Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The Other Qualified Organizations (OQO) program

Important OQO Program Update: All OQO Funds have been allocated to date and therefore NCC will not be accepting any further application forms at this point in time. Please contact Steve Blight ( or Kendra Pauley ( if you have any questions regarding the remaining OQO funds.

Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and administered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), the OQO program will provide up to $5 million in support of conservation in communities across Canada. Eligible organizations are invited to apply to this federally funded program to: 

  • assist and support the securement of ecologically significant areas across Canada;
  • protect habitat for species at risk (both COSEWIC-assessed and SARA-listed) and migratory birds; and
  • enhance connections and corridors between protected areas.

Land acquisitions closing between April 1, 2018, and January 31, 2019, will be considered under Round 4 of the OQO program, and applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. EST on November 1, 2018.

Important changes to the program

Applicants may now submit up to two application forms (projects) under Round 4, and may request up to a maximum of $500,000 per organization. Applications to the OQO program will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, provided that the application receives a successful assessment/evaluation by the OQO Project Review Committee. In instances where applications have been approved but no funds are left, projects will be listed on a wait list in the event that funds become available in the future within the round.

Interested in applying to the OQO program?

Step 1 – Read the OQO Guidelines and Appendices, and the OQO Agreement Template

Review the OQO program rules, requirements and processes in the OQO Guidelines and Appendices prior to submitting an application form. Applicants should also review the provisions recorded in the OQO Agreement Template, as successful applicants will be required to sign the OQO agreement.

Step 2 – Apply online

If your organization and project are eligible under the OQO program, please select the link below to start the online application process (be sure to select the OQO - Round 4 process). The online process offers applicants the ability to save their application form at any point in time and return to it at later. NCC will not accept any application forms submitted by email or mail.

Important note: The majority of questions within the application form must be completed online; however, the Parcel Grid and the Project Budget (templates provided directly below) are Excel files that must be populated, saved to your computer and then uploaded when prompted during the online application form process:

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding the OQO program, please contact Steve Blight at

We want your feedback!

Looking forward, the Nature Conservancy of Canada would like to invite Canada’s conservation community to work together to build on the important contribution to conservation made by the OQO program. NCC is launching a web-based survey with organizations like yours in order to gather information on your views on the current OQO program’s strengths as well as its weaknesses. To participate in the OQO program survey, please click on this link.

Results under the OQO program as of March 31, 2018

Since 2007, funding from the Natural Areas Conservation Fund has been made available to Canadian land trusts and conservation organizations to support the protection of ecologically significant land from coast to coast. By providing this funding, NCC and the Government of Canada have broadened partnership engagement in the conservation community, and significantly advanced the portfolio of protected natural areas across southern Canada.

As of March 31, 2018, 66 projects have been funded under the OQO program, representing the conservation of more than 16,000 acres (6,500 hectares) of ecologically sensitive land.

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