The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is designed to safeguard the Earth’s biologically rich and most threatened regions known as biodiversity hotspots. It is a joint initiative of Conservation International (CI), l'Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the European Union (EU), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. CEPF is a unique funding mechanism in that it focuses on high-priority biological areas rather than political boundaries, and examines conservation threats on a landscape scale. It is from this perspective that CEPF seeks to address conservation needs through coordinated regional efforts. Its fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
Vanuatu has been identified to be within the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot The hotspot is one of the most biologically important regions in the planet in terms of species richness and especially endemism. CEPF’s investment will be targeted where it can make the greatest and most sustained contribution to the conservation of globally important biodiversity.
An ecosystem profile for the hotspot was developed through a process of consultation and desk study led by the University of the South Pacific, various expert stakeholders, consultation processes and workshops .An outcome of the Ecosystem Profiling exercise was the development of CEPF’s Investment Strategy that received endorsement from national governments within the hotspot. The niche for CEPF investment was defined through an extensive process of stakeholder consultation supported by a detailed analysis of gaps and trends in conservation investment.
The CEPF Secretariat based in USA, is responsible for strategic and financial management, oversight, and reporting for the program. The CEPF Secretariat has the responsibility of managing CEPF large grants, of USD$20,000 or more.
The Regional Implementaion Team (RIT) provides strategic leadership for the EMI program. Their objective is to convert the plans in the CEPF ecosystem profiles into cohesive portfolios of grants. A critical aspect of the RIT will be making the CEPF program accessible to local and civil society organizations. IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office (ORO) is the RIT and is responsible for managing CEPF small grants of USD $20,000 or less.
It is essential that applicants familiarize themselves with the investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot, which is contained within the ecosystem profile.
Please note that preference will be given to projects that are the closest fit to the investment strategy and demonstrate a leading role for local civil society organizations. IUCN and CEPF particularly welcome applications from local and grassroots organizations (for example community groups, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and private companies). Individuals are encouraged to work with civil society organizations to develop applications, rather than to apply directly. Anyone who is uncertain of their eligibility to apply for CEPF funding should contact the RIT at
All applicants must submit an LOI in English. The LOI template and application guidelines areavailable on both the CEPF website and IUCN website. Before submitting formal LOIs, applicants are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas and eligibility with the RIT at
Further Information and Support
For general questions about this call for proposals, please contact the CEPF regional implementation team at IUCN Oceania.
5, Ma'afu Street, Suva, Fiji
Tel: +679331 9084 | Fax: +679 310 0128
For specific questions related to this call, you may also contact:
Regional Implementation Team Project Manager
Country Coordinator for Vanuatu