Top 5 Funding For Environmental Projects In South Africa (2024)

In a time like this, particularly with all of these climate changes, it is a great and noble thing to put one’s hands into environmental projects that can have a good impact on society one way or the other.

Fortunately, you can access certain funding for environmental projects in South Africa to carry out your activities without being short of funds. Some of them include Green Funds, Green Climate Fund, and WWF Nedbank Green Trust amongst others.

5 Funding For Environmental Projects In South Africa

1. Green Fund

Since 2012, the Development Bank of Southern Africa has been overseeing the fund, as established by a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment. The fund received an initial allocation of R1.1 billion from the National Treasury via the DFFE.

If you have been looking around for funding for environmental projects in South Africa, then you should go for a bite from the Green Fund, put in place to ensure the movement to a green economy in the country. The major aim is to ensure that all things move adequately as far as the enforcement is concerned.

The general objectives revolve around:

– Establishing a foundation of evidence to support the growth of the green economy and attracting extra resources to bolster the development of South Africa’s green economy.

– Advocating for inventive and impactful green initiatives and projects. Also, to strengthen climate policy goals and sustainable economic growth by employing green interventions.

The Green Fund, dedicated to backing projects in South Africa, offers funding of up to R25 million to assist with project preparation, feasibility studies, and technical support. It also provides up to R70 million for investment funding.

It should also be noted that the funding caps set by the Green Fund pertain solely to partially financing the total project cost, while the remaining portion can be covered by a combination of other stakeholders. Finally, the usual candidates encompass private firms, small and medium enterprises, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, etc.

2. Green Climate Fund

For these fund, climate change presents businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to leverage fresh avenues for growth and investment that simultaneously safeguard the planet. Hence, they allocate a portion of their resources to facilitate the attraction of financial resources from private enterprises toward attractive and profitable climate-conscious investment prospects.

The Green Climate Fund has a reputation for being a core aspect of the famous Paris Agreement and can boast to be the largest climate fund in the globe. It is meant to assist certain countries in raising their unique NDC purposes toward low emissions.

Its objective is attained through investments in four transitions: the constructed environment, energy and industry, human security, livelihoods, and well-being, as well as land use, forests, and ecosystems.

The Fund is known for the following strategies:

– Incorporating climate risks and opportunities into investment choices to align financing with sustainable development objectives.

– Mitigating investment risks to attract substantial financing.

– Stimulating climate innovation.

– Enhancing planning and programming.

3. WWF Nedbank Green Trust

Additionally, the WWF Nedbank Green Trust can be viable funding for environmental projects in South Africa, and anyone can apply for funding if they are doing something in the environmental outcomes industry. Organisations can work together with the Green Trust if they are qualified, and it will lead to even better opportunities.

The Trust provides funding to inventive initiatives aimed at addressing major social and environmental issues in the country. It supports organizations that are creating creative and adaptable solutions through collaborative networks, to facilitate positive transformation in the country.

The general goal is to advance the preservation of nature and its ecological processes by safeguarding genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity. This is achieved by promoting the sustainable utilization of renewable natural resources and advocating for initiatives that minimize pollution and the inefficient use of resources and energy.

4. The Global Environment Facility (Partnership With the African Development Bank)

The Global Environment Facility was created to offer grants and concessional funding to convert projects with national advantages into initiatives with worldwide environmental benefits. With the participation of 183 member governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, GEF stands as a significant force.

As the largest sponsor of endeavors aimed at enhancing the global environment, GEF funds projects related to various domains including biodiversity, climate change mitigation, land degradation, chemicals and waste management, climate change adaptation, and international waters.

In 2007, the African Development Bank became an Implementing Agency of the GEF, gaining direct access to GEF resources. Over time, the bank has expanded its portfolio of projects focused on climate change, biodiversity, land preservation, and international waters. Simultaneously, it has progressively strengthened its involvement in addressing challenges associated with chemicals and waste across the African continent.

The African Development Bank and the GEF serve as crucial sources of funding and technical knowledge for African countries facing resource constraints to support such undertakings. The African Development Bank has facilitated its regional member countries in securing project funding exceeding $360 million, which stems from grants and private sector contributions within the GEF. The bank’s expanding role as a primary source of GEF funding underscores its ability to harmonize these projects with its investments, aligning efforts towards accomplishing sustainable development objectives.

The African Development Bank’s unique strength as a GEF agency resides in its significant influence within the continent, allowing it to infuse sustainability and resilience into its investments. Additionally, being a multilateral entity, the Bank can amplify the effects of these projects by drawing public and private sector collaborators into transformative ventures. Since its designation as a GEF Implementing Agency in 2007, the Bank has actively participated in numerous country-level discussions, collaborating with national GEF focal points to pinpoint co-financing prospects that can benefit its regional member countries.

5. Environmental Justice Fund

EJF welcomes applications aimed at bolstering the environmental justice movement in South Africa. The organization offers financial aid, capacity-building assistance, and networking support to community-based organizations and networks.

EJF provides grants ranging in duration from 6 months to 1 year, with grant sizes varying between R50,000 and R100,000. The grant amount is tied to the grant’s duration and the specific purpose for which the organization intends to use the funds. It supports environmental justice activism, revolving around works based on areas like Mining, water, Air pollution, Waste, Land rights, Alternative sustainable livelihoods, Environmental health, etc.



In the last ten years, the call for initiatives that safeguard the environment and advance sustainable development has risen due to the expansion of economic activities in sectors like agriculture, energy, and transportation across both rural regions and urban hubs of the country. Hence, this list of funding for environmental projects in South Africa will prove useful to help you actualize your goals.

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