Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk - Species at Risk Stream - Application Guidelines 2016-2017
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, the 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 SAR Stream 2016-2017 funding year. The AFSAR SAR Stream focuses on the recovery projects of SAR listed on Schedule 1 of SARA. There are separate Application Guidelines and an on-line Application Form for the AFSAR Prevention Stream, which focuses on other species (beyond listed SAR) to prevent them from becoming a conservation concern.
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.
2. Objectives, National Priorities and Expected Results
The underlying objectives of the AFSAR SAR Stream are to:
- Support and promote the conservation and recovery of SAR and their habitats on Aboriginal land; and
- Support the engagement and cooperation of Aboriginal peoples in the recovery of SAR, their habitats, and SARA processes.
The national priorities for the AFSAR SAR Stream are projects that focus on the following:
- Implementation of priority activities described in recovery strategies or action plans such as protection of critical habitat.
- Implementation of multi-species projects with a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives.
- Implementation of projects involving collaboration among multiple stakeholders/ partners.
- Implementation of signed SARA Section 11 agreementsFootnote 1.
- The recovery of species at risk and threats to species at risk included as part of an international agreement.
- The consideration of ATK for application in SARA processes.
In order to be eligible, proposed projects must contribute to one or more of the expected results of the AFSAR SAR Stream, which are to:
- Strengthen capacity in Aboriginal communities for SARA implementation;
- Mitigate threats to SAR, be they individuals or populations;
- Protect, improve or manage critical and important habitatFootnote 2 of SAR; and
- Document and conserve ATK and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) on SAR and, where appropriate, to help ensure their use in the development of recovery objectives.
3. Eligible Lands :
In order to be eligible, proposed projects must take place on:
- 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;
- 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;
- Lands and waters where traditional activities (harvesting or other) are carried out; or
- 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 targeting species listed as Endangered, Threatened, and of Special Concern on Schedule 1 of SARA will be eligible for funding.
Projects targeting species which have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as at risk, but have not yet been listed on Schedule 1 of SARA are ineligible for funding under the AFSAR SAR Stream. They are however eligible under the AFSAR Prevention Steam. Please see AFSAR Prevention Stream Application Guidelines for more details.
Any species that the Governor in Council has declined to list on Schedule 1 of SARA is not eligible for funding under the AFSAR SAR Stream.
For the most up to date list of species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, as well as their recovery strategies and action plans, please visit the Species at Risk Public Registry. Species at Risk Public Registry.
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.
- Prevention of habitat damage (riparian or terrestrial) (e.g., educational signage, fences for the exclusion of predators or disturbances, etc.)
- Protection and rescue/prevention of harm to SAR (e.g. disentanglement, nest relocation, enabling species migration around roadways) (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 SAR) (for terrestrial projects only)
- Identification of potential sites for habitat restoration
- Implementation of plans for habitat restoration and enhancement (e.g., habitat management plans)
- Restoration and enhancement of SAR habitats (e.g., shoreline improvement, erection of exclusion fences, etc.)
- Invasive species removal
Program Planning and Development:
- Participation in the development and implementation of SAR recovery tools (e.g., developing best practices, displaying educational signage) to improve habitat and reduce 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 SAR and their habitats, and related mapping and analysis
- Collection and management of data about SAR and their habitats (e.g., surveys, inventories, databases, etc.)
- Assessing the presence of SAR 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 SAR and their habitats
- ATK compilation and storage (e.g. setting up/maintenance of databases)
- Development of targeted outreach materials emphasizing the importance of SAR 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 SAR
- For species with draft or completed recovery strategies, action plans or management plans, activities must be closely linked to prescribed recovery actions in those documents.
- Activities under the outreach category must clearly demonstrate that they are focused and targeted on achieving the goals of recovery for target SAR.
- 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 recovery 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 4.4).
- Scientific research activities, captive breeding, captive rearing, fish hatcheries, aquaculture activities and extirpated species reintroductions, the development of Recovery Strategies or Action Plans, including the identification of Critical Habitat (as required under the SARA), are not eligible for AFSAR SAR Stream funding. However, AFSAR-funded 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. SARA Section 11 Conservation Agreements
Section 11 of SARA authorizes a competent minister (The Minister of the Environment, the Minister responsible for the Packs Canada Agency or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans) with responsibility for implementing SARA to enter into a conservation agreement with any organization, person or government in Canada, to benefit a SAR or enhance its survival in the wild. Funding is available for the implementation of activities described under signed SARA Section 11 Conservation Agreements. At the time of the 2016-2017 call for proposals, no Section 11 Conservation Agreements have been finalized.
Should you have a signed Section 11 Conservation Agreement, you will need to outline in your application how the proposed activities will implement your agreement, and support the agreement objective(s). The work plan must be filled in for all proposed activities and a full budget for the overall project will be required.
The same AFSAR SAR Stream project eligibility rules will apply to applications implementing Section 11 agreements, however it should be noted that the following Section 11 agreement activities will not be eligible for funding under AFSAR:
- Development of recovery strategies, action plans and management plans;
- Research projects on the species; and
- Establishment of the agreement (e.g., drafting and negotiating activities).
8. Consolidating Projects and Multi-Year Funding
If an applicant wishes to submit more than one project under the AFSAR SAR 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.
9. Matching Contributions
You must obtain contributions of non-federal support (cash and/or in-kind) to obtain AFSAR SAR 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 labour.
- 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 funds is based on the ability of the applicant to obtain those funds over the entire length of the project and approval is not contingent on securement of all matching funds 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 completion.Footnote 3.
- Federal funds (e.g., EcoAction, Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP), AFSAR Prevention Stream, and federal funds administered by third-party non-government organizations) are not eligible as match for AFSAR SAR Stream funding. See Section 11 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 SAR Stream application is successful, all confirmed contributions must be identified in the Contribution Agreement you will sign with EC or DFO. If the applicant is not sure where the funding will come from precisely at the time of application, he/she can specify at the time of 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 program contacts, Appendix 1).
10. Eligible Costs:
For all eligible expenses, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the Project shall be considered eligible.
Eligible expenses 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 equipment and field supplies
- 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 operation 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 in advance 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 report (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)
- 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 SAR 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 EC funding to final recipients
- 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.
11. 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) 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. HSP, National Wetland Conservation Fund, Interdepartmental Recovery Fund, EcoAction, etc.) must be for different activities than those listed in your AFSAR SAR Stream application.
12. 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.
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 on-line 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.
SAR Survey Data Sharing
You will be required to provide species occurrence or habitat data collected using HSP funds to your provincial/territorial wildlife data repository centre and to EC, DFO or Parks Canada. Your HSP Regional Coordinator can inform you of the necessary procedures.
You will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate permits associated with your project from relevant federal and/or provincial authorities (including those required under SARA, 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 SAR). 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 (Appendix 1)).
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.
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 10).
13. How Projects are Reviewed
As the demand for funding from the AFSAR SAR Stream 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 14) 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:
- Eligibility requirements for i) applicants, ii) activities, iii) expenses, iv) matching funds, etc.; and
- Alignment with regional priorities for the region where the work is to take place; and
- Alignment with national priorities.
- Links to conservation activities identified in recovery strategies/action plans for endangered or threatened species, or management plans for species of special concern, where these documents exist;
- Coordination with other habitat conservation programs, for both recovery actions and cost-efficiency;
- 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; 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 Program and Project Administration Criteria of the proposal.
A high quality project is one that:
- Implements high priority stewardship activities listed in recovery strategies and action plans or other SAR management and conservation plans;
- Integrates with and supports other existing stewardship programs;
- Addresses the species’ Critical Habitat;
- Addresses regional priorities: geographic areas, species, and/or human-induced threats, as well as national priorities;
- Benefits multiple species, with targeted species being listed on Schedule 1 of SARA;
- Was developed with the involvement of the recovery team(s) for the target SAR (where they exist or recovery experts);
- Delivers landscape/watershed level stewardship for areas identified as regional priorities;
- 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 SARA initiatives by becoming involved in SAR recovery activities; and
- Has a high likelihood of success based on applicant experience and realistic deliverables.
14. To apply:
Expression of Interest
Prior to submitting a complete proposal to the AFSAR SAR 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 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.
To apply to the AFSAR SAR 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 proposal 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.
Please see the following websites for additional information that may be useful for your application:
- Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk
- List of Species at Risk listed on Schedule 1 of SARA
- List of Species at Risk recovery strategies and action plans
- SARA Permitting information
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
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)
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1116
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
Canadian Wildlife Service
801-1550, d’Estimauville Avenue
Canadian Wildlife Service
4905 Dufferin Street
Prairie and Northern Region
Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Canadian Wildlife Service
9250 - 49 Street
Canadian Wildlife Service
5019 - 52nd Street (4th Floor)
P.O. Box 2310
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1714,
Qimugjuk Building 969
Pacific and Yukon Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
5421 Robertson Rd, RR1
AFSAR Regional Coordinators for general administration of projects and technical support on aquatic species
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Treaty and Aboriginal Policy
200-401 Burrard St.
Tel: (604) 666-4565
Central and Arctic
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N6
Tel: (204) 983-5137
Fish Habitat Biologist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
867 Lakeshore Road
Tel: (905) 336-4907
Coordinator – Treaties
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
/ Resource and Aboriginal Fisheries Management Branch
104 Dalhousie Street
Tel: (418) 648-7761
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Aboriginal Fisheries Division
343 University Avenue
PO Box 5030
Tel: (506) 851-7290
Pêches et Océans Canada
Gestion de pêches autochtones
Téléphone : 902-426-6036
Newfoundland and Labrador
Resource Management Division
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre 80 East White Hills
PO Box 5667
St John’s, NL
Appendix 2: Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk - SAR Stream Expression of Interest 2016-2017
Applicant Information (this is the organization or identity 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:
Other Communities/Organizations involved in the project (if partnering):
Regional Priorities Addressed (SAR Stream)
Regional Priority Area/Threat:
Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1 designation:
Briefly describe the project - goals, objectives, activities, methods, budget estimates partnerships and timeframe (max: 25 lines):
Is the project in support of a signed SARA Section 11 agreement?
[ ]Yes, [ ]No
E-mail completed form to the EC/DFO AFSAR Regional Coordinator by December 18th, 2015. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.
- Date Modified: