CEPF Heads for the Eastern Himalayas

April 2005

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) recently won approval from the CEPF Donor Council to expand to the Eastern Himalayas, a biologically rich region comprising Bhutan, northeastern India and southern, central, and eastern Nepal.

CEPF will begin implementation with introductory workshops in select areas and a first call for proposals.

The rapid rise of the magnificent Himalayas results in a diversity of ecosystems, ranging from alluvial grasslands and subtropical broadleaf forests to alpine meadows above the tree line.

The region is also home to 163 globally threatened species, 76 of which CEPF grants to nongovernmental groups, communities and other partners will focus on as the highest priorities for conservation efforts.

These include species unique to the Eastern Himalayas such as the Critically Endangered pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) and Namdapha flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi), and other species at risk such as Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), tiger (Panthera tigris), and dozens of birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Plants are not included among CEPF focal species for this region because information is lacking about their needs, but reassessing the conservation status of the region’s plants is a priority.

CEPF investment will focus on the priority species as well as the key sites and larger landscapes that sustain them by supporting conservation efforts that transcend protected area boundaries and engage local people in natural resource management.

WWF, in partnership with the BirdLife Indochina Program, led an extensive participatory research and consultation process drawing together more than 145 experts and stakeholders in the three countries to develop the new CEPF ecosystem profile and $5 million, five-year investment strategy for this region.

Final endorsement of the Eastern Himalayas ecosystem profile is expected from Global Environment Facility focal points in the relevant countries in the near future, which would clear the way for CEPF to begin disbursing grants in this region.

To find out more, visit the new Eastern Himalayas section of our site.