United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Full Project – Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on the South African Wild Coast



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PART II. STRATEGY

Project Rationale and Policy Conformity





  1. While South Africa’s investment in its protected area system is significant and will continue, limitations in resources means that purchase of private lands for conservation activities within a ‘public’ protected area estate cannot continue indefinitely and alternative mechanisms are necessary. There is a high unmet need to address conservation and sustainable use objectives on communal lands. Support is needed to help plan and implement a strategy for conservation management of the communal lands of the Wild Coast, founded on the establishment of protected areas under co-management and other arrangements with communities, and integrated within the country’s sustainable development framework. These needs mark out an entry point for GEF intervention.




  1. A number of alternative strategies for spearheading conservation goals were evaluated during project design. This included mainstreaming biodiversity in production sectors as a whole, focusing on the entire Wild Coast planning domain. Such an umbrella level sector-focused strategy was ultimately discarded owing to the need to spatially focus management attention in order to protect the main storehouses of biodiversity. A broad landscape approach would not have allowed the management intensity needed to remediate threats in these areas. A strategic intervention focused on strengthening management effectiveness in PAs was selected, as it is more immediately aligned with conservation needs. Simultaneous efforts will be made to integrate PA management activities in the local socio-economic development paradigm7.

Project Goal, Objectives, Outcomes and Outputs/activities


  1. The Project will contribute towards the improvement of South Africa’s Protected Area System. The Project seeks to develop a representative PA estate on communally owned land along the Wild Coast8. These protected areas will be managed under a range of co-management agreements9 between provincial and national authorities, local communities and the private sector, as suited to the management challenges facing different sites. There are three main intervention areas: strengthening the institutional framework for co-management; strengthening management effectiveness in existing Type I PAs; and strengthening management in Type II PAs. These interventions will be nested in an integrated land use plan for the Wild Coast that integrates the management of PAs with the regional sustainable development framework. GEF funding will be allocated towards building capacity at the systemic, institutional and individual levels for PA co-management while significant co-financing has been leveraged for accompanying environmental management and community development activities.




  1. The long-term national goal of the full GEF project is: “a representative system of protected areas in priority bioregions is established, effectively managed and contributes to sustainable development.” The purpose is that “an effective network of protected areas is established on the Wild Coast and provides tested co-management models for replication”. The purpose contributes to the goal in three ways: (i) expanding PA coverage, and improving management effectiveness in PAs along South African Wild Coast, so contributing to improved bio-geographic representation in the national system; (ii) augmenting the management tool box, by establishing a paradigm for co-management of protected areas, that may be replicated in protected areas established on or adjacent to communal lands and; (iii) providing a model for integrating PA management and poverty alleviation programs operative on communal lands, and applicable to the poorest regions of the country. While South Africa’s Protected Area System is relatively strong, these contributions will address critical coverage and management gaps that will further improve its status—contributing towards the maturation of the System.




  1. The project purpose will be achieved through the following three complementary outcomes, which have been identified in the preparation stage:

Outcome 1: Institutional framework and capacity to facilitate co-management systems for PAs is in place.

Outcome 2: Management effectiveness is enhanced within a rationalized and more representative system of protected areas (Type 1 PAs), operating under co-management agreements with local communities and the private sector.

Outcome 3: A functioning network of managed resource use protected areas (Type 2 PAs) is in place, and is being effectively managed in active collaboration with local communities.


Outcome 1: Institutional framework and capacity to facilitate co-management systems for protected areas is in place.
Total Cost: US$ 3,345,200; Co-Financing: US$ 903,000; GEF Request: US$ 2,422,200

Main outputs and activities:


    1. Capacity of the Eastern region of the Eastern Cape Parks Board to broker co-management agreements is strengthened – this output would entail: (i) the establishment of a Co-management Assistance Support Unit (CASU); (ii) development of a five year business plan for CASU; (iii) establishment of a Task Team for Capacity Building; and (iv) building the capacity of the CASU and other departments of ECPB in brokering co-management agreements through conducting a series of highly specialized training courses on legal aspects, fundraising, communication and negotiation skills. The CASU will be located in the office of the Eastern region of the Eastern Cape Parks Board and will provide expert services for the design and implementation of co-management agreements for the institution. The CASU will be composed of a Project and Brokering Coordinator, a Skills Development Facilitator, a part time financial manager (all hired on a contractual basis for the duration of the project using GEF resources), a community liaison officer (funded by the ECPB and DEAT) and an administrative assistant (funded by ECPB). GEF funds will be used for staffing, equipping CASU, hiring a protected area advisor and consultants to undertake training, conducting a series of workshops, liaising with other agencies and operational expenses for CASU.




    1. Capacity of the Eastern region of the Eastern Cape Parks Board to implement co-management agreements is improved – Based on the needs assessment undertaken during the project preparation phase, GEF resources will be allocated to finance a comprehensive ongoing training program for ECPB staff that builds its capacity to implement co-management models. GEF resources will cover the costs associated with a series of workshops and training activities. Co-financing from ECPB has been secured for some of the workshop costs and operational expenses.




    1. Strategic key institutions (municipalities, land affairs, etc) will have an increased capacity to actively participate in co-management agreements – Based on the needs assessment undertaken during project preparation, GEF funds will support the implementation of an ongoing training program for the municipalities, local offices of Land Affairs Department and the other agencies with specific contributions to the successful implementation of co-management models. The Project Coordinator and the Skills Development Facilitator will work with the local municipalities to develop a set of guidelines to ensure that the conservation objectives and co-management guidelines are mainstreamed into Integrated Development Plans. ECPB and district and local municipalities will contribute the time of their staff and operational expenses to the achievement of this output.




    1. Knowledge management system for establishment and implementation of co-management agreements is developed – The project will facilitate the exchange of ideas and lessons learnt between the project and other initiatives in South Africa and the region through the National Knowledge Management System housed in SANBI’s Collaborative Learning Center. The project coordinator and the community officer will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the co-management, and any other, governance arrangements for each protected area based on the review conducted in the preparation stage. This will form the basis for the development of a “how to” kit for set-up and management of various types of co-management agreements and of a set of guidelines and interventions specific for each type of com-management agreements. The project will also provide for secondments, village to village exchange for the representative of the local governmental and traditional authorities, workshops and study tours to ensure that the lessons learnt are shared and replicated elsewhere.




    1. Norms and standards guiding the co-management of protected areas are produced and adopted by the relevant institutions - Based on the toolbox developed as output 1.4. the project will contract legal expertise to assist the Eastern Cape Parks Board with: (i) the development of norms and standards for co-management of PA in the Wild Coast; (ii) the translation of these norms and standards into a set of regulations that will guide the implementation of various types of co-management models (which will represent the first such regulations for South Africa); (iii) conducting a series of consultations with relevant institutions in Eastern Cape and with other provincial and national agencies in South Africa; and (iv) the adoption of the regulations by the Eastern Cape Parks Board and/or the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism through the Protected Areas Act and Biodiversity Act.




    1. Financial mechanism for protected areas in place – The CASU will establish a Task Team on Financial Sustainability and will contract financial expertise to work with the Team to: (i) perform detailed feasibility studies of the regulatory requirements, structural requirements and anticipated flows of the key financing mechanisms for the Wild Coast identified in the preparation stage, such as user fees/charges (levies, entries, leases, accommodation and tolls), tradable permits (land use rights), securitisation and extraction quotas (bio-prospecting and natural resource harvesting permits); (ii) establish the structural and regulatory framework required for successful implementation of the various financial mechanisms; and (iii) provide the legal, technical and financial support to ECPB to negotiate with relevant institutions, and amend the appropriate regulations and procedures where required.




    1. Sustainable resource use policy is developed – The project with funds from the GEF and ECPB will support the formal development of policy guidelines on sustainable use of natural resources in the Wild Coast. The CASU will contract specialist expertise to collaboratively develop detailed policy guidelines through a series of multi-stakeholder workshops.




    1. Increased awareness and understanding of key stakeholders about co-management agreements – The skills development facilitator, together with the communication consultant, will lead the effort of building on, and sustaining public support for co-management and conservation developed during the project preparation phase. GEF and ECPB funds will contribute to: (i) the development and implementation of a targeted communication and outreach strategy, including a set of tools for communications with communities living in the priority areas; and (ii) the design of a series of materials translated in all local languages relevant for the priority areas.




    1. Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system designed and operational - The project will establish a M&E system with the key function to facilitate adaptive measures to improve impact and accommodate lessons emerging elsewhere. This includes the identification of mechanisms and processes which are working and therefore are ready to be replicated and the modification of what is not working in order to achieve the project objectives. In addition, the independent evaluation scheduled during project life (year 2 and 4) will be tasked with the identification of determinants of success for project activities. The Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) developed jointly by the WWF and the World Bank, was used in the preparation stage to establish baseline values for targeted provincial nature reserves, marine protected areas, state forests and Coastal Conservation Area. The METT will be conducted mid-term and at the end of the project and compared with the stated indicators for mid term and end of the project. The project will also support the collection and processing of data for M&E and annual stakeholder meetings to share the information obtained from monitoring.


Outcome 2: Management effectiveness is enhanced within a rationalized and more representative system of protected areas (Type 1 PAs), operating under co-management agreements with local communities and the private sector.
Total Cost: US$ 3,966,000; Co-Financing: US$ 2,470,000; GEF Request: US$ 1,496,000
Main outputs and activities:


    1. Local community structures have an increased capacity to negotiate and implement co-management agreements – Using the knowledge developed during the project preparation phase, the community liaison officer, supported by a community outreach team will conduct a series of consultations with the existing co-management structures in the protected areas to identify the specific capacity needs of local communities to implement the co-management agreements. For the areas where there is no co-management structure, the community liaison officer will work together with a service provider and the community outreach team to strengthen and formalize the relationship between the protected area and local community institutions. A series of training courses on financial management, legal issues, governance, basic conservation management, negotiation and communication skills will be organized for the community structures. GEF funds will be used to provide adequate logistical support and complementary training for the community structures to enable them to act as equal partners in negotiating and implementing co-management models.



    1. Adaptive management planning systems for each type 1 protected area is established – This would entail: (i) hiring a conservation planner specialist to undertake a revision of the institutional, bio-physical, heritage and socio-economic characteristics of the provincial nature reserves and category 1 and 2 MPAs; (ii) establishment of small Reserve Management Planning Teams (RMPT) composed of the reserve manager, regional conservation planner, regional ecologist and representatives of the local community; (iii) development of the strategic management plan for each reserve facilitated by the newly created RMPTs; (iv) preparation of a spatial Conservation Development Framework for each reserve indicating forward planning for infrastructural developments and management zonations; (v) development of a detailed alien control program; and (vi) preparation of the first annual operational plan for each protected area. The GEF resources will cover the funds associated with consultancies and workshops, while the various institutions will contribute the time of their representatives to participate in the Reserve Management Teams and coordinate the activities under this output. ECPB and MCM will cover the costs associated with the salaries for protected area staff and operational expenses.




    1. Active management interventions – The project will support the implementation of the strategic management interventions identified in the conservation management plan for each targeted reserve. This will include: (i) implementation of new alien control techniques; (ii) evaluating fire management requirements for coastal grasslands; (iii) development of a functional knowledge management system; and iv) equipment for patrolling the offshore MPAs. GEF resources will cover the costs of materials and equipment and consultancies for the management interventions. All the management interventions will be supervised by the reserve managers of each protected area and in most of the cases will be undertaken by the protected area staff.




    1. Protected areas expanded into adjacent communal land through co-management agreements – The project will provide funding to CASU to conduct multi stakeholder workshops and hire a legal specialist in order to: (i) prioritize the protected areas proposed in the preparation stage for consolidation, rationalization and expansion; (ii) identify and select potential options for consolidation, rationalization and expansion on prioritized protected areas based on ground- truthing of the assessments carried out in the preparation stage; (iii) negotiate the most effective co-management model for the selected options; (iv) develop the legal co-management agreement; (v) establish, or strengthen, the most appropriate structure to manage the implementation; (vi) facilitate the transition of the agreement to implementation in conjunction with the relevant lead agent; and (vii) prepare the amendment to proclamation.


Outcome 3. A functioning network of managed resource use protected areas (Type 2 PAs – IUCN category VI) is in place, and is being effectively managed in active collaboration with local communities.
Total cost: US$ 23,506,800; Co-financing: US$ 20,945,000; GEF Request: US$ 2,561,800
Main outputs and activities:

    1. Rationalize the delegated management authority – The project will remove the barriers, identified during the project preparation phase, associated with unclear agencies mandate and lack of coordination between various governmental departments responsible for enforcement of legislation with regard to state forest areas, category 2 MPAs and the Coastal Conservation Area (CCA) and implement the most appropriate mechanisms for active collaboration with, and involvement of, local communities. CASU will contract the services of a legal specialist and a human resource specialist, who will work closely with the Conservation Planner of the Eastern region of ECPB, DWAF, municipalities and other agencies to: (i) rationalize the management authority, which will include development of the mechanisms for assignation of the management authority to one agency, with clear roles and responsibilities for conservation and management; (ii) rationalize protected area status - produce the legal documents required to have all protected areas in the Wild Coast proclaimed at the adequate level of protection, using the appropriate legislation; (iii) incorporate the Coastal Conservation Area into provincial environmental legislation – and reproclaim it as “protected natural environment” in terms of the Protected Area Act; and (iv) identify the most appropriate mechanisms for co-management of the PAs.




    1. Local community structures have an increased capacity to negotiate and implement co-management agreements – The community liaison officer (supported by the community outreach team) will conduct a series of consultations with the existent community structures in the protected areas and, based on the outcomes of these consultations, will identify the most appropriate co-management arrangements. For the areas where there is no appropriate legal institutional structure, the community liaison officer will work together with a service provider and the community outreach team to strengthen the existing community institutions. A series of training courses on financial management, legal issues, governance, basic conservation management, negotiation and communication skills will be organized for selected community structures in the priority areas identified during the project preparation phase. GEF funds will be used to provide adequate logistical support (equipment, furniture) for the community structures to enable them to act as equal partners in negotiating and implementing co-management models.




    1. Cooperative governance structure for the Coastal Conservation Area is established – The project will support the implementation of the Transkei Environmental Decree (and subsequent enabling legislation) which provides for the declaration of the CCA to protect the environmentally sensitive coastal zone from uncontrolled development activities through the establishment of a cooperative governance structure and planning framework for its management. GEF resources will be used to update, and gazette, the spatial planning and land use management guidelines in the Wild Coast Tourism Development Policy and to develop a tracking tool for processing development applications.




    1. Adaptive management planning systems for the protected area is established – This would entail: (i) development of strategic management plans for indigenous state forests, facilitated by the PFM, or other co-management/governance, structures; (ii) preparation of a spatial Conservation Development Framework for indigenous state forests indicating forward planning for infrastructural developments and management zonations; (iii) development of an alien clearing program for state forests and the CCA and; (iv) development of a set of guidelines for sustainable use of the natural resources for each Type 2 PA. The GEF resources will cover the funds associated with consultancies and workshops, while the various institutions will contribute the time of their representatives to participate in the management planning processes and coordinate the activities under this output.




    1. Active management interventions – The project will support the implementation of the strategic interventions identified in the conservation management plan for each targeted protected area. This will include: (i) boundary survey and demarcation of state forests, category 2 MPAs and the CCA; (ii) establishment and implementation of community-led monitoring services in state forests, category 2 MPAs and the CCA; (iii) implementation of new alien control techniques in state forests and the CCA; (iv) development of a functional knowledge management system and (v) rehabilitation of priority state forests. GEF resources will cover the costs of materials and equipment and consultancies for the management interventions. All the management interventions will be supervised by the managers of each protected area and in most of the cases will be undertaken by the protected area staff and local communities. DEAT and DWAF will contribute significantly to this output. DEAET and DWAF will provide the operational management staff, resources and equipment to oversee and/or manage the implementation of these management interventions.




    1. Micro-enterprises based on sustainable use of resources are facilitated in the Wild Coast – The project will contract specialist expertise to: (i) undertake a survey of resource use in and around protected areas; (ii) determine the thresholds of potential concern (TPC); (iii) develop guidelines for harvesting based on the TPCs, including appropriate harvesting methods for various species; and (iv) develop procedures to deal with use that exceeds TPCs. The results of this field work will fed directly into the sustainable resource use policy (Output 1.7). In addition, the project will commission a second order economic study composed of (i) an enforcement analysis – to define the most appropriate focus and intensity of enforcement; (ii) opportunity cost analysis for different land parcels; and (iii) a distribution analysis of the costs and benefits and changes in cost benefit profiles stemming from changes in relative prices of land-use. Co-financing has been secured for the following activities, aiming to improve livelihoods based on the use of natural resources: (i) identification of potential enterprises based on sustainable use of natural resources; (ii) identification of interested commercial agencies and brokering linkages between them and local communities; (iii) identification of potential local entrepreneurs; and (iv) training in business skills.




    1. Protected areas consolidated into viable management units through co-management agreements and other governance arrangements – The CASU will provide funding to conduct multi stakeholder workshops and hire expertise with the aim to: (i) prioritize the area proposed in the preparation stage for connectivity; (ii) identify and select potential options for connectivity on prioritized protected areas based on ground-truthing of the assessments carried out in the preparation stage; (iii) negotiate the most effective co-management model for the selected options; (iv) develop the legal co-management agreement; (v) establish the most appropriate structure to manage the implementation; (vi) facilitate the transition of the agreement to implementation and (vii) prepare the amendment to proclamation. GEF resources will be used to fund a series of multi-stakeholder workshops, consultancies and equipment.



Project Indicators, Risks and Assumptions





  1. The project indicators are described in detail in Section II: Part II of the Project Document (Logical Framework Analysis) as well as in the Results Measurements Table in Section IV, Part VIII. Briefly, the indicators are as follows:


Purpose level:

  • Increase of protected areas estate coverage through strategic additions to the conservation estate (percentage of total indigenous state forests incorporated into formal PA estate; % of total coastal conservation area with the legal tenure secured; increase in number of ha managed as provincial PA; extent of communal land included into resource use PA estate);

  • Inclusion of the priority vegetation types into PA estate contribute at least 10% of the regional conservation targets for PA;

  • Compatibility of economic returns (R/ha), employment opportunities (person days/year) and entrepreneurial opportunities (number of micro-enterprises) from PA estate with existing and competing land uses.


Outcome level: By the end of the project:

  • Greater than 60% of staffing in the key management institutions meet the targeted occupational levels, competence and skills;

  • The average score of staff performance evaluations for the key implementing agencies is equal to or exceeds 3/5 (or equivalent by the end of the project);

  • Management effectiveness index of all PAs is increased by 25-40% as monitored by METT;

  • Communal land included into expanded PA estate greater than 10,000 ha (additional to existing estate);

  • The budget amount appropriated for PA operational management costs will have increased by 250% for the expanded PA estate, with additional revenue secured from park usage/concession fees, new concession financing mechanisms and a reduction in the HR: operations budget ratio to 60:40;

  • Awareness and understanding levels of co-management by municipal and community structures exceeds 40%;

  • All Type 1 protected areas are integrated into a properly funded and managed integrated IAS control and eradication program;

  • Six co-management structures established, maintained and functioning effectively and two co-management structures replicated on communal land elsewhere in southern Africa based on the tested models developed by the project.



  1. The risks confronting the project have been carefully evaluated during project preparation, and risk mitigation measures have been internalized into the design of the project. A careful analysis of threats to Protected Areas and their determinants has been performed, and project interventions have been designed to deal with all known threats. Six main risks have been identified, and are summarized below. Other assumptions behind project design are elaborated in the Logical Framework.



Risk




Risk Mitigation Measure

Delays in the transfer of tenure to local communities for communal lands identified as important for the expansion of PAs on communal land. This would delay processing of easements with traditional authorities for off-reserve conservation.

S


The Communal Lands Right Act provides a legal basis for transferring ownership of Communal Lands now managed by local government to local communities.

Baseline: Fast track survey of communal landholdings and tenure transfer applications for priority areas; strengthen systems for conflict resolution; establish and/or strengthen representative legal community structures.

Alternative: Use the procedures defined in the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act, 1996 (Act No. 31 of 1996) (IPILRA) to negotiate with an affected local community (represented in the form of a legal entity, most commonly a Community Trust or Communal Property Association) for a 25-30 year “back-to-back” lease between the conservation agency and the lessee, who is jointly the community and the National Minister of Land Affairs. If an external developer is involved (such as a private concession), then a “joint venture” (JV) will be established with the legal community entity in terms of the requirements of the Act. With the implementation of the Communal Land Rights Act (2004), any co-management or conservation agreement entered into between the conservation agency and local communities will be transferred as a ‘new order’ agreement.

Delay in the institution of co-management arrangements with local communities; weak support of communities for self enforcement schemes.

M


Alternative: Development of clear co-management guidelines in year 1; capacity development activities for traditional authorities in core PAs to be initiated immediately; ongoing communication process to be initiated and sustained through course of project; independent evaluation of progress in effecting co-management planned for yr 2, allowing corrective action to be taken. Independent social assessment will gauge local perceptions of conservation, allowing enforcement to be adapted.

The three tiers of Government: National, Provincial and Local do not act in concert in discharging their environmental management functions.

M


Alternative: Establishment, and/or support, of new or existing cooperative governance structures between the different tiers of Government and traditional authorities; strengthen planning, monitoring and operations capacity of municipalities, DWAF, DEAT, DEAET and Eastern Cape Parks Board to work collaboratively.

Significant increase in external development pressures on protected areas and surrounding landscapes.

M


Baseline: Conduct strategic environment assessments, strategic development frameworks and land use management systems to: (i) define minimum impact mitigation measures for ecologically sensitive areas outside of PAs; (ii) develop offset schemes, to compensate for externalities; and (iii) include top conservation priority areas in PAs. Strengthen legal status, and enforcement, of Coastal Conservation Area. Embed outcomes of SEA and SDF into formal Land Use Management Systems of the municipalities.

Government funding appropriations for staffing and operating the Eastern Cape Parks Board are delayed.

L

Alternative: Tied disbursements: GEF funding to levels of Provincial budgetary support for Parks Board; upstream budgetary negotiations.

Weak integration of conservation interventions and baseline development activities particularly in production sectors (agriculture, forestry, and mining).

L


Alternative: Integration of PA management objectives into Integrated Development Plans for three municipalities; Baseline: definition of conservation compatible land uses in buffer areas (Strategic Environment Assessment, Strategic Development Framework and Land Use Management System)—to inform siting of infrastructure.

Overall Rating

M




Risk Rating: L - Low; M – Medium; S – Substantial
Lessons learnt


  1. The project has been designed based on a careful evaluation of lessons learned in the arena of protected area co-management, and devolution of management responsibilities for PA administration. Some of the lessons that have informed the design of interventions include:




Lesson

Notes

Design Feature


1. A supportive policy environment is needed for the devolution (as opposed to decentralization) of governance powers to the local level.

Community participation was not a feature of conservation in the apartheid era. While the Government has taken steps to rectify the situation, in the spirit of improving democratic governance, the tools and capacity to facilitate active co-management need to be constructed. The policy for devolution of government powers is in place, including in Local Government Legislation, Biodiversity Act and the PA Act.

The need to test, adapt and replicate co-management systems provides a key entry point for project interventions. Project interventions are geared towards installing the capacities to broker and execute co-management, defined as a process rather than as an end.

(Output 1.1 – 1.5, 2.1 and 3.2)

2. Sound PA governance is a pre-requisite for successful co-management. There must be effective enforcement of rules. There is a need to strengthen the capacity of PA authorities to perform basic functions such as planning, monitoring, enforcement and reporting, and to ensure timely activity delivery, as per agreements with other parties to co-management compacts.

There is no systematic tool in place for evaluating PA management effectiveness. PA Management effectiveness is not routinely addressed in skills evaluation or the design of training programs. The intensity of input is thus not necessarily correlated with outcomes (impacts/ sustainability).

The Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool will be used as a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of PA management. The METT will be conducted in mid-term and at the end of the project and compared with the stated indicators for mid term and end of the project (Output 1.9)

3. Clarity of purpose is needed amongst all partner institutions, at all levels with respect to on-ground implementation of co-management.



Information systems need to be designed that provide for the exchange of information between all actors participating in management decisions.
Co-operative governance structures need to be maintained to ensure integration and alignment of complementary initiatives.

The project will develop a “how to” kit for setting-up and managing various types of co-management agreements. This toolbox will be shared with all stakeholders involved in on-ground implementation (Output 1.4) A targeted communication strategy will be implemented, geared to the needs of different stakeholding groups (Output 1.8)

4. Rights and rules must be clearly articulated. Rights need to be fairly distributed, and underpinned by a clear sense of security (tenure and usufruct rights); transparency in decision-making is an imperative.

South Africa is supporting a land reform process, aimed at restoring rights to previously disadvantaged communities. The transfer of rights by law is subject to the fulfillment of management obligations by the beneficiaries.

The project will establish mechanisms to rationalize the delegated management authority and increase coordination between all stakeholders involved in PA management (Output 1.1 – 1.3, 3.1 and 3.3)

5. Co-management approaches need to be cognizant that communities are not homogeneous entities. Special attention is needed where communities are fractured, or leadership is unclear. Community partners need to be represented by strong institutions, and community institutions must be strengthened to ensure they are representative, democratic and effective. This support is a key adjunct to rights transfer.

There is considerable social heterogeneity in the Wild Coast Area, with different community institutions providing different levels of leadership across the landscape. This demands different approaches to community mobilization/ involvement in the different PAs, and in particular, the selection of partner institutions for co-management.

A comprehensive participation plan has been designed as an integral part of this initiative, with a special emphasis on communities. Strengthening existent community structures to be able to negotiate and implement co-management agreements is a key feature of the project design and will involve a set of approaches tailored to the specific circumstances of each community (Output 2.1 and 3.2)

6. Systems for resolving conflicts between and within institutions and communities need to be put in place, and sanctions need to be agreed, to make parties accountable.




Provisions have been made that the toolbox for co-management would include the participatory development of systems for conflict resolutions (Output 1.4)

7. Effective systems for ensuring compliance with agreed rules need to be established; this may include a mix of incentives and penalties.

The optimum intensity of enforcement may be determined by analysis of enforcement options for the PAs: however, these are rarely commissioned for SA PAs.

Alternative options for enforcement will be assessed, as part of the Output 2.2, 3.4 and 3.6 to define the most appropriate focus and intensity of enforcement.

8. There is a need to account for financial sustainability at the outset, with a clear strategy for ensuring that recurrent costs (including depreciation on capital assets) can be absorbed.

A ‘first-order’ economic analysis was undertaken during project preparation, showing that prospective economic benefits justify conservation intervention. Second order studies are needed, to establish opportunity costs for different land parcels, distribution of costs and benefits, and changes in cost benefit profiles stemming from changes in relative prices of land use.

The Government has provided an assurance that core management costs will be provided through existing budgets and other public funding sources such as the Marine Living Resources Fund, CoastCare, Land Care, Working on Fire and Expanded Public Works programs. Provision has been made, as part of Output 1.6 for the development of earmarked financial mechanisms, including user fees, park service concessioning and market instruments.


Expected global, national and local benefits





  1. The biodiversity of the Wild Coast provides a range of benefits at the global and local levels, with associated direct, indirect use, option, and existence values. The global community will benefit from the protection of an important biodiversity hotspot, and unique species and races endemic to the area that are presently threatened with extirpation. The conservation function of the PA estate in the Wild Coast will be better serviced, through improved management effectiveness and enhanced bio-geographic representation. Provincial institutions, and local communities, will be capacitated to co-manage PAs, and staff and community rangers will benefit from exposure to innovative conservation approaches. This is expected, in time, to improve the efficiency and optimize the impact of management, allowing budgetary appropriations to conservation to be used more effectively. The sustainability of livelihoods dependent on live resources will be enhanced (an estimated 10,000-12,000 households are expected to benefit in this manner). This includes the direct use values of plant materials and living marine resources harvested for subsistence and artisanal use by local communities, and benefits afforded through the development of nature based tourism within the area. Moreover, the direct engagement of local communities in PA management activities will given them a greater stake in conservation initiatives.


Country Ownership: Country Eligibility and Country Drivenness





  1. The project is eligible under GEF SP I: catalyzing sustainability for protected area systems and, in particular, the sub activity; ‘to improve opportunities for sustainable use, benefit sharing and broad stakeholder participation among communities – indigenous groups and the private sector’. The project will develop a representative mosaic of protected areas in the Wild Coast, connecting corridors and adjacent areas under suitable co-management structures involving the communities, conservation authorities, other government agencies and the private sector. This will improve the bio-geographic representation of the South African PA estate, addressing coverage gaps in an area of high global conservation significance, and in an area of high national priority. Furthermore, the project will develop, test and adapt new management arrangements for co-management in PAs. While national legislation encourages active multi-stakeholder participation in PA management, the tools and institutional apparatus for co-management are lacking. The systems to be developed under the project will be progressively replicated elsewhere in the South African Protected Area estate, particularly in PAs constituted on communal lands. By emphasizing community participation, developing sustainable use and benefit sharing schemes and attracting private sector investment, the project will make a significant contribution towards improving management effectiveness within PAs. Activities will provide for the necessary capacity building, at the systemic, institutional and individual levels, to assure sustainability.




  1. The project addresses the work program for Protected Areas agreed at CBD-COP 7. The program has 4 components. The elements most relevant to project activities are as follows:

Element 1

  • Integrate PAs into the broader land- and seascapes;

  • Substantially improve site-based planning and management.

Element 2

  • Promote equity and benefit-sharing;

  • Enhance and secure the involvement of communities and relevant stakeholders.

Element 3

  • Build capacity for the planning, establishment and management of PAs;

  • Develop, apply and transfer appropriate technologies for PAs;

  • Ensure financial sustainability of PAs and national and regional systems of PAs.

Element 4

  • Develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional PA systems;

  • Evaluate and improve the effectiveness of PA management;

  • Assess and monitor PA status and trends; and

  • Ensure that scientific knowledge contributes to the establishment and effectiveness of PAs and PA systems

The project also complies with CBD-COP guidance concerning the management of coastal and marine ecosystems (decision I/2, annex I, part III, paragraph 4(k)/ Decision V/13, paragraph 2(d)/ Decision VI/17, paragraph 10(e) and Decision VII/20, paragraph 3.




  1. The Government of South Africa has long demonstrated a commitment to biodiversity conservation. The country has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on November 2, 1995 and is moving to address its obligations under the Convention within a larger framework for sustainable development that addresses the root causes of biodiversity loss, including by ameliorating poverty, promoting the development of livelihoods compatible with conservation objectives, and securing the participation of all sectors of society in implementation.




  1. The South African Government has aligned its national law and policy framework with international norms and agreements. The Constitution of South Africa guarantees the right to a healthy environment and environmental protection through conservation, pollution control and sustainable development. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) has recently completed the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) for South Africa with assistance from GEF/UNDP. In terms of the NBSAP, the Wild Coast has been identified as a national conservation priority. It is also identified as a national priority in the Subsistence Fishing Policy. The Pondoland area, at the heart of the Wild Coast, is identified as a national priority in the Bioregional Approach/Strategy to South Africa’s Protected Areas which forms part of DEAT’s Environmental Management Plan (Government Gazette no 23232, vol 441, 2002).




  1. The South African Government has clearly committed itself to the protection and sustainable development of the Wild Coast. Considerable resources have been invested in the area over many years. The Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative was one of the earlier attempts by the post-apartheid government to address the development needs of the Wild Coast – which has been recognized as a special entity since 1994. Agriculture, forestry and tourism – with an emphasis upon eco-tourism – were identified as the preferred land use options. The government committed resources, in partnership with the European Union, to support the development of sustainable tourism for the benefit of previously disadvantaged local communities. In addition resources are being committed to the development of appropriate infrastructure to support the sustainable tourism initiatives on the Wild Coast. Recent developments, which include the prosecution of many of the illegal cottages that had been erected haphazardly on the coast, have clearly indicated that government is committed to sustainable and responsible protection and development of the Wild Coast.




  1. Institutionally, the government has invested considerable effort and resources in the establishment of the Eastern Cape Implementation Committee for bioregional programs. This has created a focus point for biodiversity related issues in the whole of the Eastern Cape Province. The initiation of the new Eastern Cape Parks Board also indicates the level of commitment to conservation within the Eastern Cape, and the Wild Coast is seen as a key area within the Province.




  1. In addition, the South African Government has committed itself to addressing rural poverty. The Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) outlines a clear agenda for this. The Poverty Relief Programme has been mobilized to assist in directly attacking poverty – through the provision of direct temporary and sustainable employment - as well as the creation of appropriate infrastructure related to income generating activities and enterprises. This is an on-going process that is gathering momentum. The government is particularly keen to see the development of initiatives that align conservation with poverty alleviation.




  1. The Government of South Africa has created new environmental legislation that specifically allows for and encourages local community participation in the co-management of natural resources. They are keen to test the new legislation through practical initiatives on-the-ground. There is a commitment to decentralization within the country. Local government has been identified as the primary location for service delivery. Increasing local responsibility has meant that building of capacity within this level of government has become crucial and significant resources are earmarked for addressing this aspect. Local responsibilities are not only growing within the environment field, responsibility for HIV and AIDS related issues is also being devolved to local government.




  1. The GEF Medium-Term Project Priority Framework (DEAT, 2001) identified strategic areas for GEF investment needed to catalyse a broad spectrum of environmental management endeavours of high national priority. The document which was presented to Cabinet as a discussion paper provides the overarching framework for programming GEF resources in South Africa. The Framework requests GEF support for the National Protected Areas Programme, to strengthen the national system of PAs, manage buffer zones, and ensure that management is fully integrated with and contributes towards local economic development. The following activities are identified as priorities: strengthening the framework for public participation in planning and executing conservation functions, strengthening public outreach and education, improving planning, compliance and impact monitoring, strengthening enforcement capabilities, controlling the impacts of bio-invasion upon PAs, strengthening institutional capacities to manage PA buffer areas and promoting and managing nature-based tourism as a conservation compatible livelihood. The Wild Coast is identified as a demonstration site for the Program, on the assumption that best practices will be replicated more widely drawing on the Governments own resources.


Linkages with UNDP Country Programme





  1. UNDP’s Country Cooperation Framework (CCF) in South Africa (2002-2006) focuses on the three poorest provinces of the country, one of which is the Eastern Cape. The project has key linkages with two of the program areas: Integrated Sustainable Rural Development and Environment and Development. The Wild Coast project is clearly in line with the South African CCF result (g) “National capacity strengthened for co-management among national statutory authorities, NGOs and local communities, in the fields of climate change and biodiversity; important global biodiversity hotspots preserved, such as the Wild Coast and the Cape Floral Kingdom.” In addition, the emphasis placed upon communally owned land and support for income-generating activities linked to nature-based tourism opportunities in these areas, is in line with the priority of addressing poverty in one of the poorest areas of South Africa.




  1. The UNDP Poverty Alleviation program is planning on extending into the Wild Coast. The Eastern Cape has requested support from UNDP for the monitoring and implementation of the Poverty Relief Fund to make delivery more effective. With UNDP’s assistance an integrated development framework the ‘Provincial Growth and Development Plan: has been developed for the Eastern Cape Province in partnership with the Premier’s office, Eastern Cape Socio-economic Consultative Council, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and other partners. The Project’s activities will fit within this framework and will be important to the development in the region. The UN system is currently developing plans for concentrating their resources with specific poverty nodes in an integrated approach covering poverty, HIV and AIDS, governance and environment in order to develop successful models for further roll-out within the poorest municipal areas of the country. The Wild Coast contains several of these very poor municipal areas and will clearly benefit from this initiative.




  1. UNDP will commit to supporting the policy dialogue around the (i) successful integration of biodiversity conservation objectives and poverty alleviation objectives, strategies and programs in the poverty nodes; (ii) coordinating UN system interventions in these areas, to optimize synergies; and (iii) supporting efforts to implement the policy on co-management". The success of these initiatives will be evaluated during periodic independent assessments of the CCF. "


Linkages with GEF Financed Projects





  1. GEF activities with potential influence on the proposed project: There are a number of other GEF projects operative in South Africa, contributing to efforts to expand and strengthen the National Protected Area System. These initiatives are all focused on conservation efforts elsewhere in South Africa, in other Major Habitat Types, and address different conservation needs. The Wild Coast project will coordinate with the World Bank GEF Project entitled “Conservation planning for biodiversity in the Thicket Biome, South Africa” which is being executed by the University of Port Elizabeth Terrestrial Ecology Research Unit. This project’s field work is focused on the southern parts of the Thicket Biome, but it may have recommendations relevant to the thickets in the river valleys of the Wild Coast, which will be integrated into the conservation management plans developed by the ECPB and the Reserve Management Teams within the present project. The Project will further liaise closely with the Greater Addo Elephant National Park Project. While Addo National Park is located some 300 kilometers from the Wild Coast, and is not situated on communal lands (and thus employs different conservation strategies), it is located in the Eastern Cape, and potential synergies could be leveraged with respect to capacity development interventions. Mechanisms for cooperation are currently being formalized.




  1. Other projects in South Africa may also be of relevance to this project. For example, the World Bank/ UNDP GEF project “CAPE Action for People and the Environment” is a strategic intervention to secure the long-term conservation of the Cape floristic region. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative on the Agulhas Plain in the Western Cape Province is piloting new conservation agreements and collaborative management arrangements between national and provincial conservation authorities and private landowners. This includes testing a conservation extension service, integrated with agriculture and other productive sector extension services, which may be adapted for application in the Wild Coast.




  1. None of the afore-mentioned projects are geared specifically towards developing co-management arrangements on communal lands, as proposed under this project. The project thus provides significant added value in terms of the contribution of GEF to South Africa’s national conservation agenda. Taken collectively, the GEF portfolio makes a significant and highly strategic contribution towards strengthening the National System of Protected Areas, both in terms of bio-geographic focus and coverage, but also in terms of the induction of new management paradigms, as needed to meet the conservation needs of different regions and ecosystems. The SANBI has been mandated under the biodiversity legislation with providing co-ordination services for these and other initiatives active at a bio-regional level. This provides a mechanism for assuring cross-project synergy, and sharing lessons between projects. However project-project contact will also be facilitated, where relevant. UNDP will continue to liaise closely with the WB in spearheading the GEF program, with the aim of assuring complementarity.



Sustainability


  1. The project has been carefully designed to optimize prospects for achieving the sustainability of conservation outcomes at three levels: financial, institutional and social. An economic analysis10 undertaken during the course of project preparation established that the prospective economic value of conservation, comprising direct and indirect use values for wild resources amounts to a minimum of US$ 80 m per annum11. This is a significant contribution to household welfare (subsistence and income) in this economically depressed area, and provides a basis for earmarking funding for development programmes to support conservation efforts. The project will provide resources for the development of new financial mechanisms to compensate for management costs incurred in generating these benefits. Takings from tourist entry fees and concessions and from market-based instruments will be earmarked for the management of PAs12. Funding derived in this manner will supplement recurrent operational budgetary outlays by the Government of South Africa. These measures are expected to contribute to the financial sustainability of outcomes.




  1. Institutional sustainability will be enhanced through systematic strengthening of the skills base and operations capacity within the Eastern Cape Parks Board. Staff will be trained to perform a variety of conservation functions needed to broker and support co-management of protected areas. While focused on the eastern region, staff employed in other regions will participate in training schemes, ensuring that internal staff rotation does not erode the skills base. Training specific to the management of MPAs has been developed by MCM and roll-out of this training will begin on the Wild Coast in 2006. Furthermore, capacity building will also target local government and community structures, and the institutional apparatus for co-management will be put in place. This will include mechanisms for inter community cooperation. Notably, the project will focus on institutionalizing co-management processes and support structures, to ensure these continue following cessation of GEF funding. These processes will be further backstopped through poverty alleviation programs, into which conservation activities will be progressively mainstreamed. A system for monitoring institutional performance will be operationalized, allowing capacity-building activities to be fine-tuned as needed to improve and sustain impacts. The underlying policy and legislative framework for co-management is largely in place, providing a strong enabling environment for the pursuit of project objectives. Social sustainability will be enhanced through implementation of a robust stakeholder plan, which provides, inter alia for the careful determination of community structures for co-management, and mechanisms for conflict resolution. The policy framework for the transfer of management and usufruct rights to communities is in place, linking access and benefits to management obligations. This is expected to address problems with open access, and give communities a utilitarian stake in conservation outcomes. Communities will be expected to dedicate sweat equity in return for any support for eco-enterprise establishment, under baseline programs. Social sustainability will be enhanced through implementation of a robust stakeholder plan, which ensures broad-based stakeholder involvement in all aspects of PA management and makes strong provision for conflict management.


Replicability





  1. The Project has been designed based on a detailed identification and analysis of barriers to effective management of the protected areas in the Wild Coast, and more broadly, to address management deficiencies and opportunities in the South Africa System of National Protected Areas. The Wild Coast provides an excellent laboratory for testing the achievements of conservation objectives on communal lands. A replication strategy will form an important component of the full project (see Section IV, Part VII). This will ensure lessons learnt and best practices are actively disseminated to inform conservation initiatives focusing on co-management models on communal lands throughout South Africa and wider Southern Africa region. It is estimated that some 30% of South Africa’s communal lands (approximately 36,000sq kms) occur in areas designated as conservation targets, potentially suited to the application of the co-management systems piloted through the project. However, the spatial domain for replication will include other categories of conservation land, including public and private lands, where co-management approaches to conservation are demanded.




  1. The analysis of lessons learnt on co-management models (and other governance arrangements) in Southern Africa has informed project design. The project will ensure that the lessons emerged during the project preparation and implementation are captured and shared with relevant stakeholders. The following measures are in place or will be instituted:




    1. Protected Area legislation – the new Protected Area Act provides the legal basis for the expansion of the management options and the implementation of co-management systems, which will be tested under the project. The various co managed non-traditional protected areas will serve as pilots, trialed and tested in the project, providing valuable models for replication in comparable situations throughout the region;




    1. The Institutional Framework for protected area management in the Wild Coast will be strengthened as a result of the project, contributing significantly in improving management effectiveness in the Eastern Cape’s protected areas and nationally related to brokering and implementing co-management systems;




    1. The Knowledge Management System – will be one of the main outputs within outcome 1 and will enable the exchange of ideas and lessons learnt between the project and other initiatives in South Africa and in the region through the National Knowledge Management System housed in SANBI's Collaborative Learning Center. The representative of local government and traditional authorities will benefit from village to village exchange of co-management lessons. The project provides for guidance materials, secondments, and study tours to ensure that the lessons learnt are shared and replicated elsewhere.




    1. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) will provide two complementary mechanisms to facilitate information-sharing, project co-ordination, cross-project synergies, and capacity building between this project and other bioregional programs/projects and associated GEF projects in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa and southern Africa. At the provincial level, SANBI have established the Eastern Cape Implementation Committee to facilitate and support the implementation of large-scale conservation projects and bioregional programs within the Eastern Cape Province. At a national level, SANBI have established the National Bioregional Forum as a structure to enable exchange of ideas and lessons learnt, share resources and facilitate cross-project synergies between coordinators and implementers of bioregional programs across South Africa.




    1. A Monitoring and Evaluation system – will be established by the project with the key function to facilitate adaptive measures to improve impact and accommodate lessons emerging elsewhere. This includes the identification of mechanisms and processes which are working and therefore are ready to be replicated and the modification of what is not working in order to achieve the project objectives. In addition, the independent evaluation scheduled during project life (year 2 and 4) will be tasked with the identification of determinants of success for project activities.



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