Year in Review
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August/September 2016

Cerrado and Guinean Forests grant making moves ahead

CEPF staff traveled to Brasilia, Brazil, and to Accra, Ghana, to train two new regional implementation teams (RITs): Institute for Education in Brazil (Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil – IEB) for the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot, and BirdLife International for the Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot. The RITs work on the ground directly with CEPF’s grantees, helping to build local capacity and implement CEPF’s strategy in the biodiversity hotspot. CEPF and the new RITs also issued the first calls for proposals for each hotspot.

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August 2016

Grantees share lessons in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands

Civil society organizations came together in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Honiara, Solomon Islands, to discuss progress made by CEPF-funded projects in each country through CEPF’s investment in the East Melanesian Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. Recipients of CEPF grants shared experiences, achievements and lessons learned since the investment began in 2013. Networking and partnership building were an important part of the meetings, as well as national priorities for biodiversity conservation.

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September 2016

Partnership for Key Biodiversity Areas launched

Twelve international conservation organizations, including CEPF, launched the KBA Partnership during the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii. The partnership was established to enhance global conservation efforts by systematically mapping globally important sites and ensuring that financial resources are directed to these most important areas for biodiversity.

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October 2016

Western Ghats final assessment report published

Following seven years of grant making in the Western Ghats of India, part of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot, CEPF and its regional implementation team, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), published the final assessment report for the investment. The report provides an overview of the US$6.1 million investment, distributed via more than 100 grants to civil society groups in the hotspot. Results include:

  • Global threat assessments completed for 1,394 species, and management plans implemented for 14 priority species.
  • Biodiversity conservation strengthened for more than 220,000 hectares within protected areas and more than 110,000 hectares in production landscapes.
  • Sustainable agricultural practices adopted by 34 tea and coffee estates, covering more than 19,000 hectares.
  • Community forests rights of tribal communities officially recognized across a cumulative area of 80,700 hectares.
  • Four new conservation reserves created, covering more than 41,000 hectares and piloting a model that acknowledges the inextricable link between conservation and human well-being.
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November 2016

Caribbean Islands ecosystem profile update launched

Following an initial five-year investment in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot that was completed in late 2015, CEPF contracted a team to lead the updating of the hotspot’s ecosystem profile—the stakeholder-driven assessment that guides CEPF grant making. Led by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), planning for the update began in November 2016. By the end of the fiscal year, the profiling team had engaged more than 125 people as participants in national consultations in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Participants represented a broad cross section of the conservation community. Building resilience to climate change received considerable attention in the national consultations and will be reflected in the CEPF investment strategy.

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April 2017

Mountains of Central Asia ecosystem profile draft completed

In April, the team developing the ecosystem profile for the Mountains of Central Asia Biodiversity Hotspot—led by Zoï Environment Network, a Switzerland-based NGO with extensive experience in Central Asia—completed a draft of the profile, which was then reviewed by the CEPF Donor Working Group and subsequently approved in August 2017 by the CEPF Donor Council.

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February 2017

Indo-Burma team organizes coordination among regional donors, grantees

CEPF collaborated with other funders active in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot to support a regional meeting of civil society groups and their donors aimed at a new approach to coordination at the regional scale. CEPF’s regional implementation team for the hotspot, the IUCN Asia Regional Office, organized the meeting, which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Participants discussed the development of a networked model linking implementers, intermediaries and funders working on ecosystem conservation in the Lower Mekong Region. A vision statement for the network was developed and a range of collaborative projects identified.

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May 2017

Regional implementation teams exchange ideas and experiences

CEPF held a Regional Implementation Team Exchange in Athens, Greece. Twenty-eight members of CEPF’s RITs from the nine biodiversity hotspots where CEPF currently is making grants came together for three days to share ideas, challenges and solutions. Three former RIT leaders from previous investments also attended to provide insight and perspective. Sessions included building grantee capacity, incorporating gender into CEPF’s work and finding ways to engage with the private sector.

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June 2017

Newly discovered frog species named after CEPF

Five years of extensive field studies in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot by Sonali Garg, a Ph.D. student of former CEPF grantee and University of Delhi professor S.D. Biju, led to the discovery of four new species of burrowing frogs in the Western Ghats region of India. In recognition of CEPF’s investment in the hotspot from 2008 through 2015, one of the species was named in honor of CEPF. The world of biodiversity welcomes the CEPF burrowing frog (Fejervarya cepfi).

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot ecosystem profile finalized

As CEPF’s first five-year, US$11 million investment in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot approached completion, CEPF finalized an update of the ecosystem profile for the hotspot in June, laying the groundwork for a second investment. Produced by a consortium of organizations led by BirdLife International and IUCN, the updated profile represents the input from consultations with more than 500 people representing local governments, communities, businesses and civil society organizations in the hotspot. The resulting analysis of the hotspot and its biodiversity sets out a conservation strategy that will guide CEPF’s planned investment of an additional US$10 million over the next five years.


Photo Credits

From left, Selwyn Aharo from Tawatana Community Conservation and Development Association in Makira, and Tommy Esau from Kwainaa’isi Kwaio Cultural Centre in Malaita, at East Melanesian Islands grantee exchange meeting. © IUCN Oceania
Wildflowers, Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot, Brazil. © Michael Becker
Rijeka Crnojevića River, Montenegro. © Jaime Rojo
Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Western Ghats, India. © Olivier Langrand
Black-billed streamertail (Trochilus scitulus), Jamaica. © Olivier Langrand
Fishing on Mekong River, Cambodia. © CI/photo by David Emmett
Ala Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan. © Olivier Langrand
Participants in the CEPF Regional Implementation Team Exchange. © Thomais Vlachogianni
CEPF burrowing frog (Fejervarya cepfi) found in Ambali, India. © SD Biju