BirdLife International, including its Middle East office and the BirdLife partners DOPPS/BirdLife Slovenia and LPO-Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux/BirdLife France, is providing the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the Mediterranean Hotspot.
The RIT will raise awareness of CEPF; solicit grant applications and assist organizations to make applications; review applications; give small grants and jointly make decisions with CEPF on large grants; and monitor and evaluate progress with the investment strategy.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Conservation International (CI), the European Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.
A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
More information on CEPF can be found at www.cepf.net.
CEPF is designed to safeguard Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened regions known as biodiversity hotspots.
This investment aims to support conservation work project in the Mediterranean Basin hotspot which is considered as the second largest hotspot in the world. The hotspot covers more than 2 million square kilometers and stretches west to east from Portugal to Jordan and north to south from northern Italy to Cape Verde.
Grantees may apply for funding from all countries eligible for CEPF support in the region: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Tunisia.
The grants awarded to civil society organizations will work towards safeguarding globally threatened species and critical sites in the Mediterranean Basin. These investments will promote innovative partnerships between NGOs, government, local communities and land-owners to enhance conservation and connectivity in five landscape corridors in the Mediterranean Basin, and improve the conservation of globally threatened species through systematic conservation planning and action.
The ecosystem profile presents an overview of the hotspot, including its biological importance in a global and regional context, potential climate change impacts, major threats to and root causes of biodiversity loss, socioeconomic context and current conservation investments. It provides a suite of measurable conservation outcomes, identifies funding gaps and opportunities for investment, and thus identifies the niche where CEPF investment can provide the greatest incremental value.
It also contains a five-year investment strategy for CEPF in the region. This investment strategy comprises a series of strategic funding opportunities, called strategic directions, broken down into a number of investment priorities outlining the types of activities that will be eligible for CEPF funding. The ecosystem profile does not include specific project concepts. Civil society groups will develop these for their applications to CEPF for grant funding.
Our niche’s will be to work with all actors engaged in conservation and development activities in Mediterranean Basin countries to foster partnerships in priority corridors and sites. Such partnerships will seek to reduce impacts of these developments on natural resources and systems that the large communities are dependent on. In addition, opportunities to increase the benefits and reduce upland shifts in land use by the communities within these landscapes will be explored.
The Mediterranean Basin Ecosystem Profile reflects CEPF’s commitment to and emphasis on using conservation outcomes—targets against which the success of investments can be measured—as the scientific underpinning for determining geographic and thematic focus for investment. Conservation outcomes are the full set of quantitative conservation targets in a hotspot that need to be achieved in order to prevent biodiversity loss. They can be defined at three scales—species, site and landscape—that interlock geographically through the presence of species in sites and the presence of sites in landscapes. They are also logically connected. If species are to be conserved, the sites in which they live must be protected, and the landscapes or seascapes must continue to sustain ecological services, such as provision of fresh water and shelter from floods and storms, on which the sites and the species depend.
Defining conservation outcomes is a bottom-up process, with a definition of species-level targets first, from which the definition of site-level targets is developed. The process requires detailed knowledge of the conservation status of individual species. The Mediterranean Basin profile identifies 555 globally threatened species, as defined by the IUCN Red List (2008). The profile then narrows its focus to 219 globally threatened species that are endemics occurring in countries eligible to receive CEPF support.
Recognizing that most species are best conserved through the protection of sites where they occur, the profile’s creators next pinpointed key biodiversity areas—sites important for the conservation of globally threatened species, restricted-range species, biome-restricted assemblages, or congregatory species—as targets for achieving site-level conservation outcomes. A total of 1,110 key biodiversity areas are identified in the profile, covering more than 40.7 million hectares, or approximately 19.5 percent of the land area of the hotspot. Of the total, 512 contain coastal or marine habitat, highlighting the importance of these sites for both terrestrial and marine conservation. In addition, 17 biodiversity conservation corridors were identified containing 435 of the key biodiversity areas. These corridors are essential for protecting the processes and links required to support threatened species, particularly in terms of long-term adaptation to climate change. The corridors are key to ensuring resilience of ecosystems so they can continue to provide essential services to natural and human communities, and they are considered most important for achieving long-term conservation results.
CEPF investments in the Mediterranean Basin will focus on six priority biodiversity conservation corridors with 50 of the highest priority key biodiversity areas. Twenty more key biodiversity areas that represent highly irreplaceable and vulnerable sites in five other corridors will be the focus of site-level investments. A number of these sites contain some of the last remaining pristine coastlines in the Mediterranean Basin.
CEPF’s niche will be to work with all actors engaged in conservation and development activities in Mediterranean Basin countries to foster partnerships in priority corridors and sites. Such partnerships will seek to reduce impacts of development on natural resources and systems that large communities are dependent on. In addition, opportunities to increase the benefits and reduce upland shifts in land use by the communities within these landscapes will be explored. These approaches will be based on applying the experiences of unsustainable development in other parts of the Mediterranean Basin, as well as introducing new approaches. The ecological footprint in the northern part of the Mediterranean is significantly larger than in the south; therefore investment in the south presents an important opportunity to ensure that areas with high biodiversity and high levels of threat, yet not as large of an ecological footprint, can be effectively protected.
Currently, few funding organizations support civil society to play a vital role in the conservation of priority key biodiversity areas and the water basins where these areas are located. Most key biodiversity areas are inhabited by large numbers of people who rely on water and other natural resources. Civil society in the hotspot is positioned to take the lead in sustainable conservation within these sites, and it can effectively stimulate partnership between governments and the corporate sector toward conservation of biodiversity
Investment in the region is guided by three Strategic Directions; each project we support should be linked to a specific strategic direction to approved for funding:
1. Promote civil society involvement in Integrated Coastal Zone Management to minimize the negative effects of coastal development in three priority corridors and in 20 coastal and marine priority key biodiversity areas in other corridors.
2. Establish the sustainable management of water catchments and the wise use of water resources
3. Improve the conservation and protection status of 44 priority key biodiversity areas
The full Strategic Directions and Investment Priorities are here:
|STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS||INVESTMENT PRIORITIES|
|1. Promote civil society involvement in Integrated Coastal Zone Management to minimize the negative effects of coastal development in three priority corridors (Southwest Balkans, Cyrenaican Peninsula, and Mountains, Plateaus and Wetlands of Algerian Tell and Tunisia), and in 20 coastal and marine priority key biodiversity areas in other corridors||1.1 Support civil society involvement in the development and implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and the advancement of best practices in integrating nature conservation with the tourism sector1.2 Raise awareness and influence the choices of the European tourist market and tourism businesses in favor of tourism practices appropriate for nature1.3 Support local stakeholders to advance and benefit from nature-based tourism through the diversification of tourism-related activities and generation of alternative livelihoods|
|2. Establish the sustainable management of water catchments and the wise use of water resources with a focus on the priority corridors of the (1) Atlas Mountains, (2) Taurus Mountains, (3) Orontes Valley and Lebanon Mountains and (4) Southwest Balkans||2.1. Contribute to and establish Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) initiatives for pilot basins and replicate best practices to reduce the negative impacts of insufficiently planned water infrastructures2.2. Support IRBM policy and legislation development and implementation through capacity building and advocacy at all appropriate levels2.3. Support innovative financing mechanisms for conserving and restoring freshwater ecosystems and traditional water catchments2.4. Facilitate and support adaptation to climate change via improving water use efficiency in agricultural landscapes and allowing environmental flows for key biodiversity areas2.5 Share and replicate the lessons learned and best practices from and with other river basin management experiences elsewhere in the Mediterranean|
|3. Improve the conservation and protection status of 44 priority key biodiversity areas||3.1. Establish new protected areas and promote improved management of existing protected areas by developing and implementing sustainable management plans3.2. Develop financial mechanisms that support protected areas while enhancing sustainable livelihood and promoting community management of priority key biodiversity areas3.3. Raise awareness of the importance of priority key biodiversity areas, including those that have irreplaceable plant and marine biodiversity|