Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) Application Technical Guidelines for GCEMS 2022-2023

Please note

GCEMS Modules

Tombstone Data

Organization Name

This field is pre-populated from your Single Window Information Manager (SWIM) profile when you initially added your organization name. This is the organization or identity that would sign a Contribution Agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC); the name must correspond to the name to be used on the banking information if the application is approved and must be a legal entity or individual.

Organization address

This field is pre-populated from your SWIM profile when you initially added your organization name.

Organization email

Provide the email address associated with the organization or identity to which the notification of project decision can be sent.

Organization phone and fax

A number associated to the organization or identity where it can be reached.

Principal Applicant representative

Name and Title: The Principal Applicant Representative is the person at the organization who has authority to sign, and will sign, the contribution agreement with ECCC if the project is approved for funding.

Phone, Email and Fax: Enter the contact information for the principal representative within the organization, as above, or of someone who has the ability to answer questions regarding this application.

Organization identification type and number

Select the relevant organization identification type from the drop-down menu. Only Indigenous organizations are eligible in addition to other organizations (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) that are mandated by an Indigenous organization. The organization number that you have entered upon registration may be auto-populated. If not, please re-enter your nine-digit organization number. If you are an individual and do not have an identification number, enter any nine digits (e.g. 123456789).

Organization type and website

Select the category that applies to your organization and your organization website should be pre-populated.

If you are a non-Indigenous organization or individual, you must provide a band council resolution or signed letter(s) of support from the involved Indigenous organization, mandating you to apply and receive funds on behalf of that organization. Letters of support can be added in the Other supporting information module in GCEMS.

Federal departments, federal agencies and federal Crown corporations are not eligible to receive AFSAR funds.

Organization description

Provide a description of your organization, including its mandate (e.g. “Not for profit organization registered in 1998 and dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered plants, etc.”). If you are an individual, provide a description on how you deliver conservation, protection and/or recovery of target species and their habitats activities.

Organization Experience

Please identify if your organization is a new or returning application/recipient of funding from ECCC: Select from the drop-down if you are a returning or new applicant of funding from ECCC. This could be for other funding programs and for other projects besides AFSAR. If you have received or are receiving funding from ECCC, indicate the program providing funds and when you have received your funding in the box below.

Have you ever applied to other ECCC funding programs for this project? Select from the drop-down if you have ever applied to other ECCC funding programs (other than AFSAR) for the project outlined in this application. If yes, identify the programs you have applied to and the year of funding.

Have you ever received funding from other federal government departments? Select from the drop-down if you have ever received funding from other federal government departments (other than ECCC), for either the project outlined in this application or for other projects. If yes, indicate which other federal government departments you have received funding from.

Project Summary

Project title

This title will be used in all communications related to the proposal. Therefore, it must describe the work undertaken, the project purpose, the project location if possible, and be easily understood by an external audience. Do not use acronyms and do not refer to the year or phase of a project (e.g., Year 1 of 2) as multi-year proposals are accepted. Example: Encouraging Landowners’ Participation In Conserving Habitat For Burrowing Owl In Southern Alberta.

Project start date and project end date

Indicate the project start and end dates. Please note that for funding starting in 2022, proposed activities in the application should not start before April 1, 2022. Specify the end date of your project by taking into consideration that AFSAR support may extend over more than one year to a maximum of three years. A project can be amended up to 3 additional years but the project cannot exceed 5 years in total.

Project location(s)

Please enter the City, Province, Canadian Wildlife Service region (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, Pacific or Northern), coordinates (latitude/longitude) and other criteria (if applicable) of the main office responsible for the implementation of the project. More detailed project location information will be requested in the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk 2022-2023 module.

Project goals / objectives

List in point form the specific goals and objectives of the proposed project. These should clearly demonstrate how the project addresses one or more of the two overall program objectives of AFSAR:

Project description

This is a brief (suggested maximum 250 words) synopsis of the proposed project including the activities to be accomplished using AFSAR funding on the target species and habitat as outlined in the Application (refer to the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk 2022-2023 module). It must contain sufficient information to "stand alone" during the review and approval phases so a sufficient amount of detail is required. In other words, be sure to spell out acronyms, and do not assume that the reader is familiar with or has read the full proposal. Consider the following items in developing your project description:

Only refer to past years' projects if building on past results. Even if this is a similar project to past years, do not duplicate the description, but rather clearly indicate the specific value of this project, and how it makes a unique contribution to the species recovery need being addressed.

Satisfactory Example of a Project Description

This single-year AFSAR project will focus on targeted outreach and education to assist in the conservation and recovery of species at risk and their habitats in Saskatchewan. The project will take place between May and October 2019 within the Milk River Watershed (South of Divide). Six SARA-listed species will be targeted including: Sage Grouse (Endangered), Loggerhead Shrike (Threatened), and Burrowing Owl (Endangered). Project activities will include a prairie-wide workshop where stakeholders will discuss the benefits and incentives of conserving natural landscapes and best agricultural management practices and outreach events to increase awareness of the importance of native prairie stewardship. The project will also deliver on the two Conserving Nature expected results: Sufficient habitat is conserved to support species recovery, and reduced threats affecting species at risk by implementing an educational program where farmers educate students about stewardship and species at risk. The project will contribute to the recovery strategy actions of each species at risk by engaging the community and raising awareness of the species and their threats, including wetland habitat degradation through conversion to agricultural use or invasive species (Priority Sector and Threat), and increasing the network of stakeholders concerned with prairie conservation. Project performance will be evaluated with indicators such as measurable direct outcomes (e.g. number of people engaged) and indirect outcomes (e.g. survey of changes made by farmers to promote native landscapes).

Unsatisfactory Example of a Project description

This project will address the threat of the SARA-listed Greater Sage Grouse and other SAR present in the area. It will be conducted within the Milk River Watershed. Outreach activities will be carried out such as holding workshops and delivering classroom education sessions. These activities will enhance and protect the habitat of the Greater Sage Grouse.

Project team experience

Please describe any relevant qualifications and experience of the project team members that could help demonstrate the organization's experience and capacity to carry out the proposed project.

Financial capacity

Please describe your organization's financial capacity to undertake this project. (Suggested maximum 150 words).

Project management capacity

Describe your organization's experience in managing and delivering projects. Identify relevant qualifications and experiences of the project team members to demonstrate the group’s experience and capacity to carry out the project. (Suggested maximum 150 words).

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk 2022-2023

Project Type and primary region

Indicate if you are requesting additional funds for an existing project (top-up) or if you are requesting funds for a new project. For top-ups, please indicate your project number (starting with GCXE). Select from the drop-down menu the region where the majority of project activities will take place.

Target Species

Add all the target species for your project. The target species are those that are directly impacted or targeted by project activities. Target species must be listed on Schedule 1 of SARA (except extirpated) and/or species assessed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern by COSEWIC.

Species name: A list of species will appear in a drop-down as you type at least three letters of the species name. Select the species from the drop-down. The list of species with their subspecies and/or population (if relevant) is from the SARA public registry. Please note that the GCEMS only recognizes common names, not scientific names. AFSAR does not have specific regional lists of species in 2022-2023, if a species has a region’s name in parentheses after the species name, choose the same species but with no region specified.

Draft or final recovery strategy: Select yes/no if there is/is not a draft or a final Recovery Strategy in place, or N/A if the species’ status does not require a recovery strategy (e.g. Special Concern or not listed on schedule 1 of SARA). Visit the SARA public registry for further information.

Culturally significant species: Select yes/no if species are of cultural significance and if you selected yes, explain how in the text box below.

Benefiting Species

These are species that, while not directly targeted by project activities, would still benefit from the project activities (for example, habitat improvement can benefit many species, but they may not necessarily be the targeted species).

Species name: A list of species will appear in a drop-down as you type at least three letters of the species name. Select the species from the drop-down. The list of species with their subspecies and/or population (if relevant) is from the SARA public registry. Please note that the system only recognizes common names, not scientific names. If the species you are looking for is not indicated, enter it in the next text box.

Benefit from the project: Please explain how the species you list will benefit from the project activities.

Critical Habitat

Critical Habitat is habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species as described within the recovery strategy or in an action plan for that species. Please refer to the Recovery Documents for your target species for further information.

If you have selected yes to the drop-down, please enter the name of the species and ensure that you have entered from the same target species that you have added in the Target Species section of this module. Identify the Critical Habitat, the location and indicate how your project will help protect and/or conserve the Critical Habitat. Also, include a description of how you plan to verify and measure the positive impact your project will have on the Critical Habitat of the SARA-listed Target species.

Land Type

Type(s) and habitat(s) and land name: Select from the drop-down list the type of land where the project will be undertaken and add the name of the land. Example: Land Type: Option 1 - Reserves and Lands; Name of Land: Morell Reserve.

The eligible land types are:

Habitat type and brief description: Indicate the habitat type (e.g. Forested wetland & wet upland black spruce, white spruce forest) and provide a description of the habitat.

Importance of land to the species: Address the importance of the land for the target species (e.g. estimated percent of species’ range, or identified Critical Habitat, covered by this project).

Ecosystem-based recovery initiatives

Ecosystem-based recovery initiatives indicate an awareness of the importance of the surrounding habitat/environment and show that they are part of a larger ecosystem approach or plan. If you answered yes, describe how your project activities will support an ecosystem-based recovery initiative. Please note that letters of support can be attached in the Other supporting information module of GCEMS.

Collaboration among multiple partners

Indicate if multiple partners are collaborating in the project. In the text box, please provide the name of the partners involved and a detailed description of the role of each in fulfilling project objectives. Collaboration may include those actively involved in undertaking project activities and those solely providing financial or in-kind support.

Addressing climate change

Indicate if your project will mitigate the impacts of climate change on target species. Check all that apply and provide an explanation of how the mechanisms you have selected will mitigate the impacts of climate change on your target species (maximum 5 lines). Please be specific. If it is not applicable for your project, please check N/A.

Addressing priority sectors and/or threats

Check all that apply and provide a detailed explanation of how your project activities will address the priority sectors and/or threats.

Collaborative activities with forestry, agriculture or urban development sector partners may include:

Priority threat-based mitigation initiatives will seek to reduce risks from illegal wildlife trade, invasive species, and wildlife diseases. Activities may include:

Work Plan


Activity category: For each proposed project activity, choose one activity category from the following list of eligible activity categories:

  1. Habitat Protection and Securement: Protecting species through acquisition (purchase or donation) or other securement means; protecting target species habitat by assisting recipients in acquiring properties or establishing conservation easements, leases or other types of agreements with property owners.
    • Non-legally binding measures: Protection of land through a written conservation agreement.
    • Legally binding measures: Securing land by acquiring title (fee simple); Securing land by an easement, covenant or servitude; and Securing land through a lease.
  2. Habitat Improvement: Enhancing or restoring habitat of target species; changing land/water management or land/water-use practices to benefit target species and improve habitat quality.
    • Restoration, enhancement and/or management of target species habitat.
    • Vegetation planting or removal of exotic/invasive species in the habitat of, in the immediate area of, and for the direct benefit of a known target species.
    • Residence creation (hibernacula, bird boxes, turtle nests, etc.).
    • Implementation of beneficial management practices or land/water use guidelines.
  3. Species and Habitat Threat Abatement: Direct intervention for target species under immediate threat from human activity or proactive/preventative activities.
    • Prevention of damage to target species habitats (for example educational signage).
    • Protection and rescue prevention of harm to target species (enabling species migration around roadways, fences for the exclusion of habitat disturbances, etc.).
    • Application of modified or new technology to prevent accidental harm (for example, using modified harvesting methods to reduce incidental take of target species).
  4. Conservation Planning:
    • Development of target species’ conservation strategies to improve habitat and reduce threats.
    • Planning of stewardship programs, including target audience engagement strategies.
    • Compilation and dissemination of resources/land use guidelines and beneficial management practices.
  5. Surveys, Inventories and Monitoring: Activities such as identifying potential sites for habitat restoration, or assessing the presence of a target species and its habitat in order to target, design and carry out a current (or future) stewardship projectFootnote 1 .
    • Identifying potential sites for habitat restoration; includes mapping and analysis (needed to support target species stewardship activities).
    • Assessing the presence of target species through surveying and/or monitoring.
    • Creation and/or maintenance of inventories or databases for habitat and species data.
  6. Project Evaluation: Assess the social and biological results and effectiveness of stewardship activities.
    • Conduct project or program results assessment(s).
  7. Documentation and Use of Indigenous Knowledge (IK):
    • Contribution to the use/integration of IK in conservation planning;
    • Documenting IK through surveys and interviews about the species and their habitats; and
    • IK compilation and storage (e.g., set-up/maintenance of databases).
  8. Outreach and Education: Providing information to appropriate target audiences on specific actions to be taken to protect target species; raising awareness about target species conservation needs; educating resource users about alternative methods that minimize impacts on SAR and their habitat; promoting stewardship at the community level to improve attitudes and change behaviour.

The activity should lead to direct target species recovery action; general outreach or non-targeted activities are not eligible.

Any proposed outreach or awareness-building activity will need to be framed as a necessary component of a larger project plan unless they are sufficiently targeted and well supported to stand-alone.


Activity description: Provide details that support "what, why, where, by who, and how" for each activity.

For applications proposing outreach activities, applicants will need to describe in detail how each outreach activity will lead to action in implementing on-the-ground species recovery and include a plan for measuring the implementation, either within the timeframe of the project, or within a defined period afterward.

Target species: Enter the target species that will be addressed by the activity you have selected, separating them with commas if you have more than one. Please ensure that you have entered from the same target species added in the Target Species section of this module.

Start and end date: Add the start and end date of your project activity (yyyy-mm-dd). Please note that the timeframe of your activity should only take place within the fiscal year that you have selected. The start date for any activity proposed for AFSAR funding cannot be before April 1, 2022.

Amount and percentage of total budget: Please provide the estimated amount and percentage of the total project budget the project activity will require. This percentage should be of the total project budget and should include AFSAR funds and matching contribution. The total should equal 100% in each fiscal year.

Amount and percentage of AFSAR budget: Please provide the estimated amount and percentage of the AFSAR contribution the project activity will require. This percentage should only be of the AFSAR contribution and will be used to identify the project activities funded through the AFSAR. The total should equal 100% in each fiscal year.

Is the activity identified as a priority activity in an established/published recovery document (Recovery Strategies, Action Plans, and/or Management Plans) or in a conservation (plan) document? Please select yes/no from the drop-down. If you have selected yes, please identify the name and a brief description of the document, and describe how the proposed activity will address recovery priorities outlined in the document. If you have selected no or N/A, you could proceed to the Measurable Results of Activity question.

Specific threat(s) reduced by the activity: If you have selected yes, please identify the threat(s) related to the habitats and/or target species and include actual content from the relevant recovery or conservation documents that will be addressed by this project. For additional information, please visit the SARA Public Registry.

What does the recovery (or conservation) document recommend to address this threat? If you have selected yes, please identify the recommendation to address the threat(s); please include actual content from the relevant recovery or conservation plan documents that will be addressed by this project.

Measurable results of activity: If funded, you will be required to report on outcomes for each activity type at the end of the project. Try to identify a specific and easy quantitative plan for reporting outcomes. Describe how you would measure the results of the activity you plan to undertake by the end of the year for which you are requesting funding and provide a target outcome. For example: The signing of four 20+ year conservation agreements by March 2023 that would prevent land use activities that would degrade wetlands.

Indigenous knowledge application in SARA processes

If you answered yes to the question, please provide a response to the three following questions on the use or documentation of Indigenous knowledge.


It is your responsibility to acquire the necessary permits for the proposed project. You must verify with ECCC or the Parks Canada Agency whether you require a SARA permit or other permits prior to undertaking your project. Additionally, you have the responsibility to ensure that all necessary provincial and/or territorial permits are acquired. Please contact your AFSAR Regional Coordinator for further information.

Project Budget

You will find guidelines on the Project budget module by accessing the GCEMS applicant’s guide, which is accessible through the GCEMS assistance and resources tab in GCEMS.

Other Supporting Information

Please use this module to attach any other supporting documents that you would like to include with your application (e.g. letter of support for ecosystem-based recovery initiatives, confirmed financial support, etc.).

Official Languages

Please complete the Official languages module of the application. It is a mandatory requirement for all ECCC applications. If your proposal is funded, this module will form the basis of the Official Languages clauses within the funding agreement. All organizations, no matter the size, will have to respond to the questions.


Please ensure that the Certification module is completed by an authorized individual of your organization. You must save your application in order to activate the “submit” function. Important: once you submit your application, you can go back and make further edits by clicking on the “Withdraw application” icon. You must re-save and submit once you are finished.

Annex 1: AFSAR Regional Coordinators

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick
Tania Morais
Email: tania.morais@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 506-224-0279

Jordan Drapeau
Email: jordan.drapeau@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 418-563-5397

Cheyenne Loon
Email: cheyenne.loon@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 416-739-4100

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta
Karl Zimmer
Email: karl.zimmer@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 587-335-9109

British Columbia
Adèle McKay
Email: adele.mckay@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 343-572-1563

Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Dawn Andrews
Email: dawn.andrews@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 867-444-0531

Page details

Date modified: