The Rapid Response Facility Funding Program

About the PRF:

The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) is an emergency fund that provides grants to protected areas during sudden crises. In particular, we fund efforts to alleviate disaster situations affecting wildlife in UNESCO natural World Heritage sites.

Natural World Heritage sites are the most important sites globally for the conservation of nature. But emergencies such as wildfires, oil spills, armed conflicts or unsustainable developments can destroy our precious natural heritage in an incredibly short timeframe.


1. The site must be located in an eligible country: RRF grants are restricted to countries that are eligible for ‘official development assistance’ according to the OECD.

2. The site must be a listed UNESCO natural World Heritage site (or an internationally recognized site of high biodiversity value): The list of UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found here; please note UNESCO cultural World Heritage sites are not eligible for RRF funding.

In rare cases, we may also consider other high-priority protected areas including;

  • Sites on the tentative World Heritage list

We occasionally accept applications from sites on ‘tentative’ lists, which can be found here. We only consider sites included under natural or mixed categories.

  • Other eligible sites

In exceptional circumstances the Rapid Response Facility may provide grants for places other than World Heritage sites. These would need to be one of the following:

a site that directly impacts the ‘outstanding universal values’ (OUV) of a natural World Heritage site. This includes sites that are in close proximity to a natural World Heritage site, where the threat would impact the biodiversity within the World Heritage site. 

sites with other international designations. These sites include (but are not limited to) the following;

  • UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserves 
  • Ramsar sites

Applications for actions outside the World Heritage site network must clearly demonstrate the global significance of the site’s biodiversity in order to qualify for funding.

3. Applications must address a sudden emergency situation: The RRF only funds actions at a site facing an ‘emergency’ threat to its biodiversity. We do not fund on-going issues even if they require urgent action.

The RRF’s definition of emergency is based on the following criteria:

  • 1) Suddenness: RRF only considers a situation an emergency if it has arisen in the last few months or weeks, or if the intensity of an existing threat has suddenly got worse.
  • 2) Predictability: The RRF prioritizes funding for situations where the threat was unpredictable and thus difficult to prepare for in advance.
  • 3) Time sensitivity: The RRF prioritizes projects that require immediate assistance.
  • 4) Duration and reversibility of impact: The RRF prioritizes actions that avert irreversible damage or reduce long-term negative impacts.

Applications must meet most or all of these criteria in order to qualify for funding. Those that do not meet the criteria are likely to be rejected by the Secretariat.

4. Applications must be from an eligible organisation: The RRF does not make grants to individuals. The types of organisations we fund include (but are not limited to):

  • 1) Government bodies responsible for site management (for example national wildlife agencies, park managers, government ministries, etc.)
  • 2) Registered local, national or international non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • 3) Private sector organisations (including local and multinational corporations)

Applicant organisations must be able to accept funds into an organisational bank account, directly from the UK in US Dollars (USD).


  • Requests for funding are only accepted through submission of the official RRF application form to the RRF email address ( 
  • All applicants must include contact details of two independent referees 
  • Applications from NGOs or private sector organisations must include a letter of support from the relevant site management authority as part of their application 
  • Applications are accepted year round, there are no deadlines

Application forms can be downloaded and submitted in either:

1. Funding opportunities, The Rapid Response Facility,
2. Rapid Response Facility, 

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?