Challenge Fund

The future demands new thinking, new approaches, and new solutions. The Challenge Fund brings in ideas from the Palladium network in over 90 countries and partnership with over 1,600 organisations globally to source innovative responses to global challenges. We fund organisations and initiatives that:

  • Pilot new technologies and innovative approaches
  • De-risk start-up ventures
  • Deliver outcomes from innovative financial mechanisms
  • Support the convening of innovative challenges

2022 Challenge Fund Themes

The Challenge Fund will be launching two themes this year. There is up to AU$75,000 funding available for multiple successful applicants across both themes. Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2022. To learn more and apply for funding, please contact palladium@kyeemafoundation.org.

Measuring the Value of Nature

How do you ensure that nature-based solutions are benefiting people and planet?

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The Palladium Challenge Fund: Measuring the Value of Nature is seeking proposals from organisations with innovative solutions to impact management, monitoring, and valuation of nature-base solutions.

We are looking for solutions that:

  • Pilot new technologies and/or innovative approaches to valuing nature
  • Tools for measuring the effective of nature-based solutions
  • Create frameworks for business to measure their environmental impact and match them to potential solutions

Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2022. To learn more and apply for funding up to AU$75,000, please contact palladium@kyeemafoundation.org.

Jobs for Refugees

Offering dignity and employment to people fleeing from conflict

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The Palladium Challenge Fund: Jobs for Refugees is seeking proposals from organisations with innovative and sustainable solutions to employ refugees or match refugees to employers.

We are looking for solutions that:

  • Offer innovative and cost-effective approaches to skills training in refugees, with clear pathway to stable and secure employment;
  • Connect refugees with employers, be that through integration within country service provision, use of online platforms, or in-person support at refugee community centres.
  • Make effective use of technology to expand and customise learning for refugee communities; or
  • Overcome barriers to employment, for example, to include schemes that provide childcare alongside employment or support with employee registration.

Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2022. To learn more and apply for funding up to AU$75,000, please contact palladium@kyeemafoundation.org.

2021: Valuing Nature

Oyster Heaven aims to unlock the proven conservation benefits and promising commercial opportunities of oyster reef regeneration, by providing missing technologies and protocols that would allow the regeneration and conservation of this natural capital to become scalable and monetisable. One of the key benefits of oyster reefs lies in their ability to sequester (among others) carbon, nitrogen and phosphates from water at far lower opportunity cost than land based ecological interventions. Growing recognition of the damage caused by these substances has created incentive for a trading scheme in phosphates and nitrogen (similar to existing carbon credit trading schemes). This creates an opportunity to develop a profitable business model around regenerating lost oyster reefs. The core objective is to develop and test a key innovative technology (biofilm) as a growth medium for oyster beds. Longer term this would inform a set of products, tools and protocols which would allow oyster reef regeneration to be scalable, affordable and sustainable.

The project aims to assist indigenous landholders in Erromango, Vanuatu to generate financial incentives to protect their ecosystems, which can then deliver a pathway for sustainable development and livelihoods, as well as co-benefits associated with ecosystem services such as carbon emission reduction and local nature-based resilience. The project aims to establish and trial an innovative approach with the Erromango Forest Carbon project by aiming to design, test and strengthen an innovative and sustainable business model to manage an island-scale forest carbon project.

The project aims to scale this innovative nature-based solution through improving land use planning approaches on an island scale and finance the development of community level land management activities to support forest restoration efforts and diversify livelihoods of community members. This business model and unique methodology will be established with the support of Nakau and their implementing partners Live and Learn Vanuatu to support local communities to manage their own forest carbon project and benefit sharing.

The overarching aim is to build a marketplace for buyers to purchase ecosystem services credits* produced by keystone species**. Through the sale of ecosystem services credits, the pilot will demonstrate the ability to transfer funds from buyers to local communities and wildlife justice initiatives in a transparent, traceable and trusted manner, establishing a higher monetary value for living keystone species that far supersedes its value when dead. Funds from off-setters will go towards supporting wildlife justice initiatives and communities responsible for the protection of keystone species.

This pilot project is based on the forest elephant and their habitat in Gabon. African elephants are keystone species, meaning they play a critical role in their ecosystem. Also known as “ecosystem engineers,” elephants shape their habitat in many ways. For example, during the dry season, they use their tusks to dig up dry riverbeds and create watering holes many animals can drink from. The primary objective is to create a blockchain minimum viable product (MVP)*** to provide trust, transparency and traceability in the exchange of all forms of value between stakeholders around healthy natural capital.

* Ecosystem services credits are incentives offered to farmers or landowners in exchange for managing their land to provide some sort of ecological service.

** A keystone species is an organism that helps hold the system together. Without its keystone species, ecosystems would look very different.

*** A minimum viable product (MVP) is an early version of a product that is designed to ensure that product vision and strategy are aligned with market needs.

Thanks to our key partner Palladium

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