The Rapid Response Facility

No deadline


The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) is an emergency fund that provides grants to protected areas during sudden crises. In particular, we fund efforts to alleviate disaster situations affecting wildlife in UNESCO natural World Heritage sites.

Natural World Heritage sites are the most important sites globally for the conservation of nature. But emergencies such as wild fires, oil spills, armed conflicts or unsustainable developments can destroy our precious natural heritage in an incredibly short timeframe.

We get funds to the field fast; coming to the aid of the planet’s most irreplaceable sites, and species, in times of greatest need.


1. The site must be located in an eligible country:

RRF grants are restricted to countries that are eligible for ‘official development assistance’ according to the OECD. A list of countries that are eligible for RRF funding can be found here.

Overseas territories of developed countries may occasionally be considered, please contact the Secretariat for advice.

2. The site must be a listed UNESCO natural World Heritage site (or an internationally recognised site of high biodiversity value):

RRF grants are available for UNESCO natural World Heritage sites. The list of UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found here; please note UNESCO cultural World Heritage sites are not eligible for RRF funding.

In rare cases, we may also consider other high-priority protected areas including;

1) Sites on the tentative World Heritage list

We occasionally accept applications from sites on ‘tentative’ lists, which can be found here. We only consider sites included under natural or mixed categories.

2) Other eligible sites

In exceptional circumstances the Rapid Response Facility may provide grants for places other than World Heritage sites. These would need to be one of the following:

- a site that directly impacts the ‘outstanding universal values’ (OUV) of a natural World Heritage site. 
This includes sites that are in close proximity to a natural World Heritage site, where the threat would impact the biodiversity within the World Heritage site.

- sites with other international designations.
These sites include (but are not limited to) the following;

  • UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserves
  • Ramsar sites

Applications for actions outside the World Heritage site network must clearly demonstrate the global significance of the site’s biodiversity in order to qualify for funding.