16 Aug 2010

BirdLife and CEPF expand funding opportunities for biodiversity conservation in the Indo-Burma Hotspot

By Martin Fowlie
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academic institutions, community groups and other civil society organisations working in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam have been given another opportunity to apply for funding to conserve the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Indo-Burma is recognised by scientists as one of 34 biodiversity hotspots: the world’s biologically richest and most threatened ecosystems. The Indo-Burma Hotspot supports high numbers of species, and its ecosystems provide fresh water, protection against natural disasters, and other essential services for hundreds of millions of people. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is making available grants to civil society groups working in the region, to help them design and implement projects to conserve these values, with a particular emphasis on protecting threatened species, managing priority sites and reconciling biodiversity conservation and development objectives. CEPF grant making in the Indo-Burma Hotspot is facilitated by BirdLife International. The call for applications has a deadline of 30th September 2010, and full details can be found at or This is the third call for proposals to have been issued by CEPF and BirdLife, following calls in 2008 and 2009. Under these earlier calls, a total of 180 applications were received, of which nearly 70 were supported. Funded projects include a grant to Vietnamese NGO Education for Nature Vietnam, to strengthen public participation in tackling the illegal trade in wildlife, and a grant to Cambodian NGO Save Cambodia’s Wildlife, to empower local communities for biodiversity conservation along the Sesan and Srepok Rivers. “The CEPF grant portfolio includes many important and innovative projects, which address some of the highest conservation priorities in the region. This third and final call for proposals will be highly targeted, in order to address outstanding investment gaps," said Jonathan C. Eames, Programme Manager of BirdLife International in Indochina The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, 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. CEPF began a $9.5 million, five year investment plan in Indochina in June 2008 with BirdLife International acting as its Regional Implementation Team. Guided by a strategy developed with the participation of stakeholders, CEPF investment in the region focuses on two biodiversity corridors: the Northern Highlands Limestone (in Vietnam and parts of southern China); and the Mekong River and Major Tributaries (in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand). The CEPF strategy, or ‘Ecosystem Profile’, can be found at Further information and summaries in English, Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese can be found at Full call for LoIs can be downloaded here in English, Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese languages. Image credit: Jonathan C. Eames