Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

CEPF E-News Update October 2013

CEPF Newsletter October 2013

In this issue:

Regional implementation team members from around the globe meet to share lessons learned

CEPF regional implementation team and secretariat members. © CI/photo by Mandy DeVine

CEPF recently gathered a group of regional implementation team (RIT) members — 28 people from 13 hotspots — to participate in the first-ever RIT Exchange. Held from September 15-20 at the Smithsonian-George Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, Virginia, the RIT members and CEPF Secretariat shared experiences on networking and capacity building; discussed communications, sustainability and fundraising; and theorized about the ideal RIT design. 

Read full story.


$5 million investment gives vital boost to Central Pacific World Heritage Site 

Great frigatebird (Fregata minor) colony on Rawaki, part of the Phoenix Islands. © Ray Pierce

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a California-sized multi-use protected area in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot that has been supported by CEPF, recently received an important influx of financing that lays the foundation for its fiscal sustainability. One of the most pristine, ambitious and globally-important protected areas in the world, PIPA will benefit from $5 million contributed in September to an endowment.

Read full story.


Protecting cranes and Cambodian livelihoods

by BirdLife International in Indochina and Mlup Baitong

Raising pigs through loans from the Self Help Group. © Mlup Baitong

To provide the local community near the Anlung Pring Sarus Crane Reserve with alternative means for sustainable income generation while supporting Sarus crane conservation, Mlup Baitong, with support from CEPF through its investment in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, implemented a community livelihood development project over the past three years. Self Help Groups were established to provide microloans for agricultural micro-enterprises in communities near the reserve.

In close cooperation with local authorities and other related agencies, Mlup Baitong also provided local communities with awareness-raising activities on the importance of environmental protection and the conservation of sarus cranes to local communities.

Read full story.


Innovative mechanisms conserve 'Satoyama,' or multi-use, landscapes in India

Sahyadri-Konkan Corridor, Western Ghats. © CI/photo by Pierre Carre

With support from CEPF as part of its investment in the Western Ghats Region of India, the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) is working to advance sustainability of the Satoyama landscapes — or production landscapes — in the Sahyadri-Konkan Corridor, a priority investment area for CEPF in the northern Western Ghats. Only 2 percent of this corridor is currently protected and roughly 5,000 acres of forests are cleared here every season.

Read full story.


Mt. Mantalingahan recognized as Philippines' ‘Best Protected Area’

Local communities rely on the MMPL for ecosystem services, such as water. © CI/photo by Lynn Tang

On October 1, the Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) won the Best Protected Area Award at the first Protected Area Awards and Recognition ceremony in the Philippines. Held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DERN) during the 4th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Heritage Parks Conference, the ceremony highlighted the key players and their innovative practices and initiatives in the field of protected area management.

Read full story.


Long-term financing: Securing the future of a mountain paradise

Snow covered tree in the Caucasus Hotspot. © WWF/photo by Aurel Heidelberg

As part of its initial five-year investment in the Caucasus Hotspot, CEPF provided $500,000 in 2008 and 2009 to support the institutional development and cover start-up costs for the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF). Additional CEPF funding in a consolidation phase for the region in 2011 and 2012 paid program-related expenses for a 15-month period, allowing all returns on the endowment to be allocated for grants.

The grant also supported the development and implementation of fundraising strategies to build the fund’s endowment, as well as an expanded grants and technical assistance program. This article details CNF's efforts to support nine protected areas in three nations that divide the Caucasus region.

Read full story.


Blog: Saving a white-backed vulture in the Western Ghats

The rescued vulture chick. © Arulagam

On September 7, the International Vulture Awareness Day aimed to bring awareness to vulture conservation activities and the threats that some species are facing, including the anti-inflammatory drug Diclofenac, which is used to treat domestic livestock. An extremely rapid population decline (more than 99 percent) resulted from vultures ingesting the carcasses of animals treated with Diclofenac.  

Here S. Bharathidasan from Arulagam, an NGO working towards the conservation of fauna and flora in Tamil Nadu, India, writes about his recent experience saving a white-backed vulture chick.

Read the blog.


Lessons Learned: Engaging Cambodian communities in conservation through financial incentives

Nesting Endangered greater adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius) at Prek Toal. © Eleanor Briggs/WCS

Cambodia supports globally important populations of wide-ranging, large-bodied bird species that are threatened by agricultural intensification and expansion, trade-driven hunting and chick/egg collection at nest sites. To address this problem of escalating biodiversity loss in the Northern Plains and Tonle Sap Lake and Floodplain and encourage community participation, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and partners designed a project with three financial-incentive schemes.

With funding from CEPF provided through the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot investment, WCS expanded the project to new sites and species, to improve their long-term financial viability and to increase the role of local civil society partners.

This lessons learned details the challenges and keys to success that WCS faced, including making a direct financial link between the economic well-being of the communities affected by the needs of conservation and the conservation objectives themselves, motivating communities, engaging the government and developing a replicable model to achieve sustainability.

Read the lessons learned.


Highlights from the field  

Dominican Republic. © CI/photo by Michele Zador

Caribbean Islands Hotspot — On October 17, CEPF grantee Grupo Jaragua received two prestigious awards from Fundacion Brugal, the largest private sector foundation in the Dominican Republic. Grupo Jaragua won an award for their efforts to defend and protect the environment and also won the George Arzeno Brugal grand prize in the "Brugal cree en sue gente" (Brugal believes in its people) awards. 


Juvenile bearded capuchin monkey in the Cerrado Hotspot. © CI/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn

Cerrado Hotspot During its meeting on June 25, the CEPF Donor Council decided that the Cerrado Hotspot in Brazil would be the next hotspot to benefit from CEPF investment. The call for proposals for the Cerrado ecosystem profile team will open on November 1, with proposals due on January 15, 2014. The ecosystem profile outlines conservation priorities for the entire region and defines a specific, targeted investment strategy for CEPF in the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Visit the CEPF website for more information. 

Members of the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot RIT. © CI/photo by Laura Johnston

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot In September 2013, the CEPF Secretariat organized a training for the team from IUCN's Oceania Regional Office who will coordinate the new CEPF investment in the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot. The training was held at CEPF's offices in Arlington, Virginia, USA, which allowed Luisa Tagicakibau, Helen Pippard and Alan Saunders from the new regional implementation team (RIT) to meet with the entire CEPF team and start to develop a common understanding of how to deliver and build an effective investment program in East Melanesia. This program will be implemented over eight years to allow more time to build local capacity and leadership for conservation among civil society in a hotspot characterized by extreme linguistic diversity, customary land tenure and political instability. During the training, the participants discussed strategies for engaging local civil society and delivering enduring impacts.

Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. © Robin Moore/iLCP

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot BirdLife International, IUCN and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, in their role as the RIT for the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, and CEPF issued the fourth call for letters of inquiry (LOI) for the CEPF investment in the hotspot on Sept. 19. This call for LOIs is restricted to specific investment priorities in the following eligible countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The deadline for submission is November 14. The full call for proposals is available here.

Boat on the Indawgyi River, Vietnam. © BirdLife International/Andrew W. Tordoff

Indo-Burma Hotspot In response to the first call of proposals for CEPF’s Phase II investment in the Indo-Burma Hotspot, 229 letters of inquiry (LOIs) were received. The first call for proposals did not include Vietnam and Myanmar, but a second call covering these countries opened on October 30. This call covers Strategic Directions 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 in the ecosystem profile and will have a closing date of December 11, 2013. The full call for proposals can be viewed here. Further information and assistance can be obtained from the CEPF RIT at the IUCN Asia Regional Office (email: CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org). The RIT has established a website with additional information and resources about the hotspot, which is available here.

Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), Madagascar. © CI/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn

Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot CI Madagascar and the Moore Center for Science and Oceans are leading the stakeholder-driven development of a new ecosystem profile for CEPF that will guide CEPF’s planned reinvestment in the hotspot. Starting in 2001, CEPF has invested $5.6 million in the Madagascar portion of the hotspot. The planned new investment would build on conservation and human well-being gains made in Madagascar under earlier investment while expanding to cover priority conservation issues in the Indian Ocean Islands. The ecosystem profile is expected to be completed in spring of 2014.

Mountain Zebra National Park Complex. © CI/photo by Dan Rothberg

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot Over the past two years, with $160,000 from CEPF and an additional $10,000 in leveraged funds, the Wilderness Foundation established peer-to-peer relationships between the managers of six protected areas: Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Dwesa-Cwebe, Mkambati, the Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve and the Plains of Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve. The direct goal was to facilitate training and joint problem-solving to demonstrate improved management through scores from the GEF-endorsed Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT). As of the close of the grant term in May, all six reserves showed improvement in their METT scores. Combined, the six reserves have 83,000 hectares under improved management, at least in part, to CEPF support.

Moroccan villages in the Dades Valley. © Mauro Pezzotta

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot BirdLife International, in its role as the RIT for the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, held a meeting in Morocco in September. The meeting was aimed at evaluating the first year of the RIT operations, discussing the progress of recently funded projects, meeting and training Moroccan grantees, meeting a representative from the Ministry of Country Planning, Water Resources and Environment and visiting an active grantee within the Ifrane key biodiversity area.

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon met with municipality and community leaders about the importance of the el-Fekha area, which was designated as the first hima, an area set aside for the conservation of natural capital, for sustainable grazing in Lebanon in April. The hima management plan involves organized hunting, ecotourism and the empowerment of local women.

The Environment for Life organized a hunting laws workshop that took place on September 20. The goal was to inform law enforcement officers, the local community, the Shouf biosphere team, the Niha municipality and its local police about the updated hunting laws in Lebanon.

Društvo Za Jamsko Biologijo, the Society for Cave Biology, presented findings on the endangered cave salamander Proteus at a recent workshop in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An abstract of the findings is available here.

Bolivian boy collecting mahogany seedlings. © CI/photo by Haroldo Castro

Tropical Andes Hotspot The consolidation grant to the Fundación Para El Desarrollo Del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas prepared to close after nearly five years in implementation. The ground-breaking project helped mitigate the environmental and social impacts generated by the Northern Corridor road construction project in Bolivia by providing information and bringing together indigenous and mestizo communities, universities, conservation groups and the government to address the potential negative effects on ecologically and socially sensitive areas. Local environmental monitoring committees fully engaged in monitoring the short- and long-term environmental and social impacts of road development, and when necessary, worked with road developers to mitigate the negative impacts.

The grant also developed sustainable financing plans and mechanisms to permit nearby protected areas to generate funds to cover their operating expenses and to bring economic benefits to local communities. In total, three protected areas covering more than 6 million hectares were positively impacted by the project. In addition, the World Bank and Japan Social Development Fund, Mitsubishi, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and Blue Moon Fund provided $2.75 million in new funds that build on these efforts and/or complement them.

Children from the Chachi community, Ecuador. © CI/photo by John Martin

Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena Hotspot As the consolidation portfolio for the hotspot prepares to close, results tallied to date include CEPF grantees supporting 25 small and historically marginalized indigenous and mestizo communities to conserve their forests in northwest Ecuador. CEPF grantees worked closely with six Chachi communities to help them access $250,000 from Ecuador’s Socio Bosque program by implementing 20-year conservation agreements covering 8,700 hectares. To complement these site-based efforts, CEPF strengthened the Chachi governing council with equipment and training in financial management, development planning and monitoring. Grantees worked with 65 landholders to develop and implement management plans and secure land titles in the Golondrinas Protected Forest. Efforts to support the Awa indigenous people along the Ecuador-Colombia border reached 12 communities, which are close to completing their plans to promote sustainable community development. CEPF also strengthened the Awa governing council through training.

Coastal area of Timor-Leste. © CI/photo by Lynn Tang

Wallacea Hotspot The Wallacea Ecosystem Profile formally got under way on June 1. The team is led by Burung Indonesia with the support of the Samdhana Institute, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), the Wildlife Conservation Society and BirdLife International.

The bulk of the activity will take place over the next six months as the team develops a strategy and prioritizes investment for 240 key biodiversity areas spread over 10 Indonesian provinces and Timor-Leste. The ecosystem profile is expected to be completed in spring of 2014.

Critically Endangered Oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis). © Allan Hopkins

Western Ghats Region Local NGO Arulagam recently completed the first phase of a CEPF-supported project to establish a “vulture safe zone” for the largest populations of threatened vultures in southern India. The project was very successful in raising awareness of the vulture crisis among a range of stakeholders in and around the Moyar Valley through a variety of imaginative activities. This increase in awareness translated into behavioral change, including increased local involvement in conservation activities and, critically, a reduction in the number of pharmacies selling diclofenac for veterinary use. Population monitoring also showed positive trends, with an increase in nesting pairs at the main breeding colonies over the course of the project.

Arulagam involved a large number of partners in vulture conservation, including school pupils, religious leaders and a champion volleyball team, and raised the profile of the species in a region where conservation efforts hitherto focused mainly on tiger and elephant. The credibility and respect that Arulagam earned through the project is evidenced by the fact that they were invited by Tamil Nadu Forest Department to develop a vulture conservation action plan. This is an excellent way of ensuring sustainability by integrating key actions into the working plans for the Forest Department, and an example of the power of close collaboration with government agencies.


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.

October 25, 2013
l'Algérie fait beaucoup d'efforts pour la conservation de la biodiversité
El Watan


October 3, 2013
L’écotourisme, pour la préservation de la nature
Le Matin

October 3, 2013
Promoverán Sierra de Bahoruco como destino ecoturístico
Listin Diario
by Solange Matos Cross


Grantee Resources

Grantee Publications

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot
Institutional Fundraising for Conservation Projects, BirdLife International, English (PDF - 7.90 MB). CEPF grantee, BirdLife International, published this book, which will be used to further the project development and fundraising capacities of young individuals and civil society organizations.

Grantee Newsletters

Caribbean Islands Hotspot
Capacité, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Issue 6, September 2013, English (PDF - 1.59 MB)

Capacité, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Issue 5, June 2013, English (PDF - 1.18 MB)

The Jetter, Jamaica Environment Trust, Volume 1, Number 6, August 2013, English (PDF - 17.2 MB)

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot
Conservation Oceania, IUCN Oceania Regional Office, August 2013, English (PDF - 483 KB)

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot
News from African Protected Areas (NAPA), IUCN, Number 68, October 2013, English (PDF - 602 KB)

News from African Protected Areas (NAPA), IUCN, Number 67, September 2013, English (PDF - 759 KB)

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot
Wings & Waves, Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), October 2013, English (PDF - 584 KB)

Succulent Karoo Hotspot
Brown Hyena Research Project Newsletter, Brown Hyena Research Project, Issue 43, September 2013, English (PDF - 565 KB)

Die VeePos, Conservation South Africa, October 2013, Afrikaans (PDF - 12.7 MB)

Western Ghats Hotspot
branches@ATREE, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Volume 10.2, April-June 2013, English (PDF - 1.37 MB)

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.

Recently 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.


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