The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is preparing to embark on development of a new conservation strategy for the Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspot. This strategy, called an ecosystem profile, will encompass all of the lowland forests of political West Africa, stretching from Guinea and Sierra Leone eastward to the Sanaga River in Cameroon. This includes the countries of Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria, which maintain remnant fragments of the forests. The hotspot also includes four islands in the Gulf of Guinea: Bioko and Annobon, which are both part of Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe, which together form an independent nation. Bioko is a continental shelf island, whereas the remaining three are oceanic.
An ecosystem profile consists of both a stakeholder-driven priority-setting process and a document based on current applied conservation science. The assignment is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2013 and should be largely complete within a year. The ecosystem profile team will consist of experts in the region’s terrestrial and marine conservation, sustainable development, and civil society who are capable of designing a conservation strategy for the hotspot, and a specific strategy for CEPF’s targeted multi-year investment in the region.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (www.cepf.net) is designed to help safeguard the world’s biodiversity hotspots. It is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Dévelopement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. More information on CEPF and examples of multiple ecosystem profiles from other biodiversity hotspots are available at the referenced website.