CEPF in the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot

In July 2013, IUCN and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) launched a $9 million, eight-year investment portfolio to conserve the globally important biodiversity found in the East Melanesian Islands.


CEPF funds non-governmental efforts to conserve the world’s most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems. CEPF is a joint program of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. 

Over the eight-year time period from 2013-2021, CEPF will invest US$9 million in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and the island regions of Papua New Guinea (the provinces of Manus, New Ireland, East New Britain and West New Britain plus the Autonomous Region of Bougainville), to help conserve the rich, natural wealth of the hotspot and the many benefits this brings to people. Accelerating levels of habitat loss, widespread commercial logging, mining, expansion of subsistence and plantation agriculture, human population increase and impacts of climate change are threatening the hotspot’s biodiversity, including high numbers of endemic (unique) species.

How it works

IUCN is acting as the CEPF Regional Implementation Team, overseeing CEPF’s investment to support conservation in 20 key biodiversity areas covering a total area of 1.5 million hectares in the hotspot. CEPF's strategy recognizes local communities as the ultimate custodians of biodiversity, and a range of approaches will be explicitly employed to empower communities, create partnerships, mentor, and build supportive networks of civil society organizations at local, national and regional levels.  

The CEPF investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot has five strategic directions:

  1. Empower local communities to protect and manage globally significant biodiversity at priority key biodiversity areas underserved by current conservation efforts.
  2. Integrate biodiversity conservation into local land-use and development planning.
  3. Safeguard priority globally threatened species by addressing major threats and information gaps.
  4. Increase local, national and regional capacity to conserve biodiversity through catalyzing civil society partnerships.
  5. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of conservation investment through a regional implementation team.

The strategy for the hotspot is detailed in the ecosystem profile and ecosystem profile summaries which can be downloaded from this page.

For questions or enquiries

Contact us at cepfeastmelanesia@iucn.org, tel: +679 331 9084, fax: + 679 310 0128.

  • The CEPF EMI Hotspot

    The CEPF EMI Hotspot

    Photo: CEPF/CI

  • A woman from Malaita Province performs a traditional dance, Solomon Islands.

    A woman from Malaita Province performs a traditional dance, Solomon Islands.

    Photo: IUCN

  • Girls in a traditional ceremony in a village in Papua New Guinea.

    Girls in a traditional ceremony in a village in Papua New Guinea.

    Photo: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/Marine Photobank