The UNDP supported GEF financed project “Strengthening the Protected Area Network” (SPAN; from 2005-2012) used a number of strategies to secure sustainable financing for Namibia’s protected areas (PAs). The project undertook and successfully used a comprehensive economic analysis of the PA system to make the business case for increased investment in PAs. In addition it developed a concession management system compatible with the Government of the Republic of Namibia’s conservation and development objectives, significantly increasing the budget available for park management.
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South Africa’s Cape Floral Region (CFR) is one of the world’s great centres of terrestrial biodiversity. It is home to nearly 20% of Africa’s flora, while covering less than 0.5% of the continent’s area. The wetlands in this sensitive area face particular threats, including from development and agriculture, as the region is also home to farms growing around 95% of South Africa’s wine. On-farm conservation measures are therefore vital to protect the outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the biodiversity of the CFR.
Earth Skills Network (ESN) is a collaboration between Earthwatch, UNESCO, IUCN & businesses. It connects leaders from the business and conservation sector through mentoring & skill-sharing. Through ESN, Protected Areas (PAs) can access relevant skills within businesses & build constructive dialogue on the need to manage environmental impacts. Through ESN, businesses can identify solutions to pressures on natural resources & nurture sustainable business leadership.
Uganda is a home to a remarkable range of protected areas that support a wide variety of wildlife species. Despite the threats faced by protected areas, the long term future of protected areas in Uganda is now probably brighter than before. Protected Areas in Uganda have a high monetary and non-monetary value in Uganda. The table below shows just a summary of Monetary Value of forest products, Services and management as of 2012. In Uganda wildlife enterprise has been widely promoted and considered a promising strategy for income to the government and poor communities in wildlife areas.
Ecological infrastructure refers to naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built infrastructure and is just as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. It’s not only an under-realised asset for cities and their hinterlands, but also one whose potential could be relatively easily unlocked.
The Government of Mauritius through the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) of the Ministry of Agro-industry and Food Security is working with partners in the Government, NGO and private sector to expand protected area coverage and enhance PA management effectiveness under the UNDP-GEF Protected Area Network Expansion Project (the Mauritius PAN Project). One of the key elements of these efforts is the involvement of the private sector in protected area management.
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) dramatically improved its ability to link its priority conservation tasks with the sustainable development needs of Cape Town and its citizens, to the advantage of both the Park and the City’s citizens. This story illustrates the importance of a functioning governance system and a commitment to finding mutual interest between the goals of conservation and development.
Biodiversity offsets offer a promising option for promoting the conservation and sustainable management of natural ecosystems on an expanded scale. In an era of often flat--and sometimes declining--governmental support for conservation in general and protected areas in particular, biodiversity offsets can provide an underutilized opportunity to mobilize substantial new funding. This funding can come from public infrastructure accounts (such as for dams and roads) as well as from the private sector (including extractive industries).
To ensure the balance between development and conservation, government at national and local levels, businesses and local population must develop and implement suitable tools including policies, guidelines and plans. The development of these tools must be participatory for all stakeholders to own and use them efficiently. The value of PAs must be ascertained and incorporated into these tools in order to make wise trade-offs between conservation and development.
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was established in 1998 when land and resources were transferred from the City of Cape Town to SANParks. It is one of the world's most biodiverse and dramatically beautiful urban national parks, set entirely within a metropolitan Cape Town. The primary solution ensuring equitable access was the requirement in the founding agreements that the TMNP would forever be an “Open Access” national park. This came about through citizens insisting that most of the park remain free to the public, with only four sections where entrance fees are paid (Swanepoel 2013).