Natural Climate Solutions (International)
Is your project tackling climate change while strengthening the incomes, wellbeing and security of Indigenous peoples and local communities?
Is your work centred on the needs, priorities and knowledge of Indigenous people and local communities, supporting them to be effective stewards of forests and protect biodiversity?
Submit your expression of interest to the 2024 Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions.
Winning prize fund: £25,000
Supported by: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
Around the world, indigenous peoples and local communities hold a unique power to protect and restore essential ecosystems. From forests to wetlands, these ecosystems are a key defence against climate change. But when local people are threatened – or denied the chance to make a sustainable living – our climate is threatened too.
The Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions will boost work in developing countries strengthening the incomes, wellbeing and security of Indigenous peoples and local communities – allowing them to act as guardians and restorers of their lands. Indigenous people safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, but face daily threats to their way of life.
The winner could be turning palm or soy plantation areas into sustainable productive land, helping communities restore degraded or desertified ecosystems, or supporting community forest enterprises. The winner’s work will be centred on the needs, priorities and knowledge of indigenous people and local communities.
The 2023 Ashden Awards are now closed.
Winning this Ashden Award brings a prize of £25,000 as well as ongoing development support.
We put winners in front of funders, investors, policymakers, journalists and others who know the unique value of an Ashden Award and the strength of our rigorous assessment process.
We create promotional films about your winners’ work and tell their story in mainstream and specialist media, and through our growing digital channels. We’ve helped previous winners gain coverage at Sky News, The Telegraph, Times of India, Al Jazeera, New Scientist and other leading platforms.
Award winners’, views, needs and insights are at the heart of our influential reports, toolkits and events – which shape the views of key climate decision makers.
All winners join the Ashden network – giving them the chance to connect with new partners through masterclasses, investor pitching events and introductions to influential policy makers.
Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, social enterprises and community groups are all eligible. Work must be currently available to clients, customers or beneficiaries.
For more detail on our eligibility criteria, visit our FAQs below.
The work submitted for an award should must be innovative. It might feature new technology, new approaches to marketing and distribution, or a new way of sharing training and skills. It might involve improved financing mechanisms or an innovative business model.
Work should also have the potential to create significant impact. This impact might be a large drop in greenhouse gas emissions, raised incomes, better health, reduced inequality, or a combination of positive outcomes. Impact might be achieved by the growth of the organisation applying, or by the spread of their ideas to other organisations.
Initiatives should boost resilience and be as participatory and democratic as possible – designed and run with input from the people they support, particularly marginalised groups. Applicants should also show good governance and management.
For a full list of our judging criteria, visit our FAQs below.
The 2023 Ashden Awards are now closed.
There are two stages to the application process.
Please read this carefully and ensure you give yourself sufficient time to complete both stages before the closing date.
1. Register your interest using our initial Expression of Interest form.
We will then review your form and invite you to submit a full application form if you meet all of the award criteria.
2. If you are invited to do so, please complete the full application form.
In southern Peru, ECA-Amarakaeri supports people to earn a sustainable living, and also gives them the tools to monitor and report illegal logging and mining.
This partnership is empowering Indigenous communities in Costa Rica to grow food sustainably, generate clean energy and build leadership roles for women.
AMAN has helped 168 Indigenous groups in Indonesia map their territories and strengthen their rights, launch sustainable businesses, access clean energy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
CERAF-NORD supports communities around Benue National Park, and in the north of Cameroon, to restore degraded land through agroforestry.
Previous Natural Climate Solutions award winners provide excellent examples of replicable models supporting indigenous communities to play a central role in the restoration of degraded land and be properly remunerated for their work and expertise:
This NGO has been working with indigenous communities in Indonesian Borneo to reverse illegal logging and deforestation for more than 15 years.
A community-based NGO network working with rainforest communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to make a sustainable living though agriculture and tourism.
This indigenous-led organisation is doing critical work supporting the livelihoods and valuing the skills and knowledge of indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon.
Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, and social enterprises (both for-profit and not-for-profit, including community groups) are all eligible. Each award is limited to work in certain parts of the world. See below for a list of countries eligible for each award.
Energy Innovation: UK
Skills in Sustainable Land Management: UK
Community Nature Adaptation: UK
Integrated Energy Africa: Africa
Energising Agriculture: International (ODA recipients)
Natural Climate Solutions: International (ODA recipients)
Powering Refugees and Displaced People: International (ODA recipients)
Skills Powering Energy Access: International (ODA recipients)
To be shortlisted and win an award, all applicants must satisfy these eligibility criteria:
Applications made in English must be completed and submitted via our online application system. Start by registering your interest, using the link near the top of this page. We will review your registration of interest, and let you know whether you are invited to submit a full application form.
If you would like a preview of the application form, there is a copy here. Note that not all of the questions you see in this copy will appear when you complete the actual form online, as some are shown or hidden based on your answers to earlier questions. The copy of the form is for reference only – the form must be completed online for your application to be considered.
To apply in French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic, follow the relevant link below to download a form to register your interest. Send the completed form to email@example.com
If you decide not to complete your application for any reason then you may withdraw by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to discuss whether your work is relevant to the Ashden Awards, or have questions about the application process, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7410 7023 or email@example.com
Applications for the 2023 Ashden Awards are closed.
You can submit an expression of interest for 2024.
See awards list above.
In 2023, we will be awarding work that fits into the themes listed above and meets the criteria listed in our FAQS. Please refer to these themes and criteria when considering your application as eligibility for the different awards is based on the type of work you are engaged in and the country where that work is carried out.
When completing your application, please indicate the specific theme/themes you feel are most relevant to your work. We will consider your application in themes other than the ones you have indicated if we feel they fit your work more closely. If you feel you work doesn’t fit into any of the themes listed below, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your eligibility.
Yes – you can make more than one application, providing they are for different programmes or businesses, if you are involved with more than one. Please do not submit two applications for the same work.
No – for all our Awards, the work submitted for the Award must be currently available to customers, clients or beneficiaries. The more evidence that you can present for the impact of your work, the better your chance of meeting the award criteria.
There is no fee to apply for an award. All you will need to do is make time to complete the registration of interest and full application form before the deadline, and then answer any questions we might ask you after you have submitted your form.
If you are shortlisted, you will also need to set aside time for preparing and hosting a judging visit from Ashden assessors. If you win, you will need to set aside up to one week to take part in Awards Week events. The location and timing of these events is to be confirmed, but may be in London, UK during November 2023.
All information submitted may be seen by the Ashden team (including judges and assessors). All our judges and assessors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing any application materials.
We generally retain their application materials of applicants that do not win for up to three years. by those applicants during this period. However, this is optional – there is a question in the form which asks for permission to do this. If permission is not given and you wish to reapply within the next three years, you will need to fill the application form in again.
If your application covers different work to that covered in your earlier submission, then you need to fill the application forms in as normal. If you’re reapplying for the same work, then a ‘fast-track’ application may be possible, if the following conditions are met:
If you think you might be eligible for a fast-track application, please contact us at email@example.com.
It is a condition of your entry to the 2023 Ashden Awards that Ashden has the right to publicise your involvement through its communications channels (including but not limited to its website, social media platforms and ceremony programme). All shortlisted applicants, finalists and particularly winners may be required by Ashden to participate in publicity opportunities such as media interviews.
To maximise the impact of our Awards, we announce our shortlist, finalist and winners on. If you reach the shortlisting stage, or win an Ashden Award, we ask you not to publicise this fact until the date set by us. Our communications team will work closely with you on this.
Eligible applications will be judged against the following general criteria:
Details of the judging panel will be released on our website. The assessment teams include Ashden staff, representatives from funders and knowledge partners, and freelance specialists in specific sectors
If your organisation is shortlisted, we will get in touch in early April to ask for the following, to better understand your work and assure ourselves of your financial viability:
If you are selected as a finalist, we will get in touch to arrange a visit to assess your work. For applicants based in the UK, the judging visit usually takes a whole day, and involves one or two people from Ashden and sometimes a representative from the funder of the award.
For applicants with work based in other countries, the visit usually lasts one to three days, and involves one assessor, who could be from the Ashden team or could be someone more local to your work who is a member of the Ashden network. We often also carry out interviews via Zoom in addition to a physical visit by an assessor.
The visit will include meetings with key staff such as your chief executive, financial officer, the person in charge of the work submitted for an Award, and other employees. It will also include seeing the work submitted in operation, usually through site visits, and meeting customers or clients. Applicants that are chosen to be visited will be credited as runners-up if they do not become winners. We require you not to share news of your longlisting, shortlisting or award win until a certain date.
As an Ashden Award winner, we ask you to:
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