Importance of Wildlife for development

Wildlife and Parks are important for development

Neighbouring countries show that there are great benefits to be realised from wildlife, both for local people and the nation. These benefits from wildlife are mainly derived from tourism and environmental services. These potential benefits, in particular in the framework of Ethiopia’s sustainable land management programmes, which aim at food security, are yet to be realised in Ethiopia.

Under the previous governments the importance of PAs for water catchment stabilisation and sustainable agriculture, for tourism and thus for local and national development has not really been understood. Protected areas have not featured significantly in the national development agenda. There has been little community empowerment for conservation, and PAs have been marginalized from the developmental focus at all levels of governance. Only recently the PAs start to become more prominent in the country’s development discussions, with the following arguments:
• Ethiopia’s PAs are of universal value due to their unique biodiversity
• They represent the natural, living heritage of Ethiopia.
• They provide economic benefits and environmental services for the communities and the nation.
• They protect the environment on which people are dependent and contribute to economic development.
• They assist Ethiopia in fulfilling its constitutional and international commitments, especially in view of global challenges like climate change and worldwide loss of biodiversity.
There is now a generally more supportive attitude of the current Government to the wildlife sector.
This is also expressed in the national constitution which pledges:
• “[The] government …shall have the duty to protect the country’s natural endowments” (Article 91,2)
• “[The] government …shall have the duty to protect the environment” (Article 92, 4)
The country’s poverty reduction strategy, the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP), includes protected areas in its indicator matrix – implying their designation by Government as a priority for development.
National policies regarding wildlife have been approved (the wildlife strategy and policy) and the proclamations regarding “Development, Conservation and Utilisation of Wildlife” and to create the new Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have been passed. The Regulations with regard to these proclamations have recently been approved.
New public-private sector partnerships have been created to manage protected areas, even though this has proven to be difficult due to the complex problems facing most of the protected areas in the country.
b>Wildlife and Parks are important for development

Neighbouring countries show that there are great benefits to be realised from wildlife, both for local people and the nation. These benefits from wildlife are mainly derived from tourism and environmental services. These potential benefits, in particular in the framework of Ethiopia’s sustainable land management programmes, which aim at food security, are yet to be realised in Ethiopia.

Under the previous governments the importance of PAs for water catchment stabilisation and sustainable agriculture, for tourism and thus for local and national development has not really been understood. Protected areas have not featured significantly in the national development agenda. There has been little community empowerment for conservation, and PAs have been marginalized from the developmental focus at all levels of governance. Only recently the PAs start to become more prominent in the country’s development discussions, with the following arguments:
• Ethiopia’s PAs are of universal value due to their unique biodiversity
• They represent the natural, living heritage of Ethiopia.
• They provide economic benefits and environmental services for the communities and the nation.
• They protect the environment on which people are dependent and contribute to economic development.
• They assist Ethiopia in fulfilling its constitutional and international commitments, especially in view of global challenges like climate change and worldwide loss of biodiversity.
There is now a generally more supportive attitude of the current Government to the wildlife sector.
This is also expressed in the national constitution which pledges:
• “[The] government …shall have the duty to protect the country’s natural endowments” (Article 91,2)
• “[The] government …shall have the duty to protect the environment” (Article 92, 4)
The country’s poverty reduction strategy, the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP), includes protected areas in its indicator matrix – implying their designation by Government as a priority for development.
National policies regarding wildlife have been approved (the wildlife strategy and policy) and the proclamations regarding “Development, Conservation and Utilisation of Wildlife” and to create the new Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have been passed. The Regulations with regard to these proclamations have recently been approved.
New public-private sector partnerships have been created to manage protected areas, even though this has proven to be difficult due to the complex problems facing most of the protected areas in the country.

Catalysing Conservation for the Sustainable Development of Ethiopia!

The goal of SDPASE has been formulated as:
Ethiopia’s biodiversity, ecosystems and ecological processes are effectively safeguarded from human-induced pressures and adequately represented in a sustainable Protected Area System that is contributing significantly to economic development, both locally and nationally.

This will be achieved by
• providing an enabling environment for effectively managed protected areas (through mainstreaming protected areas in the development context in Ethiopia, policy amendment and development that provide for management partnerships, and the development of effective regulations),
• strengthening institutional capacity to plan, manage, regulate, market, and monitor and evaluate protected areas through cost-effective means, and
• securing sustainable financing for the protected area system.

The project also provides capacity building across the whole protected areas sector of Ethiopia, in order to achieve a national protected area system which represents its unique biodiversity. This system shall contribute significantly to the achievement of the goals of the PASDEP and the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals).

Stage One of SDPASE is focussing on building capacity in the institutions of the sector. The following outcomes are to be achieved:
1. PAs mainstreamed in the development framework of Ethiopia (MDGs, PASDEP, etc.)
2. Appropriate policy, regulatory and governance frameworks in place and functioning
3. Institutional arrangements and capacity for PA planning and management emplaced
4. New PA management options and partnerships piloted, and replicated through partnerships catalyzed across protected area estate
5. Financial sustainability plan developed and demonstrated

With the creation of the EWCA under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the enactment of policy, proclamations and regulations some features of outcomes 1 and 2 have already been achieved before the commencement of the project, but in order to make these regulatory frameworks effective on the ground a considerable amount of capacity building is still required.
In other aspects there have been negative developments, like the withdrawal of African Parks, the most important cofinancing partner, from Ethiopia.

Stage Two will focus on implementation and scaling-Up. It will consolidate the achievements of stage one and aim at achieving sustainable and effective management across the protected area system.
Stage two will be entered into only when certain trigger indicators have been achieved during stage one, like the improvement of management effectiveness indicators of the 4 pilot protected areas (Omo, Nechsar, Bale, Guassa-Menz), and the being in place of the components of a trust fund at the end of phase one, to name a few.
Its outcomes are as follows:
1. Systemic capacity for protected area management consolidated
2. Sustainable financing mechanisms are contributing to protected area budgets
3. Replication of good practice models across protected area estate catalysed
4. Protected areas mainstreamed across all relevant sectors

The project receives overall guidance and orientation from a National Steering Committee.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) provides stakeholders and partners with information to measure progress, determine whether expected impacts have been achieved, and to provide timely feedback in order to ensure that problems are identified early in implementation and that appropriate actions are taken. Monitoring is an integral activity of all objectives and will assess the project’s effectiveness in protecting biodiversity; evaluate the benefits accruing to communities and other beneficiaries; appraise the underlying causes of project outcomes (positive or negative); and track the level and quality of public participation in conservation activities.
The project is implemented through an adaptive framework that feeds the findings of M & E into operational planning, thus enabling management strategies and activities to be adjusted as necessary. The project M & E includes annual METT assessments (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool). Specific attention will be paid to triggers affecting the move from stage 1 to stage 2.

The total GEF intervention is costed at $ 9 million. Co-finance has been secured at some $19 million with further funding from Government in kind.