The BP Conservation Programme, which supports student-led field projects around the world, is to treble the amount of funding it makes available, writes Steve Farrar.
The scheme, which is inviting applicants for 2003, will offer £400,000 for work seeking to safeguard some of the most threatened species and habitats.
Earlier this year the programme, run jointly by BP, BirdLife International and Fauna and Flora International, backed 19 international student teams with awards of up to £20,000.
Among them was a Durham University-led expedition to carry out surveys in the spiny forests of Madagascar, and a York University mission to investigate four endangered parrot species in Indonesia. Other projects have focused on rehabilitating unique vegetation in South Africa, crocodiles in the Philippines, carnivorous plants in western Sumatra and cave-dwelling bats in Romania.
The programme is open to students in full or part-time education anywhere in the world. It backs projects that involve high standards of scientific research and collaboration with the host country and local communities.
Since 1985, it has supported 194 projects in 60 countries.
The closing date for applications is October 31. Details can be found on the programme's website: http://conservation.bp.com