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Eastern Arc Mountains
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Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests
The Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya region runs along the coasts of these two East African countries and includes Zanzibar.
The region has two distinct habitats - the Coastal Forests and the Eastern Arc Mountains. Together, they are home to 333 globally threatened species, including the Critically Endangered Aders’ duiker (Cephalophus adersi) and the Endangered Zanzibar or Kirk’s red colobus (Procolobus kirkii), which is found only in Zanzibar’s Jozani Forest.
Previously classified as a biodiversity hotspot itself, the region now lies within two hotspots—the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot and the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa Hotspot—identified as part of a hotspots reappraisal released in 2005.
The habitats are notably fragmented, making threatened species within key sites highly vulnerable to extinction and further habitat loss. Agricultural encroachment, timber extraction, and charcoal production are the greatest threats to habitat, although weak management capacity within government and communities is a serious issue.
Within the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) aims to improve knowledge and appreciation of biodiversity among the local populations and stimulate support for conservation.
In conjunction with this, a commitment to scientific best practices will improve biological knowledge in the region and show practical applications of conservation science.
The strategy is underpinned by conservation outcomes - targets against which the success of investments can be measured. These targets are defined at three levels: species (extinctions avoided), sites (areas protected), and landscapes (corridors created).
As a result, CEPF investment is focused on conserving the region's 333 globally threatened species, which are primarily found in 160 sites. Key parts of the strategy focus on select sites for maximum impact and on the linkages between people and conservation.
The five-year strategy, called an ecosystem profile and approved by the CEPF Donor Council in 2003, builds on the results of a number of studies and workshops with diverse stakeholders. CEPF began awarding grants in this region in 2004 and, together with partners, is now actively managing and expanding its investment portfolio.
Five strategic directions and related investment priorities guide CEPF's approach in this region. Each project must be linked to one of the strategic directions to be approved for funding.
- Increase the ability of local populations to benefit from and contribute to biodiversity conservation, especially in and around Lower Tana River Forests; Taita Hills; East Usambaras/Tanga; Udzungwas; and Jozani Forest.
- Restore and increase connectivity among fragmented forest patches, especially in Lower Tana River Forests; Taita Hills; East Usambaras/Tanga; and Udzungwas.
- Improve biological knowledge (all 160 sites eligible).
- Establish a small grants program (all 160 sites eligible) that focuses on Critically Endangered species and small-scale efforts to increase connectivity of biologically important habitat patches.
- Develop and support efforts for further fundraising.