Beautiful Pearl River – Funding Guidelines for Environmental Projects

The Pearl River is the third longest river in China. Its watershed area includes theXijiangRiver,DongjiangRiver,BeijiangRiver, and the Pearl River Delta. With the region’s rapid economic growth and an ever increasing rate of urbanization, especially the acceleration of industrialization in the river’s up and mid stream areas, protection of the basin’s water environment presents a significant challenge.


In 2013, theGuangdongprovincial government issued the policy Cleaner Water forSouth GuangdongAction Plan (2013-2020) and pledged a full commitment to the prevention and treatment of water pollution. Among the policy measures, which are holistic in scope, public participation is particularly emphasized. In addition, a new legislation, the Environment Protection Law, came into effect in January 2015. One of its sections is now providing for the role of environmental information disclosure and public participation. Taken together, these laws and policies are giving major momentous to the role of the public in general environmental governance going forward.


Environmental NGOs play a significant, active, and effective role in realizing the potential of public participation in environmental governance. In December 2014, the Guangdong Environment Protection Department released a report titled, Opinions on Further Nurturing and Guiding Environmental Social Organizations, to encourage and support the growth of local environmental NGOs.


In light of these positive developments, the South China Environment Fund initiated the “Beautiful Pearl River” program – a funding plan for philanthropic projects for the protection of water environment in thePearlRiver Basin. The program provides grants to environmental NGOs and their related groups on conservation projects. The funding plan encourages a diverse range of partnerships between environmental NGOs, the government, businesses, and communities, which are in turn invited to explore collaboration models to effectively address environmental issues at the local level. Through such joint efforts, the program aims to restore to the Pearl River its environmental health, maintain it for the long term, and realize the vision of a renewed beautifulPearl River.



1. Funding Details

(1). Target grantees

Environmental NGOs and related groups that work for the protection of water environment in thePearlRiver Basin.


(2). Geographic coverage

Four key areas comprise thePearlRiver Basin– the Pearl River Delta,XijiangRiver Basin,DongjiangRiver Basin, andBeijiangRiver Basin. See map below.



(3). Funding Areas

A.      Protection of headwaters areas: Headwaters areas refer to headwaters of major tributaries and environmental protection zones located close to various headwaters in thePearl Riversystem. Initiatives we look to fund here would encourage and support public participation in environmental protection projects in these locations; instigate causes of pollution investigations and environmental risk assessments; improve waste management mechanisms at municipalities in terms of sewage treatment and garbage disposal management; reduce pesticide pollution and fertilizer abuse; or help improve public health.


B.      Public participation in prevention and treatment of water pollution: Initiatives we look to fund here would encourage public participation in environmental protection projects in general, subject to national laws and regulations; promote disclosure of water environmental information and social supervision of regulatory compliance; explore effective models of stakeholder engagement in environmental governance of thePearlRiver Basin.


C.      Education programs on water environment protection: We look to fund here innovative public education initiatives and communication campaigns on water environmental protection in thePearlRiver Basin; the development and promotion of relevant educational programs and tools; and the building of online and mobile platforms to facilitate public education in this area.


D.      Other areas: If the applicant organization thinks the above descriptions do not cover their area of work, but nonetheless believes their work contributes positively to the protection of water environment in thePearlRiver Basin, they may apply under their own formulation of project relevance to the funding theme.


(4). Grant Sizes

 A. Experimental projects (maximum grant amount: RMB 50,000)

l  We look to fund initiatives by local environmental NGOs and related groups, which revolve around the topic ofPearl Riverwater environmental protection, are innovative in terms of promoting public participation, or research investigations that are actively forward looking.

B. Collaborative projects (maximum grant amount: RMB 150, 000)

l  We look to fund projects that substantially enhance the effective collaboration between environmental NGOs and other stakeholders in water environmental protection of thePearlRiver Basin.

C. Operational projects (maximum grant amount: RMB 200,000)

l  We look to fund those environmental NGOs and related groups experienced and already operating in this area, so as to enhance their effectiveness and leverage their capabilities.



2. Application Process




 3. Application Method

Click and download the Application Form for Beautiful Pearl River Project. Send your completed form and application materials to the official electronic mailbox of the South China Environment Fund at scef@vip.163.com. Applications must be received before the 10th May 2015. Please contact us if you have any questions during your application process. (Contact person: Xie XiaoLing; Email: scef@vip.163.com; Phone: 020 – 84114606 - 604).