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GRID-Arendal is offering grants for investigative journalism projects focused on environmental crime in developing countries. In 2023, we are offering a total of six grants, each representing 20,000 Norwegian kroner (approximately €2,000).

Applications are due by the 4th of November 2022, and grant winners will be awarded in December 2022.

GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental foundation based in Norway and supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, among other donors. We are a Partner of the UN Environment Programme and collaborate with other partners on projects that protect the environment, restore ecosystems, and advance the Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on supporting developing countries by creating environmental knowledge to encourage positive change.

Our journalism grant program funds in-depth investigative journalism that breaks new ground and reveals new information about environmental crimes that takes place within or across developing countries. We are looking for high-impact reporting, especially on issues that are neglected by mainstream media. We invite proposals for projects on a variety of media platforms, including print, online, audio, video, and multimedia projects. Proposals for data journalism, data visualization, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) journalism are welcome. All projects must be written in English (or translated to English if published in a different language), however, we encourage submissions from journalists working in a variety of languages.

All of our grants will support reporting projects that focus on one or more countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) list of Official Development Assistance recipients.

Past journalism grants from GRID-Arendal have, among others, supported reporting on:
· Illegal gold mining in rainforests in Colombia (Newsweek)
· Logging in a national park in Kenya (Reuters)
· Illegal logging in Bolivian national parks (Mongabay)
· Illegal coal mining in Zimbabwe (The Standard)
· Palm oil culture impacts in Indonesian rainforest (Vice)
· Gender persecution around environmental militantism in Colombia (Mutante)
· Illegal charcoal exploitation in Nigeria (SaharaReporters)
· Illegal wildlife trade of pangolins in Pakistan (Express Tribune)
· Illegal mercury trade (Revista LATE)
· Initiatives to save the Argentine Chaco (Mongabay)

This year, themes we are interested funding include (but are not limited to):

o Illegal wildlife trade and poaching, in particular illegal trade taking place online;

o Illegal logging and timber trade, including fraud in the carbon offset market;

o Illegal mining, in particular cobalt and other minerals used for green energy production;

o Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fisheries;

o Waste crimes, particularly related to the llegal trade and dumping of plastic waste;

o Environmental crime in areas affected by military conflicts.

Investigations taking place in Polar or mountainous regions are welcome, as well as ones involving organised criminal networks.

In case of projects that involve travel to indigenous, isolated, or vulnerable communities, we will require a plan for preserving the safety of those communities.

The deadline for finishing a project will be six months from the signing of a grant agreement. It is expected that funded projects acknowledge the grant support from GRID-Arendal.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must be a professional journalist, either a staff member at a media organization or a freelancer with a record of publishing work in respected media organizations.
  • You must have experience in investigative journalism.
  • You must be used to working with deadlines and following an agreed-upon publication plan

Journalists from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds.

Application requirements

Applications are due in full by midnight Central European Time (CET) on November 4, 2022. Applications should be made through this online form.

Applications and supporting documents should be in English and budgets should be expressed in Norwegian kroner. All materials should be included in the online form application. Applications that are incomplete or do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

Evaluation process

Applications will be evaluated by a team of GRID-Arendal personnel. Among other factors, we will consider:

  • Potential to reach a wide audience
  • Potential to create an impact and induce positive change
  • Journalist’s experience in investigative reporting (we may ask for professional references in the final phase)

Successful applicants will be contacted in December 2022.

Header image: Artisanal fisher in Myanmar. Romain Langeard

Release date: 05 Oct 2022

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