Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

CEPF E-News Update August 2005

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August 2005

© Peregrine Fund

Malagasy Communities' Win Benefits Fish Eagle

Two community associations recently won approval from the government of Madagascar to manage wetland sites that provide important natural resources for their local villages and habitat for the Critically Endangered Madagascar fish eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides).

The official handover from the Ministry for Environment, Water and Forests for a 10-year period marked a major success for both the communities and The Peregrine Fund.

The Peregrine Fund helped the communities to form the associations in the 1990s and later, with support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), to create natural resource management charters and build their capacity to ensure sustainable management of the sites.

The associations are made up of village elders and mayors in the Manambolomaty Lakes Complex and surrounding forest area in western Madagascar, while the charters are based on community taboos and rules that have traditionally ensured wise management of the sites. Migrant fishermen, however, posed new threats by overfishing and cutting down trees on the lake shores that the eagles use for nesting.

However, with the new charters the number of eagles around the lake has remained stable at 29 individuals for the last three years, while fish catches and wood gathering are reported to be within sustainable limits.

The approval also capped an initial three-year trial period in which the associations, which are known as FIZAMI and FIFAMA, outperformed 32 other community associations reviewed to date under a special governmental program to return land management to local communities, according to the ministry.

Neighboring communities have begun to follow the two associations’ example, and their methods are also being applied elsewhere.

"The progress so far has been fantastic," said Lily-Arison René de Roland, national director of The Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Project. "Economically, the standard of living has risen over the last three years and conservation awareness is greatly increased. But there is much more to do – particularly developing a better environmental education system for the many children in the area and for some of the village elders who’ve had little exposure to this kind of thinking."

With the government’s commitment to triple its protected area network by 2008, integrating local organizations and communities in the management of key biodiversity sites will become all the more vital. The approach is also a central part of the CEPF investment strategy for the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot.

For more information:

About CEPF

© Donovan Kirkwood

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to engage nongovernmental organizations, community groups, and other civil society partners in conserving Earth's biodiversity hotspots. Visit www.cepf.net to learn more.

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In Focus: After the Flood - Philippine Big Business Helps Cast Watersheds In New Light

Rivers jammed with illegally cut timber, flood-torn villages hit by cascading mudslides – the devastation that hit the Philippine island of Luzon at the end of 2004 were the scenes of nightmares. Yet perhaps the millions of pesos of damage and even the hundreds of lives lost will not be in vain: The toll helped persuade Philippine big business that sustainable development and conservation are critical to the bottom line.

Read the full story.

Lesson Learned

© Botsoc

Sue Winter of the Botanical Society of South Africa:
“Dedicated legal expertise is needed to streamline the slow process of finalizing stewardship contract agreements between private landowners and conservation agencies.”
© Corporación Oro Verde
Sustainable gold mining could help provide funds to conserve species in the Chocó-Manabi Corridor through a Corporación Oro Verde "Green Gold" certification system.

Funding Flows in for Colombian Projects

Conservation International-Colombia (CI-Colombia) has succeeded in raising significant co-financing for CEPF-supported projects in the Chocó-Manabí biodiversity conservation corridor.

Five organizations recently won $100,000 each in extra funding for the specific projects through a partnership between the Colombian nongovernmental organization Fondo para la Acción Ambiental y la Niñez (FPAA or Fund for Environmental Action and Childhood) and CI-Colombia.

“I am very impressed by the scope of these projects, both in terms of their geographic reach and the aims of their programs.” said Bruce Bayle, USAID regional environmental advisor for South America and a member of the evaluation committee of FPAA. “It is also very encouraging to see that they dovetail nicely with ongoing and planned USAID projects in the same geographic regions of Colombia.”

Three of the five projects are focusing on strengthening local and regional mechanisms to foster conservation at the corridor level, a major CEPF objective for the region.

Fundacion ProAves received funds to further develop and strengthen community initiatives around El Pangan Reserve in southwest Colombia. Read the related story: El Pangan Bird Reserve Expands or read more about the project in the Eco-Index.

Fundación Ecotrópico also received support for its project to monitoring the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity, while Fundación CIPAV won funding for its testing of a system that provides payments to farmers for the provision of environmental services as a mechanism for conservation and watershed management.

“The framework relationship with CI and CEPF goes from strength to strength,” FPAA Executive Secretary José Luis Gómez said. “Not only do we share conservation objectives but in the corridor strategy, we are both using the same path to get there.”

Two other projects that received FPAA funding are helping implement CEPF’s strategic direction in this region to promote sustainable development practices in communities living around protected areas.

Corporación Serraniagua has established a network of 60 private nature reserves in Serranía de los Paraguas that link together habitats of Endangered species and is now working with 12 reserves to implement sustainable farming projects (Read more about this project in the Eco-Index).

Finally, Corporación Oro Verde is continuing its work with Afro-Colombian communities engaged in sustainable gold mining. It aims to introduce a “Green Gold” certification system for mining practices and will contribute to the conservation of some 55 species in the area.

Discussions about support for additional projects are under way, and the current co-financing agreement between CI-Colombia and FPAA runs initially until 2007.

For more information, contact Laura Méndez at FPAA lmendez@accionambiental.org or Angela Andrade at CI-Colombia aandrade@conservation.org.

New Resources

  • Data-sharing forum: Eco Partners, an alliance of more than 20 nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies in the Mountains of Southwest China Hotspot, launched a new Chinese-language online forum to share data on defining and monitoring conservation outcomes across the region.
  • New Web site: Aliança para Conservação da Mata Atlântica (Alliance for the Conservation of the Atlantic Forest) launched a new Web site about the Central and Serra do Mar biodiversity conservation corridors, CEPF’s focal areas for investment in the Atlantic Forest Hotspot. The site features comprehensive listings, chat forums, and a host of other resources on conservation in the two corridors.
  • Newsletters on our Web site: SCARCE talk, June 2005 (PDF) / Tesso Nilo Voice, May-June 2005 (PDF).
  • Parrot grant opportunities: The Loro Parque Fundación supports projects to improve the conservation prospects of threatened parrots and to promote biodiversity conservation. It has now issued a notice for applications to begin in 2006 (PDF).
  • Request for proposals: The World Bank has funded more than 70 local language field guides, with funding from the Forests/Biodiversity Window of the World Bank/Netherlands Partnership Program (BNPP) and the MacArthur Foundation. This new BNPP call for proposals (PDF), is for local language field guide material proposals aiming to build capacity for conservation and wildlife management among youth and young professionals in Asia.

© 2005 Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) administers the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
CI is a leader and catalyst in biodiversity conservation, engaging partners in more than 40 countries
on four continents to preserve threatened ecosystems.
Learn more about the CEPF donor partners.
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