Click the button to 'Like' this message on Facebook

March 2004
Also in this Issue:
New Protected Area Action for Indonesia and the Philippines
In Focus: Tracking Elephant Killings
RAP Team Discovers New Species in Ghana
In Brief

Send newsletter to a friend
Partnership for Tiger Action

© CI

Save The Tiger Fund and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) have joined forces to link tiger conservation programs across Asia.

As part of the new alliance, the two major grant makers will work together to combat threats to tigers, including smuggling of tiger parts by highly organized regional networks that are often linked to trafficking in narcotics and weapons.

Tigers live on land that provides some of the most fertile and abundant natural resources for humans and wildlife alike. As an umbrella species, tigers range over large landscapes that support a complex web of life. Efforts to save the tiger ultimately benefit entire ecosystems and all the species and communities they support.

Since its founding in 1995, Save The Tiger Fund has supported 226 tiger-conservation projects in 13 countries. Now, the two partners will forge united tiger conservation strategies, catalyzing partner organizations and community groups to further combine efforts. The partnership will also enable Save The Tiger Fund to double its grant distribution in Asia’s biodiversity hotspots.

For more information, visit the Save The Tiger Fund site.

New Protected Area Action for Indonesia and the Philippines

Tesso Nilo, Sumatra

The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines announced actions in February that are key to preserving vital land for Endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant and the Philippine eagle as well as hundreds of indigenous communities.

In the Philippines, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a presidential proclamation declaring the Quirino Protected Landscape, which covers some 206,875 hectares.

The new protected area and the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape proclaimed in October 2003 bookend the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Conservation Corridor, with the total area under permanent protection in the central part of the corridor now extended to 391,000 hectares. The area also serves as the watershed of the Cagayan River basin supporting several irrigation systems of the Cagayan Valley Region, considered the "rice bowl" of the Philippines.

A variety of stakeholders including members of the Protected Area Management Board, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Interim Local Government Unit of Quirino and local community and nongovernmental organizations led by Conservation International-Philippines worked together for years to make the project possible.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government publicly committed to creating 12 new protected areas in 2004, including Tesso Nilo in Sumatra’s Riau Province and Batang Gadis National Park in Northern Sumatra. The government announced the pledge in Kuala Lumpur during the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, where member states agreed to set aside 10 percent of their lands for biodiversity conservation.

The inclusion among the 12 of Batang Gadis National Park, just previously declared as a national park by officials at the district level, will make way for a declaration at the national level and, local officials hope, national funding for the park.

Tesso Nilo is one of the largest remaining blocks of flat, dry lowlands rain forest in Sumatra. Only about 350 Sumatran elephants are left in this region's forests. More than 300,000 hectares of Tesso Nilo's forest have been converted to industrial plantations since 1984.

“Tesso Nilo is more than just home for elephants and tigers, as it has been found to contain the world's richest vascular (plant) biodiversity,” H.M. Rusli Zainal, SE, Governor of Riau said. “Protecting Tesso Nilo will alleviate human-wildlife conflicts and prove that conservation can go with economic development in harmony.”

As part of an alliance led by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), more than two dozen local organizations have worked together to save Tesso Nilo with support from CEPF. As in the Philippines, these allied efforts have demonstrated the immense value of partnership and bottom-up approaches, clear conservation outcomes and the success that can be achieved when civil society joins forces with and complements the activities of governments.

In related news, WWF called on creditors and customers of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one of the world's largest paper companies, to pressure the company to stop unsustainable logging operations in Sumatra. In contrast to the progress represented by the government pledge, a six-month negotiation between WWF and APP ended on Feb. 19 without an agreement on a sustainability action plan to provide added forest protection.

In August 2003, APP and its parent company, the Sinar Mas Group, signed a letter of intent with WWF agreeing to prepare an action plan for the next 12 years on the sustainability of APP's wood supplies and the conservation of forests of high social and environmental significance. WWF said some progress had been made but the company's recently proposed plan fell short on several counts, and APP is still proposing to cut 445,000 acres of natural forest over the next two years.

Related documents and stories:

In Focus: Tracking Elephant Killings

Project Director Nigel Hunter
Backed up by the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and a swath of nongovernmental organizations, the Long-term System for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants program is charged with setting up on-the-ground monitoring of elephant populations in Africa and Asia. It’s also providing the first intergovernmental system of elephant data collection of its kind.

Some 29 countries in Africa and 11 in Asia are being targeted by the project, which is known as MIKE. Ultimately the elephant assessments taking place though MIKE will act as benchmarks for entire African ecosystems.

Read this month's In Focus feature. We talk with Project Director Nigel Hunter and report on the progress made and the link to a separate recently completed project to help identify, define and manage key elephant migration corridors in West Africa.

RAP Team Discovers New Species in Ghana
A recent rapid assessment of four of southwest Ghana's Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas yielded exciting results, including the discovery of a new frog species and the observation of chimpanzees, duikers and Endangered forest elephants.

Conducted by a team of 14 international scientists, the survey organized by the Rapid Assessment Program of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International (CI) took place in the forest reserves of Boi-Tano, Tano Nimiri, Draw River and Krokosua Hills. The goal: to collect scientific data on animal and plant diversity and the status of unique species for later recommendations to the Ghanaian government regarding protection and management efforts.

Significant finds include a new species of frog from the family Arthroleptidae and the first record of a frog of the genus Acanthixalus in Ghana, as well as the presence of the rare Hypoleucis sophia butterfly of which there are probably fewer than 20 in collections anywhere, the West African chimpanzee and both Black and Bay duiker. In Draw River specifically, scientists documented the presence of the Endangered forest elephant. This last find is particularly significant.

"For elephants to be in Draw River is exciting because there are also populations next door in Ankasa National Park," says Jennifer McCullough of CI's RAP program. "This means that if we can protect the Draw River reserve, we'll be able to provide a potentially viable spot for these forest elephants to breed."

The expedition's team of 14 scientists included representatives from Ghana's Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission, the University of Ghana, the University of Development Studies and the Ghana Wildlife Society, as well as national and international scientists specializing in West African ecosystems and diversity.

Ghana's government recently redesignated portions of 29 existing forest reserves into Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas. Covering some 117,332 hectares, these areas are known to house numerous rare plant species, though the data on their animals is relatively poor. Remaining forests are fragmented and face pressure from logging. This region also recently reported the possible extinction of Ms. Waldron's red colobus, which scientists say is potentially the first large mammal extinction for the region in centuries.

The findings from this latest RAP survey will ultimately help Ghana's government manage the four areas surveyed, and potentially ascribe a higher protected status to sites like Draw River.

"They have seen that the history of allowed extractive logging isn't viable if they want to maintain healthy forests—there is simply not enough forest left now—so they're leaning toward ecotourism and looking to us to help identify the most biologically rich areas and how best to manage them," McCullough says. "The government seems very eager to work with CI and we're encouraged that our recommendations will be implemented."

CEPF supported the rapid assessment in Ghana as part of our strategic approach to establish biodiversity monitoring and coordinating systems in the Guinean Forests of West Africa biodiversity hotspot.

Learn more about our strategy in this hotspot or about the hotspot on

In Brief

MacArthur Foundation Awards Grants to Protect Biodiversity in Madagascar: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation—one of five CEPF donor partners—recently announced four grants totaling $1.6 million in support of conservation and sustainable development efforts in Madagascar. Encouraged by Malagasy President Marc Ravalomanana’s recent commitment to triple the area of the country’s protected land, the Foundation said the new grants are designed to help meet the immediate goal of conserving large landscapes and ensuring local institutions are in a position to manage their biodiversity in the future. Learn more.

New Publication on Biodiversity and Millennium Development Goals: IUCN-The World Conservation Union and the United Nations Development Programme have released a new publication said to mark a milestone in increasing understanding about how biodiversity conservation contributes to poverty alleviation. Download the full publication. (PDF-1006 KB). See the related story in the January issue of our newsletter: CEPF and Poverty Alleviation.

© 2004 Conservation International
CEPF is a joint initiative of Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to engage civil society in biodiversity conservation.


Contact Us FAQ Recent Grants Home Page Top story archive In Focus archive Send to a friend