Middle East

Conserving Biodiversity Mediterranean & Eastern Afro-Montante hotspots

We are engaged in running two Regional implementation Teams for the Mediterranean Basin and the Eastern Afro-Montane hotspots.

The Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot is the second largest hotspot in the world and the largest of the world’s five Mediterranean-climate regions. The hotspot covers more than 2 million square kilometers and stretches west to east from Portugal to Jordan and north to south from northern Italy to Cape Verde. The Mediterranean Basin is the third richest hotspot in the world in terms of its plant diversity (Mittermeier et al. 2004). Approximately 30,000 plant species occur, and more than 13,000 species are found nowhere else, or endemic, to the hotspot; yet, many more are being discovered every year (Plantlife International 2010, unpublished report).

The Mediterranean Basin Hotspot Ecosystem Profile was developed under the leadership of Doğa Derneği (the BirdLife partner in Turkey) thanks to CEPF investment and the generous financial and technical support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and MAVA Fondation pour la Nature. Twelve organizations worked collectively for the development of the profile, due to the exceptionally large size and complexity of the region. Key organizations within the profiling team, in addition to Doğa Derneği, include Conservation International, BirdLife International and its partners in the region, Tour du Valat, IUCN and Plantlife International.

The ecosystem profile presents an overview of the hotspot in terms of its biological importance in a global and regional context, potential climate change impacts, major threats to and root causes of biodiversity loss, socioeconomic context and current conservation investments. It provides a suite of measurable conservation outcomes, identifies funding gaps and opportunities for investment, and thus identifies the niche where CEPF investment can provide the greatest incremental value. It also contains a five-year investment strategy for CEPF in the region. This investment strategy comprises a series of strategic funding opportunities, termed strategic directions, broken down into a number of investment priorities outlining the types of activities that will be eligible for CEPF funding. The ecosystem profile does not include specific project concepts as civil society groups will develop these for their applications to CEPF for grant funding. Focus Middle East Countries within this hotspot include Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The CEPF  investment for the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot aims to support civil society in applying innovative approaches to conservation in under-capacitated and underfunded protected areas, Key Biodiversity Areas and priority corridors. The Eastern Afromontane Hotspot stretches over a curving arc of widely scattered mountains from Saudi Arabia to Mozambique. It covers over 1 million square kilometres in 16 countries, and is home to globally important levels of biodiversity, including 1,300 known species of bird, of which 157 are endemic. It is also the stronghold of charismatic species like the Ethiopian Wolf Canis simensis—the world’s rarest canid—and the Critically Endangered Mountain Gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei.

This first call for proposals will look for projects that aim to improve the protection and management of Key Biodiversity Areas throughout the hotspot. Further calls addressing other key strategic areas will be made throughout the 5-year period of the investment. Focus countries within the Middle East include Yemen and Saudi Arabia.