Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) call for proposal, 2018 to 2019

One of the Government of Canada’s conservation results is the recovery of species at risk. Now into its 15th year, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) program supports the development of IndigenousFootnote 1  capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This fund also enables the Government of Canada to facilitate Indigenous involvement in activities that protect or conserve habitats for species at risk (SAR) and to proactively prevent species, other than SAR, from becoming a conservation concern.

Funding under AFSAR is separated into two streams

  • the AFSAR SAR Stream focuses on projects addressing the recovery of SAR listed on Schedule 1 of SARA
  • the AFSAR Prevention Stream focuses on projects addressing other species, beyond those listed on SARA, to prevent them from becoming a conservation concern

Important information

In an effort to improve support for government conservation priorities and to optimize delivery of funding to more effectively and efficiently implement new strategic directions, the responsible Departments have revised their approach to prioritization and have made some significant adjustments to the requirements of the funding Programs. To this end, starting in 2018 to 2019, all species at risk funding programs (the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, and the Interdepartmental Recovery Fund) have adopted a common tiered approach for regional priorities that will be used to guide the selection and prioritization of proposals for the funding of terrestrial stewardship projects. The tiered prioritization approach applies to projects in terrestrial environments only. The approach to regional priorities for aquatic stewardship projects remains unchanged in 2018 to 2019.

As a result of the delay to the launch of the 2018 to 2019 call for proposals the notification of funding decisions will be received later than is typical. The departments will aim to have funding decisions made by mid-June 2018 for AFSAR aquatic projects, and by early September 2018 for AFSAR terrestrial projects. Applicants should therefore only submit an application for funding consideration for AFSAR funded activities that will occur after mid-June 2018 for AFSAR aquatic projects, and after September 1, 2018 for AFSAR terrestrial projects. For more information or to discuss implications for your project, contact your Regional Coordinator.

Regional terrestrial tiered priorities are summarized as follows:

Tiered Regional Priorities- Terrestrial SAR Stream
Long description

Tiered regional priorities - terrestrial SAR Stream

Higher priority for funding to lower priority for funding:

  • Tier 1 priorities
    • focal landscapes
  • Tier 2 priorities
    • overarching priority species,  sectors and threats
  • Tier 3 priorities
    • existing Regional Priorities (area, species, threat)
Tiered Regional Priorities- Terrestrial Prevention Stream
Long description

Tiered Regional Priorities- Terrestrial Prevention Stream

Higher priority for funding to lower priority for funding:

  • Tier 1 priorities
    • focal landscapes
  • Tier 2 priorities
    • overarching priority species,  sectors and threats
  • Tier 3 priorities
    • actions identified in Bird Conservation Region Strategies

Tier 1 priorities

Focal landscapes are similar, but more geographically focused, than previous regional priority areas. They represent landscapes of significant conservation value, such as those with high occurances and/or diversity of species at risk and migratory birds or those with important habitat for these species. These landscapes have also been targeted as having existing conservation opportunities with active partners and stakeholders which can be expanded on or leveraged through more targeted program funding to increase successful conservation outcomes. Note that focal landscapes are assigned at the regional level and, at this time, not all provinces or territories have focal landscapes. Please see maps for visual representation of the Tier 1 Focal landscapes.

Tier 2 priorities

SAR Stream Tier 2 priority species are iconic species that are the focus of significant conservation interest and efforts both in Canada and, in some cases, internationally.  These species may also be umbrella or keystone species which will result in improved conservation for other species sharing their habitat when conservation actions are targeted to them.

SAR Stream and Prevention Stream Tier 2 priority sectors and threats were chosen given the impact they have on species at risk, migratory birds and their habitats in most parts of Canada. The priority sectors and threats are intentionally broad in scope in order to allow region-specific prioritization of conservation concerns.

Tier 3 priorities

SAR Stream Tier 3 regional priorities are existing priority areas, species and threats that are not addressed by the new Tier 1 or Tier 2 priorities. Please see maps  for visual representation of the Tier 1 Focal landscapes and Tier 3 regional priority areas.

Prevention Stream Tier 3 regional priorities are actions identified in Bird Conservation Region Strategies that are specific to each region.

For terrestrial projects this year, in order to best focus the program’s limited funds on the new strategic directions, emphasis will be placed on projects that address regional priorities with the aim to target the majority of AFSAR funds for terrestrial projects to those addressing Tier 1 and Tier 2 priorities. Any remaining funds will be allocated to projects that address Tier 3 projects. Projects that do not address Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 priorities may not be considered for funding in 2018 to 2019.

For aquatic projects, the approach to regional priorities has not changed in 2018 to 2019. This means that priority areas, species and threats will be considered equal for funding decisions.

More information on the tiered approach to terrestrial regional priorities can be found in the in the application guidelines, and by contacting your Regional Coordinator.

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk Species at Risk stream expected results

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must demonstrate how they contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk. Further, the proposal should include one or more of the elements below, and describe how they contribute to the species’ recovery objectives and population goals:

  • strengthen capacity in Indigenous communities for SARA implementation
  • mitigate threats to SAR, be they individuals or populations
  • protect, improve or manage critical and important habitatFootnote 2  of SAR
  • document and conserve Aborignial Traditional Knowledge (ATK) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) on SAR and, where appropriate, help with their use in the development of recovery objectives

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk Species at Risk stream National priorities

The national priorities for the AFSAR SAR Stream are projects or activities that focus on the following:

  • implementation of priority activities described in recovery strategies, action plans or management plans
  • implementation of multi-species projects with a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives
  • implementation of projects involving collaboration among multiple stakeholders/partners
  • the recovery of species at risk and threats to species at risk included as part of an international agreement
  • activities that address the impacts or respond to the threats of climate change as described in recovery strategies, action plans or management plans
  • the consideration of ATK for application in SARA processes including species assessment and the planning and implementation of recovery documents

Projects that incorporate one or more national priorities as project activities have a higher chance of receiving funding.

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk Prevention stream expected results

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must contribute to one or more of the following expected results of the AFSAR Prevention Stream:

  • strengthen capacity in Indigenous communities for their participation in preventive action to conserve the target species and their associated habitats
  • stop, remove or mitigate potential threats, caused by human activities, to individual target species and/or their habitat
  • protect, improve or manage important habitatFootnote 3  of the target species
  • document and conserve ITK and TEK on the target species

Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk Prevention stream national priorities

The national priorities for the AFSAR Prevention Stream are projects or activities that focus on the following:

  • species assessed as ”Endangered”, “Threatened”, or “Species of Concern” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
  • implementation of multi-species projects with a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives
  • implementation of projects involving collaboration among multiple stakeholders/partners
  • implementation of priority activities in established wildlife and/or habitat conservation plans
  • supporting the enhancement of wildlife that are of cultural and/or socio-economic importance to local communities
  • activities that address the impacts or respond to the threats of climate change to the targeted species as referenced in COSEWIC assessments

Projects that incorporate one or more national priorities as project activities have a higher chance of receiving funding.

Timelines

The program will be accepting Expressions of Interest until February 23, 2018. The submission of an Expression of Interest is strongly encouraged, particularly for applicants who have not received AFSAR funding in the past, for those applying to a new stream and for projects taking place in terrestrial environments to discuss how your project meets the program’s new Tiered approach to priorities.

The deadline for proposal submissions is March 19, 2018.

For more information

Please contact your AFSAR Regional Coordinator to receive further information on the Expression of Interest and on regional program priorities for projects in your area.

General information on the AFSAR program is also available on the AFSAR website.

Please refer to the 2018 to 2019 AFSAR Application Guidelines for additional information and other details about project eligibility. Separate guidelines are provided for the SAR Stream and the Prevention Stream.

The Expression of Interest is available as a fillable pdf form.

If you have any questions, please contact ec.faep-afsar.ec@canada.ca.

Thank you for your interest in species at risk and in preventing other species from becoming a conservation concern. We wish you the best in your application!

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