Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

CEPF E-News Update March 2015

CEPF Newsletter March 2015

In this issue:

Message from CEPF's New Executive Director


In the video above, Olivier Langrand introduces himself to CEPF grantees as the new executive director. 

"CEPF has been in existence for 15 years, and has been achieving tremendous results on the ground thanks to the capacity of the grantees that were selected by CEPF," said Langrand. 
"I think that we should be very proud of this legacy, but at the same time we need to look at the future and make sure that we provide the right capacity to civil society to undertake conservation in the hotspots of the world."
"The success of CEPF is the success of the grantees, so I want to really thank you for what you are doing in the field, delivering conservation very effectively. I know that it's sometimes difficult, it's sometimes dangerous, and I want to highlight the appreciation that the entire CEPF team has for the hard work that the grantees are devoting to field work."


Grantees Assess Progress of Investment in Indo-Burma

CEPF grantees, staff and RIT members at the Indo-Burma mid-term assessment. © Olivier Langrand

More than 130 representatives of civil society organizations, government conservation agencies and donors gathered in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from March 3-5 to attend the mid-term assessment of the CEPF Phase II investment in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia Regional Office, which leads the CEPF regional implementation team (RIT) for the hotspot, the mid-term assessment workshop gave participants the opportunity to assess progress of the $10.4 million investment in six countries (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) toward the goals set out in the ecosystem profile — CEPF's assessment of and strategy for addressing the region's most urgent biodiversity conservation needs.

The mid-term assessment workshop allowed grantees to share results and lessons learned from their individual CEPF-supported projects and revalidate underlying assumptions of the ecosystem profile. CEPF grantees also revisited the CEPF investment priorities in the hotspot, providing revisions and/or clarifications for 26 of the 38 CEPF investment priorities.

Read full story


NGOs Get Serious About Wildlife Crime

Subadult male tiger (Panthera tigris). © Conservation International/photo by Frank Hawkins

On World Wildlife Day, which took place March 3, CEPF helped to let the world know it’s time to get serious about wildlife crime. 

CEPF grantees are safeguarding species through the preparation and implementation of species recovery and management plans, efforts to address unsustainable and/or illegal trade, and research on population status, ecology, conservation strategies, propagation and captive breeding, as well as monitoring. 

This piece showcases five of the threatened species our grantees are fighting to save  saola, African and Asian elephants, tigers and rhinos in the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The intact remnant habitats of the biodiversity hotspots represent just 2.3 percent of the Earth’s land surface, but they support nearly 43 percent of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species found nowhere else.

Read full story


Libya's Civil Society Celebrates its Wetland Wildlife and Looks to the Future

by Liz Smith

Children in Libya out enjoying their local birdlife for World Wetlands Day. © Libyan Society for Birds

Wetlands are disappearing faster than any other ecosystem. According to WWF's Living Planet report, 64 percent of the world's wetlands have been lost since 1900, and 76 percent of the world's populations of freshwater plants and animals have disappeared in the last 40 years alone. 

World Wetlands Day, held each year on February 2, celebrates wetlands and the numerous services and benefits they provide for people and biodiversity. This year's theme, "Wetlands for our future: Act now to prevent, stop and reverse wetland loss," resonated in Libya, where significant threats including habitat loss and traditional hunting are impacting wetlands and several waterbird species. 

To showcase the importance of wetlands by explaining the services they provide and the various species they support, the Libyan Society for Birds and the Environment General Authority of Libya hosted an event on World Wetlands Day for waterbird specialists, students of the Department of Zoology at the University of Tripoli and a group of young scouts. 

Read full story.


Videos Showcase Stories of Conservation Impacts in the Biodiversity Hotspots 

Conserving the Caribbean - Stories from Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic

Panos Caribbean produced this film to promote the work being done by CEPF grantees in the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot, one of the world's greatest centers for endemic species and biodiversity. Here local civil society is playing a critical role in protecting biodiversity by promoting sustainable livelihoods and raising awareness about the importance of conservation.

Sustainable Economic Activities in Karaburun-Sazan Marine National Park

INCA Albania produced this film to promote the biodiversity and ecotourism potential of Albania's Karaburun-Sazan Marine National Park, a marine protected area in the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot. 

With support from CEPF, INCA is developing a sustainable tourism management plan for the Karaburun-Sazan and surrounding area, increasing awareness among the local population and visiting tourists' of the benefits of marine protected areas, promoting sustainable tourism and identifying potential nature-based tourism initiatives.

See full list of videos.



From the Field  

Jamaica Supervision Mission, February 2015. © Olivier Langrand
Caribbean Islands Hotspot To get a first-hand look at some CEPF grantees’ projects and learn more about CEPF grant-making in the hotspot, CEPF’s new Executive Director Olivier Langrand visited Jamaica from February 10-18. Sara Thompson, program specialist with the World Bank — one of seven CEPF global donors — also participated in the supervision mission, along with Michele Zador, CEPF’s grant director for the hotspot, and Nicole Brown, the Jamaica country coordinator for the hotspot’s CEPF RIT. Read more here

Damages from Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu© 350.org 

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot — In March, Cyclone Pam  the strongest storm to make landfall since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013 — hit Vanuatu and the other nations in the hotspot. CEPF grantee OceansWatch is leading relief activities for Temotu, a group of small islands in the Solomon Islands. Money raised will help the OceansWatch team support its Solomon Islands Charity to rebuild houses and gardens, supply chainsaws to clear trees from houses and gardens, and purchase seeds for planting and iron sheets for water catchments. Learn more here.

Community members at an awareness campaign meeting in Malawi. © Action for Environmental Sustainability

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot — Action for Environmental Sustainability (AFES) is raising awareness of the need for conservation among community members in and around the Wlindi-Matip and Mughese forest reserves in Malawi. Since the project began last July, AFES has conducted 36 days of awareness campaigns in 47 villages around the Wlindi-Matip and Mughese forest reserves. AFES is also establishing a village-based savings and loan system to support the sustainable use of natural resources; and a feasibility study has identified 41 communities for establishment of the savings and loan system. Read more here

Sunset on the Mekong River, Lao PDR. © Indy Kethdy
Indo-Burma Hotspot — FISHBIO is establishing co-managed fish conservation zones to help communities protect Endangered Probarbus fish in the Mekong River in northern Lao PDR. Last December, FISHBIO coordinated a fish conservation zone (FCZ) training to enhance the capacity of local communities to monitor and enforce conservation regulations at FCZ sites. FISHBIO is now monitoring enforcement team activities throughout the Probarbus spawning season, facilitating coordination with district-level law enforcement, conducting a final survey and hosting a transition workshop. Read more here

Tany Meva and the CEPF Secretariat team. © CI/photo by Antonia Cermak-Terzian

Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot — In early March, CEPF welcomed Tany Meva Foundation as the new RIT for the hotspot. As the RIT, Tany Meva will be involved in selecting proposals, supporting organizations in the preparation and implementation of their projects, monitoring and evaluating the portfolio, and ensuring collaboration with other stakeholders in the hotspot. Tany Meva and CEPF are now assessing the first project proposals from the call launched in December 2014, and new calls for proposals will be launched in the coming months. Read more here.

View of grasslands in Swaziland. © Rod Mast
Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot — In late March, CEPF grantees in the hotspot met in Swaziland to share lessons learned from their projects and develop a long-term strategy for the Lubombo Corridor Region, a corridor that consists almost entirely of savannah but that is critical for providing habitat to many endemic species, such as the Vulnerable Lubombo girdled lizard (Cordylus warreni). View photos from this supervision mission here

Red-necked phalarope. CC0 Public Domain

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot The Association for the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) recorded the presence of the red-necked phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) for the first time in Albania. With support from CEPF, PPNEA is piloting a sustainable tourism model for the Albanian Adriatic coastline in conjunction with relevant stakeholders including local community associations, the tourism industry and government departments. One nature-based activity being promoted is birdwatching. Read more here.  

Burung Indonesia and the CEPF Secretariat team. © CI/photo by Laura Johnston
Wallacea Hotspot — In February, CEPF welcomed Burung Indonesia as the new RIT for the hotspot. As the RIT, Burung Indonesia will help provide strategic leadership for CEPF's Phase II investment in the hotspot by linking CEPF to local stakeholders and grantees who will implement biodiversity conservation on the ground. CEPF will invest $6 million in the hotspot to enable civil society to help conserve the rich, natural wealth of the area and its many benefits to people. Learn more about the hotspot here.  

Sahyadri-Konkan Corridor, India. © CI/photo by Pierre Carret
Western Ghats Region — In February, the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) became the first FairWild certified project in India. With support from CEPF, AERF is advancing sustainability of the Satoyama landscapes in the Sahyadri-Konkan corridor. Here, AERF is testing innovative models for biodiversity conservation on private lands, scaling up the successful incentive-based conservation agreements model piloted in the landscape, promoting sustainable collection of selected medicinal plants under certification schemes (including FairWild), and creating opportunities for private sector sponsorship of biodiversity conservation. Read more here


CEPF in the News 

CEPF-supported initiatives are often reported in news articles and magazine features. Below is a sampling of recent stories featuring CEPF. Click here to view all news about CEPF. 

March 12, 2015 
Small victory! Fewer turtles ending up in the pot in major Chinese city
The Rakyat Post

March 11, 2015
Wetlands conservation centre under construction
The Gleaner
by Keisha Hill


Grantee Resources

Grantee Publications

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot
Biodiversity Stewardship: Partnerships for Securing Biodiversity, South African National Biodiversity Institute, 2014, English (PDF - 2.2 MB)

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot
Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot: Informing species conservation and development planning in freshwater ecosystems, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 2014, English (PDF - 5.1 MB)

State-of-the-art and future scenarios report: ICZM in Ulcinj with focus on tourism, nature and environment, BojAna tour, December 2014, English (PDF - 4.7 MB)

The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in the Eastern Mediterranean, IUCN, 2014, English (PDF - 10.1 MB)

Grantee Newsletters

Caribbean Islands Hotspot
Capacité, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, December 2014, English (PDF - 3.5 MB)

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot
East Melanesia Newsletter, IUCN Oceania, Issue 3, January 2015, English (PDF - 715 KB)

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot
Our Voice, PHE Ethiopia Consortium, 9th Edition, Jan 2015 - December 2014, English (PDF - 983 KB)

Indo-Burma Hotspot
IUCN Asia News, IUCN, December 2014, English (PDF - 209 KB)

IUCN Southeast Asia Group E-Newsletter, IUCN, Issue #4, October-December 2014, English (PDF - 340 KB)

Saola Working Group Newsletter, IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, March 2015, English (PDF - 510 KB)

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot
Mediterranean RIT Radar, BirdLife International, Spring 2015, English (PDF - 2.8 MB), French (PDF - 2.8 MB), Arabic (PDF - 2.8 MB)

New Grantee Orientation Calls

CEPF hosts a new grantee orientation call once a quarter. Click here to download the audio files.

Final Reports

CEPF project final reports detail the results and lessons learned by grant. Click here to view all project final reports, which can be filtered by region.

Recently Approved Grants

CEPF's project database includes summaries of all the grants awarded to date and also news, publications and other resources related to individual grants. Click here to view the project database.

Calls for Proposals

CEPF currently has active calls for proposals in the Caribbean Islands and Eastern Afromontane hotspots. Click here for more information.


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

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