A project conserving biodiversity and unique landscapes has launched in Central Asia
Multiple protected areas, national parks, and unique landscapes will also benefit from conservation actions. There are over 1500 Key Biodiversity Areas in the world. The Central Asian mountain region contains 145 of them.
The total project budget is 8 million USD. The project is financed by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. Developing the participation by Civil Society organizations in biodiversity conservation is one of the main goals of CEPF.
WWF Russia will act as coordinator of the project in the Central Asia region.
“The program will involve grantmaking to not for profit organizations, working in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan, says Grigory Mazmaniants, Director of the Central Asian program of WWF-Russia, - organizations working in China may become eligible to receive grants at a later time.”
“CEPF's investments are especially important because the biodiversity hotspots are home to millions of people who are highly dependent on nature for survival, comments Grant Director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Daniel Rothberg. - While a lot of global conservation funding is directed to governments, experience has shown us that engaging with and strengthening local civil society in the developing and transitional countries of the biodiversity hotspots is critical to the long-term success of conservation. Nongovernmental groups bring innovative ideas and practical solutions, as well as participatory approaches, to solving local challenges. This positions them to serve as trusted partners of government, as both seek to secure vital resources for the long-term benefit of local communities while also contributing to global conservation and sustainable development goals.”
Not for profit organizations can access two types of grants: small grants (up to 20,000 USD) and large grants (typically between 20,000 USD and 150,000 USD). Prior work by CEPF shows that such programs allow the conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas in the project area, as well as to considerably influence the long term development of civil society organizations.