Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP) Application Technical Guidelines for GCEMS 2022-2023
Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP) Application Technical Guidelines for GCEMS 2022-2023 [PDF - 415 KB]
- All materials must be submitted through the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS); exceptions may be made to accommodate accessibility requirements only.
- We recommend that you press save once you have entered the required information into GCEMS to ensure that you do not lose anything. Please note that you will be deactivated from the system after 15 minutes of inactivity.
- Questions and inquiries related to your application should be sent to your regional coordinator (listed in Annex 1). If you encounter any technical issues with GCEMS, contact email@example.com.
- The GCEMS Applicant User Guide is a separate document that provides users with general information about GCEMS systemic information to facilitate the on-line application for funding, including how to fill the project budget, but it does not include funding program specific requirements. It is accessible by selecting GCEMS assistance and resources within GCEMS. All HSP program related information can be found on the website and in this document.
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.
This field is pre-populated from your SWIM profile when you initially added your organization name.
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. 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. Your organization website could be pre-populated from your SWIM profile.
Federal departments, federal agencies and federal Crown corporations are not eligible to receive HSP funds.
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.
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 HSP. 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 HSP) for the project outlined in this application. If yes, identify the programs and the year of funding you have applied to.
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.
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 make reference 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 HSP 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.
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 Habitat Stewardship Program 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 three program objectives of HSP:
- Support habitat projects that benefit species at risk and 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.
This is a brief (suggested maximum 250 words) synopsis of the proposed project including the activities to be accomplished using HSP funding on the target species and habitat as outlined in the Application (refer to the Habitat Stewardship Program 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:
- Type of project: Identify the funding program and whether it is a single or multi-year project.
- Overall project purpose: Outline the project goal(s) and objective(s) (one to two sentences).
- Location of Project: Identify the province, Canadian Wildlife Service region (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, Pacific, Northern), and main geographic area where the work is taking place.
- Species: Name each target species and its status: Listed from the SARA and/or assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and whether special concern, threatened or endangered —you can include more than one species. Include whether it is a regionally identified priority species. The list of priority species can be found in the HSP web page.
- Threats: Describe the main threat(s) faced by the species that the project will address. Be clear.
- Main activities: List only the activities to address the recovery need/threat that is proposed to be funded by HSP. Do not repeat the detailed activities provided in the proposal work plan, but rather provide an explanation of how the activities will achieve the project objective(s). These should be listed as measurable deliverables (e.g. number of hectares to be acquired, or restored, and how). Explain all activities for the layperson and make the link to the project objective(s) (do not use global terms like "enhancement activities will be undertaken" without describing what they will be).
- Outreach activities: If outreach activities are proposed, briefly indicate how they will lead to achieving the project objective(s) and the needed species at risk (SAR) recovery actions addressed by the project or on-the-ground stewardship actions and conservation outcomes (See Work Plan below).
- Project Timing: Provide a timeline for when the activities need to be carried out to achieve the project objective(s).
- Anticipated project benefits/outcomes: Describe how the project will contribute to the recovery of the target species and how it will address HSP program priorities.
- Program Expected Results: Outline which of the three Conserving Nature expected results (see list below) will be addressed by the project (more than one can be included) and explain how it/they will be achieved. Each expected result should be listed with a brief explanation of how the results are being met. Conserving Nature expected results:
- Canada’s wildlife and habitat are conserved and protected
- Canada’s species at risk are recovered
- Indigenous peoples are engaged in conservation
- Performance Evaluation: Describe how you will measure and report on the impact of each project activity on the recovery of the target species and their habitats in your project, including baseline data to evaluate post-project status and indicators that will be used to assess project success.
Only make reference 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 HSP 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; Prairie Region priority species), Loggerhead Shrike (Threatened), and Burrowing Owl (Endangered; Prairie Region priority species). 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 students are educated by farmers 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.
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).
Habitat Stewardship Program 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 Canadian Wildlife Service region where the majority of project activities will take place.
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. If a species is a regional priority species, the region’s name will be in parentheses after the species name. If the region after your species’ name is your project’s region, select this option. If it is not your region, then 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.
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 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.
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 – Private Land; Name of Land: Porcupine Hills.
The eligible land types are:
- Private lands
- Provincial Crown land
- Lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or
- Indigenous land across Canada
- 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
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:
- Engagement, consultation and outreach;
- Integrating Species at Risk into sectoral policy, planning and practices;
- Collaborative research and Indigenous knowledge;
- Shaping and testing of decision support tools; and
- Assessing financial incentives and mechanisms.
- Partner consultation, engagement and outreach;
- Strategic policy development and international engagement; and
- Collaborative research and Indigenous knowledge.
- The Government of Canada fiscal year is from April 1 to March 31.
- Your project may be from one to three years in duration.
- You may input more than one activity and add as many activities as necessary.
- Please pay particular attention to the Activity Description and the Target Species as they will be evaluated by reviewers and, if your project is approved, will form the basis of your Contribution Agreement and associated reporting templates.
- Only describe activity types relevant to your project.
Activity category: For each proposed project activity, choose one activity category from the following list of eligible activity categories:
- Habitat Protection and Securement;
- Habitat Improvement;
- Species and Habitat Threat Abatement;
- Conservation Planning;
- Surveys, Inventories and Monitoring;
- Project Evaluation; and
- Outreach and Education.
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. 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.
- Development of targeted outreach materials emphasizing the importance of target species and the benefits of the action to be undertaken.
- Training of individuals/community members in stewardship practices related to target species.
- Informing and engaging community members/target audiences (e.g., land managers, fishers, resources users) about their role in the recovery of the species.
- Engaging landowners directly in future habitat protection activities.
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.
- For species with draft or completed Recovery Strategies, Action Plans or Management Plans, activities must be closely linked to prescribed recovery actions in those documents.
- The creation of promotional merchandise (such as hats or mugs) is not eligible for HSP funding.
- Scientific research activities, captive breeding, captive rearing, extirpated species reintroductions, and the development of Recovery Strategies or Action Plans, including the identification of Critical Habitat (as required under SARA) are not eligible for HSP funding.
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 HSP 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 HSP funds and matching contribution. The total should equal 100% in each fiscal year.
Amount and percentage of HSP budget: Please provide the estimated amount and percentage of the HSP contribution the project activity will require. This percentage should only be of the HSP contribution and will be used to identify the project activities funded through HSP. 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, 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.
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 HSP Regional Coordinator for further information.
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.).
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: 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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