaders (teachers, politicians, religious leaders, celebrities).

    • We strongly encourage that the campaign element provides opportunities for participants to experience directly why nature is important (via facilitated events) as well as just being told about its importance.

    • We would expect the campaign to culminate in one or more events where community members (all ages) take part in some form of conservation action locally.

    • This action could be a mass clean up/removing aspects of human life harmful to nature, collecting of biological census data, making a community nature space or nature garden, creating facilities for rearing/rehabilitation of native wildlife / native plant nurseries etc. or any combination of these that seem relevant to your particular situation. They must be outside and physical and the community understand why what they have been asked to do is relevant to conservation. (the campaign part should make sense of this for them)

    • We would expect >300 community members of all ages (>100 families) to be involved in the final action event(s) so that the community has a sense of ownership and pride in what they have achieved together.

    • Funding of USD $5'000- USD $15'000 available for up to 10 projects

    • Projects to be conducted during the period April 2019 - March 2020



    WAZA grants are for initiating new projects rather than funding established programs – think of them as seed money for you to try new ways  of involving families in taking conservation action. (for example: helping non-nature orientated families become more comfortable or excited about Nature, initiating a community based conservation project, providing training and skills for sustainable living). Projects may take place local to the applying institution or as part of their field programs. In either case, collaboration with other NGOs with relevant expertise is encouraged.

    A key thing to remember is that all initiatives should involve direct experiences of nature and active participation. We are not interested in projects based in classrooms, lecture halls or online. These  projects should focus on supporting individuals, families and communities in taking action in support of nature.

    The WAZA Nature Connect Program is also about learning what works and what doesn’t so we will be expecting you to build in evaluation steps and to be making adjustments to your project as you learn.

    WAZA is learning too! We are conducting a research project monitoring trends in how people across the world value nature and take action to protect it and live sustainably. This is feeding into evaluation of progress against the CBD Aichi Target 1.  people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.

    By enrolling all the WAZA funded projects in this research we will not only collect useful monitoring data for Aichi 1 but also gather information on the range of interventions and their impact. Contact us for more information on the research project.

    You should also consider how your projects could be extended and built upon once the WAZA grant comes to an end.

    We will expect regular updates and a report on completion of the project and also for you to take part in the WAZA Nature Connect Research project. We will use your reports to publicise your work in WAZA publications and at the annual conference. We want everyone to hear about and be inspired by the great work you, the membership, are doing in connecting people to Nature!


    Resources for Applicants

    WAZA has put together a number of resources to inspire you:

    Past Recipients WAZA Nature Connect Grants.

    For the Family conservation action grant program in particular you may well find projects conducted by past recipients inspirational. Please feel free to talk to any of the recipient zoos about their experiences with this grant.

    Click on the video above to view  a project run by Africam Safari: Mexico: an example of a family nature club we have funded. 

    As of July 2018, we have funded 32 projects in 22 countries, reaching more than 3000 families  and 12 000 individuals worldwide.

    Round 1 projects are now complete and their final reports, videos and presentations can be accessed here as inspiration.

    A complete list of WAZA Nature Connect Grant awardees as of July 2018 include:

    • Africam Safari, Mexico  
    • Apheul Primate Park: Netherlands
    • Antwerp Zoo: Belgium
    • Bristol Zoo: UK
    • Calgary Zoo; Canada
    • Cali Zoo: Colombia
    • Cango wildlife: South Africa
    • Copenhagen Zoo: Denmark
    • Dublin Zoo: Ireland
    • Everlands zoological park: South Korea
    • Flamingoland: UK
    • Moscow Zoo: Russia
    • Ocean Park: Hong Kong
    • PAAZA: South Africa
    • Parques das aves; Brazil
    • Paris Zoo: France
    • Prague Zoo: Czech Republic
    • SAAMBR: South Africa 
    • San Diego Zoo: USA
    • Tampa Zoo: USA
    • Twycross Zoo: UK
    • UWEC: Uganda
    • Virginia Zoo: USA
    • Wildlife Reserves Singapore: Singapore
    • Wroclaw Zoo: Poland
    • Zoo Liberc: Czech Republic
    • Zoo Ostrava: Czech Republic
    • Zoos Victoria: Australia
    • ZSL: UK

    For the Campaigning and conservation events grant, we plan to produce resource materials in collaboration with #NatureForAll. We will be publicising and posting these resources on our webpages towards the end of 2018.


    SAAMBR Me to the Sea project, South Africa

    #NatureForAll is an IUCN led coalition of partners, including WAZA, who represent a variety of sectors — health, urban, protected areas, communications, technology, education, arts, tourism, science, youth, and more. The aim of this global movement to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers across all sectors of society to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation. At its core is a very simple idea: the more people experience, connect with, and share their love of nature, the more support there will be for its conservation.Click here to access a number of #NatureForAll resources


    The Children & Nature Network:

    The Children & Nature Network is a global movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership. Their website is packed with inspiration including relevant literature, tools, infographics, webinars and training events.

    Do you have any questions or comments about the WAZA Nature Connect Grant?

    We would love to hear from you. Click here to send us an email.

     Community Beach Clean up - Zoos Victoria 2017