Japanese Government Joins Partnership to Protect Biodiversity Hotspots

July 2002

The Japanese government announced its most significant contribution ever to support private conservation groups by joining the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in June.

"Biodiversity conservation is one of the most critical issues facing the world today," said Hon. Mr. Hiroshi Ohki, Japan's Minister for the Environment. "The CEPF approach enables local people in developing nations to create and implement projects for a healthy environment and to prosper economically."

Each CEPF investor has pledged to commit $5 million annually over five years to the Fund, which provides financial support, technical expertise, field knowledge and information to nongovernmental organizations, community groups and private sector partners.

CEPF focuses on biodiversity hotspots, the Earth's most critically endangered and biologically richest regions. In Indonesia, where the Japanese government and CEPF partners made the announcement at the final preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, efforts to save the immense biodiversity on the island of Sumatra will be boosted by $10 million in CEPF grants. The island is part of the Sundaland hotspot and is the only place where elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, clouded leopards and orangutans are all found.

"The biodiversity hotspots are in a state of emergency and this is our last chance to save them," said Jorgen Thomsen, CEPF Executive Director and Senior Vice President at Conservation International, which administers the Fund. "By engaging local people in biodiversity conservation, we ensure the best chance of success at protecting the environment for future generations."

Learn more about CEPF's overall strategy.