Call for Project Proposals on Biocultural Rights from Kenya, DL 13 March 2022


Eligible country: Kenya (with potential Eastern African regional linkages)

Siemenpuu Foundation calls for project proposals to support the biocultural rights of indigenous communities and their biocultural life-heritages as adapted to their local environments.

  • Maximum project duration is 24 months, starting between July 2022 and early 2023.
  • The range of project funding is 30,000 - 100,000 Euros, depending on the nature of the proposed projects (like number of project implementing partners)
  • The application process is conducted in two-steps with a concept note and full proposal. Deadline for submitting concept papers: 13th March 2022. Only selected shortlisted candidates will be asked for a full proposal.

The aim of this Siemenpuu Foundation’s funding scheme on Biocultural Rights is to strengthen the realisation of biocultural rights of indigenous communities. The concept of Biocultural Rights recognizes each community's identity, culture, governance system, spirituality and way of life, as connected to the community's landscape by local customs to steward its lands, waters and forests. Such rights are increasingly recognized and supported by international law. 

We call for project concept papers to strengthen indigenous communities' biocultural diversity and their rights to live in ways which do not threaten or weaken biodiversity and ecosystems but allow them to regenerate, supporting the implementation of internationally acknowledged traditional rights. The funded projects are intended to support indigenous communities’ rights to enjoy and sustain the regeneration of local ecosystems belonging to their life-heritage.

With the projects to be funded, we aim at promoting and strengthening the resilience of such ways of life, by which communities' cultural diversity sustains biodiversity and likewise, is sustained by biodiversity according to:

  • How communities can be supported to express, document, assert or strengthen their diverse local biocultural life-heritages so that they can protect the traditional rights recognised for them and sustain local diversity of life.
  • How they can best use such domestically or internationally recognised local rights to maintain and develop ways of life and activities, which make their distinctive life and livelihood sustainable, dignified and self-determined.

Project concept papers are especially welcomed from areas of indigenous traditional lands and biodiversity, where the communities have been living from its regeneration and can be supported to safeguard and restore their biocultural life-heritages and their livelihoods against land grabbing, displacement and drought.

The project concepts can include facilitation of the communities in their advocacy work, and for reviving the biodiversity on which the indigenous communities base their sustainable, resilient and self-reliant ways of life, and whose cultural diversity could capacitate people and the country to live in harmony with biodiversity in Kenya.

The proposed projects can support development and implementation of biocultural community protocols, community level sustainable ecosystem management plans, documentation, research, campaigning and advocacy from community level to national and international levels (for instance reporting to the UN treaty bodies). The projects may also cooperate with other Siemenpuu Foundation supported partners working on biocultural rights in other countries and can also inform the world about the living conditions of the communities, about their human rights and their rights related to biodiversity. 

Special emphasis in the projects should be on the rights of women, who are often carriers of sustainable heritage in their communities.

The legal holders of the supported projects should be registered local civil society organisations based in Kenya. However, funded projects may include elements of regional cooperation and international advocacy, considering that the problems and challenges are regionally shared and potential solutions could be mutually strengthening and promote ethnic and regional stability based on sustainable life-heritages.

The general criteria to be met by all projects funded by the foundation are described in the Siemenpuu’s general Funding Guidelines and Criteria.

To present your tentative project plan, please fill in the Siemenpuu Foundation’s Concept paper form (.doc file)

Please send the concept paper to: info (at)

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to prepare full project proposals, which need to be submitted by the beginning of May 2022.

Download this call as pdf document (260 KB)


Siemenpuu - Foundation for Social Movements’ Cooperation sr (Siemenpuu Foundation) is a Finnish foundation, founded by 15 NGOs and foundations working on environment and development issues. Siemenpuu Foundation provides support to environmental work by civil societies in the global South. Siemenpuu operates mainly with funds from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.