The CEPF investment in the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot began in 2010, where a process of creating an Ecosystem Profile of the region was undertaken. Since 2012 CEPF has been granting funds to civil society organizations in the Mediterranean Basin, following the investment strategy set out in the Ecosystem Profile. The BirdLife Partnership lead on the preparation of the Ecosystem Profile, and with the support of CEPF has been running the Regional Implementation Team for the Mediterranean, which has led grant making in the region and safeguarding globally threatened species and critical sites in the Mediterranean Basin.
Presently, the CEPF is developing a new Investment Strategy for the Mediterranean region, where a new funding round for the coming 5 years for the region is expected to start in mid-2017. Thereby, the process of updating the Ecosystem Profile and taking on board new data and socio-economic changes to the region is currently taking place, and consisting of extensive consultation of stakeholders involved in biodiversity conservation in the region.
Updating the ecosystem profile started from national level through data collection from national reports and biodiversity experts. This was followed by national workshops during the period of September – October 2016 for review of the collated data by all relevant stakeholders.
As a next step, CEPF organized a regional validation workshop in Tangier, Morocco from 25 – 26 October 2016. The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the previous period of fund granting and highlight lessons learned. Then, to review collected updated data, provide overview on identified threats and potential solutions. Based on that, potential strategic directions and investment priorities were discussed.
Eight strategic directions were discussed then prioritized into 5 as follows:
SD 1: Support civil society to engage stakeholders in demonstrating integrated approaches for the preservation of biodiversity in coastal areas
SD 2: Support the sustainable management of water catchments through integrated approaches for the conservation of threatened freshwater biodiversity.
SD 3: Promote the maintenance of traditional land use practices necessary for the conservation of Mediterranean biodiversity in priority production landscapes of high cultural and biodiversity value
SD 4: Strengthen the engagement of civil society to support the conservation of plants that are critically endangered or have highly restricted ranges
SD 5: Strengthen the regional conservation community through the sharing of best practices and knowledge among grantees across the region
These strategic directions will be the basis for grant making for NGOs which is expected to start in July 2017.