Community nominated priority places for species at risk


Community-Nominated Priority Places (CNPP) for Species at Risk is part of Canada’s Nature Fund. CNPP will support multi-partner initiatives in priority places where there are opportunities to protect and recover species at risk and their habitat through multi-species and ecosystem-based conservation action.

Funding date

Effective start date of application period: 26-02-2019
Effective end date of application period: 26-04-2019

Contact email:


CNPP is a 4-year (2019 to 2020 through 2022 to 2023) $15.6 million funding initiative administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

CNPP is seeking joint proposals (lead applicant plus one or more partners) that:

  • identify defined priority places where there are opportunities to protect and recover multiple terrestrial species at risk listed under the Species at Risk Act and their habitat and
  • implement coordinated, multi-partner conservation actions in these identified priority places

Projects should result in a high return on investment and benefits to multiple species.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have selected 11 priority places to focus collaborative conservation action, following the concept outlined in the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in CanadaFootnote 1  (“Pan-Canadian Approach”). Through CNPP, ECCC will expand on this initiative to fund similar types of projects in additional areas that are not included in these 11 priority places.

Expected results

Priorities of CNPP will include:

  • contributes towards recovery of species at risk
  • advances partnerships and collaboration, including with Indigenous peoples
  • contributes to priority co-benefits (e.g.  contribution to achieving Pathway to Canada Target 1Footnote 2 , provision of ecosystem services, climate change adaptation and mitigation, socio-economic benefits)

Eligible applicants

Eligible recipients include:

  • domestic or international not-for-profit organizations, such as charitable and volunteer organizations, professional associations, and non-governmental organizations
  • domestic or international Indigenous organizations, governments, individuals, boards, commissions, communities, associations and authorities, including       
    • Indigenous not-for-profit organizations
    • district councils, Chiefs councils and Tribal councils
    • Indigenous research, academic and educational institutions
    • Indigenous for-profit organizations
  • domestic or international research, academic and educational institutions
  •  Canadian individuals
  • domestic or international for-profit organizations, such as small businesses with less than 500 employees, companies, corporations, and industry associations
  • local organizations such as community associations and groups, seniors’ and youth groups, and service clubs
  • municipal and local governments and their agencies

In cases where recipients further distribute funds, the ultimate recipients must be the same as those listed above.

Geographic location

Community-nominated priority places must be located in Canada and have multiple species at risk residing within them. They must be located outside of the 11 Federal-Provincial-Territorial Priority Places established under the Pan-Canadian Approach (refer to the frequently asked questions for more information on these 11 priority places).

Examples of eligible places where an applicant could apply for funding under CNPP include the following:

  • Atlantic Region
  • coastal beaches, dunes and marshes
  • limestone barrens
  • boreal forest (Labrador)
  • coastal barrens and arctic tundra (Labrador)

Quebec Region

  • Magdalen Islands
  • Appalachian ecoregion
  • coastal area of the Lower North Shore

Ontario Region

  • Bruce Peninsula
  • Huron fringe
  • St. Clair plains
  • Iroquois plain
  • Pelee Island
  • Eastern Georgian Bay

Prairie Region

  • tall grass prairie (Manitoba)

Pacific Region

  • ponderosa pine biogeoclimatic zone (areas not already captured within the dry interior of BC priority place)
  • Creston Valley

Northern Region

  • unglaciated areas of central and northern Yukon, as well as adjacent areas in southwest Yukon with unique lowland habitats (grassland, riparian, old forest, dune, or saline flats habitats under 1000m) that now harbour Beringian endemic or disjunct species.

Applications for places not included in the above list are also welcome

Eligible projects

Joint proposals (i.e. lead applicant plus one or more partners) are required.

In general, activities that could be implemented in an identified priority place could include the following:

1) cooperative multi-species, ecosystem/area-based action planning

  • develop goals, objectives, strategies, and project monitoring and implementation plans for selected conservation targets
  • activities could include data collection including Indigenous Knowledge,  mapping, governance-building, stakeholder engagement, capacity building for the use of adaptive management tools

2) implementation of planned actions

  • implement on the ground recovery and protection actions  (e.g. species management and restoration, species and habitat protection, habitat improvement, threat reduction)

3) monitoring, analysis and evaluation

  • gather and analyze project monitoring data and update monitoring plan (e.g. Are threats reduced? Are strategies effective?); adapt actions as needed

In cases where applicants have already completed initial stages, such as action planning, proposals can focus on implementation and other subsequent stages. In order to achieve conservation action on the ground quickly, it is recommended that projects do not allocate more than 50% of all funds requested in the first two years of the project (2019 to 2021) to planning activities. No funds should be allocated to planning activities in year 3 or 4 of a project.

Range of funding

This call for proposals will be the first of two calls for proposals over the four years of the CNPP funding initiative. This first call for proposals targets projects in the first two years of the initiative (2019 to 2021), while the second call targets projects during the second two years of the initiative (2021 to 2023). Applicants have the option to submit proposals for three or four years (with requested funding ending no later than March 31, 2023), if they have the required information and commitment of matching funds to complete a fully costed application for those years.

Up to $3.9 million is available to support projects in each year of the four years of funding. Federal contributions will be no more than $500,000 per recipient per fiscal year of the funding agreement.

In all applications, the applicant will detail the total costs of proposed activities and identify other sources of funds. Matching funding of at least 0.2:1 for Indigenous recipients from non-federal sources ($0.20 confirmed match for each $1 of federal funding) and at least 1:1 for other recipients from non-federal sources ($1 confirmed match for each $1 of federal funding). Match may include cash and in-kind sources.

Frequently asked questions

What is an appropriate size for a priority place?

The size and boundaries of the nominated priority place should enable the effective conservation of species at risk and their habitats. Examples include: biosphere reserves, small watersheds or sub-watersheds, ecosystems, regional district or municipal boundaries, etc.  

What are the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Priority Places established under the Pan-Canadian Approach?

There are 11 Federal-Provincial-Territorial Priority Places:

  • Forested Landscape (Prince Edward Island)
  • Southwest Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia)
  • St John River Valley (New Brunswick)
  • St Lawrence Lowlands (Quebec)
  • Long Point / Walsingham Forest (Ontario)Footnote 3 
  • Mixed Grass Prairie (Manitoba)
  • South of the Divide (Saskatchewan)
  • Southern Alberta (Alberta)
  • Dry Interior (British Columbia)
  • Southwestern British Columbia
  • Southern Beringia (Yukon)
Map of community-nominated priority places for species at risk
Long description

This map shows the locations of 11 confirmed federal-provincial-territorial priority places across Canada. These priority places are numbered sequentially across the country from east to west:

  • #1 is south west Nova Scotia in Nova Scotia
  • #2 is St John River Valley in New Brunswick
  • #3 is forested landscape in Prince Edward Island
  • #4 is the St Lawrence lowlands of Quebec
  • #5 is Long Point Walsingham Forest in Ontario
  • #6 is mixed grass prairie in Manitoba
  • #7 is south of the divide in Saskatchewan
  • #8 is south Saskatchewan River watershed in Alberta
  • #9 is the dry interior of British Columbia
  • #10 is south west British Columbia
  • #11 is south Beringia in the Yukon

Five inset maps show groupings of the same priority places at a larger scale.

What constitutes a “community”?

A “community”, as used in the title of the funding initiative, refers to the partners that are interested in working together to undertake action in the proposed priority place. Partners could include Indigenous peoples, non-profit and for-profit organizations, individual landowners, local governments, among others.

How many community-nominated priority places will be funded?

It is anticipated that 13 community-nominated priority places (approximately 1 per province/territory) will be selected in the first call for proposals.

This target has been chosen to promote fairness across jurisdictions in Canada and to ensure that limited funds are not spread across too many places. It is hoped that CNPP can serve as a model that can be followed to develop other priority place initiatives in Canada.

Will priority places differ between the first and second calls for proposals?

Priority places selected in the first call for proposals will be targeted for funding through the second call for proposals, with possible exceptions. Depending on the outcome of the first call for proposals, new priority places may also be added through the second call for proposals.

I have an idea for a project, can you tell me if I should consider applying to CNPP or not?

If you are interested in applying to CNPP please contact the relevant Regional CWS Coordinator (listed below) to discuss your proposal in more detail.

How will the projects be evaluated?

Projects will be evaluated based on mandatory and merit criteria, such as:

  • Contributes towards recovery of species at risk
  • Advances partnerships and collaboration, including with Indigenous peoples and
  • Contributes to priority co-benefits
  • And evaluation of the technical merit of the proposal, which may include consideration such as applicant experience/capacity, meeting previous commitments, quantifiable performance measures, and overall proposal quality

The evaluation criteria includes those criteria used to identify the 11 national Federal-Provincial-Territorial Priority Places under the Pan-Canadian Approach.

Points to consider

Please refer to the Proposal Guide for complete instructions, and explanations. If you have further questions, please contact your regional CWS office.

Application instructions

Interested applicants are invited to participate in a public webinar on:

  • March 13th, 2019 at 13:00 EDT (English)
  • March 13th, 2019 at 14:30 EDT (French)

The webinar will provide more information about the funding criteria and the formal proposal process.

Please contact us at: if you are interested in participating to one of these sessions.

When you're ready to apply, visit the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) application instructions page.

Contact information

For more information, please contact your regional CWS coordinator:

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