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.

We are seeking new Chair to join the Darwin Expert Committee. Find out more about the role, including how to apply. The closing date for applications is midday on 22 October 2018.

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 (currently chaired by Professor Stephen Blackmore), 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 Stephen Blackmore (Chair) Independent
Mr Martin Brasher Independent
Dr Abigail Entwistle Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
Dr Geoffrey Hawtin Independent
Dr Keith Hamer University of Leeds
Dr Frances Humber Blue Ventures
Dr Gary Martin Global Diversity Foundation
Professor EJ Milner-Gulland Oxford University
Dr Jay Mistry Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr Howard Nelson University of Chester
Dilys Roe International Institute for Environment and Development
Dr Paul Smith Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Dr Juliet Vickery RSPB
Dr Mark Watson Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Ex-officio members:  
Dr Vincent Fleming JNCC
Professor Monique Simmonds Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Chris Lyal Natural History Museum

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 Food and Rural Affairs.


For queries about project applications, contact the applications 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