Through this call for research, conservation, and storytelling proposals, National Geographic seeks to advance understanding of environmental and societal changes measured in the Himalayas, Southern Andes, and mountainous regions of British Columbia, Canada.

High-altitude mountains provide a valuable fixed reference point for continuous, long-term collection of meteorological data, which is otherwise difficult to gather. Recent climate change studies have concluded that the shortage of this important data hinders our ability to accurately project the environmental and social consequences of a warming planet. This call from National Geographic aims to go some way towards addressing this.


This RFP focuses on three specific regions: the greater Hindu-Kush Himalaya mountain system; the Peruvian, Chilean, and Argentinian Andes; and the mountainous regions of British Columbia, Canada, including the Canadian Rockies and Coast Range. These ranges represent some of the world’s most important water towers, which feed rivers that supply freshwater to people downstream and support extraordinary biological and cultural diversity. In these alpine regions, some climate and environmental data is sparse, making effective planning and management in these places uniquely challenging.

National Geographic are especially interested in supporting projects that directly monitor or examine changing temperatures, ice volume or extent, and water pathways, or that examine impacts on at-risk downstream populations. Priority for this RFP will be given to projects led by researchers, conservationists, or storytellers from these regions and that aim to do one or more of the following:

      • Directly measure changing high-elevation environmental conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind strength/direction, with a focus on the most consequential data gaps.
      • Examine downstream impacts of climate change, such as glacial lake outburst floods, landslides, and drought.
      • Boost the resilience of vulnerable communities in these mountain regions by piloting and implementing culturally appropriate, community-based climate adaptation solutions addressing changing water resources or other climate impacts.
      • Tell the stories of how communities, individuals, and/or wildlife in these regions are adapting to a changing climate.

Storytelling applicants should focus on finding innovative ways to show how recent climate changes are affecting local communities or ecosystems through photography, film, data visualization, reporting, or other methods. Projects that include a component that benefits local audiences or incorporates local voices are strongly encouraged. Applicants may request up to $100,000. The budgets of successful proposals will include reasonable, well justified costs directly required to complete the project. Please see the 'Preparing Your Proposal' page on the National Geographic website regarding budgetary guidance. Successful applicants may use awarded funds over the course of one year. All applications should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the proposed work.

National Geographic will hold at least one webinar in which they will answer questions about this RFP. Webinar times, dates, and connection information will be posted on this webpage by the end of April.

Please note: As a result of changes in Chinese law effective 1 January 2017, the National Geographic Society is unable to support new grantee work in mainland China.

Please note that 10 July 2019 will be the only deadline for this RFP.

More information. 

Cover image: Suket Dedhia

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