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Lush green forest lies in front of stony mountains at Amboro National Park, Bolivia.
Amboro National Park, Bolivia.
© O. Langrand

CEPF Begins New Investment in the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot

Grants will support biological diversity and empower organizations

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has launched a new investment to support civil society organizations in conserving the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot.

The new grant-making will build on CEPF’s previous investment from 2015-2021, which channeled US$9.5 million to 65 organizations. That investment helped bring 2.9 million hectares under improved management and helped establish 26 new protected areas to safeguard 763,901 hectares. Nearly 60,000 people from 294 Indigenous and mestizo communities benefited from their conservation efforts.

CEPF’s new funding will focus on conservation projects in 28 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and five conservation corridors in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. Funding will target the five strategic directions of CEPF’s strategy for the hotspot:

  1. Strengthen protection and management of 28 priority KBAs to foster species conservation, participatory governance, green recovery from COVID-19, climate change resilience, and financial sustainability.
  2. Collaborate with public and private sector stakeholders to enable biodiversity conservation, a green recovery from COVID-19, and environmental, financial, and social sustainability, in benefit of the priority KBAs.
  3. Safeguard priority globally threatened species.
  4. Cultivate a well-trained, well-coordinated and resilient civil society sector at the local, corridor, and hotspot levels to achieve CEPF's conservation outcomes.
  5. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team (RIT).

To support grant-making and the building of grantee capacity, CEPF has entered into an agreement with a three-member alliance made up of two national environmental funds and a national conservation organization that will work together as the Tropical Andes Regional Implementation Team (RIT). The RIT includes the Bolivian Association for Research and Conservation of Andean Amazon Ecosystems (ACEAA) in Bolivia, the Fund for the Promotion of Peru's Natural Protected Areas (PROFONANPE) in Peru, and the Natural Heritage Fund (Patrimonio Natural) in Colombia.

The first call for proposals is expected to be issued in February 2022.

“As one of the world’s most biologically diverse and carbon-rich hotspots, the Tropical Andes continues to be a very high priority for CEPF,” said CEPF Grant Director Michele Zador. “Although the people of the Andes have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, we also see important new opportunities for sustainable development and conservation.”

"The engagement and empowerment of local civil society in conservation is essential to ensure the integrity of critical ecosystems and to promote sustainable development,” said Anton Willems, executive director of PROFONANPE. “We are excited to continue the strengthening of Andean civil society to safeguard the Tropical Andes Hotspot.”

“The joint work between CEPF and local partners on the Tropical Andes Hotspot has resulted in important advances for the conservation of the region,” said Marcos Terán, executive director of ACEAA. “This new phase has the challenge of consolidating and scaling up these achievements.”

Alberto Galan, executive director of Patrimonio Natural, said, "Through our leadership in Colombia and in the hotspot, we are eager to work with Andean civil society in this new investment phase to strengthen local civil society organizations in close coordination with our other conservation projects in Colombia."