Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk - Prevention Stream - Application Guidelines 2016-2017

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1. Background

The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) Program, established in 2004, supports the development of Aboriginal capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This fund also enables the Government of Canada to facilitate Aboriginal involvement in activities that protect or conserve habitats for species at risk (SAR). The Act recognizes the important role that Aboriginal peoples play in wildlife conservation and the need to consider Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) in the SARA process.

In 2014, AFSAR was strengthened such that funding became available to support projects that will proactively prevent species, other than SAR, from becoming a conservation concern, in addition to expanding the funding for SAR. This document provides general program information and requirements for making an application for the AFSAR Prevention Stream 2016-2017 funding year. The AFSAR Prevention Stream focuses on other species (not listed on Schedule 1 of SARA) to prevent them from becoming a conservation concern. Separate Application Guidelines and an on-line Application Form have been developed for the AFSAR SAR Stream, which focuses on the recovery projects of SAR which are listed on Schedule 1.

Proposals will be evaluated in the context of the national funding priorities, included in this document, and the funding priorities for each region. Please contact your AFSAR Regional Coordinator (see Appendix 1) to learn more about specific regional information and priorities.

For general information on the AFSAR Program, please consult the program website at:  Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk or send your specific questions to: FAEP-AFSAR@ec.gc.ca.

2. Objectives, National Priorities and Expected Results


The underlying objectives of the AFSAR Prevention Stream are to:

  • Support and promote the conservation of targeted (non SARA) species and their habitats on Aboriginal land; and
  • Support the engagement and cooperation of Aboriginal peoples in the conservation of target species and their habitat.

National Priorities

The national priorities for the AFSAR Prevention Stream are projects that focus on the following:

  • SpeciesFootnote 1 assessed as “may be at risk” and “sensitive” by The General Status of Species in Canada.
  • Species of cultural significance to Aboriginal people (e.g. Food, Social and Ceremonial species of conservation interest).
  • Supporting the enhancement of wildlife that are of cultural and/or socio-economic importance to aboriginal communities.
  • Building capacity in Aboriginal communities and organizations to participate in wildlife conservation actions.

Expected Results

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must contribute to one or more of the expected results of the AFSAR Prevention Stream, which are to:

  • Strengthen capacity in Aboriginal communities for their participation in preventive action to conserve the target species and their associated habitat.
  • Stop, remove, or mitigate potential threats, caused by human activities, to individual target species, and/or their habitat.
  • Protect, improve or manage important habitatFootnote 2 of the target species.
  • Help document and conserve Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) on the target species.

3. Eligible Lands

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must take place on:

  1. Reserves and Lands set apart for the use and benefit of Aboriginal people under the Indian Act or under section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;
  2. Other lands directly controlled by Aboriginal people (e.g., Métis Settlement lands, and land claim / treaty settlement lands), and lands set aside in the Yukon and Northwest Territories pursuant to Cabinet Directive, circular No.27;
  3. Lands and waters where traditional activities (harvesting or other) are carried out; or
  4. Federal waters.

4. Eligible Recipients:

All Aboriginal communities and organizations are eligible for funding (see list below). Furthermore, a partner organization (Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal) may submit an application on behalf of one or more Aboriginal communities or organizations if they provide a letter of support from the community indicating that they have been formally mandated to do so by the application deadline.

Eligible recipients include the following types of Aboriginal communities and organizations:

  • Aboriginal associations/organizations
  • Territorially based Aboriginal groups
  • District councils / Chief and Council
  • Traditional appointed advisory committees
  • Aboriginal Corporations
  • Band/Tribal councils
  • Aboriginal partnerships and groups
  • Aboriginal School Authorities
  • Aboriginal cultural education centres
  • Aboriginal land/resource management authorities
  • Aboriginal co-operatives
  • Aboriginal societies
  • Aboriginal Boards and commissions
  • Other organizations (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) if mandated by one of the above eligible recipients

5. Eligible Species:

Only proposed projects that target species not listed on Schedule 1 of SARA will be eligible for funding under the AFSAR Prevention Stream.

Projects targeting species which have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as at risk, but which are not listed on Schedule 1 of SARA are eligible under the AFSAR Prevention stream.

Any species which the Governor in Council has declined to list on Schedule 1 of SARA is eligible for the AFSAR Prevention Stream.

6. Eligible Activities:

You must select from the following activity categories in your application. The examples listed below each activity category are eligible options to consider, and pertain to both aquatic and terrestrial environments, with few exceptions. Activities that do not fall under these categories are subject to approval. You should consult your Regional Coordinator if you would like to undertake activities other than those listed below.

Activity Categories and Examples

  • Habitat/Species Protection and Potential Threat Mitigation:

    • Prevention of habitat damage (riparian or terrestrial) (e.g., educational signage, fences for the exclusion of predators or human disturbances, etc.)
    • Protection and prevention of harm to the species (e.g. disentanglement, relocation, enabling species migration around roadways, etc.) (human induced threat mitigation)
    • Development and negotiation of habitat conservation/protection agreements (e.g., legal protection, Certificate of Possession leases/transfer/exchange, formal agreements and informal conservation agreements, and other mechanisms that protect habitat of the species such as plans to limit or manage harvest) (for terrestrial projects only)
  • Habitat Improvement:

    • Identification of potential sites for habitat restoration
    • Implementing Habitat Management Plans for habitat restoration and enhancement
    • Restoration and enhancement of the species habitat (e.g., shoreline improvement, erection of exclusion fences, boardwalks to manage trampling/ATVs or access to sensitive habitats, plantings, controlled burns, forest management, etc.)
    • Invasive species removal
  • Program Planning and Development:

    • Participation in the development and implementation of tools to conserve the species (e.g., developing best practices, displaying educational signage) to improve habitat and reduce potential threats
    • Compilation, dissemination and implementation of resource/land-use guidelines and best management practices
    • Development of plans for habitat restoration and enhancement (e.g. habitat management plans)
  • Monitoring and Data CollectionFootnote a:

    • On-the-ground monitoring initiatives for the species and their habitats, and related mapping and analysis
    • Collection and management of data about the species and their habitats (e.g., surveys, inventories, databases, etc.)
    • Assessing the presence of the species through community monitoring, surveys, and related mapping and analysis
    • Creation and/or maintenance of inventories or databases for habitat and species data
  • Project and Program Evaluation:

    • Conduct project or program results assessment(s) to evaluate the social and biological results and effectiveness of activities
  • Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) – Documentation and Use:

    • Contribution to the use/integration of ATK in conservation planning
    • Documenting ATK through surveys and interviews about the species and their habitats
    • ATK compilation and storage (e.g. setting up/maintenance of databases)
  • OutreachFootnote b:

    • Development of targeted outreach materials emphasizing the importance of the species and the benefits of action to be undertaken which will be used to inform and engage community members/youth
    • Training of individuals/community members in stewardship practices/field activities related to the species


  • Activities under the outreach category must clearly demonstrate that they are focused and targeted on achieving the goals of conservation for target species.
  • Any proposed outreach or awareness-building activity will need to be framed as a necessary component of a larger project plan. Proposals will need to describe in detail how each outreach activity will lead to action in implementing on-the-ground species conservation and include a plan for measuring the implementation, either within the timeframe of the project, or within a defined period afterward. Instructions on how to demonstrate this aspect of your outreach activities are included in the on-line Application Form (Section 4.1).
  • Scientific research activities, captive breeding, captive rearing, fish hatcheries, aquaculture activities, wildlife rehabilitation and extirpated species reintroductions are not eligible for AFSAR Prevention Stream funding. However, AFSAR activities can contribute to the content of recovery documents, such as through the collection of species data that can be used to inform on habitat needs, threat mitigation measures, etc.

7. Consolidating Projects and Multi-Year Funding

If an applicant wishes to submit more than one project under the AFSAR Prevention Stream, it is encouraged to consolidate multiple, small proposals on the same target species or in the same priority area into a single, large application that outlines the different priority activities.

Multi-year projects are encouraged because they consider the longer-term conservation outcome and once approved offer assurance of funding from one year to the next provided the project remains on track.

Current recipients of AFSAR multi-year funding can apply to receive additional AFSAR funding to undertake new and additional activities as part of their current project, by way of an amendment to their existing contribution agreement.

8. Matching Contributions

You must obtain contributions of non-federal support (cash and/or in-kind) to obtain AFSAR Prevention Stream funds.

  • Provincial agencies, non-government organizations, private landowners, the private sector, and you, the applicant, are all eligible sources for matching funds. Examples of in-kind resources are: equipment loans, donations of building materials, and volunteer labor.
  • A minimum of  20% matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required (20₵ match for each $1 of AFSAR funding). However, preference will be given to projects with matching contributions in excess of 20% and to projects with higher cash matching contributions in relation to in-kind contributions.
  • Please note that Band contributions for both aquatic and terrestrial projects are considered as eligible match. Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Ocean Management (AAROM) Program contributions (for aquatic projects only) are also considered as eligible match.
  • For multi-year projects, the program’s requirement for matching contributions is based on the ability of the applicant to obtain that support over the entire length of the project and approval is not contingent on securement of all matching contributions up front. The rate of matching can be less than 20% in any given year, as long as the 20% is met by the project’s completionFootnote 3.
  • Federal funds (e.g., EcoAction, Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP), AFSAR SAR Stream, and federal funds administered by third-party non-government organizations) are not eligible as match for AFSAR Prevention Stream funding.  See Section 10 for other requirements relating to the use of funds from other Federal Funding Programs.
  • All proposed contributions must be listed in your proposal. If your AFSAR Prevention Stream application is successful, all confirmed contributions must be identified in the Contribution Agreement you will sign with EC or with DFO. If the applicant is not sure where the funding will come from precisely, he/she can specify at the time of the application “Anticipated funding from other project funders”.
  • For specifics on the eligibility of and limitations on in-kind resources, please contact your AFSAR Regional Coordinator (see Appendix 1).

9. Eligible Costs

For all eligible costs, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the Project shall be considered eligible.

Eligible costs may include reasonable and properly itemized costs for:

  • Salaries and wagesFootnote 4
    • Salaries, wages and benefits
  • Management and professional service costsFootnote 4
    • Accounting, liability insurance, land surveys, legal (other than litigation) costs, Elders’/knowledge holders’ fees, and other professional fees (other than travel)
  • ContractorsFootnote 4
    • Consultants and contractors fees associated with the project (subject to regional or national limits)
  • Travel (as per the Treasury Board Travel Directive: Travel on government business)
    • Travel expenses and related expenses for contracted professional service providers or other non-employees
    • Travel and related expenses for recipient organization employees
  • Materials and supplies costs
    • Office supplies and material
    • Field supplies and materials
    • Includes equipment purchase under $10,000
  • Communication, printing, production, and distribution costs
    • Printing costs, web sites, supplies, translationFootnote 5 etc.
  • Equipment rental and operating costs
    • Lease, rental, repair, operating expenses, upgrades and/or maintenance  costs including associated gear in support of project activities (subject to regional or national limits)
  • Vehicle rental and operating costs
    • Lease, rental, operating expenses, upgrades and/or maintenance including associated gear in support of project activities (subject to regional or national limits)
  • Purchase of capital assets
    • Purchase of a single tangible asset (with a useful life of more than one year) costing more than $10,000 (subject to Regional Management Team approval and in line with EC or DFO Contribution Agreement administrative rules)
  • Land acquisition, leases, easements, covenants, servitudes
    • Funding towards legally-binding conservation agreements (for terrestrial projects only)
  • Costs of preparing an independent financial accounting (where the report is required)
    • Projects over $100,000 may be required to submit an independently verified financial report at the end of the project (for terrestrial projects only)
  • Overhead
    • Office lease or rent and administration expenses (e.g. phone, fax, internet, other utilities, office insurance, and rent, etc.) directly related to the project up to a maximum of 10% of the AFSAR Prevention Stream contribution
  • Other costs
    • Meeting and training fees (e.g., materials and hall rental), and registration fees for courses, conferences, workshops or seminars
  • Further disbursement of funding to final recipient.
    • To be used when funds will be further disbursed to a final recipient (via a contribution agreement and not a contract)


  • GST/HST is an eligible project expenditure, therefore EC/DFO may reimburse recipients for the taxes they paid while undertaking the activities of the agreement. The amount of EC/DFO’s contribution includes the reimbursement for GST/HST. For example, if EC/DFO’s contribution is $25,000, this $25,000 includes EC/DFO’s reimbursement for all eligible expenditures including GST/HST. EC/DFO will not reimburse the recipient $25,000 plus GST/HST; the $25,000 is all-inclusive.
  • The use of universal day rates is not accepted. Costs must be broken down by expense category in order for the Contribution Agreement to be considered legally binding after signing. When costs are broken down into their respective categories, various clauses are triggered in your Contribution Agreement.
  • Costs, other than those identified herein, are ineligible unless specifically approved in writing by the Minister of the Environment, or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, or his/her delegate at the time of project approval and are necessary for the successful completion of the project.

10. Other Requirements :

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012) requires departments to determine whether the carrying out of a project on federal lands (e.g., First Nation reserve lands in the case of AFSAR) is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Consult your AFSAR Regional Coordinator to help you evaluate whether the consideration of the environmental effects of a project may be required under CEAA 2012.

Overlap with Other Federal Funding programs

You can only receive funding from one federal funding program for each proposed activity. Any applications submitted to the other federal funding programs, (e.g. Habitat Stewardship Program, Interdepartmental Recovery Fund, National Wetland Conservation Fund, EcoAction, etc.) must be for different activities than those listed in your AFSAR Prevention Stream application.

11. For Accepted Applications

Once you have received confirmation of approval of your project, you will be required to submit additional information, including, but not limited to the following:

Cash Flow Statement

You will be required to develop a detailed cash flow statement of all sources of revenue (including all in-kind contributions) and expenditures that are part of the approved project.

Reporting Obligations

The Contribution Agreement, between your organization and EC or DFO, will specify project report deadlines and will include the required forms. Reporting will be completed online and you will need to provide regular progress reports, annual reports (for multi-year projects), as well as a final report at the end of the project. These reports will describe your project revenue, expenses, accomplishments and outcomes. Both outcomes and accomplishments must be reported using the performance indicators identified in the Contribution Agreement. It is important to note that different projects may have different reporting requirements. Your AFSAR Regional Coordinator will advise you on specific reporting requirements.

Intellectual Property Rights

Any Intellectual Property and/or ATK that you create as part of this project remains your property. However, EC or DFO may negotiate terms in the Contribution Agreement for sharing this Intellectual Property and/or ATK.


You will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate permits associated with your project from relevant federal and/or provincial authorities (including those required under the Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and any other provincial wildlife acts that may apply) wherever your project triggers the need for a permit (e.g., it could impact the species). Funding decisions are not guaranteed to be made in time for the beginning of the field season, and as permits take time to arrange, you should address this need several months before the project start date to reduce delays once a funding announcement is made (see SARA Permits and Agreements and consult your AFSAR Regional Coordinator).

Public Acknowledgement

You are responsible to provide EC or DFO with final copies of any document or material utilizing the Government of Canada identifier, Canada wordmark and/or acknowledgement statements prior to printing or distribution, for EC or DFO approval of the use of said logos and/or acknowledgement statements.  The AFSAR Regional Coordinator (Appendix 1) will need to be consulted prior to making any communications products such as publications, public information releases, advertising, promotional announcements, activities, speeches, lectures, interviews, ceremonies and websites. All such communications products originating from your project must acknowledge the Government of Canada’s contribution by displaying the Government of Canada identifier with the public acknowledgement text along with the Canada wordmark.

Official Languages

You may be responsible for serving and communicating with the public in the English and French languages, where applicable. Any cost related to translation is an eligible cost under the program (see Section 9).

12. How Projects are Reviewed

As the demand for AFSAR Prevention Stream funding regularly exceeds the funds available, there is no guarantee that your project will be funded. Every effort will be made to provide you with the earliest possible notice once a decision has been made. Applicants are strongly encouraged to work with their Regional Coordinators by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI, Section 12) to ensure projects meet the expectations of the program.


Your proposal(s) will be reviewed by your region’s AFSAR Program Regional Management Team using a range of criteria, including:

Program objectives

  • Eligibility requirements for i) applicants, ii) activities, iii) expenses, iv) matching funds, etc.;
  • Alignment with regional priorities for the region where the work is to take place; and
  • Alignment with national priorities.

Biological criteria

  • Applicant’s ability to plan, manage and complete projects successfully (e.g., description of the issues and solutions to be implemented);
  • Appropriateness of budget and schedules. These must be realistic given the timeframe and objectives of the project;
  • Clarity, conciseness and quality of the application;
  • Other funding sources (matching contributions) and the respective amounts or demonstration of the applicant’s ability to raise funds from non-federal sources;
  • Implementation of evaluation and performance measures.
  • Coordination with other habitat conservation programs, for both conservation actions and cost-efficiency; and
  • Other regional considerations.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Eligible applications will be evaluated and prioritized using the following criteria:

  • 60% for alignment with biological criteria, including national and regional priorities; and
  • 40% for criteria related to the program and project administration criteria of the proposal.

A high quality project is one that:

  • Integrates with and supports other existing stewardship programs;
  • Delivers landscape/watershed level stewardship for areas identified as regional priorities;
  • Addresses regional priorities: geographic areas, species, and/or potential human-induced threats, as well as national priorities;
  • Will achieve or lead to on-the-ground conservation action for wildlife species and habitats;
  • Benefits multiple eligible species;
  • Has secured over 20% of total project funding from non-federal sources;
  • Has a proposal presented in a clear and logical manner;
  • Has a well-developed workplan;
  • Has a plan to measure project results;
  • Demonstrates a high degree of local and regional support from a variety of partners;
  • Involves individuals and communities with local experience and knowledge and/or supports capacity building to allow communities to respond to species conservation; and
  • Has a high likelihood of success based on applicant experience and realistic deliverables.

13. To Apply

Expression of Interest

Prior to submitting a complete proposal to the AFSAR Prevention Stream, applicants are encouraged to submit an Expression of interest (EOI) (Appendix 2). The EOI gives you the opportunity to receive feedback on your proposal to ensure it is aligned with national and regional priorities and program expected results. This process will improve the quality of the proposal, but does not result in a guarantee that the project will receive funding. All EOIs must be submitted by the EOI deadline. See The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk: 2016-2017 Call for Proposals for specific timelines.

Application Form

To apply to the AFSAR Prevention Stream, you must fill in the Application Form on-line at Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk. Request login information from your AFSAR Regional Coordinator (Appendix 1). Please contact your AFSAR Regional Coordinator to discuss other options for submission of your application if you lack Internet access, or if you would like a hard copy of the Application Form for reference.

Due to Government of Canada policy, communication with applicants regarding application status during the project review and selection phase is prohibited until the final administrative approvals have been granted. All successful applicants will be notified as soon as funding decisions have been made and negotiation of the Contribution Agreement will follow. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified after all funding decisions are finalized. The program is unable to reimburse applicants for any expenses incurred prior to the official notification.

Additional Information

Please see the following websites for additional information that may be useful for your application:

If you have any further questions, please contact us at AFSAR-FAEP@ec.gc.ca or contact your Regional Coordinator (Appendix 1).

Appendix 1: List of Regional Coordinators

Terrestrial Projects

AFSAR Regional Coordinators for general administration of projects and technical support on terrestrial species.

Atlantic Region (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador)

Paul MacDonald
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1116
Station C
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
A0P 1C0
(709) 896-6166

Quebec Region

Cédric Paitre
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
801-1550, d’Estimauville Avenue
Quebec, QC
G1J 0C3
(418) 648-5226

Ontario Region

Tania Morais
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
4905 Dufferin Street
Downsview, ON
M3H 5T4
(416) 739-4100

Prairie and Northern Region

Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Carmen Callihoo-Payne
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
Eastgate Offices
9250 - 49 Street
Edmonton, AB
T6B 1K5
(780) 951-8672

Northwest Territories

Donna Bigelow
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
5019-52nd Street (4th Floor)
P.O. Box  2310
Yellowknife, NT
X1A 2P7
(867) 669-4783


Lisa Pirie
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1714,
Qimugjuk Building 969
Iqaluit, NU
X0A 0H0
(867) 975-4638

Pacific and Yukon Region

British Columbia

Kate Shapiro
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
5421 Robertson Rd, RR1
Delta, BC
V4K 3N2
(604) 664-9044

Aquatic projects

Regional Coordinators for general administration and technical support on aquatic species.


Vivian Chow
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Treaty and Aboriginal Policy
200-401 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC
V6C 3S4
Tel: (604) 666-4565

Central and Arctic

Melanie VanGerwen-Toyne
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
R3T 2N6
Tel: (204) 983-5137


Stephen Haayen
Fish Habitat Biologist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON
L7S 1A1
Tel: (905) 336-4907


Anne-Marie Cabana
Coordinator – Treaties
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
/ Resource and Aboriginal Fisheries Management Branch
104 Dalhousie Street
Québec, Quebec
G1K 7Y7
Tel: (418) 648-7761


Josiane Massiéra
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Aboriginal Fisheries Division
343 University Avenue
PO Box 5030
Moncton, NB
E1C 9B6
Tel.: (506) 851-7290


Andrew Newbould
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Aboriginal Fisheries Management
P.O. Box 1035,
176 Portland Street
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 4T3
Tel: 902-426-6036

Newfoundland and Labrador

Dave Ball
Resource Management Division
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre 80 East White Hills
PO Box 5667
St John’s, NL
A1C 5X1
Tel: 709-772-3732

Appendix 2: Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk - Prevention Stream Expression of Interest 2016-2017

Project Title:

Applicant Information (this is the organization that would sign a Contribution Agreement with Environment Canada (EC) or Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The information must correspond to the name and address to be used on any cheques if the application is approved and must be a legal entity:

Name of Applicant:


Phone Number:

Fax Number:

Email Address:

Other Communities/Organizations involved in the project (if partnering):
Regional Priorities Addressed (Prevention Stream) :

Regional Priorities Addressed (Prevention Stream)
Regional Priority Area/Threat:

Target Species:

Proposed Activities:
Briefly describe the project - goals, objectives, activities, methods, budget estimates partnerships and timeframe (max: 25 lines):

E-mail completed form to your EC/DFO AFSAR Regional Coordinator by December 18th, 2015. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.