Strengthening Protected Area Financing and Management Systems
What is this project about?
This project aims to establish a sustainable protected areas financing system, with associated management structures, systems and capacities needed to ensure the effective use of generated revenues for priority biodiversity conservation needs. It will achieve this objective by strengthening each of the above pillars as follows:
- Outcome 1: Legal, policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks that facilitate revenue generation, revenue retention and other aspects of sustainable PA financing and management are established and functional.
- Outcome 2: Levels of financial resource mobilization are adequate to ensure effective conservation-oriented management of Egypt’s PA system.
- Outcome 3: Business planning and cost-effective management systems are ensuring the effective allocation and management of mobilized resources.
What have we accomplished so far?
- Well-defined staffing requirements, profiles and incentives at sites and system levels. Staff requirements have been determined at the site level in 8 Protected Areas (PAs) and there is a system planning process to do this in other PAs.
- PAs financing strategy was prepared at national level and was discussed and approved at a stakeholder’s workshop attended by H.E. Minister of Environment, in presence of representatives from relevant stakeholders. New articles (32, 45 and 46) were drafted and were successfully included in the country’s new constitution, which regulate protection of Natural Resources, effective management of protected areas, and sustainable use of natural resources towards sustainable development. The Law 102 of 1983 on Protected Areas of Egypt was also updated based on the comments of cabinet of ministers.
- The financial needs of the target Protected areas were determined based on the integrated management system for 5 years. Implementation of planned activities in 2014 started with total budget allocated $1.9 million.
- Capacity building program for PAs managers and financial officers was done on financial aspects including financial planning and budgeting, Audit systems, Financial Reporting and Management of environmental funds
- Scorecard shows the improvement of Legal and regulatory framework from 41% to 53% due to project interventions such as conducting a PAs Financial strategy, Apply new bidding system, Raising PA staff capacities on auditing for PA finances, and PAs integrated management system that include financial data.
- Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) was applied for three-targeted PAs. The METT score shows improvement of management effectiveness in some PAs due the implementing of planned activities of the developed management system with clear budget. The score also clarifies that an urgent corrective actions needs to be taken by the project and NCS to these PAs as there are critical challenges facing PAs management. The project has identified the gaps in those PAs and rapid intervention has made where the necessary financial requirements allocated, as well as the adoption of management system for those PAs to overcome these challenges.
- Commercial Services Plan was developed for Egypt’s PAs to implement the Park’s Management Plan and to provide both short and long-term managerial direction for the commercial use of parkland and resources.
- First phase of the commercial plan was prepared for WGNP, which shows the types and levels of commercial activities that are necessary and appropriate for the Park and define how those activities will be managed. The plan was prepared with the involvement of commercial operators, public agencies, local community, interest groups and the public at key stages of the planning process. It includes a design of the appropriate operational guidelines and documentation for commercial activities procedures in line with national laws and regulations.
- NCS strategic plan was developed where all PAs management systems and PAs financing strategy were integrated to this strategy. Two management systems for (WRPA and Qaroun PA) were developed making the total of five management systems for priority PAs including detailed information of budgeting. All plans submitted to NCS for allocation of required funds for implementation processes.
- Community development program initiated and implemented in cooperation with “Support PAs Project” by Italian cooperation, aiming at improving the standard of living for community members in targeted PAs. This also helps to provide many opportunities for community members to participate in the PA management activities, as well as help in providing job opportunities for them to achieve the goals of sustainable development. The first phase of trainings started at (WGNP, WRPA and Siwa PAs) on the following topics:
- Development of environmental products
- Marketing of products that are developed
Who finances this project?
The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The Government of Egypt
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Delivery in previous fiscal year
- Strategically situated at the intersection of three continents, Egypt’s terrestrial and marine habitats support biodiversity of substantial global significance
- The country’s species representation includes at least 369 species of non-flowering vascular plants, 2,072 species of flowering plants, 10,000 species of insects, 1,422 other invertebrates, 755 fish, 470 birds, 126 mammals, and 118 reptiles and amphibians
- Egypt hosts a sizeable number of endangered species recognized by IUCN as needing conservation management. At least 143 species of threatened animals are to be found in the country, including the highly endangered Slender Horned Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros) and the Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni). The flora includes 82 threatened species.
- Protected areas have a potentially critical role to play in reducing threats to Egypt’s biodiversity since they limit (i) conversion and/or destruction of natural habitats; (ii) degradation of natural habitats, and; (iii) unsustainable utilization of biodiversity resources. Existing PAs cover an important and largely representative portion of Egypt’s biologically significant terrestrial and marine habitats.
- Through strengthening the protected areas financial and management systems, the system is not only better equipped to limit the threat to biodiversity, but it’s an opportunity to develop and promote the concept of ecotourism in the Egyptian economy, especially as ecotourism has gained and continues to gain major attention worldwide by tourists.