MPAs Over the Finish Line - Request for Proposals
Grant Application Deadline: Friday, September 8, 2017
Application Information: Request for Proposals
The Waitt Foundation takes a hands-on, partnership-oriented approach to grant making. They fund projects and campaigns aimed at ending overfishing, the creation and expansion of marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, and raising public awareness about the rapid decline in ocean health. With a focus on enduring public private partnerships and conservation finance, The Waitt Foundation’s principal goal is often to support governments in achieving their own sustainable fisheries and ocean conservation goals.
Marine science increasingly demonstrates the value of marine protected areas (MPAs) to support biodiversity, improve fisheries management, and provide other important ecosystem services. Many nations have committed to designating 10% of their waters as marine protected areas with some nations committing to 30% MPAs. To support the designation of MPAs, this RFP aims to identify “shovel ready” MPA projects where 6 to 12 months of additional, targeted funding will result in legally-binding MPAs that have the political and social support necessary for implementation success.
We anticipate that a successful project applicant will be well underway with existing financial support or otherwise have a high likelihood of success. The principal goal of this RFP is to assist in “getting MPAs over the finish line,” generally by providing funding to a key element of an ongoing project (e.g., communications, specialized policy staff, influencing key decision-makers through creative means, etc.). Qualified projects include those seeking new MPA declaration, or expansion of an existing MPA. No-take MPAs are strongly preferred; marine managed areas with substantive and demonstrable extractive protections will also be considered. MPA implementation projects on their own are beyond the scope of this RFP.
Types of activities that this RFP will support include: policymaker partnership and education, targeted outreach, designation processes including government and stakeholder engagement, and legal and policy drafting. This RFP will not support scientific assessment, monitoring, or data collection and analysis, as these activities must have been already completed. The scope of this RFP is not geographically limited, nor is it limited by the potential size of the protected area. Proposals will be evaluated based on public policy feasibility and likelihood of success, a clearly demonstrated understanding and existing usage of the appropriate “policy” or “community” pathway toward legally-binding MPA declaration, ecological and socioeconomic significance, community/constituency buy-in, and likelihood of implementation success including effective mechanisms for management, enforcement, and compliance.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to a) integrate strategic and creative communications into the project work plan, to include new media (earned and paid), traditional media (earned and paid), and/or direct public engagement, and b) demonstrate their ability to leverage key personal relationships for results.
One month prior to the halfway point in the project, the Waitt Foundation will make a qualitative analysis of the Project’s accomplishments vs. proposed work plan and timeline. At this time, a determination will be made if the second tranche of funding will be released for the project and is in no way guaranteed.