Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
Organizational profile: The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is 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. CEPF was founded in 2000 to address threats to biodiversity by empowering civil society in developing countries and transitional economies to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots, which are some of Earth's most biologically rich yet threatened terrestrial ecosystems.
By supporting the development of conservation strategies driven by local input, and providing grants to civil society—nongovernmental, private sector and academic organizations—to implement those strategies, CEPF seeks to protect biodiversity, build local conservation leadership and nurture sustainable development. They believe this is the most effective path to conservation and communities that flourish.
Financing Instrument: Grants, Technical Assistance
Project scale: CEPF awards two types of grants: small and large. The average size of small grants is about US$15,000. The average size of large grants is about US$150,000. Grants more than US$500,000 are awarded only in exceptional cases.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: CEPF currently works in Cerrado, Eastern Afromontane, East Melanesian Islands, Guinean Forests of West Africa, Indo-Burma, Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands, Mediterranean Basin, Mountains of Central Asia, Tropical Andes, and Wallacea
Eligibility Criteria: If you represent a government-owned enterprise or institution, you are eligible only if you can establish that the enterprise or institution:
- Has a legal personality independent of any government agency or actor
- Has the authority to apply for and receive private funds
- May not assert a claim of sovereign immunity
To be considered for CEPF funding, a project must be located within a biodiversity hotspot where CEPF currently works. The list of eligible countries is listed under each open call for proposals. If you are proposing project activities in a country that is not listed, please check with the CEPF Secretariat or the relevant regional implementation team before preparing your application. Grants cannot be used for: the purchase of land, the removal or alteration of any physical cultural property (including those with archaeological, palaeontological, historical, religious or unique natural values), the relocation of people or any other form of involuntary resettlement, or the capitalization of trust funds. The project must also support at least one strategic direction outlined in the CEPF ecosystem profile for the hotspot.
Application guidelines: CEPF only accepts grant applications during open calls for proposals. During an open call, applicants are asked to submit a "letter of inquiry", which is a brief explanation of their project idea. Open calls are posted on their open calls for proposals page. Each call for proposals includes important details about the projects that are eligible. Review the information in the call to find out:
- Countries where the project can take place
- Strategic directions – the conservation objectives that CEPF-funded projects must contribute to
- Language(s) that the letter of inquiry can be written in
- Due date
- Where you can send questions