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Премия рунета 2017

CEPF Mountains of Central Asia Mid-Term Assessment

24 october 2022
Mid-term Assessment of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund’s Grants for Civil Society Organizations Promoting Conservation of Biodiversity in the “Mountains of Central Asia” biodiversity hotspot was held in Almaty (Kazakhstan). Mountains of Central Asia

In 2019, a 5-year program for the conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in the mountains of Central Asia was launched, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), with WWF Russia’s Central Asian program acting as the Regional Implementation Team (RIT).

The main goal of the program is to preserve key areas of biodiversity and support civil society organizations in the Central Asian mountain region. Some of the priority wildlife species for the program are snow leopard, Bukhara deer, urial, Steppe Eagle, Sievers apple tree, Semirechensk salamander, and others, with 30 priority species in total.

The meeting was high-level, with CEPF’s Executive Director Olivier Langrand, WWF Russia Executive Director Piotr Gorbunenko, WWF Russia Environmental Programs Director Victoria Elias, CEPF Grants Director Daniel Rothberg, Director of the WWF Central Asian Program Grigory Mazmaniants, Scientific advisor Olga Pereladova, WWF Program Manager Yelizaveta Protas and regional coordinators in attendance.

During the meeting, the Grant director and the RIT presented an analysis of the implementation, as well as gaps, and challenges of the project. After, the group discussed possible changes to the strategy and implementation going forward.

(c) WWF Russia

As of now, 68 grants have been made throughout the Hotspot in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and one grant in Afghanistan.

"In general, the meeting was very positive. We had really good interaction between the participants who were constantly involved in the discussion process, offered ideas, shared various problems and, at the same time, jointly looked for ways to solve them. Now is not the time to be critical or pessimistic, this is the time to be optimistic and think about how to use the remaining funds of the program in the best possible way. Despite the challenges, including the global Covid-19 pandemic, which began at the start of the program, and several instances of political unrest in the region, we had a very constructive meeting and a plan for going forward" Said Grant director, Daniel Rothberg.
(c) WWF Russia

Special attention was paid at the meeting to the strategic document of the program, written in 2017. Thus, representatives of CEPF, WWF and ARGO discussed the key points of the strategy, ranging from eliminating threats to priority species, improve management of priority sites with and without official protection status, working with local residents and developing the potential of civil society.

"The purpose of the meeting was to look at our results up until now: what were the initial goals and priorities, and what was achieved by today, roughly the middle of the program. Based on the discussions during the assessment meeting, we can come up with a way forward and adjust priorities as needed," says WWF project manager Yelizaveta Protas.

At the end of the meeting, the participants went on a field trip to inspect project implementation sites in the mountains of  the Dzungarian Alatau. Two grant projects are being implemented in this area: “Sustainable Tourism in the Dzungaria Corridor of Kazakhstan” implemented by the Republican Association of Hunting Communities and Farms "Tabigat" -  and “Advancing Cooperative Biodiversity Conservation in Kazakhstan’s Dzungaria Ecological Corridor”, implemented by the Association for Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) –. Trip participants got acquainted with the work of the organizations, observed the sites, and discussed the further progress of the projects.

(c) WWF Russia

The conservation grant program for the Mountains of Central Asia Biodiversity Hotspot is coordinated by WWF Russia and funded 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.