Western Ghats & Sri Lanka Hotspot

The Western Ghats of southwestern India and the highlands of southwestern Sri Lanka are strikingly similar in their geology, climate, and evolutionary history. Together, they form one of the most densely populated of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots.

The hotspot is extraordinarily rich in species, especially plants, found nowhere else. However, its forests face tremendous population pressure and have been dramatically impacted by demands for timber and agricultural land.

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) investments will focus on the Western Ghats region, which stretches across an area of 180,000 square kilometers along the west coast of India.

While once an area of dense forest, today only one-third of the Western Ghats’ natural vegetation remains in pristine condition. Further, many existing forests are highly fragmented and facing increasing degradation.

The council of donors that governs CEPF approved a $4.5-million, 5-year investment strategy for the Western Ghats in April 2007. CEPF investment in this region will begin with the selection of a regional implementation team.

Conservation of five large landscapes—the Anamalai, Malnad-Kodagu, Mysore-Nilgiri, Periyar-Agasthyamalai, and Sahyadri-Konkan biodiversity conservation corridors—and 80 key biodiversity areas within them will be emphasized.

CEPF investments in this region will be guided by three strategic directions. Each project must be linked to one of the strategic directions to be approved for funding:
  1. Enable action by diverse communities and partnerships to ensure conservation of key biodiversity areas and enhance connectivity in the corridors
  2. Improve the conservation of globally threatened species through systematic conservation planning and action
  3. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team

A full description of these strategic directions and related investment priorities can be found in the ecosystem profile for this region.Western Ghats & Sri Lanka

Ecosystem profile
Investment priorities
News & Feature Archive