Two champions of the conservation movement in Europe, the MAVA Foundation and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, recently provided crucial technical and financial assistance in the development of an investment strategy for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) across the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot. Their support was key in enabling CEPF to encompass all 34 countries and territories in the assessment for this vast and diverse hotspot.
Doğa Derneği (the Turkish Nature Association) has led development of the draft conservation strategy in partnership with 12 conservation nongovernmental organizations. The process included the scientific and technical input of more than 80 organizations from the Balkan, European, North African and Middle Eastern sub-regions.
This process identified a preliminary list of 1,567 key biodiversity areas across the Mediterranean Basin based upon existing data and with significant input from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Plantlife International, which provided up-to-date data on Important Plant Areas and Important Forest Areas with additional support from l’Agence Française de Développement.
“The Ecosystem Profile developed by the CEPF for the Mediterranean region provides an excellent synthesis of the current status of biodiversity and of conservation initiatives and investments in the region,” said Paule Gros of the Mava Foundation’s Mediterranean Basin Program.
“We have used this remarkable document along with other available literature and expert advice to develop the Mediterranean strategy of our foundation for the 2011-2015 period. CEPF-proposed investment priorities in the Mediterranean region offer multiple possibilities for collaboration with the MAVA Foundation in the conservation of the highly diverse and equally threatened Mediterranean Basin.”
The MAVA and Prince Albert II of Monaco foundations both emphasize the importance of being effective stewards of the natural environment. The MAVA Foundation strives to secure the future of biodiversity as the basis for Earth’s life support systems. It focuses on preserving rare or threatened species and their habitats, and ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, especially in the Mediterranean Basin, Switzerland and the Alpine Arc, and the West African coastal zone. It was established by Luc Hoffmann, who has dedicated his life to conservation and sustainable development.
Established in 2006, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation strives to catalyze projects and develop solutions that promote sustainable and equitable management of natural resources in both north and south polar zones, the Mediterranean region and the least developed countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. It encourages the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main areas: climate change, biodiversity and water. The Foundation also strives to set up and collaborate with networks of researchers, companies and individuals willing to work together toward a common goal.
“In order to strengthen the understanding of state of the Mediterranean biodiversity, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, decided to support the Mediterranean Ecosystem Profile,” said Raphaël Cuvelier, project coordinator for the Foundation. “This work gives a very up-to-date and accurate overview of the situation. It will be extremely useful for defining investment strategy and priorities in conservation projects.”
The Mediterranean Basin Hotspot is the 21st hotspot that CEPF will target for investment since its establishment in 2000. In each hotspot, CEPF uses a collaborative approach to develop an “ecosystem profile” for the whole region that defines CEPF’s priorities and niche for investment in regard to other investments. The draft ecosystem profile for the Mediterranean Basin is currently under review, and it is anticipated that the full CEPF investment will be launched later this year.
CEPF is a joint initiative of Conservation International, l’Agence Française de Développement, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.