Independent National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs)

Published: 08 October 2015
Last edited: 05 September 2017

CBF endowment proceeds will be channeled through the NCTFs, which in turn will lead the grant-making process for on the ground and water activities. They are governed by majority non-government member boards reflecting a broad range of sectors and interests, and provide grants to both government and civil society.


Drawing on internationally recognized standards, the characteristics of NCTFs to be supported by the CBF are:

  • Purpose: Purpose aligned with the purpose of the CBF.
  • Board composition: Broad composition and representation, with majority civil society board membership and no single majority interest group dominating the board.
  • Civil society board members: Board members representing civil society not solely selected by the government.
  • Asset control: Well-designed and independent asset control.
  • Audit requirements: Well-defined annual external audit requirements.
  • Grants: Grant making to government and civil society.


Enforcement and prosecution
Alliance and partnership development
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Inception phase

Enabling factors

  • Multiple-stakeholder dialogue to guarantee participation of all relevant sectors in governance structures.
  • Clear legal instruments that reflect independent structures and guarantee the rights and responsibilities of the different stakeholders.

Lessons learned

  • It is challenging to find the right balance between government and civil society representation in governance structures at the national level. Government actors may feel that majority non-governmental governance structure will exclude them from decision making and civil society may feel that majority government boards will result in inefficient institutions controlled by government.
  • Donors have a strong preference for NCTFs governance that is independent from government control, although government may participate in it.
  • Finding a balance in NCTFs constitutive instruments and other agreements to different points of views, needs and requirements, and reassure all stakeholders that the governance structure and decision making process will be transparent and inclusive is essential.

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