The Global Conservation Fund (GCF) finances the creation, expansion and long-term management of protected areas.
Message from the GCF team
As 2012 comes to a close, the Global Conservation Fund would like thank our partners for working with us to support long-term conservation of terrestrial and marine areas of the highest importance. Through these collaborations, we continue to make lasting contributions to the long-term effective management of protected areas in some of the world's highest-priority regions.
This work helps us to deliver a core part of CI's mission—to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.
We wish all of our friends and colleagues a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2013!
GCF 10th anniversary celebration
In September, the Global Conservation Fund celebrated its 10th anniversary at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea. Founded in 2001 with a generous donation from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, GCF has been working to create and expand protected areas around the world while also ensuring their long-term financial sustainability.
We were delighted to welcome four keynote speakers, each of whom shared accounts of GCF's unique contribution toward a more sustainable development path for the planet. Naoko Ishi, CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); Pavan Sukhdev, founder and CEO of GIST Advisory; Russ Mittermeier, president of Conservation International; and H.E. Bharrat Jagdeo, former president of Guyana, all made wonderful statements about the urgency of protecting the planet’s critical natural capital and the necessity of ensuring financial sustainability for that protection. Jennifer Morris, executive vice president of Conservation International, was the master of ceremonies, and food and drink were enjoyed by more than 200 attendees. Guests at the event were also treated to the premiere of a new short film celebrating GCF’s history and some of our key accomplishments over the first 10 years (see below).
Our thanks to all of you who attended, and we look forward to seeing you at GCF's 20th anniversary event!
View photos from the reception
The GCF team is thrilled to release its new full-length feature video.
This visually stunning piece represents months of collaboration from partners on the ground and CI’s visual storytelling team. Loaded with information on GCF’s work and results to date, the video features some of the key people and places that have been the driving force behind our success:
- The first segment discusses the history of GCF and highlights our support for the work of local partner FANAMBY, collaborating with communities to protect the Daraina Forest in Madagascar.
- The second segment highlights GCF’s efforts to support a long-term collaboration between CI-Brazil and the Kayapó people of Brazil to protect their vast indigenous territories.
- The final segment looks at future directions for GCF and features one of our most important investments and a flagship marine conservation project for CI - The Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the South Pacific nation of Kiribati.
Communities and conservation
New coastal protected area created in Mozambique
After a multi-year effort by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partners, the government of Mozambique declared the Primeiras and Segundas (P&S) Archipelago Environmental Protection Area on November 6, thereby creating the largest coastal/marine reserve in Africa. The archipelago is a chain of 10 islands off the northern coast of Mozambique, spanning 1,041,175 hectares, and contains some of the continent’s most robust marine life and coral reef systems. Overfishing and unauthorized tourism have threatened the area with depletion of species and damage to fragile habitats. WWF-Mozambique, WWF-US and international poverty-alleviation organization CARE have spearheaded the effort to protect the area and conserve its biodiversity for local communities and generations to come. Early GCF support for this work helped to catalyze some of the key planning and capacity-building activities that will help the new protected area succeed.
The P&S protected area declaration is the result of ongoing dialogue between the government of Mozambique, international organizations, and local leaders about how to best preserve the islands, corals and coastal ecosystems that continue to underpin the economic viability of the region. Conservation actions entail the creation of local sanctuaries to replenish the fish stocks in conjunction with educational outreach on sustainable farming and fishing practices, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainably managed protected area benefiting both people and the environment.
GCF has also been working with WWF-US, WWF-Mozambique and several key donor agencies to establish Mozambique's Biofund, a national environmental fund that will support the country's network of protected areas (including P&S). GCF is working directly with the Biofund to contribute $1 million toward the fund's endowment, to be earmarked to support part of the annual recurrent management costs of the new protected area.
Learn more about the P&S work
GCF participates in RedLAC Assembly
In early November, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC) held its 14th Annual Assembly in Lima, Peru. RedLAC is a consortium of numerous member environmental funds that provides knowledge, training and capacity building services to its members. The RedLAC Annual Assembly brings together the network’s members, key private and public donors and experts on innovative financial mechanisms for conservation and sustainable development.
More than 140 delegates from 32 countries participated in several presentations and meetings focused on pressing issues for the conservation of marine and land ecosystems in the region. The exchange of information that occurs at the Assembly contributes to GCF’s knowledge of conservation finance and also fosters the development of new ideas. Romas Garbaliauskas, GCF’s senior legal adviser, represented GCF at this year’s RedLAC Assembly. The Assembly also provides an excellent opportunity for GCF to meet with partners from many of GCF’s global conservation projects. Notably, Romas had the opportunity to engage with GCF partners from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru and the Philippines.
Learn more about RedLAC and its work
Partnership in Peru
First grant disbursed from Vilcanota Polylepis Reserve Endowment
We often include announcements in this newsletter about new protected areas or conservation trust funds that GCF has helped to support. But here we want to celebrate the first disbursement of the recently established Vilcanota Polylepis Endowment, a fund created to support a growing network of private conservation areas (PCAs) in the mountains outside of Cusco, Peru. These PCAs help protect the last remaining fragments of high-altitude forests of Polylepis trees, while bringing many benefits to the indigenous communities that live in this unique landscape.
The Vilcanota endowment was established in 2011 in collaboration with the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Peruvian national fund, Fondo de las Américas (FONDAM). The fund is administered by FONDAM, and the assets are managed by a local Peruvian investment management firm. One year after being established, the $2 million in starting capital has grown significantly from investment returns, and, in August 2012, FONDAM disbursed the first grant from this endowment. This first grant will play an essential part in supporting the recurrent management costs for conservation efforts led by the Peruvian NGO, Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN).
Congratulations to our partners at ECOAN, FONDAM, and ABC for their great work in getting this new fund off to a successful start. We expect this fund will help support these important efforts for many years into the future.
Learn more about the Polylepis Fund and GCF’s involvement
|Photo Credits: Photo of Gorilla gorilla beringei, © CI/photo by John Martin; Photo of GCF 10th anniversary event, © CI/photo by Lynn Tang; Photo of boys fishing in Mozambique, © WWF/photo by Caroline Simmonds; Photo of Green-winged macaws in Peru, © Art Wolfe/www.artwolfe.com; Photo of woman in Polylepis Vilcanota village, © CI/photo by Bryna Griffin |
Header Photo: Girl Near Tayna: © CI/Photo by Hari Balasubramanian, Valdivian Coastal Forest: © CI/Photo by Hari Balasubramanian