Twenty million dollars to protect endangered hotspots
Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com
January 14, 2008
Conservation International and the World Bank have signed an agreement for 20 million dollars of funding to protect bio-diverse hotspots. Ten new conservation projects will be funded, including programs in Micronesia, Polynesia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean Basin, and temperate forests in South Africa. The funds are being provided by the Global Environmental Facility, which brings together 178 governments to support global environmental initiatives.
The funds will be available as grants through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), which is overseen by Conservation International. CEPF has a long record of conservation; it has supported 1,200 environmental groups in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, protecting more than 24 million acres. Jorgen Thomsen, CEPF Executive Director and Conservation International Senior Vice President stated that “this new funding represents a significant opportunity to scale up conservation efforts and make a difference where it matters most.”
According to Warren Evans, World Bank Director of Environment, the conservation funds are not just to protect fragile ecosystems. They are also meant to “help us continue to find solutions that allow poor people in these hotspots to have a better way of life”. It is estimated that 1.8 billion people live in or near hotspots of biodiversity.
Along with Conservation International and the World Bank, the CEPF program is further supported by l’Agence Française de Développement, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.