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15 CEPF staffers on Go-To-Meeting from home.
CEPF staffers "meet" while working from home.

A Letter to Grantees From CEPF's Executive Director

Your work is more important than ever

Dear CEPF Grantee,

In normal times, I spend much of the year traveling to the different biodiversity hotspots where we invest, meeting grantees and visiting their project sites. Since I joined CEPF in 2015, I’ve been struck by how often I hear grantees from all over the world say, “CEPF is more than a funder; they’re a family.” This means so much to me and my team. 

And now, our CEPF family is facing new challenges, as is the rest of the world. Please know that we’re committed to helping you navigate through this uncertain time. Our top priority is your safety, and we will work with you to revise your project activities as needed. 

As trying and stressful as this present time is, I’m encouraged by some of the changes I’m already hearing about. Trade and consumption of wild animals was recently banned in a formal decision by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and, in Vietnam, conservationists came together to ask for a national policy to do the same.

With the IUCN World Conservation Congress and the U. N. Convention on Biological Diversity meeting scheduled, 2020 was supposed to be the “Year of Biodiversity.” Now most of those meetings have been postponed.

In a way, it still is the “Year of Biodiversity,” though not in the way we’d imagined. The world is getting a stark look at what can happen when humans interfere with natural systems. Our community has long understood the connection between human health and the health of Earth’s ecosystems. Now we clearly see the importance of respecting nature

My hope is that, after the current crisis subsides, we will find more governments, communities and others who are ready to support and take part in our efforts.  

Prioritize social distancing now and stay ready for the time when you can fully resume conservation activities, because the work that we do is truly more important than it’s ever been.


Olivier Langrand

P.S. We want to hear from you. How has your work has been impacted by the pandemic? Have you been able to find creative solutions to continue making progress? Please email your thoughts, experiences and stories to cepf@cepf.net.