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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  1. This Project Document shall be the instrument referred to as such in Article I of the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement between the Government of South Africa and the United Nations Development Programme. The host country implementing agency shall, for the purpose of the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement, refer to the government co-operating agency described in that Agreement.

  1. The UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa is authorized to effect in writing the following types of revision to this Project Document, provided that he/she has verified the agreement thereto by the UNDP-GEF Unit and is assured that the other signatories to the Project Document have no objection to the proposed changes:

  1. Revision of, or addition to, any of the annexes to the Project Document;

  2. Revisions which do not involve significant changes in the immediate objectives, outputs or activities of the project, but are caused by the rearrangement of the inputs already agreed to or by cost increases due to inflation;

  3. Mandatory annual revisions which re-phase the delivery of agreed project inputs or increased expert or other costs due to inflation or take into account agency expenditure flexibility; and

SECTION II: Strategic Results Framework and GEF Increment

PART I. Incremental Cost Analysis

1. National Development Objectives:
1.1 The paramount development concerns of the Government of South Africa are economic development (employment creation and poverty alleviation), and the improvement in social services, such as health and education. A public investment program is being spearheaded to develop economic infrastructure, strengthen social services, and create the enabling conditions necessary to generate employment. At the same time, the country is strongly committed to the objective of biodiversity conservation. While a range of conservation strategies are in place, PAs remain a cornerstone of efforts to fulfill this purpose. The challenge remains of establishing a bio-geographically representative PA estate in a landscape characterized by high species richness, and high turnover of biodiversity. Traditionally PAs have been established on state land; increasingly, they are being established on private lands. However, a replicable paradigm for PA management suited to communal lands has still to be developed. A number of communal lands host high biodiversity values, and the Government recognizes that it needs tailor made strategies and management approaches to create PAs in these areas, that are suited to the social, economic and institutional context. There is a particular need to nest PA management in regional development strategies and into local economies, and to establish effective collaborative management systems involving PA authorities, local government and local communities.
1.2 This imperative is especially acute in the old “homeland areas” such as along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province. The Province has developed a Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP) that provides the framework for guiding poverty relief in the area. A decentralization strategy is being pursued, devolving service delivery to local government based on principles of subsidiarity, and the Plan is given substance through framework policies and legislation. In the long-term this approach is expected to improve the development status of the Wild Coast. However, financial and technical assistance is being requested from the international donor community to help underwrite the one-time costs associated with building a representative PA estate in the area, and establishing the institutional framework, learning and building the social capital for collaborative PA administration, as needed to enhance management effectiveness. The intention is to replicate good practices in other communal areas -- targeted at sites where PA coverage and effectiveness is inadequate.
2. Global Environmental Objectives:
2.1 The Wild Coast lies within the Eastern part of the Eastern Cape Province, extending from the Kei River mouth in the South to the boundary with KwaZulu Natal Province to the North-East. The terrestrial areas of the Wild Coast lie within a recognized biodiversity hotspot—the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot, while the estuarine and marine environments also have high biodiversity values, the latter forming part of an important transition zone between the warm waters of the Western Indian Ocean, and the cooler warm-temperate waters along the South Coast. Both the terrestrial and marine environments face a number of anthropogenic pressures, which if left unchecked will likely culminate in the forfeiture of key conservation values including direct use, indirect use and existence values. The Global Environmental Objectives are to create a representative and effectively managed PA estate in this area, so as to strengthen the National PA System, as well as to establish the know-how and systems for sharing PA management responsibilities with communities.
3. Baseline Scenario:
3.1 The principal threats to the biodiversity of the Wild Coast stem from the over-harvesting of marine and estuarine resources, and on land, non timber forest resources, and habitat degradation from over grazing and colonization by invasive alien plant species. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to successfully attenuate these threats, including: attention to poverty alleviation, definition of property and usufruct rights, and improvement of governance systems, in addition to measures to strengthen the systemic and institutional capacity for biodiversity conservation, and in particular PA management to safeguard the most vital repositories of biodiversity. The baseline situation, defined as activities that can be justified independently of global benefits13, is described for three activity bundles, allowing for cross referencing against Project Outcomes. These are: (i) Institutional framework for development and environmental management; (ii) investments in Type 1 PAs; and (3) investments in local economic development and environmental management, in larger production landscapes suited for the establishment and maintenance of Type 2 PAs.

  1. Strengthening Policies and Institutions:

The Province will spend US$ 2.1 million on institutional restructuring in DEAET including the redeployment of staff. The Eastern Cape Parks Board has been established, and Government will focus its efforts on institution building. Simultaneously a Provincial law reform process is underway, consolidating different pieces of environmental legislation and reducing policy fragmentation. Land Affairs through the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights will invest US$ 23.8 million in brokering land tenure reform, by providing grant funding and facilitating leasing arrangements, including the administration of any circumscriptions on the use of land. DEAT is developing norms and standards under the PAs Act and Biodiversity Bill, governing management planning, invasive alien species, monitoring and reporting, amongst others. There is an unmet need to establish norms and standards, and accompanying regulations for co-management, based on tested on-the-ground applications of co-management systems. The DWAF will invest US$ 8.6 million in the delegation of management authorities for forest resources to Provincial and local institutions (DEAT, local communities or local municipalities, depending on proposed use). Interventions will include establishing participatory forest management fora, to manage resource use agreements governing forest lots between DWAF and local communities. The capacity in Provincial and local government structures to assume shared management responsibilities will remain weak, as will the capacity to develop collaborative management arrangements. Further there will be an unmet need to rationalize decision-making and management authorities between Provincial and local agencies. Although information systems will be needed to ensure sound co-management, there are no plans to establish them.

  1. Protected Area Management:

The Eastern Cape Parks Board would cover staffing, and routine operations expenses in five terrestrial PAs, with a planned investment of US$ 15.2 million. MCM will invest US$ 1.3 million in strengthening enforcement and compliance monitoring for the coast. The Board will be responsible for letting terrestrial tourism concessions to private operators (2 concessions are planned in Mkambati and Silaka PAs). The private sector would invest US$ 15.8 million in the development of tourism infrastructure, including roading and interpretation facilities. The State has transferred land ownership for two PAs to communities (Mkambati and Dwesa-Cwebe) and the possible transfer of other, (Hluleka and Silka) is being assessed by the Land Claims Commission: with the circumscription that land remains under PA status. Any benefits accruing from land (including from the private tourism concession in Mkambati) will be shared between Government and the community (for example through equity participation or employment). A total of US$ 2.2 million will be spent on promoting tourism to the Wild Coast PAs by the Province.

Despite the afore-mentioned investments, a number of gaps would remain in the arena of PA management. Limited resources would be allocated directly to the management of MPAs, with fishery enforcement activities spread diffusely along the coastline, without concentration in the MPAs. Overlapping jurisdictions for the management of MPAs (between MCM and the Province), currently in play, would likely continue. There is a need to rationalize management of MPAs, founded on sound business plans and underpinned by capacity building. As far as the terrestrial PAs are concerned, staff capacity to perform routine PA functions is very poor; there are currently no management plans for terrestrial PAs, and an asymmetry in capacity between the reserves is in evidence. Management efficiency could be bolstered through pooling staff and other resources under a PA cluster management approach, and using a management effectiveness rubric as a basis for assigning financial and human resources.

  1. Local Economic Development and Environmental Management:

Sustainable Livelihoods: A significant investment in development of the tourism sector is planned, with a focus on community driven and managed tourism enterprises, or joint equity ventures with private investors. The following investments are planned: the European Union will invest US$ 3.6 million in the community tourism program, mainly for capital works and planning14; the Eastern Cape Tourism Board will make a significant investment in tourism development and promotion together with the municipalities, complementing local government funds US$ 5.8 million. Government programs will make a significant investment in enhancing food security and land care: including through improvement of subsistence farming systems (extension services/ inputs). This work is funded by the Department of Agriculture and local Governments (to the amount of US $1.5 million) and has conservation spin-offs, by accelerating farming systems intensification and reducing shifting agriculture by smallholders.
Environmental Management: DEAET will invest US$ 1.5 million on monitoring the Coastal Conservation area including the demolition of illegal cottages, and controls over illegal harvests of living marine resources. DEAET’s investment US$ 1.4 million, providing Integrated Environmental Management support throughout the Wild Coast on education and awareness, Environmental Impact Assessments, Co-operative governance/institutional support and Waste Management. The DBSA will invest US$ 5 million in Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Wild Coast, to define ecologically sustainable land use options and support the development of land use planning system. This will be matched by an investment from Local Government (2 district municipalities and 7 local municipalities) in land use planning (incorporating the spatial development framework, to detailed land use plans) estimated at US$ 1.4 million. A sum of US$ 4 million would be appropriated for institutional strengthening within local Government bodies, aimed at enhancing administrative functioning and their Local Economic Development and environment cluster. This would include several environmental management activities such as waste management, pollution control, environmental management planning/ system development, coastal zone management, recycling and rehabilitation of landscapes.
The national government is investing in job creation through a labor intensive infrastructure development program- Expanded Public Works Programme. As such, DEAT would appropriate funds US$ 35 million for coastal clean up, under the Coast Care Programme (including for waste management, and clearance of alien species), sustainable livelihood programs such as mussel bed rehabilitation and mariculture development, and training of river guides and other associated activities. DWAF’s Working for Water would invest in labor intensive manual controls of invasive alien species (eucalypts, wattles), while the associated Working on Fire program is expected to contribute to fire management, through a pilot intervention that will be upscaled. The aggregate cost of these activities is estimated at US$ 6.5 million.
The baseline is expected to see the progressive upliftment in the social and economic status of the Wild Coast. However, without specific countervailing interventions, it is also likely to see an acceleration of pressures on biodiversity in Type II PAs. In particular, the indigenous forest areas, identified as high conservation priorities, and the one kilometer width strip of land running along the coast will need special attention. Management of these areas will need to be consolidated and rationalized. A dispensation for allowing sustainable use of coastal, marine and forest resources in these areas will need to be developed and administered. Currently, a number of barriers to effecting sustainable use of these resources exist. These may be characterized as: (i). scientific know-how: limited understanding of recruitment dynamics, definition of sustainable off-take rates and harvest methods; (ii) absence of collaborative management systems, defining roles and responsibilities of Government and communities for planning, executing and monitoring management of resource utilization. (iii) definition of usufruct rights within communities over these resources.
4. GEF Alternative:
4.1 The proposed GEF alternative15 includes a series of strategic interventions designed to contribute towards the improvement of South Africa’s Protected Area System. The GEF alternative will assist the executing agencies to: (i) expand PA coverage, and improve management effectiveness in PAs along South African Wild Coast, so contributing to improved bio-geographic representation in the national system; and (ii) augment 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. These protected areas will be managed under a range of co-management agreements between provincial and national authorities, local communities and the private sector, as suited to the needs in different sites. The project will further provide 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.
4.2 The project goal will be achieved through the following three complementary outcomes:
Outcome 1: Institutional framework and capacity to facilitate co-management systems for PAs is in place.
Total Cost: US$ 3,345,200; Co-Financing: US$ 903,000; GEF Request: US$ 2,442,200
To achieve this outcome, the project will include the following activities: strengthening capacity of the Eastern region of the ECPB to broker co-management agreements [GEF: US$ 1,580,200; ECPB: US$ 210,000]; improving capacity of the ECPB to implement co-management agreements: [GEF: US$ 44,000; ECPB: US$ 330,000]; improving the capacity for co-management of strategic key institutions (municipalities, Land Affairs etc): [GEF: US$ 18,000; ECPB: US$100,000; Municipalities: US$30,000]; knowledge management system for establishment and implementation of co-management is developed: [GEF: US$ 192,000; ECPB: US$ 15,000]; regulations guiding the co-management of protected areas are produced and adopted by relevant institutions: [GEF: US$ 46,000; ECPB: US$ 20,000]; financial mechanism for protected areas: [GEF: US$ 36,000; ECPB: US$ 50,000]; sustainable resource use policy: [GEF: US$ 36,000; ECPB: US$ 8,000]; public awareness program [GEF: US$ 200,000; ECPB: US$ 60,000]; and monitoring and evaluation: [GEF: US$ 290,000; ECPB: US$ 80,000].
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
The activities under this outcome will focus on the existent provincial nature reserves and marine protected areas (both IUCN Category IV). GEF alternative will include: Increased capacity of local community structures to negotiate and implement co-management agreements: [GEF: US$ 917,000; ECPB: US$ 20,000]; Adaptive management planning systems for each strict protected area is established [GEF: US$ 206,000; MCM: US$ 200,000; Eastern Cape Province: US $100,000]; active management interventions: [GEF: US$ 307,000; ECPB: US$ 100,000; MCM: US$50,000]; and prioritized protected areas expanded in adjacent communal land through co-management agreements: [GEF: US$ 66,000; ECPB: US$ 1.5 million].
Outcome 3: A functioning network of managed resource protected areas (Type 2 PAs) 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
The activities under this outcome will focus on the new multiple-use protected areas under IUCN Category VI. GEF funds will cover the incremental costs associated with: rationalize the management authority: [GEF: US$ 124,000; ECPB: US$ 50,000]; local community structures have an increased capacity to negotiate and implement co-management agreements [ GEF: US$ 46,000; ECPB: US$ 20,000]; Cooperative governance structure for the Coastal Conservation Area is established [GEF: US$ 80,000; ECPB: US$ 25,000; DEAT: US$ 330,000]; adaptive management planning systems for each managed resource use protected area is established: [GEF: US$ 118,000; ECPB: US$ 10,000]; active management interventions: [GEF: US$ 1,790,800 ; DEAT: US$ 5 million; DWAF: US$ 5 million]; Micro-enterprises based on sustainable use of resources are facilitated [GEF: US$ 368,000; DBSA: US$ 10 million]; and protected areas are consolidated into viable management units through co-management agreements [GEF: US$ 35,000; ECPB: US$ 10,000; DEAET: US$ 500,000].
5. Incremental Costs and Benefits:
The Systems Boundary for the Incremental Cost Analysis is defined spatially by the project site, spanning an area of 4000 sq. kms., along the Wild Coast16. The time horizon is defined by the life of the project (6 years). The baseline, comprising activities that can be justified primarily in the national interest has been estimated at US$ 134,700,000 million. The Alternative has been costed at US$ 30,818,000. The GEF would fund incremental costs, amounting to US$ 6.5 million, exclusive of preparatory assistance. These interventions will yield benefits that are diffuse and accrue over the long term, associated with expanding the PA estate and improving management effectiveness. These investments would accordingly, not be undertaken in the short to medium term, if justified solely on the immediate domestic benefits. GEF funding amounts to a modest 4.7% of the Alternative.

Incremental Cost Matrix


Cost Category

Cost (US$ mln)

Domestic Benefit

Global Benefit

Component 1: Institutional Strengthening


ECP: 2.1

DWAF: 8.6

DLA: 23.8

Total= 34.5

Improved capacity to plan, execute, coordinate, monitor and adapt Government interventions, to address local development concerns.

Improved governance framework for the pursuit of BD conservation, anchored by more efficient and locally responsive institutions.

GEF Alternative

Total= 3.345


GEF: 2.442

ECPB: 0.873

Municip: 0.030

Total cof.: 0.903

New norms and standards established for co-management thus improving the application of Government Policy (viz. democratic governance).

The social sustainability of PAs in South Africa is improved through development of a tested and replicable model for PA co-management.

Component 2:

Protected Areas


ECPB: 2.2

Province: 2.2

Pvt Sector: 15.8

MCM: 1.3

Total = 34.5

Increased private sector investment in PAs improves cost recovery and job creation potential. However, the capacity to support collaborative management partnerships with communities and private investors is weak.

Basic PA architecture in place, but management effectiveness is sub optimal, particularly in MPAs.

GEF Alternative

Total = 3.966


GEF: 1.496

ECPB: 1.62

MCM: 0.75

Province: 0.100

Total cof. = 2.47

Improved capacity of PA system to simultaneously address BD conservation and tourism development objectives.

Management effectiveness in existing Protected Areas is enhanced, improving the sustainability of the PA system and cost-effectiveness of PA interventions.

Component 3:

Mainstreaming Protected Areas


ECTB: 5.8

DEAET: 2.9

DA: 1.5

DWAF: 6.5

DEAT: 35

EU: 3.6

Local Govt: 5.4


Total = 67

Significant improvement in social and economic conditions in the Wild Coast

Existing PA system is not fully representative of the biodiversity of the wild coast

GEF Alternative

Total= 65.7


GEF: 2.561

ECPB: 0.115

DEAET: 0.5

DEAT: 5.330

DWAF: 5.0

DBSA: 10.0

Total cof: 20.945

Government Conservation Targets are addressed, while allowing for sustainable wild resource harvests as a viable land use and livelihood;

Expansion of the PA estate to include key hotspots, otherwise in danger of degradation; removal of barriers for wild resource use, allows a paradigm shift from unsustainable to sustainable use of biodiversity.



US$ 134.700

GEF Alternative

US$ 30.818

Incremental Cost




Full Project








Grand Total




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