Environmental Damages Fund


The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) is a specified purpose account administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to direct funds received from fines, court orders and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit Canada’s natural environment.

Call for Proposals start date: January 21, 2020
Call for Proposals deadline: February 18, 2020


The purpose of any contribution to the EDF is to restore the environment and conserve wildlife and habitats in a scientifically sound, cost-effective, and technically feasible way.  

Funding categories

Fines directed to the EDF are used to fund projects that focus on the following four categories in order of priority:

  • restoration
  • environmental quality improvement
  • research and development
  • education and awareness

Geographic location

Projects must be undertaken within Canadian provinces and territories. Fund use requirements accompany each available fund and may include prioritized geographic regions. For examples of previously funded projects, see our EDF project map.

Eligible applicants

Eligible groups include:

  • non-governmental organizations
  • universities and academic institutions
  • Indigenous organizations
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments

Individuals, businesses, or other federal departments or agencies are not eligible for funding but are encouraged to partner with eligible groups to apply. Offenders are not eligible to apply directly or to partner with eligible groups, for fines or monetary payments they have made that were directed to the EDF.

Eligible projects

Priority is given to projects that restore the natural environment and conserve wildlife, followed by:

  • environmental quality improvement initiatives
  • research and development on environmental restoration and improvement
  • education and awareness on issues affecting the health of the natural environment

There is no maximum project duration. The average length of a project is approximately two years.

EDF funding is available for projects that meet the following criteria:

  • address one or more of EDF’s four priority areas noted above
  • satisfy all fund use requirements as listed on the EDF Available Funds page
  • are scientifically sound and technically feasible
  • are cost-effective in achieving goals, objectives and results
  • can measure results using EDF performance indicators
  • show that the environment will benefit from the project
  • demonstrate that the applicant possesses or has access to necessary partnership, experience, knowledge and skills required to undertake the project

While matching funds are not required, evidence of other funding sources such as matching contributions and the respective amounts, or demonstration of the applicant’s ability to raise funds from sources other than the federal government in a past project will be considered as an asset at the proposal evaluation stage.

Ineligible projects and activities include:

  • those activities required by law and/or mandated by other levels of government
  • containment and clean-up of environmental spills
  • restoration of contaminated sites
  • infrastructure, particularly related to municipal, provincial and federal government program areas
  • lobbying or advocacy activities
  • recreation and tourism projects or beautification initiatives
  • preparation of formal curriculum materials
  • core organization functions and activities such as meetings, maintenance and administration; however, project-specific administrative support is eligible
  • annual or regular organization events/campaigns
  • expenses to attend general conferences and workshops
  • projects and activities underway
  • continuation of projects previously funded by the EDF
  • projects outside of Canada

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.  If you are unsure about any of the examples listed above or the eligibility of your project and activities, please contact your regional office.

EDF funding is competitive process; please clearly explain all details and expected results. The level of detail provided in your application must support the complexity of your project. 

In addition, your project must include at least one of the EDF’s performance indicators.  The EDF Applicant Guide contains the complete list and explanation of indicators and is available upon logging into the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS).

Eligible project costs

Costs related to the following types of expenses are eligible under the EDF program:

  • human resources involved for the project realization, including employees’ salaries and benefits who are dedicated to the project (biologists, technicians, bookkeeper accounting)
  • contract and professional services, including accounting, auditing where EDF funding is more than $100,000, contractors or other professional fees
  • travel and mileage required for the achievement of fieldwork
  • materials and supplies required for the achievement of fieldwork
  • printing and production (for example, project awareness tools)
  • communications and distribution linked to the communication of project activities
  • equipment rentals and purchases, including research equipment, laboratories or a vehicle rental
  • translation required for either of Canada’s two official languages to enable the participation of linguistic minority communities
  • a reasonable share of overhead and/or administrative expenditures directly attributed to carrying out the project (for example, rentals and operating offices, liability insurance)

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.

Available funding

Available funding varies according to the number of court awards and voluntary contributions directed to the EDF. In its sentencing decision, the court may recommend the recipient, location and scope of a project funded by the fine. This information is considered in the assessment of the fine and in the definition of the appropriate fund use requirement. Details on available funds and fund use requirements can be found on the Available Funds page.

Applying for funding

Funding deadlines take place twice annually. The deadline for submitting a project is 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), on the date indicated. Please consult the Available Funds page and GCEMS for application deadlines.

Please note that GCEMS technical support will only be available until 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST); there will be no technical support available after 9:00 pm EST. 

When you are ready to apply, project proposals are accepted through GCEMS. For detailed application instructions, visit the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) application instructions page.

Evaluation of applications

Your application is reviewed to verify eligibility and to assess technical and scientific merit. All project proposals are subject to the same evaluation criteria.

If your project application is approved in principle, you will be contacted through a notification letter to negotiate a funding agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the funding.  Federal MPs and/or their team may be advised about the approval in principle of a project and may be provided with information provided in this Application including applicant’s name, project title, project description, project location, funding amounts and contact information.

If your application is not approved, you will also be informed of this decision in writing.

Contact us

General inquiries may be forwarded to the National EDF Office.

National EDF Office
45 Alderney Drive
16th Floor, Queen Square
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2N6

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdenational-edfnational.ec@canada.ca

Atlantic & Québec Region
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
45 Alderney Drive
16th Floor, Queen Square
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2N6

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeqa-edfaq.ec@canada.ca

801-1550, avenue D'Estimauville
Québec, Québec G1J 0C3

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeqa-edfaq.ec@canada.ca

Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4

Phone: 416-739-4734
or 1-800-661-7785 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeon-edfon.ec@canada.ca

West & North Region
Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
123 Main Street, Suite 150
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4W2

Phone: 204-984-5952 / 1-800-567-1570 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeouestnord-edfwestnorth.ec@canada.ca

British Columbia and Yukon
#201-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3S5

Phone: 1-800-567-1570 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeouestnord-edfwestnorth.ec@canada.ca

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