2021-22 Call for Proposals: Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk - Aquatic Programming

The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) – Aquatic Programming: Now accepting proposals for 2021-2022
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The Government of Canada is transforming its approach to species at risk conservation and recovery by shifting to ecosystem-based, multispecies initiatives. This approach includes providing funding towards the protection and recovery of aquatic and terrestrial species at risk. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for aquatic species at risk and supports stewardship of these species through various programs, including the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR).

Established in 2004, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) program facilitates active participation by IndigenousFootnote 1 communities in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). It invests in organizational capacity, encourages activities that conserve and/or recover species at risk (SAR), and supports community-led documentation and management of Indigenous KnowledgeFootnote 2 (IK).

In 2021-22, AFSAR will have two separate platforms for funding:

The Call for Proposals outlined here applies only to aquatic species at risk projects. For information on funding for terrestrial species at risk, please contact Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Program objectives

The objectives of the AFSAR aquatic program are to:

Expected results

In order to be considered for funding, proposed projects should demonstrate how they align with the objectives of the AFSAR program. Further, the proposal should describe, through its own objectives, activities and anticipated outcomes, how it will achieve one or more of the following results:

National aquatic priorities

The national priorities for the AFSAR aquatic program are projects or activities that focus on the following:


For information on specific Regional priorities, please see the AFSAR Aquatic Program Guidelines for 2021-2022.

General eligibilities

Project activities may take place in freshwater and marine areas across Canada, including those within federal lands, Indigenous lands, provincial Crown lands or private lands.

Indigenous communities and organizations located in Canada are eligible for funding. A partner organization (Indigenous or non-Indigenous) may submit an application on behalf of one or more Indigenous communities or organizations IF the organization provides a letter of support from the community indicating that it has been formally mandated to do.

Proposals targeting species identified as ‘Endangered’, ‘Threatened’ or of ‘Special Concern’ will be eligible for funding under the AFSAR. This applies to species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, as well as unlisted species that have received a corresponding status assessment from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).


For more detailed information on program eligibilities and the aquatic species statuses, please see the AFSAR Aquatic Program Guidelines for 2021-2022.


The program will be accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) until November 13, 2020.


Though not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that applicants submit an EOI prior to submitting the full application. Doing so will allow for early contact with DFO’s Regional Coordinators and facilitate feedback on application and/or proposal development prior to evaluation.

Completed Application Forms will be accepted until 11:59 (PST) on December 18, 2020.

For more information:

Thank you for your interest in the stewardship and conservation of species at risk. We wish you the best in your application!

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