AMMAN — BirdLife International on Monday announced it was offering small grants for implementing projects that improve and protect the environment.

The organisation invited NGOs, community groups, enterprises, universities and civil societies in 11 countries, including Jordan, to submit proposals for the grants.

“This is the first call for proposals for small grants, at a value of $20,000 or less, issued by BirdLife International,” the organisation said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The deadline for receiving proposals is December 15, according to the statement.

The grants, which are part of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot, will be directed towards two of the 14 critical ecosystems in Jordan, BirdLife International said, indicating that the two locations are the Jordan River and Wadi Mujib Basin.

The 14 areas in the Kingdom were identified as critical ecosystems because they are home to rare and indigenous plant and animal species, and at the same time face threats.

Proposed projects in Jordan will address threats to ecosystems in the Jordan River and Wadi Mujib basins, which suffer from habitat destruction, illegal hunting, pollution of water and watersheds and unguided agricultural activities among other threats.

The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Libya, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Tunisia, according to BirdLife.

BirdLife International is “a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources”, according to the organisation’s website.

The Mediterranean Basin is the second largest global biodiversity hotspot, covering more than two million square kilometres across 34 countries and territories. It stretches from Portugal to Jordan and from northern Italy to Cape Verde, according to the organisation.

The primary threat in the hotspot is habitat loss due to increasing pressure on water resources, agricultural intensification, land abandonment, and infrastructure and residential development.