Call for Applications: GDF Conservation and Communities Fellowship

CATEGORY: Training

Judith Macharia ()

Conservation and Communities Fellowship (CCF) which will start in November 2023 in collaboration with Common Purpose and Mowgli Mentoring, is a 10-month tailored learning and development programme for Global South leaders. It seeks to bring greater equity in the conservation funding flows from the Global North by supporting grassroots Global South civil society organisations to directly access funds for their projects and programmes.

The goal of the Fellowship is to enhance the skills, leadership and networks of 30 changemakers within Global South organisations who work at the intersection of biodiversity and livelihoods. The CCF will help participants to fundraise for their projects and programmes, successfully implement and measure the impact of their projects and programmes, and grow a supportive peer-learning and mentoring community.

The CCF is offered for free, thanks to the generosity of our funders. We will ask all fellows to contribute a modest sum towards their travel costs for the in-person event in Morocco in May 2024. We will offer support for individuals to fundraise to cover these costs, as well as application-based travel bursaries, to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to participate.


The Fellowship is open to applicants from the Global South who are leaders or project managers in local civil society or grassroots organisations whose work focuses on the intersection of biodiversity conservation and community livelihoods. Specifically, we are seeking candidates from Least Developed Countries, Low Income Countries and Lower Middle Income Countries (see the DAC list here).

Successful candidates will be highly motivated individuals who show commitment to bring about positive change, and who can demonstrate their leadership potential and capability.  They are able to critically assess their personal and organisational challenges, and are capable of clearly articulating their learning requirements and needs.

We expect candidates to carefully review the Fellowship schedule (see below) and to commit to attending and actively participating in all of the online sessions plus the in-person meet-up in May 2024.


Taking part in the Conservation and Communities Fellowship will allow participants to:

  • Grow new networks and collaborations;
  • Acquire mentoring and coaching skills to support colleagues, partners and collaborators;
  • Build robust technical and strategic skills in all areas, from building relationships with donors, through project implementation and impact measurement, to scaling up programmes;
  • Gain leadership capabilities and learn how to ‘Lead Beyond Authority’ – i.e. to lead and collaborate across sectors, geographies, cultures and social boundaries;
  • Support their organisations to successfully fundraise for their projects and programmes;
  • Participate in the International Society for Ethnobiology’s 18th biennial Congress in Marrakech, Morocco in May 2024;
  • Join the  Global Environments Network.


Fellows will receive integrated training and facilitated  peer group support in three streams:

Mentoring, led by Mowgli Mentoring: participants will develop, practise and apply key mentoring skills, competencies and tools to grow, and to support their colleagues and partners to grow. Trained and matched in two-way peer to peer mentoring relationships, participants will enhance their leadership potential and tackle key challenges together.

Leadership, led by Common Purpose: participants will enhance their ability to ‘Lead Beyond Authority’, enabling them to engage more effectively with donors and stakeholders. They will also learn the coaching approach to leadership and share personal challenges through peer group coaching.

Skills-building, led by Global Diversity Foundation in partnership with WildTeam: practical workshops and tailored technical assistance on proposal writing and project management. Fellows will receive ongoing support and mentorship from the GDF team throughout the Fellowship.

In addition, Fellows will join a 3-day in-person Community Exchange in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco from 12-14 May 2024 where they will deepen their knowledge, skills and capabilities. Immediately after the Exchange, Fellows will be invited to participate in the 18th Congress of the International Society for Ethnobiology from 15-19 May 2024 and to lead an interactive session provisionally entitled Conserving Biodiversity and Sustaining Local Livelihoods: Voices from the Global South.

Fellows will be expected to participate in all the online sessions of the Fellowship.

The fellowship programme is shared here. A calendar version of the schedule is available for downloading from this link.




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