Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund: Q&A

  • What is the CEPF?
    The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. It aims to dramatically advance conservation of Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened areas, which are known as biodiversity hot-spots.

  • How does CEPF work?
    CEPF provides funding and technical assistance to civil groups, such as non-governmental organizations, community groups and private sector partners. It acts as a catalyst to create strategic working alliances among diverse groups, combining unique capacities and eliminating duplication of efforts for a comprehensive, coordinated approach to conservation challenges.

  • What makes CEPF approach different?
    CEPF is geographically and thematically concentrated in it s objectives. Administrative flexibility and streamlined decision-making enable delivery of small- to medium-sized grants with greater agility. Funding is specifically for civil society, such as community groups, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners undertaking projects to advance conservation of biodiversity hot-spots. Funds may not be used for the purchase of land, involuntary resettlement of people or the alteration of any physical cultural property.

  • How CEPF and WWF Caucasus cooperate?
    The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and WWF Caucasus have joined together in support of a new high-level advisory council composed of governmental and nongovernmental representatives from each of the six countries to help conserve the rich natural resources of the region.

    WWF Caucasus also coordinated the intensive, participatory process to develop the CEPF investment strategy for the Caucasus . It now acts as the hub of CEPF implementation, helping local groups develop proposals and ensuring integration of the WWF and CEPF approach as well as informed decision-making in concert with a range of local partners.

  • How does CEPF determine its focus and investment for an area?
    The CEPF strategy for this hot-spot is based on the results of stakeholder workshops and background reports coordinated by WWF Caucasus. More than 130 experts representing scientific, government and non-governmental groups from the six countries participated in these preparations.

    As a result, CEPF investment in the Caucasus is focused on conserving the hotspot’s 50 globally threatened species, the majority of which are found in specific sites in five corridors: Greater Caucasus, Caspian, West Lesser Caucasus, East Lesser Caucasus and Hyrcan.

  • What are key points of CEPF investment strategy for Caucasus?
    The CEPF strategy for the Caucasus ensures funding is directed where it is needed most and where it can do the most good.

    The strategy is underpinned by conservation outcomes – target against which the success of investments can be measured. These targets are defined at three levels: species (extinctions avoided) sites (areas protected) and landscapes (corridors created).

    CEPF investments in the region are guided by four strategic directions. Each project must be linked to one of these to be approved for funding.

    1. support civil society efforts to promote transboundary cooperation and improve protected area systems in five target corridors;
    2. strengthen mechanisms to conserve biodiversity of the Caucasus hotspot with emphasis on species, site and corridor outcomes;
    3. implement models demonstrating sustainable resource use in five target corridors;
    4. increase the awareness and commitment of decision makers to biodiversity conservation in five target corridors.

  • What is a threatened species?
    The threatened species are defined as species facing high, very high and extremely high risk of extinction. This risk and its level are determined when quantity of the species is significantly decreased.

  • What are priority sites and corridors?
    The priority sites are the areas where threatened species occur. Hot-spot corridors are large-scale landscapes that need to be conserved in order to allow persistence of biodiversity.
  • How does a grant program work?
    CEPF Caucasus announces Calls for proposal from September 2004. Next call for proposals will be announced later in 2005.
  • Who is eligible for grants program?
    Nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, community groups, individuals and private enterprises may apply for funding. Each project must meet at least one of the strategic directions articulated in the relevant ecosystem profile to be eligible for funding.

  • What is expected to achieve through CEPF Caucasus program?
    As a result of Strengthening Conservation Alliances Through CEPF Coordination in the Caucasus project it is expected to build the capacity of civil society to achieve the long-term objectives. 

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