The Team

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Grantees, Regional Implementation Team, CEPF Secretariat and stakeholders at the CEPF Mediterranean Mid-term Assessment in Ulcinj, Montenegro, 2015 © Shaun Hurrell

Diverse cultures, same commitment to biodiversity

Unique perspectives after five years of conservation in the Mediterranean


Awatef Abiadh, Programme Officer for North Africa

Political turmoil in North Africa caused some collateral damage to protected areas and threatened fauna and flora. It also showed us there was a lack of harmony between local people and conservation. But since we started in the hotspot, we have contributed to the 180 degree change of conservation from ‘protect by punishment’ to ‘protect by involving more local people and civil society organisations’.”

Sharif Jbour, Programme Officer for the Middle East

Despite diverse cultural, political and language differences, it turns out everyone faces the same conservation challenges. At last, I feel now the Middle East is part of the Mediterranean. CEPF has brought us together for the first time, and this legacy will bring a long lasting partnership between like-minded organisations to overcome common challenges ahead.”

Borut Rubinič, Programme Officer for the Balkans

"Conservation in the Balkans is often fighting not just for nature, but also a complex fight for human rights and against organised crime and high-level corruption. It is vital to ensure economic alternatives for local communities and ensure their involvement for any activities on the ground to be successful. This is why CEPF is so special.”


Contact us

General enquiries

Regional Implementation Team Manager
for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot - CEPF Med RIT Manager
Liz Smith

Cambridge, UK
BirdLife International, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 279878 | Fax: +44 (0)1223 281441

Regional Programme Officers

CEPF Med RIT Programme Officer for Middle East
Sharif Jbour
Amman, Jordan
BirdLife International – Middle East Division
Building 6, Salameh Al Maa’yta Street, Khalda, P.O.Box 2295, Amman 11953, Jordan
Tel: +962 (0)6 554 8173| Fax: +962 (0)6 554 8172


CEPF Med RIT Programme Officer for the Balkans
Borut Rubinič
Ljubljana, Slovenia
DOPPS - BirdLife Slovenia
p.p. 2990, Tržaška 2, SI - 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija


CEPF Med RIT Programme Officer for North Africa
Awatef Abiadh
Rochefort, France
LPO – BirdLife France
LPO - Fonderies Royales, 8-10 rue du Docteur Pujos, B.P. 90263, 17305 ROCHEFORT CEDEX, France


CEPF Med RIT Programme Officer for Cabo Verde
Mariana Carvalho



Communications Officer
Shaun Hurrell

BirdLife International, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 747555  

Any complaints can be made to the CEPF RIT Manager at Other grievances should be made to Richard Grimmett, Director of Conservation at BirdLife International on, who should respond to grievances in writing within 15 working days of receipt. Claims should be filed, included in project monitoring, and a copy of the grievance should be provided to the CEPF Secretariat.

If the claimant is not satisfied with the response, the grievance may be submitted to the CEPF Executive Director at or by mail to: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Conservation International, Attn: Executive Director, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA. CEPF will respond within 15 calendar days of receipt, and claims will be filed and included in project monitoring.

Team supervision mission to the Balkans

This video follows CEPF and RIT staff as they went to the Balkans on a supervision mission. Over the course of 11 days, 9 different projects and more than 30 grantee organisations were visited.

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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, and the World Bank. Additional support in the Mediterranean Basin is provided by the MAVA Foundation. More information on CEPF can be found at

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) guides funding to the most important areas and to even the smallest of organisations, helps build civil society in the region, and shares learned lessons and best practices. In the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot, the RIT is entrusted to BirdLife International, including its Middle East office and the BirdLife Partners DOPPS/BirdLife Slovenia and LPO/BirdLife France.