The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF), an adventure travel industry nonprofit organization launched in October 2016, has released its funding criteria.
The ATCF’s mission is to protect threatened communities, cultures, and wild places throughout the world for their cultural, habitat and recreational value. Current members include a diverse group of leading adventure travel and outdoor recreation businesses that share a common ethos and responsibility to protect the resources from which the adventure tourism industry benefits. With a goal to “directly fund local projects engaged in the conservation of unique cultural and natural resources of adventure travel destinations,” the ATCF recognized the need to offer further guidance to the specific types of projects that would be prioritized for funding by the ATCF.
Shortly after the 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit in Alaska, the ATCF team, including a diverse board of directors, quickly set to work to extensively analyze existing criteria by other travel organizations, conservation organizations, indigenous communities, and nonprofits. With this information, the ATCF was able to understand those areas that already have funding access, where the gaps are, and where the ATCF should prioritize funding. Key stakeholders across the globe were also consulted to provide input to the ATCF criteria. As described in the process below, the ATCF funding criteria reflect the greatest areas of current need for conservation in travel destinations across the world.
“ATCF’s goal is to support projects that will have a measurable and meaningful impact.” said Josie Norris of Conservation Alliance and an ATCF board member. “Our funding criteria will help our members identify projects working to protect the natural and cultural resources that are important to local communities and to the adventure travel industry.”
The ATCF will provide grants to organizations, other than governmental entities, outside North America that seek funding for projects supporting the ATCF mission and meet at least one of the following project criteria:
- Provide long-term protection of an environmental resource, wildland, waterway, or threatened species.
- Protect the cultural assets of a tourism destination such as language, traditional knowledge, and historical sites.
- Improve or create outdoor recreation infrastructure.
- Develop or support business development opportunities for projects that focus on the preservation of unique cultural and natural resources.
Additional information on why the ATCF is funding these types of projects, and how the ATCF will prioritize projects, is available on the organization’s website.
Although the ATCF board members are confident this set of criteria provides a solid foundation to determine which projects to fund in its first year, they also recognize the industry’s needs and priorities will continue to shift, and thus, the criteria will continue to evolve as well.
Over the next month, the ATCF will be open to project nominations by ATCF members. Each ATCF member will have the ability to nominate up to two projects for funding consideration each year. These projects can be the member’s own projects, or they can be in destinations where members have traveled and know of an organization in need of funding. All projects must meet the project criteria. The ATCF anticipates funding international projects that range between USD $10,000-$25,000. The number of projects selected, and the amount awarded per project will vary depending on the availability of ATCF funds.
ATCF members are encouraged to begin reviewing project funding criteria and submit projects they deem worthy of a nomination for funding consideration. Those organizations that are not yet members of the ATCF are encouraged to sign up for membership.