IUCN Oceania has partnered with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to administer a new grant scheme for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot. IUCN Oceania will act as the Regional Implementation Team, providing strategic leadership for CEPF's investment
CEPF announced in July 2013 that it will invest $9 million in the island nations of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, as well as the islands region of Papua New Guinea, to help conserve the rich, natural wealth of the area and its many benefits to local communities. Accelerating levels of habitat loss caused by widespread commercial logging and mining, expansion of subsistence and plantation agriculture, over-exploitation of natural resources, invasive species and climate change are threatening the hotspot’s high numbers of endemic (unique) species.
IUCN Oceania will lead the implementation of the grant for an eight-year period from 2013 to 2021, overseeing the investment to support conservation in 20 key biodiversity areas covering a total area of 1.5 million hectares. Central to the sustainability strategy of the CEPF investment in the hotspot will be an explicit focus on capacity building for local and national civil society through partnerships, networks and mentoring. The strategy for the hotspot is detailed in the ecosystem profile summary. The first call for proposals will be announced in August 2013 where interested organizations can apply for the grants.