CEPF Indo-Burma Phase II (2013-2018)
IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF – cepf.net) have launched a US$10.4 million, five-year investment for conservation of globally important biodiversity in the “Indo-Burma Hotspot”. This region ranks amongst the world’s top 10 biodiversity “hotspots”, a term which is used to describe the planet’s most biologically rich and threatened regions.

During the first phase of CEPF funding in Indo-Burma, more than 60 civil society groups were engaged in conservation projects that strengthened the protection of 2 million hectares of natural habitat and delivered livelihood benefits to over a 100 communities. Building upon these successes, the second phase of CEPF investment will attempt to bridge the gap between the needs of development and conservation, improve protection and management of priority sites and species, and build capacity of the region’s conservation community.

IUCN, in partnership with the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (kfbg.org.hk), and the Myanmar Environmental Rehabilitation-conservation Network (MERN – mernmyanmar.org) are leading this new phase of investment in the region by CEPF. Small (up to $20,000) and large (more than $20,000) grants will be made to civil society organisation – both NGOs and the private sector.

The first call for proposals was issued on July 29th and covered Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and China, and that we received 228 LoIs in response.

Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot
The Indo-Burma hotspot covers all the non-marine parts of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as parts of southern China. Investments target 5 key geographies: the Sino-Vietnamese Limestone, Mekong River and Major Tributaries, Tonle Sap Lake and Inundation Zone, and Hainan Mountains biodiversity conservation corridors, plus Myanmar. The region has a wealth of flora and fauna, including a huge diversity of freshwater turtle and tortoise species (most of which are threatened with extinction due to over-harvesting and habitat loss), and over 1,200 bird species. Six large mammal species have been discovered in this region over the last two decades.

Covering over 2 million km2 of tropical Asia, Indo-Burma is one of the most threatened global biodiversity hotspots. Only 5% of its natural habitat remains in a somewhat pristine condition. Rising human population combined with economic development is placing intense and unforeseen pressure on the region. As a significant proportion of the population live in rural areas, and there are high levels of poverty throughout the region, natural resources associated with freshwater wetlands, coastal habitats and forests form vital sources of income for the human population. As a result, conservation of biodiversity and poverty alleviation are integrally connected.