Darwin Plus Local: Round 1, 2023/24

The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) is proud to promote and encourage science that contributes to developing and upholding best-practice environmental management and that supports the active management and good governance of the Territory.

We are therefore delighted by the announcement of the new Darwin Local funding round to support small scale environmental projects within the Overseas Territories (OTs). Darwin Plus Local is a competitive grant scheme designed to build capability and capacity within the OTs. The funding is available only to individuals and organisations based in an OT, however in the case of SGSSI where there is no permanent population, applicants must be able to demonstrate a meaningful, long-term connection to the islands.

The Government’s vision for the future of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and our priority work areas are clearly laid out in ‘Protect Sustain Inspire’, a values-driven approach to the stewardship of SGSSI. The Government would encourage anyone who is considering submitting a Darwin Local proposal for a SGSSI related project to read this document along with the associated Delivery Plan.

Additionally, for marine related proposals, our Marine Protected Area Research and Monitoring Plan (RMP) identifies monitoring activities and research needs to address questions related to the MPA objectives and to improve knowledge and understanding of the SGSSI marine ecosystem. Again we encourage you to consider how your project may address the research needs within the RMP to support the management of the MPA.

We advise all prospective applicants to notify GSGSSI as soon as possible, providing the following documentation:

1. A completed Darwin Local application form.

2. Evidence of your long-term connection to SGSSI and written motivation outlining how this project aligns with current GSGSSI management challenges or builds on previous scientific.

3. A brief document that identifies in detail what resources/facilities/support would be requested from GSGSSI e.g. project partner, funding, letter of support, logistics, staff time, accommodation, lab space and scientific equipment use, boat time, waiving of fees etc. This should also include the frequency of any proposed project meetings and workshops where GSGSSI will be required/requested to attend. This will allow us to assess whether costings are accurate and fully cover all aspects of undertaking fieldwork on SGSSI and any GSGSSI project involvement.

Notification of intent should be submitted to GSGSSI at sue.gregory(at)gov.gs at the earliest opportunity. The requested documents should be submitted by 17:00 (GMT) on 1st February 2023 to the same email address.

Except in exceptional circumstances, we will not be able to support or prioritise submissions made later than this deadline.

Applicants should be aware that access to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has been significantly constrained in recent years due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Now that travel restrictions have been relaxed we are facing high levels of demand for logistic support which may impact our ability to facilitate on-island work.