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Strategic Framework





Strategic Framework, FY 2008-2012

III. Program Design

The program design has been informed by consultations with national and regional civil society groups, the CEPF donors, and other partners, including international NGOs and bilateral agencies. It also incorporates recommendations from the independent evaluators, who visited 10 of the 15 CEPF investment regions to date and consulted with a wide variety of grant recipients and other stakeholders, including government, donor, and implementing agency representatives, during August-December 2005.

The first hotspots for investment will be those for which ecosystem profiles have already been prepared and were approved by the CEPF Donor Council in April 2007. These are the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot; the Western Ghats region of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Hotspot; and the Indochina region of the Indo-Burma Hotspot. The CEPF Donor Council will choose other critical ecosystems for investment from among the biodiversity hotspots. Marine ecosystems may also be considered where they overlap with targeted terrestrial hotspots.

Supplemental information will be developed to inform the Donor Council’s decisions regarding whether to re-invest in or exit hotspots supported by CEPF to date. This will include, for example, biological status, levels of threat, current or planned investment by the donor partners, and the results of participatory assessments of CEPF progress in those hotspots as they reach the end of their existing 5-year investment period. The assessments will feature workshops with stakeholders in each hotspot. CEPF has completed nine of these assessments to date.

The number of hotspots approved for new investment will be staggered to ensure adequate funding and implementation capacity, and the total investment level per hotspot will vary depending on local needs.

The global program will include four overarching and interlinked components:
  1. Strengthening protection and management of globally significant biodiversity.
  2. Increasing local and national capacity to integrate biodiversity conservation into development and landscape planning.
  3. Effective monitoring and knowledge sharing.
  4. Ecosystem profile development and program execution.

Key indicators of success will include:
  • At least 14 critical ecosystems/hotspots with active investment programs involving civil society in conservation.
  • At least 600 civil society actors, including NGOs and the private sector, actively participate in conservation programs guided by the CEPF ecosystem profiles.
  • 20 million hectares of key biodiversity areas with strengthened protection and management, including at least 8 million hectares of new protected areas.
  • 1 million hectares in production landscapes managed for biodiversity conservation or sustainable use.

Component 1: Strengthening protection and management of globally significant biodiversity

CEPF will focus on key biodiversity areas and address threats to biodiversity across broad landscapes that include a matrix of land uses, including protected areas, biological corridors, and high-value conservation sites in production landscapes. Protected areas remain a critical foundation of biodiversity conservation worldwide, yet only 5 percent of globally significant biodiversity within most hotspots is currently protected. Target areas will not be limited to formal designated protected areas and legal entities but will also include indigenous reserves, and community and private lands that are managed for a conservation objective. Support to civil society groups will contribute to the strengthened protection and management of more than 20 million hectares of key biodiversity areas within hotspots. This will include at least 8 million hectares of new protected areas. CEPF will also support activities that contribute to improved conservation of biodiversity within biological corridors and production landscapes, as well as trans-boundary collaboration to protect key areas that straddle national borders. Specific activities are expected to include the following:

1a. Protected areas and other key biodiversity areas: These areas encompass the critical habitat required for the survival of globally threatened and geographically concentrated species and as such are integral components of an effective protected area network. CEPF will support civil society efforts to catalyze improved management and expansion of existing protected areas, as well as the creation of new protected areas. Activities will include building awareness and support for protected areas and systems, development and provision of technical expertise and tools for effective land-use planning, and enabling local community and indigenous groups to take part in the design, implementation, management, and monitoring of key biodiversity areas.

1b. Community – Indigenous Initiatives: CEPF-supported activities will assist communities, including indigenous groups, and other partners in managing biologically rich land as well as landscapes that buffer key biodiversity and protected areas. The independent evaluation found that all of the current CEPF portfolios support community stewardship of biodiversity and ecosystem services through improved use and management of natural resources, the reduction or elimination of practices harmful to biodiversity, and the development and adoption of a variety of alternative livelihood opportunities. This focus on the synergistic and direct linkages between biodiversity conservation and human welfare will continue and be emphasized, particularly in regard to scaling up and enabling best practices and replication.

1c. Innovative financial mechanisms for sustainability: Achieving financial sustainability for biodiversity conservation is an ongoing challenge. CEPF will scale up efforts to create and support innovative financial mechanisms for sustainability, including the introduction and use of conservation financing tools such as payments for environmental services and economic incentives for conservation. CEPF will further strengthen joint efforts with governmental partners, the private sector, and other funding mechanisms, including two complementary funds managed by CI. The Global Conservation Fund’s expertise is in creating and expanding protected areas as well as in developing long-term funding mechanisms, while Verde Ventures makes debt and equity investment in sustainable enterprises that are strategically important to biodiversity conservation.

1d. Multi-regional priorities: This subcomponent will support selected grants to civil society groups for strengthening protection and management of globally significant biodiversity in ways that efficiently benefit multiple hotspots. These will include, for example, activities to address common threats such as trade in Endangered species where demand and supply chains cross national borders, and global assessments to consolidate available information on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of groups of species to indicate the status of ecosystem health. Multi-regional grants will also capitalize on significant co-financing opportunities and replication and scaling up of successful approaches across hotspots in a cost-effective way.

Component 2: Increasing local and national capacity to integrate biodiversity conservation into development and landscape planning

Reconciling ecosystem conservation with sustainable development on different scales across complex jurisdictional boundaries, often in situations of weak governance, is perhaps the major challenge facing the conservation and development communities. Mobilizing civil society to play a more effective role in this process is the CEPF niche. Grantees include individuals, farming cooperatives and community organizations, national NGOs, research institutions and private sector organizations, and international NGOs. Many of these groups also act as vital multipliers, further building local and national capacity for conservation. A key CEPF goal is empowerment of civil society actors to take part in, and influence, decisions that affect local lives and livelihoods and, ultimately, the global environment. This component is particularly targeted to biological corridors and more sustainable management in production landscapes. It builds upon the activities supported under Component 1 through support for strategic and effective alliances to increase impact and sustainability. Grantmaking will foster alliances by identifying and linking potential partners; helping to design integrated and complementary approaches and supporting partnerships within civil society as well as with development institutions, government agencies, corporate partners, and others.

CEPF will support activities that integrate biodiversity conservation in production systems and sectors, including enabling civil society groups to plan, implement, and influence biodiversity conservation efforts as effective partners in sustainable development. Such participation will build on local knowledge and technical expertise, and leverage social capital to bring innovative ideas to solving local problems. Examples could include development of communal, municipal, or regional land-use plans, plans for local economic development, certification for more sustainable management, and private agreements. The focal approach will be to strengthen protection of critical biological corridors that link key biodiversity areas within a multiple-use landscape.

Civil society activities to be supported will include assisting in improved land-use planning and activities that mainstream conservation into production landscapes, including collaboration with the private sector; promoting supportive policy and legislative frameworks; promoting more sustainable resource management linked to livelihoods; and implementing measures to control and manage invasive alien species in regions where these are a particular threat. Building upon successful models from earlier years, CEPF would promote collaboration with governmental partners and sectors such as mining, agriculture, logging and tourism by fostering innovative public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder alliances to harmonize conservation with economic development. The project would strengthen civil society capability for sustainable resource management and for advocacy and influence over development decisions and national strategies at local, regional, and trans-boundary scales.

Component 3: Effective monitoring and knowledge sharing

This component will support effective monitoring, learning, replication, and scaling up of promising models from components 1 and 2. Specific subcomponents will include:

3a. Strengthening monitoring and evaluation at the ecosystem level, including systematic analysis and documentation of CEPF results and experiences: CEPF priorities will include improved outcomes monitoring at the portfolio level in all hotspots receiving CEPF funding and sharing the results of monitoring widely to demonstrate biodiversity impact and enable adaptive management by CEPF and the wider conservation community. Specific conservation targets and related indicators will be developed as an integral part of the ecosystem profiling process for each hotspot. In addition, selected indicators from a Global Results Framework (see page 16) will be monitored and evaluated within each hotspot at the midterm and end of investment. These will include indicators to monitor biodiversity status and outcomes, as well as civil society, policy, and socioeconomic indicators detailed in a logical framework for each portfolio. Monitoring and evaluation of individual projects will be led by a Regional Implementation Team selected for each hotspot. Data on the status of specific conservation targets and landscapes will be calibrated against data drawn from the Biodiversity Early Warning System of CI’s Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) and the global monitoring programs of other conservation organizations and partners to determine whether shifts may be needed in investment strategy during implementation.

3b: Expanding and formalizing information sharing and learning opportunities: This subcomponent will support conservation at the regional level by expanding and formalizing information sharing and learning opportunities as part of a participatory monitoring approach already tested and replicated by CEPF in multiple hotspots. Results will lead to adaptive management and also feed into analysis and documentation of lessons learned and best practices within and across hotspots. CEPF will also support specific activities to promote distillation, dissemination, and uptake of good practice, including (i) analyses of specific management practices to derive lessons learned (ii) cross site exchanges between grantees for learning and dissemination of best practice; and (iii) outreach activities targeting communities, local government, and NGOs to increase the uptake of good practice into other conservation initiatives within hotspots.

Component 4: Ecosystem profile development and program execution

This component will support development by civil society groups of the ecosystem profiles as strategic implementation documents for the partnership and wider conservation community, selected functions of Regional Implementation Teams, and overall execution and administration of the global program by CI through the CEPF Secretariat.

4a: Ecosystem profile development: In each hotspot, disbursement of grants will be guided by an ecosystem profile based on a stakeholder-driven prioritizing process to identify conservation targets, major threats, socioeconomic factors, and current conservation investments. The process will be led by locally based NGOs or other civil society organizations to develop a shared strategy by identifying conservation needs, gaps, opportunities, and the specific CEPF niche and investment strategy. In line with recommendations from the evaluation, future profiling will include strengthened analysis of the socioeconomic, policy, and civil society context within each hotspot for a more comprehensive understanding of development priorities, threats, and opportunities. Future profiles will be developed with even greater inclusiveness by ensuring that key communities, including indigenous groups within the focal biodiversity areas, take part in determining priority actions.

4b. Regional Implementation Teams: Based on recommendations from the independent evaluation, CEPF will devolve more responsibility from the Secretariat to locally based Regional Implementation Teams for capacity building and grant management and monitoring at the local level. The Regional Implementation Teams were singled out for being particularly effective with the support of the CEPF grant directors in linking the key elements of comprehensive, vertically integrated portfolios such as large anchor projects, smaller grassroots activities, policy initiatives, governmental collaboration, and sustainable financing. The responsibilities of these teams, formerly known as Coordination Units, have been standardized and expanded to capture the most important aspects of their function. Responsibilities of new teams selected beginning in 2007 will include (i) acting as an extension service to assist local groups in designing, implementing and replicating successful conservation activities; (ii) reviewing all grant applications and managing external reviews; and (iii) direct decision-making authority for grants up to $20,000 and deciding jointly with the CEPF Secretariat on other applications.

4c: CEPF Secretariat: CI will administer and execute the global program. 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 global program. This includes supervision of the ecosystem profiling process, training and management of the Regional Implementation Teams, and overall ecosystem portfolio development, monitoring and reporting to ensure that all activities and financial management are carried out in compliance with CEPF Donor Council decisions and the CEPF Operational Manual, which contains the specific operating policies and procedures of the Fund and has been updated to reflect this new framework. The Secretariat also negotiates, manages, and monitors grants for multi-regional activities, which will be endorsed by the relevant Regional Implementation Teams and external review to ascertain strategic fit with the profiles. The Secretariat is also responsible for fundraising, financial management, donor coordination, and global information management and outreach, including management of the program’s global Web site (www.cepf.net), newsletter and publication production, and development and implementation of a program-wide replication and dissemination strategy for lessons learned and good practice.

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