Working with FFEM

If you wish to submit a pilot and innovative project, reconciling the environment and local development, you will find below details of how FFEM operates, its eligibility criteria, its geographical priorities, etc.
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Eléphants dans l'eau - Arly, Burkina Faso
FFEM’s financing focuses on six areas of activity, related to the main international conventions or agreements: biodiversity, climate, international waters, land degradation – including deforestation, chemical pollutants and the stratospheric ozone layer.

The FFEM’s contributions range from €500,000 to €3,000,000 per project.

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.


FFEM focuses on activities which meet five thematic priorities, in line with its strategic programming framework for 2015-2018:

  • Innovative financing of biodiversity
  • The integrated management and resilience of coastal and marine areas
  • Sustainable agriculture and forests
  • Sustainable urban territories
  • The energy transition

as well as two crosscutting objectives: Sustainable consumption and production and Innovative processes.

To carry out its mission to protect the global environment in developing countries, FFEM is committed to working with actors related to its thematic areas of operation.

It can work with all types of actors: donors, public actors, private companies, researchers, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and foundations, and international organizations.

In its conventional projects, FFEM always provides minority financing for development projects, in the form of grants, in addition to other cofinancing provided by project initiators, direct beneficiaries and their other financial partners.

Indeed, sharing the cost of operations and mobilizing local financial resources or other partners reflect a better ownership by project initiators and local beneficiaries. These cofinancing operations consequently contribute to ensuring the sustainability of the programs promoted by FFEM.


Burkina Faso, marché Gorom - copyright : UICN, G Mauvais
Burkina Faso, Gorom market. IUCN, G Mauvais


What you need to know before applying for FFEM funding

To present a project, the project leader must go through one of the six member institutions of the FFEM steering committee.

Entry points are therefore:

  • Ministry of Economy and Finance
  • Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
  • Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Food
  • The Frrench Development Agenc

It is indeed one of these entry points that will then propose this project to the steering committee of the FFEM.

Each project must demonstrate that it fully meets eight criteria:
  • contribution to the preservation of the global environment
  • contribution to local development
  • innovative project, participating in the diffusion or the change of scale of innovations
  • demonstrative and reproducible character
  • economic and financial sustainability after project
  • ecological and environmental sustainability
  • social and cultural acceptability
  • adequate institutional framework

The financing conditions of FFEM

The co-financing rate of the FFEM is between 30 and 50% maximum depending on the applicant
  • 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
An intervention priority in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean

FFEM intervenes in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries or emerging countries, eligible for development aid. Its intervention area covers more than 120 countries and it relies on the network of local or regional agencies of the French Development Agency as well as on the network of French embassies abroad.

In accordance with the French political orientations, the FFEM intervenes primarily on sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean.

Besides, FFEM can contribute to the financing of regional global environment projects, including French overseas territories, provided that the share benefiting these communities does not exceed 25% of the total amount of the FFEM grant to the project.

Five priority themes

The FFEM has five priority themes for 2023–2026:

  • Biodiversity conservation and enhancement.
  • Aquatic ecosystems resilience.
  • Sustainable management of agricultural and forests landscapes.
  • Adaptation and low-carbon transition in cities and territories.
  • Circular solutions and fight against pollution.

Whatever the theme, the FFEM also pays particular attention to innovation modalities, such as:

  • Nature-based solutions and the “One Health” approach.
  • Knowledge and expertise.
  • Citizen participation.
  • Mechanisms to mobilize sustainable financial resources.
  • Science to policy.

Duration and amount of co-financed operations

Duration and amount of co-financed operations
The initial duration of FFEM operations may not exceed 5 years.

During execution, the project may be extended after justification and examination. This postponement is formalized by amendment to the financing agreement.

After a first operation, a new FFEM support can be considered subject to examination of three principles:

  • objectives of deployment, scaling, introduction of new innovations
  • the co-financing part of the FFEM in the overall budget is re-evaluated
  • conducting an external evaluation of the previous project and producing results
Amount of FFEM grant
The average amount of the FFEM grant is of the order of € 1 million.

The low and high limits of FFEM funding are 500,000 euros and 3,000,000 euros respectively

The project leader

Who can benefit from financial support from the FFEM?

Any type of stakeholder can submit a project insofar as it fits well into the areas of intervention of the FFEM and if it meets both its criteria of eligibility, financing and geography:

  • states
  • public actors and organizations
  • local authorities
  • research institutes
  • international organizations
  • non-governmental organizations and foundations
  • private companies


Submit your project

The 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