Call for Letters of Inquiry: Indo-Burma Hotspot

29 July 2013 | Article

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is designed to safeguard Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened regions, known as biodiversity hotspots. CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in its role as the Regional Implementation Team (RIT), and CEPF invite Letters of Inquiry (LoIs) from non-government organisations, community groups, private companies and other civil society organisations for biodiversity conservation projects in the Indo-Burma Hotspot.

The Indo-Burma Hotspot comprises all non-marine parts of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, plus parts of southern China. With its high levels of plant and animal endemism, and limited remaining natural habitat, Indo-Burma ranks among the top 10 biodiversity hotspots for irreplaceability and the top five for threat. Indo-Burma holds more people than any other hotspot, and its remaining natural ecosystems, already greatly reduced in extent, are subject to intense and growing pressure from habitat loss and over-exploitation of natural resources.

In 2013, CEPF will complete its first five-year investment phase in the hotspot and launch a second phase. The second phase of CEPF investment will focus on the highest priorities for conservation in four priority corridors plus Myanmar, and address threats to 151 priority species. The CEPF investment strategy will attempt to bridge the gap between development and conservation needs, improve protection and management of priority sites and species, and support the development of the civil society component of the hotspot’s conservation community.

This is the first call for LoIs issued by IUCN and CEPF for the Indo-Burma Hotspot under the second phase of investment (2013-2018). The deadline for receipt of LoIs is 17:30 (Bangkok time) on Monday 9th September 2013 but applicants are encouraged to submit prior to the deadline, in order that review and processing of their applications can begin sooner. This call for LoIs covers Strategic Directions 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 in the ecosystem profile, and covers projects in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR and Thailand.

It is important that applicants familiarise themselves with the investment strategy for the Indo-Burma Hotspot, which is summarised in Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese and available in full in English as part of the ecosystem profile for the hotspot. 

Please note that preference will be given to projects that are the closest fit to the investment strategy and demonstrate a leading role for local civil society organizations. IUCN and CEPF welcome applications from grantees under the first phase, as well as organizations that have not yet received CEPF funding.

Strategic Direction 1. Safeguard priority globally threatened species by mitigating major threats

IUCN and CEPF invite proposals that address one or more of the following investment priorities:

1.1 Transform pilot interventions for core populations of priority species into long-term conservation programs
1.2 Develop best-practice approaches for conservation of highly threatened and endemic freshwater species
1.3 Conduct research on globally threatened species for which there is a need for greatly improved information on status and distribution
1.4 Support existing funds to become effective tools for the conservation of priority species in the hotspot

Strategic Direction 2. Demonstrate innovative responses to illegal trafficking and consumption of wildlife

IUCN and CEPF invite proposals that address one or more of the following investment priorities:

2.1 Support enforcement agencies to unravel high-level wildlife trade networks by introducing them to global best practice with investigations and informants
2.2 Facilitate collaboration among enforcement agencies and non-traditional actors to reduce cross-border trafficking of wildlife
2.3 Work with selected private sector companies to promote the adoption of voluntary restrictions on the international transportation, sale and consumption of wildlife
2.4 Support campaigns, social marketing, hotlines and other long-term communication programs to reduce consumer demand for wildlife and build public support for wildlife law enforcement

Strategic Direction 4. Empower local communities to engage in conservation and management of priority key biodiversity areas

IUCN and CEPF invite proposals that address one or more of the following investment priorities:

4.1 Raise awareness about biodiversity conservation legislation among target groups at priority sites
4.2 Pilot and amplify community forests, community fisheries and community-managed protected areas
4.3 Develop co-management mechanisms for formal protected areas that enable community participation in all levels of management
4.4 Conduct a gap analysis of key biodiversity areas in Myanmar and support expansion of the protected area network using community-based models

Strategic Direction 6. Engage key actors in mainstreaming biodiversity, communities and livelihoods into development planning in the priority corridors

IUCN and CEPF invite proposals that address one or more of the following investment priorities:

6.1 Support civil society efforts to analyze development policies, plans and programs, evaluate their impact on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods and propose alternative development scenarios and appropriate mitigating measures where needed
6.2 Integrate the biodiversity and ecosystem service values of priority corridors into land-use and development planning at all levels
6.3 Develop protocols and demonstration projects for ecological restoration that improve the biodiversity performance of national forestry programs
6.4 Engage the media as a tool to increase awareness and inform public debate of environmental issues

Strategic Direction 8. Strengthen the capacity of civil society to work on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods at regional, national, local and grassroots levels

IUCN and CEPF invite proposals that address one or more of the following investment priorities:

8.1 Support networking activities that enable collective civil society responses to priority and emerging threats
8.2 Provide core support for the organizational development of domestic civil society organizations
8.3 Establish clearing house mechanisms to match volunteers to civil society organizations’ training needs

Within the broad swathe of non-governmental entities active in the hotspot, those that best exemplify civil society and can build local civil society capacity are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications that engage civil society actors that may not otherwise be eligible or able to apply (for example, community groups) are also encouraged. Further, individuals are encouraged to work with civil society organisations to develop applications, rather than to apply directly. Anyone who is uncertain of their eligibility to apply for CEPF funding should contact the RIT at CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org

Grants cannot be used for: (i) purchase of land; (ii) removal or alteration of any physical cultural property (including those with archaeological, palaeontological, historical, religious or unique natural values); (iii) relocation of people or any other form of involuntary resettlement; or (iv) capitalizing a trust fund. All activities must comply with CEPF’s social and environmental safeguard policies, which can be found at http://www.cepf.net/grants/Pages/safeguard_policies.aspx

CEPF supports biodiversity conservation through two types of grants: large grants of over US$20,000 and small grants of US$20,000 or less. All applicants must submit an LoI. Applications for small grants can be made in local languages, currently Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese. The LoI form is available at http://www.cepf.net/grants/apply/Pages/default.aspx. Before submitting formal LoIs, applicants are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas and eligibility with the RIT at CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org

Completed LoIs for large grant projects over US$20,000 should be sent as an e-mail attachment to cepfgrants@conservation.org. Receipt of the application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate team member. Applicants will be contacted thereafter as to how to proceed. Questions or concerns during this process can be sent to cepfgrants@conservation.org

Completed LoIs for small grant projects of US$20,000 or less should be sent as an e-mail attachment to CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org. Receipt of the application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate team member. Applicants will be contacted thereafter as to how to proceed. Questions or concerns during this process can be sent to CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org.

Please note that hardcopy LoIs are not acceptable.

Further information and assistance can be obtained from:

CEPF Regional Implementation Team
IUCN Asia Regional Office,
63 Sukhumvit Soi 39, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Email: CEPF-Indoburma@iucn.org
Tel: +66 2 662 4029 (Ext 152)
Fax: +66 2 662 4387