26 Mar 2013

After five years of success, CEPF commits $10 million more to Indo-Burma hotspot

Bengal Florican is one of the many species to benefit from CEPF investment in Indochina (Allan Michaud)
By Editor.user.test

Five years ago, in response to the environmental crisis engulfing mainland South-East Asia, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) launched a $10 million grants programme to conserve the critical ecosystems of the Indo-Burma Hotspot.

The programme is guided by a strategy developed by hundreds of conservationists and researchers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam, and coordinated by a Regional Implementation Team from BirdLife International.

Now grant recipients, donors and government partners from across the region have come together for a three-day workshop, to reflect on the lessons of the first five years, and look forward to an expanded second phase of investment.

To date CEPF has awarded more than 110 grants to international and national NGOs, universities, community groups and other types of civil society organisation. Collectively, the recipients of these grants have strengthened the management of conservation areas covering over 1.5 million hectares; established four new protected areas to fill key gaps in the region’s protected area system; integrated biodiversity-friendly management practices into production landscapes in the fisheries, forestry and agriculture sectors; and delivered tangible livelihood benefits to over 100 rural communities.

“Thanks to CEPF, the last five years have seen the emergence of a broader, more active and more confident conservation community in the Indo-Burma Hotspot”, said Jonathan C. Eames OBE, manager of BirdLife’s Regional Implementation Team.  “We see local civil society most active in areas where international organisations are not, such as supporting livelihood-based conservation interventions, advocacy and education. Correspondingly, international organisations can be expected to play continued vital roles in applied conservation science and planning, capacities that local civil society organisations often lack and struggle to build.”

The second phase of CEPF funding will involve a geographic expansion to China and Myanmar, bringing the list of countries eligible for grants to six. The list of CEPF-funded projects in Indo-Burma Download the ecosystem profile for the Indo-Burma Hotspot 

CEPF is a joint program of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.