Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

Tropical Andes

Tab 1

Atelopus sp. near Limon in southern Ecuador
Atelopus sp. near Limon in southern Ecuador. © Robin Moore

The Tropical Andes Hotspot comprises the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and the northern tropical portions within Argentina and Chile. It covers 158.3 million hectares, an area three times the size of Spain.

The Tropical Andes Hotspot is the most diverse hotspot in the world, topping the list of 36 hotspots for species richness and endemism. It contains about one-sixth of all plant life in the world, including 30,000 species of vascular plants, making it the top hotspot for plant diversity. It has the largest variety of amphibian, bird and mammal species, and takes second place to the Mesoamerica Hotspot for reptile diversity.

In 2013, the CEPF Donor Council approved a new investment phase for the Tropical Andes Hotspot. Before launching the new investment phase, CEPF commissioned the preparation of an ecosystem profile to assess the current state of the hotspot, to identify conservation priorities, and to develop an investment strategy to guide grant making.

The hotspot also is noteworthy for its ecosystems services. The Andes Mountains are South America’s water towers, serving as the water source for the main stems of both the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, the world’s largest and third largest rivers by discharge. Its rivers provide water for numerous cities, including 10 with populations greater than 500,000 and four of which are national capitals. Andean waters irrigate major agricultural regions of South America and provide a major source of power through hydropower for many of the hotspot’s 57 million citizens. Its forests store 5.4 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 1 billion cars.


Tab 2


Town in southern Ecuador
Town in southern Ecuador. © Robin Moore/iLCP

To achieve the CEPF niche and conservation outcomes, CEPF will provide grants to civil society organizations over a five-year period to achieve seven strategic directions and their corresponding investment priorities. The strategy calls for integrating as cross-cutting objectives planning for climate change adaptation and resilience and strengthening capacity for indigenous and Afrodescendent civil society groups and their territories. Six strategic directions directly target the achievement of the CEPF niche and conservation outcomes. The seventh strategic direction supports a regional implementation team (RIT), which provides strategic leadership, management support, and stakeholder outreach and assistance in fulfillment of the CEPF investment strategy. These strategic directions are based on stakeholder consultations from eight workshops, complemented by analysis and information presented in the ecosystem profile. ​

Tab 3

1.  Improve protection and management of 36 priority KBAs to create and maintain local support for conservation and to mitigate key threats. 1.1  Support preparation and implementation of participatory management plans that promote stakeholder collaboration in managing protected KBAs.
1.2  Facilitate the establishment and/or expansion of indigenous, private, and subnational reserves and multi-stakeholder governance frameworks for conserving unprotected and partially protected KBAs.
1.3  Strengthen land tenure, management, and governance of indigenous and Afro-descent territories.
1.4  Catalyze conservation incentives schemes for biodiversity conservation for local communities.​
2.  Mainstream biodiversity conservation into public policies and development plans in seven corridors to support sustainable development, with a focus on sub-national governments. 2.1  Support land-use planning and multi-stakeholder governance frameworks that create shared visions for integrating biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services into the corridor-level development.
2.2  Integrate biodiversity objectives into development policies, programs, and projects that impact resource use, including climate change, agricultural development, and water resources.​
2.3  Promote traditional and innovative financial mechanisms for conservation, including payments for ecosystem services, leveraging of rural and microcredit, mainstreaming biodiversity into climate change programs, and compensation mechanisms to mobilize new conservation finance.
3.  Promote local stakeholder engagement and the integration of social and environmental safeguards into infrastructure, mining and agriculture projects to mitigate potential threats to the KBAs in the seven priority corridors. 3.1  Build local capacity and facilitate public consultation and alliance building in the assessment, avoidance, mitigation, and monitoring of environmental impacts of large development projects that pose a direct or indirect risk to the KBAs.
3.2  Encourage constructive approaches to promote environmental and social sustainability of infrastructure, mining, and agriculture projects through partnerships between civil society groups, the private sector, and international investors.
3.3  Integrate biodiversity objectives into development policies, programs, and projects related to mining, infrastructure, and agriculture.
4.  Promote and scale up opportunities to foster private sector approaches for biodiversity conservation to benefit priority KBAs in the seven corridors. 4.1  Promote the adoption and scaling up of conservation best practices in those enterprises compatible with conservation to promote connectivity and ecosystem services in the corridors.
4.2  Encourage private sector partners and their associations to integrate conservation their business practices and implement corporate social responsibility policies and voluntary commitments.
4.3  Leverage of private-sector financing schemes, such as carbon projects and green bonds that benefit the conservation outcomes.
5.  Safeguard globally threatened species. 5.1  Prepare, help implement, and mainstream conservation action plans for the priority Critically Endangered and Endangered species and their taxonomic groups.
5.2  Update KBA analysis for mainstreaming to incorporate new AZE sites and Red Listing of reptiles, freshwater species and plants, based on addressing several high-priority information gaps.
6.  Strengthen civil society capacity, stakeholder alliances and communications to achieve CEPF conservation outcomes, focusing on indigenous, Afro-descendent and mestizo groups. 6.1  Strengthen the administrative, financial and project management, and fundraising capacity of civil society organizations and indigenous and Afro-descendent authorities to promote biodiversity conservation in their territories.
6.2  Enhance stakeholder cooperation, alliance building and sharing of lessons learned to achieve CEPF’s conservation outcomes, including efforts to foster hotspot-wide information sharing.
6.3  Strengthen capacity in communications of CEPF partners to build public awareness of the importance of the conservation outcomes.
6.4  Pilot and scale up promising approaches for the long-term financing of local and national civil society organizations and their conservation missions.
7.  Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team. 7.1  Operationalize and coordinate CEPF’s grant-making processes and procedures to ensure effective implementation of the investment strategy throughout the hotspot.
7.2  Build a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and political boundaries toward achieving the shared conservation goals described in the ecosystem profile.
7.3  Engage governments and the private sector to mainstream biodiversity into policies and business practices.
7.4  Monitor the status of biogeographic and sectoral priorities in relation to the long-term sustainability of conservation in the hotspot.
7.5  Implement a system for communicating and disseminating information on conservation of biodiversity in the hotspot.

Tab 4

Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot


Conservation outcomes

Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: Bolivia c.1990-c.2000-c.2005 (WinZip File - 53 MB)



Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: Colombia c.1990-c.2000 (WinZip File - 91 MB)


Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: Ecuador c.1990-c.2000 (winzip file - 24 MB)


Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: peru c.1990-c.2000 (winzip - 41 MB)


Forest Cover and Change data on CI's Learning Network: Venezuela c.1990 - c.2000 (Winzip file - 111 MB)


Tab 5



Core Documents

Initial Investment

Core Documents

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Final Portfolio Overview
    September 2014
    English​ (PDF - 1.2 MB)

  • Annual Portfolio Review
    January 2011 to December 2011
    English (PDF - 357 KB)

  • Annual Portfolio Review
    January 2010 to December 2010
    English (PDF - 271 KB)

  • Annual Portfolio Review
    October 2008 to December 2009
    English (PDF - 164 KB)

  • Assessing Five Years of CEPF Investment in the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot, October 2006
    English (PDF - 748 KB)

  • CEPF and Poverty Reduction: A Review of the CEPF Tropical Andes Portfolio, November 2006
    English (PDF - 229 KB)

  • Portfolio Overview, as of January 2005
    English (PDF - 185 KB)
    - Full related briefing book
    English (PDF - 5.9 MB)

  • Portfolio review, September 2004
    English (PDF - 899 KB)

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

  • Eco-Exchange Newsletter, Rainforest Alliance
    - Newsletter archive: English / Spanish

Other Publications
  • Bajo Control: Biodiversidad, cuidando de ella frente a una obra caminera, Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP)
    Spanish (PDF - 1.26 MB)

  • Comités Locales De Monitoreo Ambiental (CLMA): Una Experiencia Inédita, Jaime Villanueva Cardozo, Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP)
    Spanish (PDF - 1.01 MB)

  • Comités Locales De Monitoreo Ambiental (CLMA) Y Áreas Protegidas: Documentando Una Experiencia De Gestión Socioambiental Generada En El Contexto Del Proyecto Carretero Corredor Norte, Imke Oetting, Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP)
    Spanish (PDF - 1.66 MB)

  • Comités Locales De Monitoreo Ambiental (CLMA) Y Áreas Protegidas: El Trabajo De Los CLMA Y Del Equipo De Las Áreas Protegidas de Pilón Lajas, Madidi Y Manuripi, Imke Oetting, Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP)
    Spanish (PDF - 1.79 MB)

  • Manual de Instrumentos legales para la conservación privada en el Perú, Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental
    Spanish (PDF - 577 KB)
    - Annex
    Spanish (PDF - 381 KB)

  • Park Profiles, ParksWatch Bolivia
    Evaluations of protected areas, assessing their levels of implementation and identifying threats. Each profile prescribes actions to abate or remove the most serious threats and lists recommendations to improve each area’s management.

    - Amboro National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area 
    October 2005
    English (PDF - 5.39 MB) 
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF, 5.30 MB)

    - Apolobomba Integrated Management Natural Area
    October 2005
    English (PDF - 5.87 MB)
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 6.13 MB)

    - Carrasco National Park 
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 4.89 MB)

    - Cotapata National Park and Integrated Natural Management Area
    October 2005
    English (PDF - 5.79 MB) 
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 5.88 MB)

    - Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 4.59 MB)

    - Madidi National Park and Integrated Natural Management Area
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 6.56 MB)

    - Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve and Communal Lands
    October 2005
    English (PDF - 5.85 PDF)
    August 2005
    Spanish (PDF - 5.90 MB)

  • Trueque Amazónico: Lessons in Community-based Ecotourism, Selva Reps
    English (PDF - 816 KB)

Tab 6

Calls for Proposals
There are currently no open calls for proposals.
Fast Facts

Status: Active

Initial investment: 
  • $6.13 million
  • 2001-2006
  • 32 grants
  • $2 million
  • 2010-2013
  • 21 grants​
  • $10 million
  • 2015-2020​
Regional Resources
2015 Ecosystem Profile
- English​ (PDF - 7.2 MB)​
- Spanish​ (PDF - 6.4 MB)

Technical Summary
English (PDF - 2.7 MB)
Spanish​ (PDF - 9.5 MB)
See Also
​​​Document: Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot Program for Consolidation June 2008
English (PDF - 48 KB)

Document: Assessing Five Years of CEPF Investment in the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot, October 2006
English (PDF - 748 KB)

Document:  Logical Framework for Consolidation - Vilcabamba – Amboro Manabi Conservation Corridor
English (PDF - 13KB)

Document: GEF Focal Point Endorsements
English (PDF - 650 KB)