Submit a project

Any legal entity may submit a project, insofar as the latter comes within the mandate and guidelines of the FFEM and meets the eligibility, funding and geographic criteria described below.
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Signature d'une convention par l'AFD

To examine your project idea, FFEM analyzes a project opportunity note (NOP), which needs to meet various criteria. It is necessary to have contacted one of the six member institutions of the FFEM steering Committee beforehand to be able to submit this NOP. If one of them considers it desirable, your application will subsequently be submitted to the FFEM Selection Committee, then to its Steering Committee for the identification and commitment of the project.

The note must be submitted in French.


To receive FFEM funding, a project must meet nine eligibility criteria::

  1. contributes to global environmental protection;
  2. contributes to local sustainable development in one or more developing countries;
  3. is innovative;
  4. has demonstrative value and replicability;
  5. is economically and financially sustainable once funding ends;
  6. is ecologically and environmentally viable;
  7. is socially and culturally acceptable, with local ownership;
  8. has an appropriate institutional framework;
  9. has a monitoring and evaluation mechanism.

We are also interested in seeing whether a project addresses any of the following points:

  • uses the Theory of Change;
  • includes partnerships;
  • considers inequalities, women, youth, and vulnerable
  • populations;
  • will share knowledge gained by the project;
  • has sustainable funding and co-financing.

Applied research activities that give rise to or that are in relation with development activities can be funded by the FFEM. Basic research activities are, however, not eligible to receive its financial support.

The FFEM cofinances in any developing country eligible for official development assistance. Priority is given to Africa: the FFEM’s objective is to commit approximately two-thirds of its resources there.

Project Cofinancing

The FFEM’s contributions range from €500,000 to €3,000,000 per project. The number of projects for which the FFEM’s contribution exceeds €2,000,000 can be decided only by the Steering Committee.

FFEM funding comes in addition to the cofinancing provided by the project initiators, the direct beneficiaries, or any other financial partner. Operational costs are shared, and local or other financial resources are mobilized. This both promotes and demonstrates ownership of the project by its initiators and the local beneficiaries, in turn helping to ensure the sustainability of the activities once FFEM support has ended.

The FFEM’s co-financing rate is:
a maximum of 50% for NGOs, local public stakeholders, research institutions, and firms from social and solidarity based economy (which does not include mission-based firms);
a maximum of 30% for profit-making companies and international organizations.

At each stage of the examination process, the status of the cofinancing (requested, to be requested, or received) must be indicated. Project evaluation will include an analysis of the effective mobilization of the cofinancing that had been expected.

The duration of the activities cofinanced by the FFEM may not exceed five years, except in cases for which justification is formally provided. It is not the FFEM’s duty to ensure the sustainability of a project beyond the period initially provided for. It is up to the project initiator to identify, during the project implementation, the financial resources that will ensure the continuity of the project beyond five years.

FFEM principles for supporting carbon finance projects

The comparative study of offset standards published by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion was based on analysis against 5 basic criteria: measurability, verifiability, permanence, additionality and uniqueness. Three additional criteria were applied: observance of human rights; inclusion of criteria on environmental, social and economic co-benefits of the project; and link with the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FFEM will apply these criteria in evaluating projects with a carbon finance component, with an emphasis on 5 principles:

  • multisolving projects, as part of a territory-wide or sector-wide approach
  • robust certification
  • transparent and participatory governance that encourages scaling-up
  • transparent and fair distribution of benefits
  • compensation as a last resort in the avoid-reduce-compensate hierarchy.


Model documents

Project examination involves the Secretariat and the Scientific and Technical Committee, which both give their opinion on the project, and the Steering Committee, which approves project identification and decides in the end on FFEM funding.

Project cycle

The 9 key stages of the cycle of a project financed by the FFEM
1. Pre-identification of the project
  • Writing a project opportunity note, presenting the characteristics of the project idea: project context, objectives, partners and costs. This sheet is presented by one of the 6 member institutions of the FFEM steering committee
  • Selection of 12 fact sheets and reports presented by the Secretariat in consultation with the 6 member institutions of the FFEM. These fact sheets and reports will be examined at the 3 annual meetings of the steering committee
2. Identification of the project
  • Writing of a project identification note by one of the institutional partners with the potential beneficiary
  • Verification of the eligibility of the project by the Secretariat
  • Opinion of the scientific and technical committee and opinion of the Secretariat
  • Review of the note by the steering committee
  • Editorial support and standardization of the notes by the Secretariat
  • Possible authorization by the steering committee to investigate the project, to allocate an amount of funding and, if necessary, to finance the feasibility study.
3. Pre-evaluation of the project
  • Conduct of the ex ante feasibility study of the project detailing the technical, economic and institutional conditions of its implementation and the points of application of the financing on the basis of its feasibility and its logical framework
  • Realization of a project engagement note for the steering committee
  • Editorial support and standardization of the project engagement note by the Secretariat
4. Commitment of funds
  • Review of the project engagement note by the steering committee
  • Approval of the project by the steering committee, opinion at the meeting of the scientific and technical committee and the Secretariat
  • Authorization of the Secretariat to commit the corresponding funds
  • Preparation of the financing agreement between the Secretariat and the beneficiary
  • Signature of the financing agreement between the French Development Agency (AFD), FFEM manager, and the beneficiary
5. Implementation of the project
  • Implementation of the project by the beneficiary of the grant
  • Follow-up and supervision by the institutional partner with the support of the Secretariat
  • Preparation of regular technical and financial progress reports by the beneficiary
  • If applicable, mid-term evaluation
6. Completion report
  • Drafting of a completion report by the grant beneficiary
  • Production of indicators and results on the project
7. Post-evaluation
  • Impact study of the project after completion
8. Capitalization
  • Retrospective evaluations
  • Conferences and restitution seminars
9. Communication
  • Communication on the implementation of the project or evaluation report by the institutional partner, with the assistance of the Secretariat and / or the beneficiary
  • Communication: publications, films, computer graphics, etc.
  • These supports may relate to one or more projects within the same area of ​​intervention or an identical geographical area