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23 Jun 2016

Mediterranean biodiversity conservation under the spotlight

Lake Skadar © Jaime Rojo
Lake Skadar © Jaime Rojo
By Liz Smith

Mediterranean species, sites and conservation issues are to be evaluated over the coming months in an important new initiative by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

An extensive update to all species data from the region will be gathered and all stakeholders in the Mediterranean will be invited to participate in the updating of the Ecosystem Profile for the region.

The Ecosystem Profile is an extensive document describing the conservation status of the region, covering socio-economic issues, threats to biodiversity and all the existing data on flora and fauna. The updated document will be used to create the new investment strategy for CEPF’s second phase of investment in 2017.

The process will be led by BirdLife International and a consortium of partners: IUCN, Tour du Valat, Conservatoire du Littoral, and three BirdLife Partners from Mediterranean-based organisations  -  Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO, BirdLife Spain), Društvo za opazovanje in proučevanje ptic slovenije (DOPPS, BirdLife Slovenia) and Association Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO, BirdLife Tunisia). The update has been made possible through the support of the MAVA Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and CEPF.

The Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot is the second largest hotspot in the world. It 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. The grants awarded to civil society organizations work towards safeguarding globally threatened species and critical sites in the Mediterranean Basin through systematic conservation planning and action.

CEPF investment in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot began in 2010-2011, with the creation the first Ecosystem Profile, and then the funding of projects began in 2012. Birdlife International was appointed as the Regional Implementation Team for CEPF, providing assistance to civil society groups in designing, implementing and replicating successful conservation activities.

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CEPF results, 2012-2016:

  • $10.5 million has been invested
  • 106 projects have  been granted
  • 93 beneficiaries (grantees and sub-grantees) (72 which are national organizations, or 77%)
  • 14 new protected areas established.
  • 132 communities have benefited from projects.
  • 14 species listed on the IUCN Red List have directly benefited, including Leatherback Sea Turtle, Dalmatian Pelican and Barbary Macaque.

Discover more about these projects in our Storymap

Click to explore the Mediterranean Basin story map. © BirdLife International

This updated Ecosystem Profile will be a crucial document in determining the focus of conservation investment in the coming years. Stakeholders from multiple sectors and disciplines will be invited to input their expertise, and a series of national consultations will ensure input is received from everybody willing to contribute data and ideas.

Existing CEPF Mediterranean contacts will be informed (if you receive the CEPF Med newsletter you will be automatically updated), if you wish to be added to this contact list, please email cepf-med-rit@birdlife.org.

Further information on the update was presented at the European Commission InfoPoint, and can be viewed here


BirdLife International - including its Middle East office and the BirdLife Partners DOPPS/BirdLife Slovenia and LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, BirdLife in France) - is providing the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot (CEPF Med).

Find out more at www.birdlife.org/cepf-med.

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. Additional support in the Mediterranean Basin is provided by the MAVA Foundation. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. More information on CEPF can be found at www.cepf.net.

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