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Monk Seal Alliance Call for Projects 2023


The pre-application session for funding from the Monk Seal Alliance is open online from March 3rd  to March 31st, 2023. Funding is available for projects covering the period of April 2024 to April 2027 (36 months).



No project can be directly submitted to the Monk Seal Alliance. Only pre-applications submitted through the online portal in the framework of the calls for projects will be considered. Scanned or out-of-format files will not be accepted.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their pre-application by email by April, 28th, 2023 at the latest. Then, the pre-selected candidates will be invited to fill out a full application form by August 31st, 2023. Final decision of support from the Monk Seal Alliance will be notified by December 15th 2023. Project implementation should start at the earliest in spring 2024 and should have a maximum duration of 36 months.



This call concerns projects aiming at improving the conservation status of the Mediterranean monk seal throughout its full habitat range. It is divided in 2 categories of areas: “priority areas” (those where monk seal populations are established and reproducing) and “secondary areas” (those where sightings have been/are occurring which we expect monk seal populations to eventually recolonize).

For each category, and based on the outcome of the 1st MSA forum held in Athens January 31st-February 2nd 2023, MSA has pre-determined a maximum number of projects and a maximum amount of support over the 2024-2027 period (3 years) as well as further specifications detailed below.


Predetermined number of projects to be supported and amount of funding per area

Priority areas:

Priority areas are those where monk seal populations are established and reproducing.

  • Mauritania : continuation of the project led by CBD-Habitat Foundation (600 000 € max) including specific actions on seal reintroduction
  • Madeira : continuation of the project led by IFCN  (150 000€ max)
  • Greece
    • Ionian Sea: one project, possibly including all players in the area (450 000€ max)
    • Aegean Sea: at least two projects (700 000€ max for both projects), one of which addressing monk seal protection in area(s) of importance for the species where no conservation action has been implemented yet through existing or recent projects
  • Turkish coastline : one project (450 000€ max) covering the entire Turkish coast from Marmara to Iskenderun
  • Cyprus: two projects (270 000€ max)

Secondary areas:

Secondary areas are those where sightings have been recorded recently and which we expect monk seal populations to eventually recolonize.

  • Adriatic sea (Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy): one project (240 000€ max)
  • Levantine Basin (Syria, Lebanon, Israel): 60 000€ max for the area, with 20 000€ max per country



  • Collaborative proposals, with at least two partner organisations, are strongly encouraged and will be given priority
  • If monitoring of monk seal populations and/or habitat is included, it should respect the monitoring framework adopted during the MSA Forum (see the document). Collected data must be analyzed by the end of the project to produce information on the monitored variables (range, numbers, trends, demographic parameters, etc).
  • Monitoring costs (equipment, travel and staff costs) must not exceed 20% of the total requested budget. As information networks (RINT, AFBIKA, etc) provide information on threats and occurrence of seals, their development should be included in the monitoring costs (although distinguished from other types of costs).
  • All data collected within the project will be made freely available to MSA and visible to other organisations on the common platform that will be designed and developed in 2023/2024 by a working group composed of monk seal experts. Issues such as security of data, rights, and accessibility will be determined by the ToR of the platform.
  • All applicants carrying out monitoring activities must hold a research permit.
  • No co-funding is required. Larger projects with a global budget above the maximum amount of MSA support (specified above) will be considered, but co-funding will be required.
  • Overhead costs, including Office rental, office supplies, equipment maintenance, salaries of administrative human resources,  must not exceed 10% of the budget
  • Administrative costs including utility bills and insurances must not exceed 5% of the budget



For priority areas (Mauritania, Madeira, Greece, Türkiye , Cyprus):

  • Actions must be primarily directed at reducing and mitigating threats (e.g. conflicts with fishing and tourism), enforcing conservation regimes and supporting the needs of local authorities (Natura2000, MPAs, etc.) and must represent minimum 40% of the requested budget. Costs may include equipment, staff time, capacity building of stakeholders. Actions should be implemented throughout the year (versus only during the reproduction or touristic seasons) and must rely on consultative and participatory processes, inclusive of all relevant stakeholders.
  • Some research/studies (ex. carrying capacity study) will be considered only if they lead to concrete conservation measures within the proposed project
  • Awareness raising campaigns cannot exceed 20% of the total requested budget. Measure of impacts (behavior change) must be included in the project.
  • Monitoring of threats must be included in the project proposals. They must be listed in the pre-application, as well as the method used for monitoring them and associated indicators.


For secondary areas (Adriatic Sea and Levantine Basin)

  • Actions should aim at preparing the ground for the potential recolonization of monk seal populations: awareness raising (general public), promotion of the creation of protected areas, improvement of enforcement in current protected areas, mobilization of stakeholders (especially fishers and tourism sector representatives).
  • Monitoring of potential threats must be included in the project proposals. They must be listed in the pre-application, as well as the method used for monitoring them and associated indicators.