The Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative (CESI) will award $10 million in funding for “shovel-ready” ecosystem and species conservation projects across the province, creating new employment opportunities for British Columbians.

B.C.’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MOE) has allocated $10 million in funding for ecosystem and species conservation via the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative (CESI). As part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, this new program will support B.C.’s economic recovery by investing in ecosystem and species restoration projects across the province. These projects will employ British Columbians, with a focus on demographics such as young adult, women, and Indigenous People who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, by funding “shovel ready” conservation projects that will also help to protect and improve B.C.’s diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and freshwater fish species.

For almost 40 years the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has awarded $189 million in funding to conservation organizations practicing science-based habitat, wildlife, and fish management techniques across B.C. In these unprecedented times, HCTF is proud to be partnering with the Province to bring further funding to the conservation field, assisting with economic recovery efforts while also improving and securing B.C.’s important natural assets.

Appreciation for our wild places, diverse wildlife species, and abundant fisheries is a value held by all British Columbians, the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative will keep this love for BC wilderness in the forefront even as our province begins the process of recovering from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Preliminary Project List

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative?

    The Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative describes $10M in stimulus funding provided by the Province and administered by HCTF. Funding will be allocated to wildlife species and ecosystem restoration and conservation activities as part of the Province’s recently announced economic recovery plan.

  • What is the purpose of the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative?

    The purpose of this project is to support economic recovery and stimulus, promote healthy ecosystems through conservation and restoration activities, and support the advancement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) implementation.

  • What types of projects will be funded?

    Funding provided by the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative will be used to enable conservation work to restore and support natural spaces impacted by climate change, urbanization, industrial and resource development. This includes activities such as monitoring waterflows, tracking species, and restoring ecosystems through replanting native flora, amongst other initiatives.

  • Who will the funding be awarded to?

    Recipients of Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative funding will be “shovel-ready” conservation projects (i.e. able to begin work quickly) and be completed by December 2021. These projects must meet the following criteria:

    • Provide immediate job creation for vulnerable communities most impacted by COVID-19, including women, young adult, and Indigenous People across the province
    • Has links to climate mitigation or adaptation benefits
    • Supports Indigenous reconciliation
    • All projects must also abide by current COVID-19 health and safety requirements
  • What will the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s role be in this initiative?

    The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) will be responsible for administering the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative funds, including providing grants to partner organizations for species and ecosystem conservation projects. HCTF will work closely with successful grant recipients to manage contracts, payments, and reporting on the conservation and economic outcomes of their projects.

  • Why was HCTF selected to administer the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative?

    HCTF was selected to manage funding for the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative based upon the organization’s record of excellence in science-based conservation project assessment, financial management, and funding administration.

  • How will this initiative differ from HCTF’s existing funding programs?

    The Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative differs from HCTF’s other granting streams in that a priority is placed on economic and employment recovery within the conservation field and among demographics disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To generate employment opportunities as quickly as possible, projects were selected from a list of projects that had already been reviewed and recommended by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. HCTF also reviewed each individual project to ensure compliance with the HCTF Trust Purposes. Following the selection process, HCTF will subsequentially lead all aspects of grant administration, funding management, and project coordination similarly to other HCTF programs. Please note that due to the program’s unique goals and requirements, reporting and other administrative procedures will differ from HCTF’s existing funding programs.

  • How were projects selected for funding through the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative?

    The Province undertook an internal call for shovel-ready projects that met the Province’s conservation and employment economic criteria. Through a further feasibility process, including feedback from HCTF, this list was then narrowed down to approximately 70 projects. Project leaders have now been contacted regarding their initiatives and the potential for grants to support that work

  • Can I apply for Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative funding?

    There are no opportunities to apply at this time, as all available funding has been allocated. If additional funding becomes available HCTF may advertise an open call for proposals through our website. However, HCTF welcomes anyone with a good idea that benefits fish, wildlife, or habitats to apply through any of our other granting streams.

  • I am seeking employment; how can I connect with Project Leaders in my region?

    HCTF is not involved in the hiring process for any of the projects we fund. To inquire about employment opportunities, you may contact the project leaders and conservation organizations directly. HCTF will provide a detailed project listing, including contact information as soon as it is available.