Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
The application submission period for projects commencing in 2022-2023 is now closed.
The Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) was established in 2000. It provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and that prevent others from becoming a conservation concern. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) administers HSP funds that support terrestrial stewardship projects while Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for administering the HSP for aquatic stewardship projects.
Applicants wishing to pursue aquatic HSP projects should contact the appropriate aquatic regional coordinator at DFO.
The objectives of this program are to:
- support habitat projects that benefit species at risk and that prevent others from becoming a conservation concern
- enable Canadians to become actively involved in stewardship projects for species at risk which will result in tangible and measurable conservation benefits; and
- improve the scientific, sociological and economic understanding of stewardship as a conservation tool
The expected results of the HSP are:
- Canada’s wildlife and habitat is conserved and protected
- Canada’s species at risk are recovered; and
- Indigenous peoples are engaged in conservation
- Canadian non-governmental organizations
- community groups
- Indigenous organizations and communities
- private corporations and businesses
- educational institutions
- provincial, territorial and municipal governments
- provincial Crown corporations
Federal departments, federal agencies and federal Crown corporations are not eligible to receive HSP funds.
Project activities must take place on:
- private land
- provincial Crown land
- lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or
- Indigenous land
- reserves and lands set aside for the use and benefit of Indigenous peoples under the Indian Act or under section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act,1867, or
- other lands directly controlled by Indigenous peoples (e.g., Métis Settlement lands, and land claim/treaty settlement lands), and lands set aside in the Yukon and Northwest Territories pursuant to Cabinet Directive, circular No.27, or
- lands where traditional food, social, and ceremonial activities (harvesting or other) are carried out by Indigenous peoples
In order to be eligible, proposed projects must target the following species:
- species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA (except those listed as extirpated), and/or
- species that have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as endangered, threatened, or of special concern but have not been listed on Schedule 1 of SARA
Activities eligible for funding include:
- habitat protection and securement
- habitat improvement
- species and habitat threat abatement
- conservation planning
- surveys, inventories and monitoring
- project evaluation
- outreach and education
Activities other than those listed above may be considered, subject to approval.
On-line application system
- Applications are no longer available, as the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) is now closed.
- The previous online application system will no longer be used to accept new applications, however it will remain available for reporting purposes for previously approved projects
- Program Overview: Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
- Application Technical Guidelines for GCEMS.
The application period for projects commencing in 2022-2023 was open from December 1, 2021 to January 25, 2022 and is now closed.
In accordance with ECCC’s Grants and Contributions Service Standards, applicants will receive an acknowledgement that their application was submitted successfully within five (5) working days of submitting an application. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and copy your regional HSP coordinator if you have submitted an application but have not received this acknowledgment.
The 2022-2023 call for proposals prioritized projects targeting regionally identified priority species (see Table 1).
Regionally identified priority species were selected in parallel with the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Pan-Canadian Approach to transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada. This new Pan-Canadian Approach represents a shift from a single-species approach to conservation to one that focuses on priority places, species, sectors and threats, through more multi-species and ecosystem-based efforts and collaborative partnerships. The priority species listed below were selected based on their likelihood to benefit from stewardship activities and include those that may not benefit from other ECCC funding sources.
Table 1: Priority species by CWS region
Although the HSP funding priorities in 2022-2023 were species specific, it is recognized that actions for one species may benefit multiple species and this should have been highlighted and noted in the application. Please see other funding considerations below the table.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
There were no specific priority species for the 2022-2023 call for proposals in the Northern Region.
Other funding considerations
HSP project proposals may also have a higher chance of success if they:
- target multiple species and demonstrate a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives
- involve collaboration among multiple partners with priority being given to projects that involve a greater number of confirmed partners
- implement high priority activities described in established recovery documents, established wildlife and/or habitat conservation plans
- mitigate the threats of climate change to the target species; and/or
- target priority sectors and/or threats as identified in the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada
Range of funding
The minimum funding request for new and multi-year projects is $25,000 and project funding usually ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per project, per year. Projects may extend over more than 1 year to a maximum of 3 years.
Non-Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions from non-federal sources ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding).
Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 0.20:1 matching contribution from non-federal sources ($0.20 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding).
Leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour).
Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:
- whether they meet all eligibility requirements (applicants, species, and activities)
- the extent to which they address HSP program priorities and ability to leverage a minimum of 1:1 on funds from non-federal sources for non-Indigenous applicants ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding) and a minimum of 0.20:1 on funds from non-federal sources for Indigenous applicants ($0.20 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding)
Each proposal undergoes a technical evaluation by the regional HSP coordinator to confirm that it meets eligibility requirements. Proposals meeting the eligibility requirements are then prioritized for funding based on alignment with program objectives, including program priorities, and program and project administration criteria. ECCC will aim to have HSP funding decisions available by spring 2022.
Once departmental approval in principle has been confirmed, applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) will be notified in writing. If your project proposal submission is approved in principle, you will be contacted to negotiate a Contribution Agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of 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.
Funding is conditional on the successful negotiation of a Contribution Agreement between the applicant and ECCC. We work towards completing this process within 65 working days.
For general ECCC or Canadian Wildlife Service inquiries, please contact 1-800-668-6767 or email@example.com.
If you have any further questions, please contact us at HSP-PIH@ec.gc.ca or contact your regional HSP coordinator. Please note that regional HSP coordinators are available to answer questions during regular business hours, local time.
HSP Regional Coordinators
Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta
Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
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