Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

CEPF E-News Update May 2015

CEPF Newsletter May 2015

In this issue:

Celebrating Biodiversity for Sustainable Development: Developing Ecotourism to Conserve Biodiversity in Tunisia

Ringing flamingos at Korba Lagoon in Tunisia. © EquipeComAAO

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity, which takes place every May 22. This year's theme, “Biodiversity for sustainable development,” reflects the importance of biodiversity ― the variety of life on Earth ― for sustainable development and human well-being.

With support from CEPF through its investment in the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, the Association Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO) has been sustainably developing ecotourism activities for the conservation of key biodiversity areas (KBAs) in northern Tunisia since July 2013. AAO is supporting local communities to manage five of the most important bird areas (IBAs) in Tunisia, with each of them benefiting from support to rehabilitate tourism infrastructure and train birding guides.

In this interview, Claudia Feltrup-Azafzaf, AAO’s executive director, describes her background and her organization’s work on ecotourism in Tunisia over the past few years. 


The Road to Resilience: Communities in Burundi Share Solutions for Sustainability

Participants unanimously acclaim the improved cook stove, one of the many solutions identified during a Resilience Now workshop to improve climate change resilience in Burundi. © Resilience Now - Florence Gilbert

The tagline for Earth Day 2015 was “It’s our turn to lead.” In Burundi, French NGO Resilience Now is leading capacity-building activities with communities near Kibira National Park to improve agricultural practices and preserve wood resources.

As the main source of energy in the region, wood is a hot commodity. Poverty, population growth and a lack of alternatives have led to forest degradation and deforestation for firewood and charcoal. With support from CEPF through its investment in the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot, Resilience Now strengthened natural resource management practices in the fragile habitat around Kibira National Park. 

Working with DukingiriKibira (Kibira Women Association), Resilience Now led a solutions-sharing workshop for 30 participants, of which two-thirds were women. This focused on energy and agriculture, and introduced the concept of permaculture ― an approach to create sustainable human environments through natural and edible landscaping ― for income generation to enhance local communities’ resilience and their quality of life. 

Read full story: English, French


Haitian Grantees Wins Prestigious Environmental Award

Jean Wiener, 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Islands and Island Nations. © Goldman Environmental Prize

In April, the Goldman Environmental Prize Foundation announced that Haitian conservationist Jean Wiener was one of six recipients of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize.

Wiener, a CEPF grantee in the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot, was recognized by the Goldman Environmental Foundation for his work leading “community efforts to establish Haiti’s first marine protected areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests.” These efforts began in 1992 when he founded the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM).

Read full story


2015 CEPF Photo Contest Winners

Hatchling green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Moorea Island. © Rodolphe Holler

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 CEPF Photo Contest!

These striking images celebrate the people, species and ecosystems that CEPF supports through its grants to civil society organizations to help protect biodiversity hotspots, Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas. They also include images of nature-based solutions to climate change, representing work by CEPF grantees to build climate resilience through innovative adaptation and mitigation activities.

Read full story.


Videos Showcase Stories of Conservation Impacts in the Biodiversity Hotspots 

Echoes from the Drin - Videos from the Mediterranean Basin

"Echoes from the Drin" is a series of short films developed by the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and KAWKA PRODUCTION showcasing the importance of water, life and people in the Drin River Basin. Watch video.




Landscape Conservation in the Western Ghats of India

This film traces three projects that have each received support from CEPF for landscape conservation in the Western Ghats of India, ultimately making a significant difference to biodiversity conservation in the region. Watch video

See full list of videos.



From the Field  

Ricord's iguana (Cyclura ricordii), a Critically Endangered species in Hispaniola. © Max Bosio
Caribbean Islands Hotspot  In April, Island Conservation and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in the Dominican Republic signed a memorandum of understanding to support island restoration through the removal of invasive vertebrates in the Dominican Republic. With support from CEPF, Island Conservation is building capacity to eradicate invasive alien species and expand protection in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. Read more here.  

Bats account for more than three-quarters of the mammals in the East Melanesian Islands biodiversity hotspot© Robin Moore

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot — In February, a team from the University of Queensland rediscovered the New Georgia monkey-faced bat (Pteralopex taki) on Kolombangara Island. Data collected during this expedition is now being analyzed to gain a better understanding of how flying fox populations have changed since the last surveys were carried out in the early 1990s. Read more here.

Well-maintained ecological corridor near Kibira National Park in Burundi. © Rainforest Alliance

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot — The Rainforest Alliance is supporting Burundi’s tea industry near Kibira National Park to produce certified tea by promoting environmental best practices that minimize environmental impacts, such as reduced use of pesticides and soil conservation. The Rainforest Alliance is also introducing native trees in agricultural systems in order to improve the biological connectivity between natural habitats. Read more here

Myanmar roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata).                      © Facebook/Turtle Survival Alliance
Indo-Burma Hotspot — In April, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Turtle Survival Alliance announced that 60 captive-raised Myanmar roofed turtles (Batagur trivittata) – a species once thought extinct – were released into their native habitat in Myanmar. This species is thought to be the second-most Critically Endangered turtle in the world due to the threats of habitat loss, egg collection and incidental catch by fishermen. Read more here 

Flamingos in Ulcinj Salina, Montenegro. © Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro-CZIP

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot The Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro (CZIP) is restoring the infrastructure at Ulcinj Salina, creating a tourist destination and gift shop showcasing the importance of this site for migrating birds on the Adriatic flyway. CZIP is also training local guides to lead nature walks, coordinating an exchange visit to Italy, and undertaking regular monitoring of bird species in the salt pans. Read more here.    

Blue-eyed bush frog. © Angad Achappa
Western Ghats Region — Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science recently described nine new species of bush frogs (also known as miniature tree frogs) found while addressing the lack of data on the geographical distribution of small vertebrates in the Western Ghats Region. 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. 


May 3, 2015 
Five national parks established in San Salvador
Bahamas Island Info


April 15, 2015
BBC Earth
by Zoe Gough
April 14, 2015
Deutsche Welle
by Jennifer Collins


Grantee Resources

Grantee Publications

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot
2014 FFSG Annual Report, Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, 2014, English (PDF - 2.2 MB)

Grantee Newsletters

Caribbean Islands Hotspot
Capacité, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Issue 12, March 2015, English (PDF - 3.5 MB)

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot
EMI Newsletter, IUCN Oceania, Issue 4, April 2015, English (PDF - 562 KB)

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot
MPAH Newsletter, Wildlands Conservation Trust and SANBI, Issue 6, Spring 2014, English & Portuguese (PDF - 6.2 MB)

MPAH Newsletter, Wildlands Conservation Trust and SANBI, Issue 7, Autumn 2015, English (PDF - 3.9 MB)

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot
The Balkans Wetlands Gazette, Noé Conservation, Issue 1, January 2015, English (PDF - 1.7 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.

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 an active call for proposals in the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. 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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