Exploring Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Grants (Grants exceeding US$500,000) – APPLY NOW

The CEPF is crucial for protecting the world’s most important ecosystems. It provides grants to address the specific challenges faced by biodiversity hotspots, promoting collaboration for sustainable development and environmental protection.

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Grants
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Grants

History of CEPF

CEPF was established in 2000 as a joint initiative of Conservation International (CI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, and the Japanese government. It was created in response to the recognition that biodiversity conservation efforts needed a more comprehensive, collaborative, and strategic approach.

Objectives of CEPF Grants

CEPF grants have multiple goals and objectives they may include:

  • Preserving Biodiversity: Encourage the protection of important ecosystems and the creatures that live in them.
  • Promoting Sustainable Development: Back projects that combine biodiversity conservation with sustainable development, ensuring the welfare of nearby communities.
  • Empowering Communities: Enable local communities to actively engage in conservation initiatives, acknowledging their responsibility as guardians of biodiversity.
  • Developing Skills: Strengthen the abilities of local organizations and individuals to carry out successful conservation strategies.

Types of CEPF Grants

CEPF provides a range of grants designed to meet the different requirements of biodiversity hotspots:

  • Major Grants: Back major projects that have a significant influence on biodiversity preservation and sustainable development.
  • Minor Grants: Support grassroots initiatives, allowing local organizations and community groups to carry out smaller projects.
  • Focused Grants: Address specific challenges and opportunities within a biodiversity hotspot through targeted interventions.

Grant Amount

CEPF offers two types of grants: small and large. Small grants are usually around US$15,000, while large grants are approximately US$150,000. Grants exceeding US$500,000 are only given in exceptional circumstances. Large grants provide significant funding for comprehensive projects, while small grants offer essential resources for community-level initiatives.

Application Process

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) application process consists of several important steps:

  • Submission of Project Concept Note: Start by submitting a project concept note that outlines the main aspects of your proposed initiative. You can access the submission portal on the official CEPF website (https://www.cepf.net/) to provide the necessary project details.
  • Submission of Full Proposal: If your concept note is approved, proceed to submit a detailed full proposal. This should include project objectives, methodologies, and a breakdown of the budget. Utilize the submission platform on the official CEPF platform.
  • Review and Evaluation: CEPF conducts a comprehensive review and evaluation of each proposal, taking into account factors such as feasibility, impact, and alignment with biodiversity conservation goals. Stay updated on the status of your proposal through regular updates.
  • Finalizing the Grant Agreement: Successful applicants will enter into a grant agreement with CEPF, which outlines the terms and conditions for project implementation. Access the necessary documentation and guidelines to ensure compliance with the specified requirements.

Application Requirements

  • Hotspot Priorities Alignment: Projects should align with the biodiversity conservation priorities identified in the targeted hotspot by CEPF.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Give importance to involving the community and collaborating with local stakeholders to ensure the project’s sustainability.
  • Proven Need: Clearly show the necessity of the proposed project and how it tackles crucial challenges within the hotspot.
  • Budget Explanation: Present a comprehensive budget justification, explaining how the grant funds will be allocated and used.

Eligibility Criteria

CEPF grants are typically available to:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Local community groups
  • NGOs and research institutions

The eligibility requirements for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) are as follows:

  • Geographical Focus: Projects must concentrate on conserving biodiversity in designated biodiversity hotspots or key biodiversity areas. The call for proposals will specify the particular regions.
  • Project Alignment: Projects should align with CEPF’s conservation strategies and priorities. This may involve addressing threats to biodiversity, engaging with local communities, and supporting sustainable development.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Projects that involve collaboration and partnerships with local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and other relevant stakeholders are often given preference.
  • Capacity and Expertise: Applicants, including lead organizations or individuals, should demonstrate the necessary capacity and expertise to successfully implement the proposed project. This may include experience in biodiversity conservation, community engagement, and project management.
  • Sustainability: CEPF typically looks for projects that show a commitment to long-term sustainability, including plans for continued impact after the grant period.
  • Financial Accountability: Applicants are expected to adhere to financial accountability standards, demonstrating sound financial management and reporting practices.


Applicants are generally required to submit the following documentation:

  • Project Concept Note: A brief outline of the proposed project, including objectives and expected outcomes.
  • Full Proposal: A comprehensive proposal detailing project methodologies, timelines, and a budget breakdown.
  • Organizational Information: Details about the applying organization, including its mission, track record, and capacity for project implementation.

Positive Impacts

CEPF grants have a profound positive impact on biodiversity hotspots and the communities within them:

  • Conservation Success: CEPF-supported projects contribute to the conservation of endangered species and habitats.
  • Community Well-being: By integrating conservation with sustainable development, CEPF grants enhance the well-being of local communities.
  • Capacity Building: Organizations and individuals involved in CEPF projects benefit from enhanced capacity and skills in biodiversity conservation.
  • Global Biodiversity Stewardship: CEPF’s holistic approach fosters global biodiversity stewardship, recognizing the interconnectedness of ecosystems.


CEPF grants serve as catalysts for transformative conservation initiatives, fostering collaboration and empowering communities to safeguard the planet’s most critical ecosystems. As a beacon for biodiversity conservation, CEPF continues to make a lasting positive impact on our shared natural heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there reporting requirements for funded projects?

Yes, successful applicants are typically required to submit regular progress reports and financial reports. Detailed reporting requirements will be outlined in the grant agreement.

How can I collaborate with other organizations on a project?

Collaboration is encouraged. Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each partner in your proposal. Provide information on how the collaboration enhances the project’s impact.

Can I submit multiple project proposals?

Check the guidelines for the specific call for proposals. Some calls may have restrictions on the number of proposals an organization can submit.

What happens if my project is not selected for funding?

If your project is not selected, seek feedback from the evaluation process to improve future proposals. Monitor future calls for opportunities to reapply.



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