The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR), established in 2004-2005, supports the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of Species at Risk Act (SARA). The protection of species at risk in Canada depends upon a meaningful collaboration with Indigenous People. The Act recognizes the important role that Indigenous Peoples play in wildlife conservation and the need to consider Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) in the assessment of which species may be at risk, as well as in the development and implementation of protection and recovery measures. The overall goals of AFSAR are to:

  • Support and promote the conservation, protection and recovery of target species and their habitats on Indigenous lands or traditionally used territories; and
  • Support the engagement and cooperation of Indigenous Peoples in the conservation and recovery of the target species, their habitats and SARA processes.

The AFSAR program allocates approximately $2.8 million a year to projects on Indigenous lands.

Funding under AFSAR is separated into two streams:

  1. The AFSAR Species at Risk Stream focuses on projects addressing the recovery of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of SARA; and
  2. The AFSAR Prevention Stream focuses on projects addressing other species, beyond those listed on SARA, to prevent them from becoming a conservation concern.

For both streams activities must take place in Canada on reserves, lands set apart for the use and benefit of Aboriginal Peoples under the Indian Act, other lands directly controlled by Indigenous Peoples, lands where traditional activities are carried out.

Timelines and How to Apply

The annual call for proposals for 2019-20 is now open. Applications must be submitted by December 21st, 2018.

For information on how to apply to AFSAR, specific deadlines and other information please see the Environment and Climate Change Canada Funding Programs page or contact your Regional Coordinator. Regional Coordinators are only available to answer questions during regular business hours, local time.

Please note that extensions to the application deadline will not be granted due to personal considerations or minor technical difficulties with the online Tracking System. Applicants are encouraged to first submit an Expression of Interest form (EoI) to initiate conversation with regional coordinators on the proposed projects. Applicants are also encouraged to submit their applications early, as the online system can become slower as the deadline nears, due to a high volume of applicants accessing the system.

Applicants are reminded that they should receive a notification of a successful submission of an application within 5 working days of submitting the application. Contact your regional coordinator if you have submitted an application but have not received this notification.