Revolutionary global environment fund announces $50M expansion

This release is also available in French.

Arlington, Virginia (July 11, 2007) A global environment fund that revolutionized how international partners work together to protect the worlds biologically richest and most threatened regions today announced $50 million in new funding.

The French Development Agency (AFD) becomes the sixth partner to commit $25 million to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). In addition, Conservation International (CI), a founding partner, agreed to match the AFD commitment dollar-for-dollar, which doubles CIs total contribution to date to $50 million.

Millions of people are directly dependent on biodiversity for their livelihoods, so saving it is a condition for their development, said Jean-Michel Severino, the AFD director general. In CEPF, we are joining an alliance of donors who pool their resources and expertise to have a greater impact on the preservation of poor countries most precious capital their natural environment.

The other CEPF partners are the World Bank, the Government of Japan, the Global Environment Facility, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Since its inception in 2000, CEPF has helped protect nearly 10 million hectares an area larger than Portugal of Earths richest biodiversity while influencing government policies in dozens of countries. With the new funding, CEPF will expand to the Indochina region of Indo-Burma; the remote Pacific island nations of Micronesia, tropical Polynesia, and Fiji in Polynesia-Micronesia; and the Western Ghats region of southern India.

These biodiversity hotspots are among 34 regions identified by CI as containing a high percentage of species found nowhere else and facing extreme risk, with at least 70 percent of their natural vegetation already lost. In Indo-Burma, only 5 percent remains in pristine condit

Contact: Tom Cohen
Conservation International

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