The Indo-Burma Hotspot
The Indo-Burma Hotspot comprises all non-marine parts of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, plus parts of southern China. With its high levels of plant and animal endemism, and limited remaining natural habitat, Indo-Burma ranks among the top 10 biodiversity hotspots for irreplaceability and the top five for threat.
The future of much of Indo-Burma’s ecosystems and species hangs in the balance. Only 5% of the area’s natural habitat is considered to remain pristine and nearly 37% of the key biodiversity areas in the region are not under any formal protection.
Indo-Burma holds more people than any other hotspot, and its remaining natural ecosystems are exposed to combined threats from rapid economic development, expansion of agriculture and infrastructure, and unsustainable natural resource exploitation. The situation is exacerbated by illegal wildlife trade and lack of resources and incentives for effective law enforcement as well as conservation planning and action.
IUCN and CEPF, working together with civil society to protect Indo-Burma
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global program that provides grants to nongovernmental organizations and other private sector partners to protect critical ecosystems.
IUCN is leading the second phase (2013-2018) of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund’s (CEPF) work in the Indo-Burma hotspot, working together with the Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-conservation Network (MERN) and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) to form the CEPF Regional Implementation Team (RIT).
CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. The fundamental goal of this funding mechanism is to ensure that civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
The total value of this conservation investment in the Indo-Burma hotspot is USD10.4 million. The fund aims to bridge the gap between Indo-Burma's development and conservation needs by improving protection and management of priority sites and species, and support the development of the civil society component of the hotspot’s conservation community. The investment is guided by a strategy known as an “ecosystem profile.”
- safeguarding priority species by mitigating threats;
- demonstrating innovative responses to illegal wildlife trade;
- empowering communities to engage in conservation and management of priority key biodiversity areas;
- mainstreaming biodiversity, communities, and livelihoods into development planning in priority corridors; and
- building capacity of civil society to work on biodiversity, communities, and livelihoods.
Civil society participation
Working with civil society is central to the approach and provides a vital opportunity to bring global and regional scientists together with representatives from local communities to assess key conservation issues, plan effective conservation action and develop a long-term roadmap for future efforts.