CEPF Mediterranean Basin Storymap: the spice of life

CEPF created this Storymap to showcase the work partners have been doing.

Stretching from Cape Verde to eastern Turkey, the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot is identified as one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots, earth’s most biologically rich, yet threatened, areas.

The Mediterranean Basin is also special because of its cultural diversity and deep historical and cultural richness – necessitating a local approachto conservation so that it benefits both people and biodiversity.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)represents a new approach to conservation by enabling civil society to participate in and influence the protection and management of some of the world’s most critical ecosystems.

Visualize the Mediterranean Basin

Imagine bee-eaters, cave salamanders, geckos, macaques, dragonflies, pelicans for a flavour of the faunal diversity the Mediterranean Basin harbours – many only found in the region.

Covering more than 2 million square kilometres, the Mediterranean Basin is ranked as the third-richest biodiversity hotspot in the world in terms of its plant diversity.

Approximately 13,000 of its 30,000 plant species are endemic (or unique) to the hotspot, and many more are being discovered each year.

Explore the map opposite, which shows all the important sites with threatened biodiversity (the Key Biodiversity Areas or KBAs) in the Mediterranean Basin, and where priority conservation projects are making an impact with investment from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

When you zoom in, imagine the people and organisations working hard on the ground in developing countries to protect these natural sites.

Click here to view this map as a satellite image

Why is the Mediterranean Basin so threatened?

Rapid economic development and an increasing human population are creating unprecedented pressures on the natural resources in the Mediterranean Basin.


  • 135 million people live in the Mediterranean Basin (7% of the world’s population who rely on its natural resources for water, food, electricity and more)
  • 220 million tourists a year (32% of the world’s international tourism)


This results in huge pressures from both residents and visitors that threaten the Mediterranean’s remaining natural habitats.


Lack of effective planning and management systems to control these pressures compound the problem, leading to massive increases in natural resource exploitation, pollution of freshwater bodies and the marine environment, and conversion of natural habitats to other land uses.

How can we best tackle these threats to the Mediterranean?

Nature is local. Impacts are felt locally.  CEPF supports a local approach to nature conservation.


Biologists will tell you that biological diversity is important to the resilience of ecosystems. Likewise, cultural diversity is important to the future of the Mediterranean Basin.


Local communities need to be involved with conservation projects from the outset for them to be sustainable and equitable.


Civil society organisations are also ideally-placed for stimulating partnerships between governments and the corporate sector towards the conservation of biodiversity.


We think this grantee video from the Balkans epitomizes these values (right).


…by investing in civil society


​An additional $1.2 million in funding provided by the MAVA Foundation.


The funding is strategically guided by the Ecosystem Profile so that coastal zones, freshwater bodies, KBAs and their wildlife are conserved.

CEPF: Together for Biodiversity in the Med

CEPF is more than just a funding provider.


A dedicated Regional Implementation Team (RIT) (expert officers on the ground) guides funding to the most important areas and to even the smallest of organisations.

In the Mediterranean Basin, the RIT is entrusted to BirdLife International and its national Partners LPO and DOPPS, and gives grantees:

This money builds the capacity of grassroots civil society organisations in developing countries and supports finding local conservation solutions.

What have we achieved so far in the Mediterranean?

  • 6 new protected areas have been created, totalling 28,000 hectares of protected terrestrial ecosystems.
  • 38 Mediterranean KBAs with conservation projects (72% of eligible KBAs).
  • Currents grants are improving the management of 26 protected areas(representing 370,000 hectares).


for more info:

Check Also


As part of a micro-project funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the French Facility for …

%d bloggers like this: