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Open Call for Proposals Africa’s Atlantic Coast

The Blue Action Fund is pleased to announce a new open call for grant proposals focussing on Africa’s Atlantic coast from Morocco to South Africa. The present call for proposals is part of a continuing series of such calls by Blue Action Fund, providing individual grants to selected conservation projects in the global South with the following dual focus:

  • Newly established, expanded or better managed marine protected areas (MPAs) or networks of MPAs that result in conservation of biodiversity, and
  • Enhanced livelihood conditions and food security.

Africa’s Atlantic marine region is characterised by a number of globally significant biodiversity features. Among others, it comprises some of the most productive and biologically diverse large marine ecosystems in the world, the largest breeding monk seals colony left on Earth and high concentrations of migratory birds, as well as mangrove forests, seagrass beds, seamounts and canyons. It is also an area were substantial parts of the population rely on healthy marine resources. Yet, the marine ecosystem and coastal communities face numerous challenges, ranging from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to pollution, coastal development, and population growth. Climate change exacerbates these challenges. Through this call it is Blue Action’s ambition to make a significant contribution towards achieving the SDG 14.5’s 10% target for coastal and marine protected areas and Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Blue Action Fund is looking forward to receiving proposals for projects that:

  • Are situated in one of the following countries (or in case of transboundary MPAs several of the countries): Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, The Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, South Africa (Atlantic Coast);
  • Ask for a contribution by Blue Action Fund of EUR 1-3 million, in well justified cases up to EUR 4 million; and
  • Can be completed within up to 5 years. 

The thematic focus of projects should be:

  • Supporting ecologically representative and well-connected systems of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through enhancing management of existing MPAs, enlarging existing ones or establishing new MPAs; and
  • Supporting sustainable livelihoods in coastal communities dependent on MPAs and their buffer zones. 

The current expectation is that Blue Action Fund will award grants from this call with a total volume of EUR 15 million or more.

Eligible applicants are NGOs with proven experience in coastal and marine conservation and sustainable livelihood development in the area. NGOs must provide match funding of at least 25% of the total project costs (in exceptional cases more than 10%1 )

NGOs must have experience in implementing projects of similar size, Environmental and Social Management System capacity, and their reporting and financial management systems must be compliant with internationally recognised standards.

The Fund encourages applications by consortia of NGOs that include local implementing partners. Blue Action Fund’s procedures require that all projects must receive the endorsement of the appropriate authority/authorised body of the country in which the project is located.

This document should be read in conjunction with Blue Action Fund’s Grant Procedures Manual, which provides detailed information on both general project requirements and the application process, as well as Blue Action Fund’s Environmental and Social Management System.

If you are interested in a Blue Action Fund grant, please fill out the concept note template and send it electronically in Word or PDF format [<3MB file size] to with the subject line “[your organization] Concept Note” by 16 July 2021. All relevant documents can be found on Blue Action’s website.

Blue Action Fund is a foundation to support the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and further the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 14. The Blue Action Fund is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Agence Française de Développement.