We have been making grants to civil society groups in the Indo-Burma Hotspot since July 2008, guided by an ecosystem profile developed through a consultative process conducted in 2003. Over the first five-year investment phase, we invested a total of $9.5 million in the hotspot.
Recognizing the changes that had occurred since the original ecosystem profile was prepared, particularly with regard to the nature and scale of threats to biodiversity, the operational space available for civil society, and patterns of conservation investment, we updated the ecosystem profile in 2011, in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the McKnight Foundation.
The updated ecosystem profile sets out a five-year investment strategy for a second phase of investment, focusing on the Sino-Vietnamese Limestone, Mekong River and Major Tributaries, Tonle Sap Lake and Inundation Zone, and Hainan Mountains biodiversity conservation corridors, plus Myanmar.
The Sino-Vietnamese Limestone corridor, spanning China and Vietnam, is particularly important for the conservation of primates. It is also of global importance for plant conservation, supporting many unique species and the hotspot’s richest assemblages of conifer species. The Mekong River and Major Tributaries corridor stretches across Cambodia, Lao P.D.R. and Thailand and represents some of the best examples of lowland riverine ecosystems remaining in the hotspot. The Tonle Sap Lake and Inundation Zone corridor provides critical breeding, spawning and feeding habitats for many species of migratory fish, including several globally threatened species. The Hainan Mountains corridor supports high levels of endemism, particularly in plants, and is one of the most threatened parts of the hotspot, due to rapidly intensifying development threats.
Seventy-four key biodiversity areas within these corridors are priorities for investment. One hundred and four globally threatened animal species and 48 globally threatened plant species are also priorities.
Our updated investment strategy includes the following five strategic directions. To be eligible for funding, each project must be linked to a strategic direction:
- Safeguard priority globally threatened species by mitigating major threats.
- Demonstrate innovative responses to illegal trafficking and consumption of wildlife.
- Empower local communities to engage in conservation and management of priority key biodiversity areas.
- Engage key actors in mainstreaming biodiversity, communities and livelihoods into development planning in the priority corridors.
- Strengthen the capacity of civil society to work on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods at regional, national, local and grassroots levels.
A sixth strategic direction is designed for the regional implementation team to provide leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment.