WHERE we do it
Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot
In September 2010 the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) appointed the Wildlands Conservation Trust as the Regional Implementation Team for a $6,650,000 investment in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot. In this role Wildlands is charged to provide strategic leadership and effective coordination for a portfolio of grants in the Region. CEPF’s donors authorise a period of five years for grant-making. The formal period in Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany is from 1 September 2010 through to 31 August 2015.
Everyone depends on the Earth’s ecosystems and their life-sustaining benefits, such as clean air, fresh water and healthy soils. Founded in 2000, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has become a global leader in enabling civil society to participate in, and benefit from, conserving some of the world’s most critical ecosystems. CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.
CEPF provides grants for non-governmental and other private organisations to help protect biodiversity hotspots – Earth’s most biologically rich and threatened areas. The convergence of critical areas for conservation, with millions of people who are impoverished and highly dependent on healthy ecosystems, is more evident in the hotspots than anywhere else.
CEPF is unique among funding mechanisms in that it focuses on biological areas, rather than political boundaries, and examines conservation threats on a landscape-scale basis. From this perspective, CEPF seeks to identify and support a regional, rather than a national, approach to achieving conservation outcomes, and engages a wide range of public and private institutions to address conservation needs through coordinated
About the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot
The Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot unites four enchanting and diverse centers of endemism (Maputaland, Pondoland, Albany and recently the Sneeuberg) culminating six of South Africa’s eight biomes in an area of nearly 275,000 km² along the East Coast of Southern Africa, below the Great Escarpment. The hotspot is the second-richest floristic region in southern Africa (after the Cape Floristic Region) and also the second-richest floristic region in Africa for its size. It is, at a habitat level, one type of forest where at least 598 tree species occur, with three types of endemic subtropical thicket, six types of bushveld and five types of grasslands being unique to the hotspot. The coastal waters of this hotspot, which encompass three of South Africa’s six marine bioregions, are also significant at a global level for their diversity of marine species.
Paralleling the natural, cultural and socio-economic diversity of this region is incredibly high. From residents within the urban centers of Maputo, Durban and Port Elizabeth, to commercial farmers and foresters, to traditional pastoral cultures of the Zulu, Xhosa and Swazi and artisanal fishing culture in Mozambique, all of these are dependent on the region’s natural resources for their well-being and livelihoods. The CEPF investment in this region is critical to stem the threats, balance human and natural needs, and conserve this unique part of the world.
- Strengthen protection and management in under-capacitated and emerging protected areas in 3 priority key biodiversity areas.
- Expand conservation areas and improve land use in 19 key biodiversity areas through innovative approaches.
- Maintain and restore ecosystem function and integrity in the Highland Grasslands and Pondoland corridors.
- Create an enabling environment to improve conservation and management of Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany priority sites.
To date, CEPF has allocated $6 million in grants to 47 civil society organisations in the Hotspot. In line with the Investment Strategy (Ecosystem Profile) for the region, grants are awarded in specific geographic locations, called Key Biodiversity Areas. In the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot, 22 Key Biodiversity Areas have been identified for funding and, to date, grants have been made in 18 of those.