Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

August 2011 E-News Update

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
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CEPF E-News Update August 2011
in this issue:
CEPF 2010 Annual Report
First CEPF Workshop in the Arabian Peninsula
Lesson Learned: Snehakunja Trust
« Guides sur la diversité biologique de Madagascar» (“Biodiversity Guides of Madagascar”) published by Association Vahatra and with support from CEPF
New Resources
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About Us

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint program of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.

Now Available!
CEPF 2010 Annual Report
From the Annual Report: Building Capacity

200x155_AR_building_capacityMesoamerican groups develop skills to manage ancestral lands.

This report profiles projects that exemplify our commitment to biodiversity as well as our ability to help develop conservation strategies, networks and sustainable livelihoods. These projects include the creation of a road map to guide ecological preservation in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot and the successful efforts of two groups in Nicaragua to gain control over their ancestral lands.

In fiscal year 2010, the CEPF granting portfolio grew to $126.3 million; of that, we invested in programs run by nearly 1,600 nongovernmental organizations and private sector organizations. We began grantmaking in the Caribbean Islands and worked on finalizing plans for upcoming investments in Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany in southeast Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. We also reinvested in three hotspots—Madagascar, Succulent Karoo and Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena—to sustain conservation gains made in our first round of investment.

Our work on these programs—and many others—in our 10th year demonstrates our continued faith in the CEPF model, which has at its heart the organizations and communities of the hotspots. The achievements of those we have supported over the years are impressive and ongoing, and are yielding results that will benefit all of us in the long run.

View the CEPF 2010 Annual Report
Full story from the Annual Report: Building Capacity

First CEPF Workshop in the Arabian Peninsula
Nubian Ibex, Saudi Arabia
By Pierre Carret

Have you heard of the Nubian ibex? The Arabian woodpecker? The Yemeni dragon tree? These are just some examples of the threatened animal and plant species found in the mountains of Saudi Arabia and Yemen at the northern end of the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot. Protection of these species was one of the topics of discussion at the first meeting organized under the aegis of CEPF in the Arabian Peninsula.

At BirdLife International’s Middle East office on the banks of the Dead Sea in Jordan, representatives of the Saudi Authority for Wild Animals (SAWA), Yemen’s Ministry of the Environment, as well as biologists from the region and representatives from CEPF and Conservation International convened July 28-29. The meeting focused on the advancement of the ecosystem profile for the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, which includes critical ecosystems in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. 

Though these two countries are recognized as being very different from each other politically and economically, they both have extremely valuable ecosystems in common, and face similar environmental threats. Traditional hunting and agricultural abandonment are two key issues. In Yemen, this abandonment is due to a lack of water or to make way for the planting of Khat, a flowering plant that has mild stimulant properties when chewed. In Saudi Arabia, however, this abandonment is linked to rural exodus and growing urbanization.  Particularly in the mountains regions of the country, these trends threaten biodiversity, which is closely linked to tree cover or to fragile areas housing niches of micro-climates.

Through CEPF's ecosystem profile, these issues, and many other concerns and opportunities for conservation, are being analyzed across the Eastern Afromontane--which stretches along eastern Africa from Zimbabwe in the south to Saudi Arabia in the north.

Many other topics were addressed during these two days of the workshop, providing CEPF and partners with new information and perspectives on the important ecosystems of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. We hope this exchange marks the first steps in a future long and fruitful collaboration with our Saudi and Yemeni partners to protect their critical natural areas.

La Jordanie
Premier atelier du CEPF dans la Péninsule Arabique

Par Pierre Carret

Connaissez-vous le Bouquetin de Nubie? Le Pic d’Arabie ? Le Dragonnier du Yémen ? Ce ne sont que quelques-unes des espèces animales et végétales menacées que l’on rencontre dans les montagnes d’Arabie Saoudite et du Yémen, à l’extrémité septentrionale du hotspot des Montagnes d’Afrique Orientale et d’Arabie. Et la préservation de ces espèces fut l’un des sujets de discussion de la première rencontre jamais organisée sous l’égide du CEPF dans la Péninsule Arabique.

C’est sur les rives de la Mer Morte en Jordanie, que le bureau Moyen-Orient de BirdLife International a convié, les 28 et 29 juillet dernier, des représentants de l’Autorité saoudienne pour la faune sauvage (SAWA), du Ministère de l’Environnement du Yémen, ainsi que des biologistes de la région et des représentants du CEPF et de Conservation International. Il s’agissait de faire le point sur l’avancement du Profil d’écosystème pour les deux pays de la Péninsule Arabe appartenant au Hotspot « MAOA ».

Si les deux pays présentent des caractéristiques politiques et économiques bien différentes, ils ont en commun des écosystèmes d’une grande valeur – et des menaces parfois similaires. C’est le cas de la chasse traditionnelle, mais aussi, de manière plus étonnante, de la déprise agricole – au Yémen par manque d’eau ou pour faire place aux cultures de qat, un arbuste dont les feuilles recèlent  des propriétés stimulantes, en Arabie plutôt en lien avec un exode rural et une urbanisation croissante. Or, la biodiversité des zones montagneuses d’Arabie est souvent étroitement liée à la présence d’arbres de couverture ou de terrasses ménageant des niches microclimatiques…

Ces menaces, mais aussi les opportunités pour améliorer la protection de la biodiversité font partie des sujets analysés dans le profil d’écosystème des Montagnes d’Afrique Orientale et d’Arabie, actuellement en cours de rédaction, pour lequel plus de 160 experts et organisations ont été mobilisés, du Zimbabwe à l’Arabie Saoudite. 

Bien d’autres sujets furent abordés lors de ces deux jours, qui auront permis aux équipes du CEPF et de Birdlife d’obtenir des informations de qualité et d’ouvrir des perspectives pour la préservation des riches écosystèmes montagnards de la Péninsule. Nous espérons que cet atelier aura permis de poser les premières pierres d’une future collaboration avec les partenaires saoudiens et yéménites pour la protection de leurs écosystèmes critiques.

Western Ghats, India
Lesson Learned: Snehakunja Trust
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CEPF is eager to spread the word about our amazing grantees, their achievements,
and the people and places with whom they work to conserve our critical ecosystems.
If you have an idea for a story or news we might include in our newsletter and/or website,
contact us at cepfnews@conservation.org.  Fill out this form and send it to us, or just type your information directly into the email.


What was the most important lesson learned?

"Understanding the anthropogenic influences on the regional ecology, having knowledge of participatory restoration plans, and adopting integrated and interdisciplinary landscape approaches are essential for ecological restoration and management of fresh water swamps and tropical forests."

- Narasimha Hegde, project director of Snehakunja Trust 

Read more about this lesson and the work that Snehakunja Trust is doing in India.
All Lessons Learned features are posted on the site.

Madagascar Book Series
« Guides sur la diversité biologique de Madagascar» (“Biodiversity Guides of Madagascar”) published by Association Vahatra and with support from CEPF
Over the past decades enormous strides have been made in documenting and describing the flora and fauna of Madagascar, aspects of community ecology, and the origin and diversification of the multitude of species on the island. 

Much of this information has been presented in technical scientific papers or books, which are not accessible or penetrable to many people interested in pure natural history. Further, these books, which are only occasionally available in local bookshops, are expensive and often in English.

On the other hand, a considerable effort has been made to diffuse information to school children on ecology, conservation, and the natural history of the island through journals and clubs such as Vintsy organized by WWF-Madagascar. Clearly, an important void needed to be filled between these two extremes is to provide interesting and not highly scientific overviews on the extraordinary biodiversity of Madagascar to the Malagasy people and others interested in the natural history of the island.

With this intent in mind, the Association Vahatra, with support from CEPF, has launched a series of guide books edited by Marie Jeanne Raherilalao and Steven M. Goodman on the biotic diversity of Madagascar. The first two volumes have been published: “Les chauves-souris de Madagascar” (“Bats of Madagascar”) by Steven M. Goodman and “Les petits mammifères de Madagascar” (“Small Mammals of Madagascar”) by Voahangy Soarimalala and Steven M. Goodman. The third volume in the series, “L'histoire naturelle des familles et sous-familles endémiques des oiseaux de Madagascar” (The Natural History of Families and Sub-Families of the Endemic Birds of Madagascar”), written by Marie Jeanne Raherilalao and Steven M. Goodman, is near completion. It will be available before the end of the year. Each volume is illustrated with numerous color photos and illustrations and is written in non-technical French. A glossary is presented in the final section of each volume to help with the definition of certain technical terms that were unavoidable. These words appear in bold script within the text.

The Association Vahatra strongly believes that in order to aid with the dissemination of information to the Malagasy people about their natural patrimony, aiding with the “greening” of views associated with resource utilization and conservation implementation, it is critical that more books are available. We hope that this series will play a role in meeting these goals. Numerous copies of each volume are distributed for free to schools, libraries, universities, research institutes and researchers. For more information on obtaining copies of these books, please contact associatvahatra@moov.mg.

Steve Goodman was also featured in our "Voices of CEPF" series, which you can view here.

New Resources
200x281_biocontrol_for_pacificPublication: Biodiversity Lessons Learned: Recent Initiatives to Develop Biocontrol for the Pacific: Strategy Workshop and Weed Prioritization Exercise, English, January 2011 (PDF - 2 MB)

Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series is a series of 10 reports sharing lessons learned in biodiversity conservation in the Pacific. These are technical reports prepared by a range of partners funded by CEPF and CI. The reports are being produced on an ad hoc basis as projects are completed, with more reports expected to be published every year.

* This technical series is being realized through Ms. Joanne Aitken, a consultant hired by CI-Pacific.

The report, Recent Initiatives to Develop Biocontrol for the Pacific: Strategy Workshop and Weed Prioritization Exercise, is the fifth in the series.


Final Project Completion Reports

  • Balancing Conservation and Development in the Northern Highlands Limestone through Policy Dialogue, Capacity Development, and Regional Planning: Phase 1, IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Vietnam Country Office, English (PDF – 41 KB)
  • Safeguarding Vietnam's Douc Langur Population through Conservation and Sustainable Ecotourism, Douc Langer Foundation, English, (PDF – 40 KB)
  • Participatory Zoning of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, World Wildlife Fund, Inc., English (PDF – 194 KB)
  • CEPF Grant Making Coordination and Partnership in the Eastern Himalayas, World Wildlife Fund, Inc., English (PDF – 63 KB)
  • Annual Portfolio Overviews

    Guinean Forests of West Africa Annual Portfolio Review, March 2011, English (PDF – 155 KB)
    CEPF’s investment in the Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspot focuses on the Upper Guinean Forest, which extends from Guinea into eastern Sierra Leone, and eastward through Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana into western Togo, began in 2001. Over the past nine years, since CEPF began investing in the region, the threats to biodiversity have evolved from pervasive civil unrest, warfare, and post-conflict recovery to forest clearance, mining, road construction, and commercial bush meat trade. CEPF awarded 72 grants for $6.2 million through December 2005 that contributed substantially to the strengthening of 25 national and international NGOs or private sector partners in the region and the increased protection of more than 186,000 hectares of land. The Guinean Forests region entered into its consolidation phase in December 2008 with five grants for a total of $2.1 million running through June 2012.

    Succulent Karoo Annual Portfolio Review, March 2011, English (PDF – 168 KB)
    During CEPF’s first five years of investment from 2003 to 2008 in the Succulent Karoo, which covers parts of southwestern South Africa and southern Namibia, the focus was on mobilizing local stakeholder participation, securing political support, mainstreaming conservation into planning and policy, engaging key industrial sectors, and retaining and restoring critical biodiversity areas. This first phase of investment through 89 grants for $7.9 million saw success in terms of actual hectares under better conservation as well as in terms of conservation targets and priorities being integrated into South African and Namibian institutional frameworks. For its consolidation phase, CEPF has committed the entire allotment of $1,409,000 with five grants falling within five investment priorities, which themselves build on the strategic directions identified in the 2003 ecosystem profile.

    Tropical Andes Annual Portfolio Review, January 2010 to December 2010, English (PDF – 271 KB)
    CEPF’s initial investment of $6.13 million in the Tropical Andes Hotspot, which stretches along the eastern slopes of the Andes from northwestern Venezuela to the northwestern corner of Argentina, commenced in 2001. Due to the investment’s many achievements in the region and the challenges looming on the horizon, the hotspot won approval in late 2008 to enter into a consolidation phase where an additional budget of $2.185 million is now being used to target high priority needs in the Tambopata ‐ Pilón Lajas sub‐corridor in order to mitigate the expected environmental impacts of the construction of the Southern Inter‐Oceanic Highway in Peru and the Northern Corridor Highway in Bolivia. This portfolio review presents progress in the consolidation program for this region from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

    Grantee Newsletters

    Newsletter: The Babbler, the quarterly newsletter of BirdLife International in Indochina, edition 38, April-July 2011 (PDF – KB)
    Newsletter: Winged News, Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds, Issue #14 January-June 2011, (PDF – 917 KB) 

Photo Credits: Rama village & girl in Nicaragua: © Ezra Gordon; Nubian ibex: © CI/photo by Russell Mittermeier; Snehakunja education camp: © CI/photo by Narasimha Hegde
Header Photo: Tim Fitzharris / Minden Pictures

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