Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

CEPF E-News Update October 2014

CEPF Newsletter October 2014

In this issue:

Advancing the Global Biodiversity Targets: CEPF and the Convention on Biological Diversity

CEPF is pleased to be a participant in the 12th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the U.N.Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), taking place now through October 17 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. One of the key messages we are sharing at the conference is that civil society has demonstrated its importance and effectiveness in biodiversity conservation, and more specifically, in helping governments meet their commitments to the CBD’s Aichi Targets, a set of 20 global biodiversity goals. Our grantees have an impressive track record, and that combined with CEPF’s ability to channel funds from major global donors to support grantee efforts in the world’s biodiversity hotspots has made us a formidable team. Together we stand ready to take on an even bigger role in countering the biodiversity crisis.

Our activities at the conference include: 

  • October 6-17, "34 Wonders of the World." This photo exhibit presented by CEPF, Nature Picture Library and Terre Sauvage is on display at the entrance of the plenary.  
  • October 9, "Benefit-Sharing and Environmental Cooperation between the South and North Korea through the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in the DMZ." During this international workshop on Thursday, October 9, 2-6 p.m. in Meadow Hall, CEPF showcased our work on transboundary conservation and mobilizing resources to civil society. 
  • October 15, "Celebration of Commitment." A reception hosted by the CBD LifeWeb Initiative on Wednesday, October 15, 6:15-7:45 p.m. at the Rio Conventions Pavilion, celebrating resource mobilization, and featuring CEPF and Save Our Species. Speakers will include Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the CBD, and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.

CEPF grantees, donors, partners and other supporters and stakeholders attending the CBD conference are invited to attend. See the invitation posted here for details on RSVPs. 

In honor of the conference, CEPF also has published a report outlining the many contributions of its grantees to the CBD’s Aichi biodiversity targets, which you can find at the following link.

Learn more about CEPF and the CBD.


Water, Biodiversity, Jobs: Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal

View of the Mzimvubu River. © CI/photo by Julie Shaw

Running from the Drakensberg Mountains at the border with Lesotho to the Wild Coast at Port St. John's, the Mzimvubu River is one of the most important, and one of the last free-flowing, rivers in South Africa. The ecosystems that make up the river's catchment zone channel fresh water to the river and make that water available to 1 million human residents and the many, many other forms of life found here, inside one of the world's biodiversity hotspots — the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is supporting multiple organizations in South Africa to improve the management of the Mzimvubu River catchment to ensure water quality and quantity for people and biodiversity. 

Read this multi-media feature that provides information, photos and video on the following:

  • Overview on the Mzimvubu River and the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot
  • Working with local communities on mapping, rooting out invasives and rotational grazing
  • Conserving cranes and protecting vital wetlands
  • Improving forest management and developing sustainable livelihoods

Want to see a 3D tour of the area? Take a look at the Tour Builder site here, which maps out the above feature on Google Earth. Tour Builder is currently in beta and requires the Google Earth plugin to work.


Protecting South Africa's Water for People and Biodiversity

Mountain reedbuck in the Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve.
© CI/photo by Julie Shaw

When you look at the verdant grasslands stretching through Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve in South Africa's Drakensburg Mountains, water supply worries do not leap to mind. The wildflowers and fauna such as the mountain reedbuck and the regal Cape vulture and bearded vulture, if you are lucky enough to spot them, can also distract from the topic. But like anywhere, water is the foundation of it all. And water resources here are under threat from innappropriate land use and invasive alien plants.  

With support from CEPF through its investment in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot, grantees working in the region are showing that with coordination, cooperation and long-term planning, livelihoods and nature can not only co-exist, but thrive, together. And in fact, they must go hand in hand to ensure the long-term existence of both. 

Read full story.


Community Management of Swaziland's Lubombo

Lubombo Mountains, Swaziland. © CI/photo by Brenna Ranzen

The Lubombo Mountains stretch across Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspotwhere CEPF is supporting the Lubombo Conservancy to establish ecosystem management of Swaziland's Lubombo Plateau and Escarpment. This region is home to numerous nature reserves and the Lubombo Conservancy is working to establish one reserve where animals can roam freely without any hindrances from the fences that currently separate the different conservation areas. 

The Lubombo Conservancy is also developing ecotourism and other sustainable development opportunities for local communities in the conservancy area, such as the Lubombo Eco Trails. In this video, Nomsa Mabila from the Lubombo Conservancy discusses how they work with local communities to make decisions about mapping, determining what areas to protect as high biodiversity areas and where there is high ecotourism potential. 

Watch video. 


From the Field  

Ricord's iguana (Cyclura ricordii). © Pierre Richard Sanon
Caribbean Islands Hotspot — A small community in Haiti has taken a landmark step toward saving the last of the Critically Endangered Ricord’s iguana (Cyclura ricordii). The municipal government in Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti, recently created a Municipal Protected Area, legally protecting 3,000 hectares of dry forest for the conservation of a small population of the Ricord's iguana. With support from CEPF through our investment in the Caribbean Islands Hotspot, the International Iguana Foundation worked with community members in Anse-à-Pitres to create the Arrete Communal, the first municipal reserve in Haiti. Read a press release to learn more.

Lake Niassa, Mozambique. © Manda Wilderness Community Trust/photo by Kristina Low

Eastern Afromontane Hotspot — BirdLife International, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, in their role as Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for CEPF in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot have issued three calls for Letters of Inquiry (LOIs). These calls invite civil society organizations to submit LOIs for: (1) large and small grants in Mozambique, (2) large grants to implement the mid-term review, final evaluation and capacity development of CEPF grantees in the hotspot, and (3) small grants in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. More information on these three calls for LOIs is available here. 

Forest chameleon discovered in the Mahenge Mountains of Tanzania. © MUSE, Museo delle Scienze/photo by Michele Menegon

Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests Hotspot — In September, a new biodiversity study​ supported by CEPF summarized the last 10 years of biodiversity research in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya, including the discovery of 27 vertebrate species that are new to science, and 14 other species not previously known to exist in the area. The study was conducted by an international team coordinated by researchers of the MUSE-Science Museum, and the results re-enforce the importance of the Eastern Arc Mountains as one of the tops sites on Earth for biological diversity and uniqueness. Read a press release to learn more.

Participating in a project focused on a system of rice intensification (SRI) in Cambodia. © Karun Albert Khouth

Indo-Burma Hotspot — CEPF published the final assessment report of the first investment phase in the Indo-Burma Hotspot, which ran from July 2008 to December 2013. This report aims to assess attainment of the goals set in the ecosystem profile, summarize lessons learned from the perspective of grantees, and measure progress toward the long-term goals for CEPF investment. It draws on experience, lessons learned and grantees’ reports, and incorporates the findings of a final workshop held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in March 2013, which was attended by more than 110 representatives of CEPF’s civil society, government, donor and media partners. Read the final assessment report. 

High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, a key biodiversity area in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot. © Michal Osmenda

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot — The latest issue of EKO Hercegovine features 22 CEPF grantee projects in the Mediterranean Basin, spanning conservation work in 12 countries. The projects highlighted support activities including developing sustainable economic activities in Mediterranean marine protected areas, promoting ecotourism, monitoring waterbirds, improving management of protected areas, developing sustainable grazing, improving public awareness about biodiversity conservation, and more. Read the magazine (all articles available in English and Croatian).

Stakeholders at the Tropical Andes Hotspot final stakeholder consultation. © CI/photo by Michele Zador

Tropical Andes Hotspot — The ecosystem profiling team for the Tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot concluded its regional consultation with stakeholders on September 18 in Quito, Ecuador. The meeting brought together more than 25 people to review the draft profile and CEPF investment strategy. Participants came from six countries and represented a variety of members within the Andean conservation community, including local leaders, representatives from national and international conservation groups, conservation donors, and national and international government agencies. See photos from the consultation.

Participants at one of the stakeholder consultations to prepare the inventory of freshwater KBAs. © Bhaskar Acharya/ATREE

Western Ghats Region — An inventory of materials and information on freshwater key biodiversity areas (KBAs), containing maps, profiles and species lists for each of 34 globally important areas for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity, is now publicly available via the online Western Ghats Biodiversity Portal. The inventory was prepared by experts from government and civil society, brought together by CEPF grantee International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its local partner Zoo Outreach Organization (ZOO). This drew on the results of a comprehensive Red List assessment of four freshwater taxonomic groups conducted under an earlier CEPF grant. Learn more here.


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 3, 2014 
Documenting Community Engagement for Probarbus Protection in Lao PDR



Grantee Resources

Grantee Newsletters

Caribbean Islands Hotspot
Capacité, ​Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Issue 10, September 2014, English (PDF - 4.9 MB)

Capacité, ​Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Issue 9, June 2014, English (PDF - 2.8 MB), Español (PDF - 1.9 MB), French (PDF - 3.3 MB)

East Melanesian Islands Hotspot
East Melanesia Newsletter, IUCN Oceania, Issue 1, July 2014, English (PDF - 592 KB)

Indo-Burma Hotspot
IUCN Southeast Asia Group E-Newsletter, IUCN, Issue 1-2, January-June 2014, English (PDF - 1.3 MB)

Saola Working Group, IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, July 2014, English (7.8 MB)

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot
MPAH Newsletter, Wildlands Conservation Trust and SANBI, Issue 5, Winter 2014, English and Portuguese (PDF - 1.6 MB)

Mediterranean Basin Hotspot
Mediterranean RIT Radar, BirdLife International, Issue 6, June 2014, English (PDF - 2.4 MB)

New Grantee Orientation Calls

CEPF hosts a new grantee orientation call once a quarter. Click here to download the audio files.

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.


Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund  
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Telephone: 1-703-341-2400 

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint program of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.

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