Call for project proposals


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on project proposals

With assistance from the Government of Denmark, the Frontlines Forum is now calling for community-level projects focusing on local experiences with climate change impacts and adaptation

Despite broad recognition that small island, Arctic, high altitude and other vulnerable communities are on the frontlines of climate change, community voices have remained on the margins of global climate change debates. It is these voices, however, that most need to be heard. They provide first hand evidence, experience and expertise on climate change impacts and adaptation.

In response to this concern, the global internet forum On the Frontlines of Climate Change was launched in June 2008 by UNESCO, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

The goals of the Frontlines Forum are to:

    • Draw international attention to the knowledge and experiences of indigenous communities and peoples living in small island, Arctic, montane, desert margin and other vulnerable environments;
    • Seek community-level observations on climate change impacts, as well as local efforts to cope with and adapt to these changes;
    • Provide an opportunity for communities to voice their observations, experiences and concerns, and to share and exchange them with other communities;
    • Build up a global database of local observations, experiences, practices and coping strategies;
    • Support community-level research and educational activities related to climate change, highlighting the role of local knowledge, practices and coping strategies;
    • Heighten the profile of local and indigenous peoples in international climate change debates, to build recognition of their unique knowledge and expertise.

What are we funding?
Community-level projects focusing on local experiences with climate change and its impacts. These could involve field research, interviews with community members, workshops, photo projects, film projects etc.

Who are we funding?
Proposals can be made by interested groups or individuals, for example, local and indigenous organisations, research centres, researchers, graduate students with interdisciplinary training, community members (youth groups, women, elders) etc.

What topics?
Projects could explore any topic relating to climate change and local communities. For example:

    a) Local observations and understandings of climate change impacts (negative or positive) on communities, livelihoods or local environments;
    b) Ways that your community is adapting to or dealing with climate change;
    c) Strategies and practices developed by local communities to cope with changes in the environment;
    d) Local impacts (positive or negative) of measures to fight climate change. For example, planting trees to reduce greenhouse gases (through carbon sequestration); or building hydroelectric dams or avoiding deforestation (e.g. REDD) to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

However, we invite all kinds of proposals related to climate change and local communities, so do not feel limited by these suggestions.

What output?
Your project should result in a detailed account – either in the form of a written report, a video or other media production - in English, Spanish or French. It should contribute to a growing body of information about community-level concerns, observations and experiences relating to climate change impacts and adaptation. These submissions will also contribute to the development of postings and discussions on the Frontlines of Climate Change Forum.

Where are we funding?
We invite proposals from anywhere in the world, as long as they are for local-scale projects involving peoples and places vulnerable to climate change.

How much funding are we providing?
Between US$3000 and USD$5000 per project. Further funding may subsequently be provided for projects with interesting outcomes.

When are we funding?
Project grants will be distributed from mid-2009 onwards. Initial results would be expected before October 2010.

What is the deadline for submission?
Proposals should reach UNESCO on or before 15 July 2009

Projects will be reviewed after the submission deadline of 15 July 2009. Applicants will be informed of the outcome from 1 September 2009 onwards.

For further information, please write to