CEPF Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot


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What is special about the Mediterranean?

Imagine bee-eaters, cave salamanders, geckos, macaques, dragonflies, pelicans for a flavour of the faunal diversity the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot harbours – many found only in the region. With miles of golden beaches, turquoise seas, spectacular mountains and gorges, and the warm summer climate, it is no wonder so many tourists visit the Mediterranean.

Yet rapid economic development, an increasing human population, and 32% of the world’s international tourists are creating unprecedented pressures on its freshwater, marine and terrestrial habitats – compounded by a lack of effective planning and management systems.

But this politically turbulent region is also special because of its cultural diversity - necessitating a local approach to conservation that benefits both people and biodiversity.

The Critical Ecosytem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is tackling the threats to some of the world's most critical ecosystems by investing in civil society, so local people and organisations can continue to protect nature in the future.

CEPF has been active in the Mediterranean Basin since 2012, entrusting BirdLife International and its national Partners, LPO/BirdLife France, DOPPS/BirdLife Slovenia and BPSSS/BirdLife Serbia to be their dedicated Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the hotspot. Now, CEPF are investing an additional $8.4 million to award to conservation projects from 2017-2022. This second phase of investment allows us to continue providing expert officers on the ground and guiding funding to the most important areas and smallest of organisations.


Pierre Carret, Grant Director, CEPF, on the first phase of CEPF investment:

"This network is not just 93 civil society organisations supported by CEPF. It is also 93 organisations who work together more and more as a team to preserve the amazing biodiversity of this region. Despite facing a lot of difficulties today and in the future, civil society organisations are finding inspiration in the work of their fellow CEPF partners from other countries in the hotspot."



Together - Best Practices

Local solutions for nature conservation - lessons from the Mediterranean

In the first phase (2012-2017), CEPF invested $10.9 million through 106 grants to 93 organisations in 12 countries.  Discover incredible species, inspiring stories, complex threats, conservation successes and innovative ideas from the first phase in our Together brochure.

Download the PDF in:

Arabic          English          French

Embrace the cultural and biological diversity, connect, learn, continue to promote local conservation, and read on to discover more...



Conservation can be a tough profession, particularly for small Civil Society Organisations. Our work in the Mediterranean has emphasised the value of sharing experiences and working together.

Click here for our "Lessons Learned" series, where grantees share their personal insights and most important lessons that they have learned while working on their projects and offer informed advice for other conservationists.


Together for biodiversity in the Mediterranean

What does nature mean to you?
This video shows the faces and words of people working together to conserve nature throughout the Mediterranean, including in civil society projects funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

"These words epitomise the love of nature of all the CEPF partners, working in the diverse countries of the Mediterranean Basin, together." Pierre Carret, CEPF Grant Director.

Recorded at the CEPF Mediterranean mid-term meeting in Ulcinj, Montenegro, May 2015.


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*The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, and the World Bank. Additional small grant funding to the Balkans sub-region has been provided by the MAVA Foundation. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
CEPF is more than just a funding provider
A dedicated Regional Implementation Team (RIT) (expert officers on the ground) guide funding to the most important areas and to even the smallest of organisations; building civil society capacities, improving conservation outcomes, strengthening networks and sharing best practices. In the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot, the RIT is entrusted to BirdLife International and its Partners: LPO (BirdLife France), DOPPS (BirdLife Slovenia) and BPSSS (BirdLife Serbia).
Find out more at www.birdlife.org/cepf-med