CEPF EAM - Application Guidance



CEPF provides two types of grants in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot : Large Grants and Small Grants.

Applications are ONLY accepted in response to calls for proposals 


 For large grants:

Starting with the 9th call for proposals, CEPF will only accept submissions using the web-based system called LEAF. A call-specific link will be announced in the relevant call for proposals. New users will need to register in the system, but can also gain access if they have existing Google or Microsoft accounts (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail). LOIs must be submitted through this system before the deadline. CEPF will no longer accept hardcopy LOIs or LOIs using the old off-line format (Word, PDF). You will receive an email acknowledgement acknowledging receipt of your application.

Please find a LEAF users manual here​.

For small grants:

Applicants  must  submit  a  Letter  of  Inquiry  (LOI)  in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic. LOIs must be submitted electronically to BirdLife International at CEPF-EAM-SGP@birdlife.org before the deadline. BirdLife International will not accept hardcopy LOIs. You will receive an email acknowledgement acknowledging receipt of your application.


  • Non-governmental organisations, community groups, private enterprises, universities and other civil society applicants may apply for funding. 
  • Applications from organizations that propose to build capacity of local civil society and community groups are particularly encouraged.
  • Projects must be located within the sites and countries identified above and in the Ecosystem Profile.
  • Organizations must have their own bank account and be authorized under relevant national laws to receive charitable contributions.

Government-owned  enterprises  or  institutions  are  eligible  only  if  they  can  demonstrate  that  the enterprise or institution:

  • has a legal personality independent of any government agency or actor;
  • has the authority to apply for and receive private funds; and
  • may not assert a claim of sovereign immunity

Grants cannot be used for:

  • the purchase of land, involuntary resettlement of people including displacement of land uses or impeding access to traditional uses of natural resources, or activities that negatively affect physical cultural resources, including those important to local communities;
  • activities  adversely  affecting  Indigenous  Peoples  or  where  these  communities  have  not provided their broad support to the project activities; or
  • the   removal   or   alteration   of   any   physical   cultural   property   (including   sites   having archaeological, paleontological, historical, religious, or unique natural values);
  • activities in Afromontane KBAs which were previously included in the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forest Hotspot (Kenya and Tanzania) - these are:
    • Kenya: Taita Hills Forests
    • Tanzania: East Usambara Mountains * Mahenge Mountains * Nguru Mountains * North Pare Mountains * Rubeho Mountains * South Pare Mountains * Udzungwa Mountains * Ukaguru Mountains * Uluguru Mountains * West Usambara Mountains * Udzungwa Mountains Catchment * Uluguru Mountains Catchment

NB lists of eligible countries, corridors and KBAs for each Round of funding will be included in the relevant call for proposals


All applicants are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas with the EAM RIT at  CEPF-EAM-RIT@birdlife.org. Those wishing to seek guidance from the EAM RIT should do so well in advance of the deadline. Dates will be provided in the call for proposals.


All potential applicants should refer to the Ecosystem Profile, the LOI Form, and the following references available on the CEPF website:

·    How to apply (Large Grants):   www.cepf.net/grants/apply/Pages/default.aspx

·    Frequently asked questions:  www.cepf.net/about_cepf/faq/Pages/default.aspx

·    Eligibility criteria for applicants:  www.cepf.net/grants/Pages/eligibility.aspx

·    CEPF projects database:  www.cepf.net/grants/project_database/Pages/default.aspx

·    CEPF safeguard policies:  www.cepf.net/grants/Pages/safeguard_policies.aspx

·    Proposed activities must observe all World Bank safeguard policies found at http://go.worldbank.org/WTA1ODE7T0.


Decisions on are based on reviews by the CEPF Secretariat, the RIT, the RIT Advisory Board and external technical reviewers.

Large grants:

If your LOI is successful, the CEPF Secretariat will invite you to prepare a full project proposal. The invitation to submit a full project proposal is usually sent within two months after the deadline. The guidelines for preparing a full project proposal will be provided when your LOI has been accepted. The timeframe for processing a large grant application from initial submission of the LOI to the award of the grant is usually 6-8 months.

Small grants:

If your LOI is successful, BirdLife International and/or EWNHS (for small grants in Ethiopia) will be in touch with you to complete the necessary processes to award you a small grant.


Please direct any questions or concerns to: CEPF-EAM-RIT@birdlife.org or visit the CONTACT US page for further information.