CEPF’s investment will focus on Key Biodiversity Areas that are in trans-border areas, those that allow for resilience to climate change, and those that allow for linkages across productive landscapes.
At the institutional level, support for capacity building will enhance the professionalism of civil society organizations across the hotspot and will prepare project participants to replicate the efforts and results. This will help conservation practitioners in civil society organizations, the private sector and government integrate a range of biodiversity activities into their organizations.
The ecosystem profile for the Mountains of Central Asia was approved by the CEPF Donor Council on 27 August 2017. Per CEPF operational guidelines, the Secretariat is now seeking the formal endorsement of the Global Environment Facility Operational Focal Points for each of the seven countries in the hotspot. CEPF is currently in the process of securing funding for the Mountains of Central Asia investment and anticipates awarding grants beginning in the second half of 2019.
The Mountains of Central Asia Biodiversity Hotspot consists of two of Asia's major mountain ranges, the Pamir and the Tien Shan. Politically, the hotspot’s 860,000 square kilometers include southern Kazakhstan, most of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, eastern Uzbekistan, western China, northeastern Afghanistan, and a small part of Turkmenistan. The hotspot has many mountains above 6,500 meters in elevation, as well as major desert basins.
Central Asia has a long history as a crossroads between East and West. In the past, it was home to the great commercial and cultural centers of the Silk Road. For centuries, the region was a major contributor to the arts, sciences, medicine, and trade. With the mixing of agrarian, nomadic and industrial societies, it is a mosaic of cultures, languages, and political systems. Moreover, only 25 years ago, five of the hotspot countries were part of the Soviet Union, which has added a further layer of complexity and interest to the region.