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Voluntary Fund for Conservation

The Voluntary Fund for Conservation was established in 2014 and reflects the diverse and growing range of IWC conservation initiatives. Seven categories have been established as priority areas and are overseen by a dedicated Conservation Project Steering Group.

These areas are:

Projects supporting conservation management plans.

Projects supporting whalewatching

Projects addressing bycatch and entanglement

Projects addressing ship strikes

Projects addressing stranded cetaceans, including euthanasia

Projects addressing pollution

Projects addressing emerging issues and new threats to whale populations

The Steering Group assesses projects according to how well they meet the objectives of rebuilding and maintaining healthy whale populations, and prioritises them accordingly. Another consideration of the Steering Group is geographical spread. The Group aims to ensure that projects are representative of different regions so that funding can be targeted at particular range states where it may be difficult to secure local financial support.

Contributions are welcomed from member governments, international organisations and other appropriate donors. With the exception of contributions from member governments, donations are subject to scrutiny according to the Commission’s Guidelines on Acceptance of Funds. Donors are also welcome to specify a particular purpose for their contribution, in accordance with the agreed priority categories listed above. Transparency is also very important. Details of each voluntary contribution are circulated to all member governments, and donors are informed of when, and precisely how their contribution is used.

If you are interested in making a donation

to the Voluntary Fund for Conservation, please refer to the Guidelines on Acceptance of Funds (link above) and contact the IWC Project Development Officers at

If you are interested in applying for funds

please refer to the eligibility criteria.  If your project meets these criteria and you would like to pursue an application, please request a funding application form from Please note that consideration of all applications is dependent on the availability of voluntary funding. 


To read the Guidelines for the Voluntary Fund for Conservation click here.

To view the most recent table of donations to IWC voluntary funds, click here.

To read about the Conservation Committee of the IWC click here.