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Frequently Asked Questions - About CEPF

What is the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund?
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global program that provides grants to nongovernmental organizations and other private sector partners to protect critical ecosystems.

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How does CEPF work?
CEPF provides funding and technical assistance to civil society groups, such as nongovernmental 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.

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Who contributes to the fund?
CEPF is a joint program 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.

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When was CEPF created?
CEPF was launched in August 2000. CEPF grants first became available in 2001.

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Why was the partnership created?
The partners recognize that the urgency and complexity of today's threats to biodiversity require strategic alliances and the elimination of duplicate efforts. A fundamental goal is to engage nongovernmental partners in biodiversity conservation.

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What makes CEPF different?
CEPF is designed to complement and expand the partners’ regular activities and reach. Several factors distinguish CEPF from traditional investment programs. Our grants:
  • Target hotspots in developing countries and transitional countries.

  • Help implement region-specific investment strategies developed with diverse stakeholders.

  • Go directly to civil society groups to build this vital constituency for conservation alongside governmental partners.

  • Create strategic working alliances among diverse groups, combining unique capacities and eliminating duplication of efforts.

  • Achieve tangible results through an ever-expanding network of conservation stewards.

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How is CEPF governed?
A council of donors governs the Fund. The Donor Council provides strategic guidance and approves priority areas for investment. The council members are:

Monique Barbut
Chairperson and CEO, The Global Environment Facility

Jonathan F. Fanton
President, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Pierre Jacquet
Executive Director, Agence Française de Développement

Yasushi Onishi
Director for Development Issues, International Bureau, Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan

Peter A. Seligmann
Chairman and CEO, Conservation International

Kathy Sierra
Vice President, Sustainable Development, The World Bank and Acting Chairperson, CEPF Donor Council

View the full terms of reference for the Donor Council

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How is CEPF administered?
As one of the founding members, Conservation International (CI) administers and executes the global program through a CEPF Secretariat. This includes hosting the CEPF Secretariat, employing Secretariat staff, and ensuring that all funds are managed with due diligence and efficiency on behalf of the partnership. The CEPF Secretariat is responsible for strategic and financial management, oversight, and reporting for the program.

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What is the role of Regional Implementation Teams?
Nongovernmental organizations selected to function as Regional Implementation Teams will provide strategic leadership for the program in each hotspot approved for investment beginning in 2007. Their objective is to convert the plans in the CEPF ecosystem profiles into cohesive portfolios of grants that exceed in impact the sum of their parts. They have primary responsibility for building a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and political boundaries toward achieving the shared conservation goals described in the profiles.

The role of these new Regional Implementation Teams further strengthens and expands the Coordination Unit model pioneered by CEPF during its first six years.

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