IBA’s Bear Conservation Fund supports work to understand and sustain bear populations by funding projects through IBA’s competitive grants program.
Through its integrated relationship with the Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission, identify priorities in bear research and management and recruit project proposals to the IBA Research and Conservation Grants Program that address these priorities.
Support innovative solutions to bear conservation dilemmas that involve local communities as well as national or regional governments and, to the extent possible, address their needs without compromising bear conservation, recognizing that conservation is most successful where human communities are stable and can experience benefits from conservation efforts.
Form partnerships with other institutions to achieve conservation goals, where partnerships could provide additional funding, knowledge of geographical areas, or expertise in scientific or non-scientific sectors.
Since 1993, the Bear Conservation Fund has provided seed money for bear conservation projects utilizing a competitive grants process and scientific review. That’s over $1,000,000 provided to 182 bear conservation grants on all 8 bear species in 38 countries.
In 25 years of grant making the IBA’s Bear Conservation Fund has found:
- A small amount of well-placed money can really serve to reduce human-bear conflict and create a better life for those living in proximity to bears as well as assure stability for the bear populations.
- A small amount of well-placed money can launch the career of world-class young conservationists, especially when they are brought into the IBA’s network, supported and encouraged.
- A well trained and empowered bear biologist is our best product, because those young people, dedicated to a bear and a community, have a big impact for bears, wildlife and wild lands regionally and nationally.
- A small amount of well-placed money can launch a community-based conservation effort for bears that is self-sustaining and inspires like efforts elsewhere.
- Successful conservation efforts for bears often result in the creation of parks, preserves and wildlife corridors.
- A small amount of well-placed money can give us techniques to explore the world of bears more effectively.
- A small amount of well-placed money provides scientific exchange and brings expertise where it is needed to conserve bears.