Direct Trade Travel Grants For Businesses That Benefit Tropical Forests and Communities in Latin America

Environmental Defense Fund – Forest Trends – Canopy Bridge – EcoDecision

Accelerating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions Program


International trade in responsibly-sourced natural products can contribute to protecting tropical forests and improving local livelihoods. When well-managed and connected to the right buyers, crops like cocoa a and coffee and a host of non-timber forest products – from essential oils to dyes to fruits – can provide farmers the income they need to manage their lands and forests sustainably. For many producers and small businesses in Latin America finding buyers in international markets can be a challenge.

And for many businesses interested in working with Latin American suppliers of specialty products with strong local environmental and social benefits, identifying, vetting and building a connection with partners over great distances can be challenging.  There is really no substitute for visiting partners at origin to build trust and cement a relationship.

To help support direct-trade relationship building we are offering a limited number of small grants to co-finance sourcing trips to any of 10 Latin American countries.

These travel grants are made possible with support of the United States Agency for International Development under the Accelerating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions Program which seeks to support private sector engagement with producers who are on the front lines of combating deforestation.


Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Involve established companies with a demonstrated track record of sustainable sourcing.
  • Engage with suppliers and producers that through their commercial activities make a clear contribution to forest conservation or restoration. Certification under voluntary standards is a plus.
  • Demonstrate likelihood that sourcing trip builds on contacts underway and is likely to result in formalizing a supply contract or sale.
  • Have private sector funding match of at least 1:1
  • Engage with suppliers and producers that have a strong socio economic commitment and promote income diversification, gender equality and fair benefit sharing policies.

Each grant is expected to cover up to $2000 and can be used to cover direct travel costs including airfare, lodging, local transport and other documented travel expenses.

Eligible countries are: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.


How to apply?

  1. Send us a brief (300 word max) summary of your proposed sourcing trip, highlighting your background and commercial experience, proposed sourcing trip trading partners to be visited, expected outcome of the trip and meetings, and how it contributes to forest conservation and local wellbeing. Please send this summary to
  2. Based on an initial review we may invite you to present a more detailed proposal.

Proposals will be received on a rolling basis until 15 February 2018 and grants must be executed before 15 June 2018.


Who we are

Canopy Bridge ( is the biggest online platform exclusively dedicated to facilitate the connection to markets for producers that conserve ecosystems and improve the quality of life of their communities. Canopy Bridge is an initiative from EcoDecisión, a company that promotes economic alternatives for sustainable development.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an international nonprofit organization focused on finding practical solutions that benefit people while protecting natural systems. Guided by science and economics, EDF tackles urgent world problems with practical alternatives.

Forest Trends is a nonprofit organization with the mission of conserving forests and other ecosystems through the creation and wide adoption of a broad range of environmental finance, markets, and other payment and incentive mechanisms.

EcoDecisión, EDF, and Forest Trends are part of The Forest-Based Livelihoods Consortium supported by the AIME (Accelerating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions) Program, which is financed by the United States Agency for International Development.



6 thoughts on “Direct Trade Travel Grants For Businesses That Benefit Tropical Forests and Communities in Latin America

    1. Dear Erika, NGOs are eligible to apply, though you should note that a key emphasis of these grants is on supporting activities that are demonstrably likely to result in closing a contract or sale.

  1. When I was a volunteer from Colombia, I always dreamed of a grant to help the poorly educated rural population of this wonderful country. But unfortunately, for two years, I have not received it. It’s good that being at home, I invested money together with one investment company and received enough dividends to realize my dream.

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