The Darwin Initiative

The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide.

What we do

The initiative funds projects that help countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives under one or more of the following biodiversity conventions:

Apply for funding

Projects typically try to address threats to biodiversity such as:

  • habitat loss or degradation
  • climate change
  • invasive species
  • over-exploitation
  • pollution and eutrophication

You can look up current and past projects in the Darwin projects database.

Darwin Expert Committee

The Darwin Expert Committee, consists of experts from government, academia, science and the private sector. The committee advises ministers on development of the initiative, reviews applications and makes recommendations to ministers on applications for funding.

Name Organisation
Professor EJ Milner-Gulland (Chair) Oxford University
Patricia Davis Independent
Jo Elliott Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
Dr Abigail Entwistle Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
Dr Frances Humber Independent
Dr Howard Nelson Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
Dr Dilys Roe International Institute for Environment and Development
Dr Paul Smith Botanic Gardens Conservation International
David Tickner World Wildlife Fund
Dr Mark Watson Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Dr Chris West Independent
Chris McOwen UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)
Serah Munguti Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
Amy Dickman Oxford University
Katharine Abernathy Sterling University
Dave Pritchard Independent
Ex-officio members:  
Vicky Morgan JNCC
Professor Monique Simmonds Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Chris Lyal Natural History Museum
Ed McManus Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
Dr Tom Clements Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Privacy notice

Our privacy notice (PDF) explains how we use your personal data in connection with the Darwin Initiative, Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund and Darwin Plus.


For questions about policy, contact the Darwin Secretariat at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


For queries about project applications, contact the applications team.


For queries about applying through the Flexi-Grant applications, contact the Flexi-Grant support team.


For queries relating to new and existing projects, contact the project administrators.


Telephone: Eilidh Young on 0131 440 5181

For queries about project finance, contact the finance section.


Darwin Initiative
LTS International
Pentlands Science Park
Bush Loan
EH26 0PL