The Team

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Grantees, Regional Implementation Team, CEPF Secretariat and stakeholders at the CEPF Mediterranean Mid-term Assessment in Ulcinj, Montenegro, 2015 © Shaun Hurrell

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The Regional Implementation Team for the Mediterranean Hotspot consists of a full 'football team' of eleven people from BirdLife, BirdLife Partners and more. Some of these have been around since the start of Phase 1 of the programme in 2012, while others have been freshly recruited. Here’s an explanation of who does what and where:

In the Balkans, our Programme Officer, Vedran Lucić, is based at DOPPS in Croatia.  He works closely with our Small Grants Coordinator for the Balkans, Marijana (Maya) Demajo, whose institutional base is BPSSS in Serbia. Additional support for the programme in Albania is provided by Mirjan Topi. Work in the Middle East remains to be expertly run by Sharif Jbour from the BirdLife Middle East office in Jordan. In North Africa, our ‘hotspot hero’ Awatef Abiadh is now supported by Programme Assistant, Jason Deschamps - both based at LPO, France. Our man in Cabo Verde is Aurélien Garreau, who combines the job with his work with PPI. Salwa Elhalawani functions as the main contact person, resource person and all-round pillar of strength of the CEPF Mediterranean Small Grants Programme, at the BirdLife office in the UK. Professional support to our communications outputs, continues to be provided by BirdLife through Shaun Hurrell, based in Sweden, and by Enas Al Sarahneh, based in Jordan. This amazing team is backstopped by the RIT manager, Liz Smith, who is currently on maternity leave and temporarily replaced by Maaike Manten, based in Rwanda, who led the RIT for the CEPF Eastern Afromontane Hotspot for eight years.

General enquiries


Maaike Manten, Regional Implementation Team Manager
BirdLife International, Kigali, Rwanda
Email: Tel: +250 (0)785 024423


Salwa Elhalawani, Small Grant Manager
BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK
Email: Tel: +44 (0)1223 747531


Regional Programme Team


Programme Officer for the Middle East
Sharif Jbour
BirdLife International – Middle East Division, Amman, Jordan


Programme Officer for North Africa
Awatef Abiadh
LPO – BirdLife France, Rochefort, France


Programme Assistant for North Africa
Jason Deschamps
LPO – BirdLife France, Rochefort, France


Programme Officer for Cabo Verde
Aurélien Garreau

Consultant, Mindelo, Cabo Verde


Programme Officer for the Bal​kans
Vedran Luci
DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia; based in Zagreb, Croatia



Small Grant Coordinator for the Bal​kans
Marijana Demajo

BPSSS – BirdLife Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia


Balkans Programme Assistant for Albania
Mirjan Topi

Consultant, Tirana, Albania



Communications Manager
Shaun Hurrell

BirdLife International, Stockholm, Sweden


Communications Officer
Enas Al Sarahneh

BirdLife International, Amman, Jordan



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Any complaints can be made to the CEPF RIT Manager at Other grievances should be made to Richard Grimmett, Director of Conservation at BirdLife International on, who should respond to grievances in writing within 15 working days of receipt. Claims should be filed, included in project monitoring, and a copy of the grievance should be provided to the CEPF Secretariat.

If the claimant is not satisfied with the response, the grievance may be submitted to the CEPF Executive Director at or by mail to: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Conservation International, Attn: Executive Director, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA. 

CEPF will respond within 15 calendar days of receipt, and claims will be filed and included in project monitoring.

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*The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, and the World Bank. Additional small grant funding to the Balkans sub-region has been provided by the MAVA Foundation. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
CEPF is more than just a funding provider
A dedicated Regional Implementation Team (RIT) (expert officers on the ground) guide funding to the most important areas and to even the smallest of organisations; building civil society capacities, improving conservation outcomes, strengthening networks and sharing best practices. In the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot, the RIT is entrusted to BirdLife International and its Partners: LPO (BirdLife France), DOPPS (BirdLife Slovenia) and BPSSS (BirdLife Serbia).
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