Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

The Mediterranean Basin Story

By Liz Smith
Originally posted on BirdLife International

This article is also available in French on CEPF and BirdLife International.

Stretching from Cape Verde to eastern Turkey, the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot is identified as one of the world's 35 biodiversity hotspots, earth’s most biologically rich - yet threatened - areas.

The Mediterranean Basin is also special because of its cultural diversity and deep historical and cultural richness - necessitating a local approach to conservation so that it benefits both people and biodiversity.

Here’s a story about how nature can be protected by targeted funding and the drive of impassioned local conservationists. Explore the map and its photos and videos to learn about projects from all over the Mediterranean.

Exlpore the Mediterranean Basin story map

Since 2012 the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has been granting civil society within the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot. So far $7.9million has been invested through 91 grants, funding 83 organisations who are undertaking specific conservation action within developing countries in the region.

BirdLife International in its role of Regional Implementation Team (RIT), is supporting CEPF to manage the portfolio of projects and has developed a new mapping tool to showcase the investment so far.

CEPF grants and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are now, for the first time, collated onto a simple interactive ESRI-powered online map, called a Storymap. Travel down through the story to learn about the pressures affecting wildlife and where CEPF grantees are already making significant change.

“As the leading scientific authority on bird conservation science, maps are crucial to BirdLife’s work” says John Cornell, BirdLife Global Information Management Coordinator, “ESRI mapping software enables us to show the full conservation story – if people can see it, they can engage, pay attention, and make a difference.”

CEPF has funded projects on the ground in 38 KBAs (72% of eligible KBAs), with a number of grants working on the improved management of 26 protected areas, covering 370,000 ha.

“The beauty of this tool is that the valuable work undertaken by our grantees can be easily understood alongside the geographical context; painting a real picture of the complexity of the Mediterranean landscape and the varied ecosystems within it which need conserving,” said Liz Smith, RIT Manager.

With CEPF investment through to December 2016 the Storymap will continue to evolve as grantees achieve greater things, so please continue to explore our portfolio of projects.

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