African Rift Valley

IIE Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund 2017


Deadline: August 27, 2017

The Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund provides financial assistance to an individual to attend global biocultural events/exchanges or meetings of international significance which impacts the applicant’s home territory or region (individuals or organizations must apply for funding for a specific meeting or event). The focus of the fund examines biocultural issues—the rich but neglected adaptive interweave of people and place, culture and ecology. This fund supports indigenous peoples and local communities to have a voice in the policies and forums that concern biocultural diversity at a global level (for example, in relation to UNDRIP and other UN Conventions such as the Right to Food and the Convention on Biological Diversity).

The fund aims to encourage an actively and participatory exchange of knowledge systems, especially for, but not limited to, individuals in the following regions: African Rift Valley, Central Asia & Turkey, Southwest U.S. & Northern Mexico, Northern Australia, and Melanesia. Of special interest are indigenous people and local communities who have been traditionally under-represented in biocultural events, including but not limited to, women, youth, and first time travelers.


  • A maximum of $5,000 USD is awarded to selected applicants (flexibility will be considered pending review of an applicant’s budget submission);
  • Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray costs, which include international airfare, hotel/lodging, conference fees, meals, incidentals, local transportation, visa fees, and travel insurance.


  • Applicant must be Indigenous or a member of a local indigenous community. The modern understanding of this term used and advanced by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is based on the following:
    • Self-identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member
    • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
    • Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
    • Distinct social, economic or political systems
    • Distinct language, culture and beliefs
    • Form non-dominant groups of society
    • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities
  • For applicants who meet the above criteria, additional preference will be given to:
    • Women
    • Youth (18+)
    • Exchange in the following regions: African Rift Valley, Central Asia & Turkey, Southwest U.S. & Northern Mexico, Northern Australia, and Melanesia
    • First time traveler (or applying with an organization to support a first time traveler)


Applications will be accepted until August 27, 2017 at 11:59 pm EDT for conferences taking place between October 15, 2017 and February 28, 2018. You can find the application form online.

For more information, visit Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund.


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