Representatives from the World Bank, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and governments from several African countries met in late April at the second in a series of regional meetings to explore how to improve linkages between the CEPF initiative and Bank operations.
The World Bank, which launched CEPF together with Conservation International and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 2000, is one of five CEPF donor partners. The Government of Japan and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have also since joined the partnership.
The two-day workshop in Cape Town, South Africa was designed by the Bank’s Global Programs and Partnerships Group (GPP) to help increase synergies between CEPF and the Bank’s country programs. The first workshop, covering Latin America, was held in Brazil in January (See related story: World Bank, CEPF Forge Greater Links).
The participants, who also included representatives from World Bank implementing agencies in the region, learned about CEPF activities in Africa’s biodiversity hotspots as well as UNDP-GEF funding approaches in Kenya and Tanzania.
Building on the conclusions of the first workshop, discussions covered regional differences and focused on how to improve linkages at the country level. Suggestions for scaling up collaboration ranged from collaborative work to further incorporate biodiversity targets into national macroeconomic planning to monitoring and evaluation of the effects of biodiversity conservation on poverty alleviation.
In an evening reception, South African National Biodiversity Institute CEO Brian Huntley welcomed CEPF grant recipients and partners from the Cape Floristic Region and Succulent Karoo hotspots to a presentation of recent highlights in the area, including an innovative capacity building program supported by CEPF and plans to develop a biodiversity conservation corridor in the Namaqualand region of the Succulent Karoo Hotspot.
To date, CEPF has committed more than $16 million to support local nongovernmental organizations, community groups and other civil society partners in their efforts to conserve key areas within six of Africa’s biodiversity hotspots. Each grant helps implement specific investment priorities designed together with stakeholders.
Michael Carroll, the World Bank’s task team leader for CEPF, told participants in his closing statement: “As a representative of the Bank, I’m very glad to see closer links being made not just between CEPF and ourselves but also between the CEPF coordination units at a hotspot level.”
CEPF coordination representatives were present from the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests region of Tanzania and Kenya, as well as from the Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot and the two southern Africa hotspots.
The regional meeting for Asia is expected to take place in Indonesia in June.
Learn more from the materials provided to the participants (all documents are in PDF format):