Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity


Tab 1


Researchers setting up camera in Batang Gadis National Park, Sumatra 

CEPF is no longer active in this region.

The Sundaland biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia covers the western half of the Indo-Malayan archipelago, an arc of some 17,000 equatorial islands. It is dominated by two of the largest islands in the world: Borneo and Sumatra.

Sundaland is one of the biologically richest hotspots on Earth. It holds about 25,000 species of vascular plants, 60 percent of which are found nowhere else.

However, the spectacular flora and fauna of this hotspot are succumbing to the explosive growth of industrial forestry in these islands. Unsustainable rubber, oil palm and pulp production have been three of the most detrimental forces. Today, only 7 percent remains of the hotspot’s original 1.5 million square kilometers of natural vegetation.

The Indonesian island of Sumatra is the biologically richest and most threatened area within this hotspot. The island harbors more than 10,000 plant species, mostly in lowland forests. Sixteen of the 210 mammal species found here are unique to the island, including Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and Sumatran tiger (Panthera sumatrae). ​​

Tab 2

Sumatran tiger caught on infrared camera in forest 

Our five-year investment in the Sundaland Hotspot, which began in December 2001, focused on conserving the wealth of natural assets on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

We targeted the following four areas based on an ecosystem profile developed with stakeholders:

  • Tesso Nilo/Bukit Tigapuluh (central Sumatra)
  • Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (Sumatra’s southern tip)
  • Northern Sumatra (Sumatra’s two northern-most provinces)
  • Siberut Island (in the Mentawai chain off west Sumatra)

Funding at the local level was especially important because Indonesia only recently decentralized management of natural resources to allow greater local control. However, the power shift did little to build local capacity or coffers so that local people could effectively participate and benefit from biodiversity conservation. A tradition of working in isolation had also kept Sumatra’s nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) fragmented.

Our approach was therefore to finance projects at the district level and below, with the aim of enhancing local stewardship of forests and building alliances among conservation-minded individuals, NGOs and private sector interests.

Four strategic directions guided our approach in Sumatra:

  1. Enhance stewardship of forest resources at district level and below.
  2. Empower civil society to organize in favor of conserving biodiversity.
  3. Build alliances among conservation-minded groups in civil society and the private sector.
  4. Assess impact of conservation interventions at district level and below.

In 2007, we completed an assessment of our $10 million investment. Major results include expanding and strengthening the protected area network; catalyzing policy action to strengthen natural resource management at the local and national levels; and bolstering civil society capacity both as individual organizations and as networks of organizations.

Tab 3

1.  Enhance stewardship of forest resources at district level and below 1.1  Raise awareness of value of ecological services
1.2  Raise awareness of options for benefiting from conservation of ecological services and forest products
1.3  Raise awareness of responsibility to conserve biodiversity
1.4  Build capacity for planning and implementation of sustainable resource management
1.5  Build capacity of civil society to monitor forest extraction
2.  Empower civil society to organize in favor of conserving biodiversity 2.1  Increase representation of civil society in NGOs
2.2  Build capacity of civil society groups to organize forest resource protection functions
2.3  Support NGO activities advocating legal and sustainable forest extraction
2.4  Support NGO activities to stop illegal forest extraction
3.  Build alliances among conservation-minded groups in civil society and the private sector 3.1  Build capacity among NGOs for facilitation and conflict mediation
3.2  Support collaboration and cooperation among conservation-minded NGOs
3.3  Support communications mechanisms linking conservation-minded NGOs with one another and the private sector
4.  Assess impact of conservation interventions at district level and below 4.1  Build capacity of civil society to map and track activities affecting conservation of natural resources and changes in biodiversity
4.2  Support periodic monitoring of civil society's attitudes toward biodiversity conservation in target areas
4.3  Support comprehensive analysis of available data on land use, species presence, and conservation threats

Tab 4

Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot


Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: sumatra, indonesia c.1990-c.2000 (WinZip File - 35 MB)


Tab 5

Core Documents
  • Ecosystem Profile, December 2001
    English (PDF - 811 KB) | Bahasa (PDF - 2.0 MB)

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Assessing Five Years of CEPF Investment in the Sumatra Forests Ecosystem of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot, March 2007
    English (PDF - 634 KB)

  • CEPF and Poverty Reduction: A Review of the CEPF Sundaland Portfolio, December 2006
    English (PDF - 949 KB)

  • Portfolio Overview, as of June 2005
    English (PDF - 105 KB)
    - Full related briefing book
    English (PDF - 5.0 MB)

  • Project Final Reports
    Compiled by project leaders detailing final results and lessons learned
    View reports

Tab 6

Fast Facts

Status: Closed

Initial investment:
  • $10 million
  • 2001-2006
  • 71 grants

Regional Resources
Ecosystem profile, December 2001

Document: Assessing Five Years of CEPF Investment in the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot, March 2007
English (PDF – 634 KB)

Document: GEF Focal Point Endorsement
English (PDF - 439 KB)

Grants: Learn which regions are open for applications and how to apply.

Photos: Researchers setting up camera in Batang Gadis National Park, Sumatra © CI; Tiger caught on infrared camera in Batang Gadis © CI