South Africa: Catalysing Financing and Capacity for the Biodiversity Economy around Protected Areas

Introduction and background
Purpose and objectives
Benefits of the project
Project implementation
Documents for download


Introduction and backgound


The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has secured a grant from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF -7) under its biodiversity focal programme for the project entitled: South Africa Biodiversity and Illegal Wildlife Trade. Stakeholder engagement is one of the central concepts of the project. The World Bank Environmental and Social Standards (ESS10) require that these documents are made available to project affected groups, local NGOs, and the public at large. Public disclosure of the documents is also a requirement of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) environmental and social procedures. As such, the project is engaged in continuous stakeholder engagement from identification to date and these will continue throughout implementation. A stakeholder mapping was undertaken, and stakeholder engagement plan has been prepared to guide the project.

The Government of the Republic of South Africa is already preparing the “South Africa: Catalysing Financing and Capacity for the Biodiversity Economy Project”. A US$ 9 million operation financed through the grant of the (GEF-7) administered by the World Bank to leverage financial resources and improve capacity to implement the biodiversity economy and increase benefits from selected protected areas landscapes to local communities. The project will be implemented by Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), South Africa National Parks (SANParks), iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA) and South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) with the assistance of Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) and Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET).


Purpose and objectives


The Catalysing Financing and Capacity for the Biodiversity Economy around Protected Areas Project seeks to leverage financial resources and improve capacity to implement the South African Biodiversity Economy Programme and increase benefits from selected protected areas (PA) landscapes to local communities.

The project will involve investments in: (i) building biodiversity economy nodes for community stewardship and livelihoods; (ii) growing the wildlife economy nationally to enhance communities’ stake in wildlife conservation; (iii) project management. The project is currently at the preparatory/design stage and will be participatory and consultative.


Benefits of the project


The project’s primary activities can be expected to yield multiple categories of benefits. Quantifiable benefits include: - restoration and conservation of terrestrial and aquatic ecological process and management of the Addo Elephant National Park, Greater Fish Reserve, the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and the Kruger National Park as well as support for a number of local development initiatives, including employment and livelihood generating activities. Improved land cover due to rehabilitation efforts, reduced forest loss and encroachment, improved livelihoods/earnings/job opportunities for local people, increases in eco-tourism arrivals / earnings, and multiplier economic benefits from the jobs and tourism increases. Though it is not a primary purpose of the project, some carbon sequestration or reduced emissions could be expected (and quantified) based on improved agricultural and natural resource management practices and reduced encroachment on conservation areas. Less tangible benefits include strengthened institutions, habitat connectivity, greater economic opportunity, and improved environmental service delivery, such as water quality.

The project design builds on South Africa’s National Biodiversity Economy Strategy (NBSEP), which seeks to balance biodiversity and natural resource protection with sustainable use for economic development and equitable distribution of benefits. The NBES sets out measures to develop the wildlife, biotrade, bioprospecting, and ecotourism sectors, aiming to create 162,000 jobs and generate USD3.19 billion in revenue by 2030.


Implementation of the project


The project’s component one is designed to demonstrate DEFF’s biodiversity economy nodes concept in the three project sites through (i) improving stakeholder coordination, more efficient use of existing resources, and alignment of investment; (ii) channelling funding and technical assistance to SMME development to improve economic activity and create jobs; (iii) improving benefit sharing by local communities through strengthened governance models; and (iv) expanding the PA estate through South Africa’s stewardship program (details in Annex 10). Component one activities will be carried out in the Greater Addo-Amathole Node in the Eastern Cape Province, the Greater Kruger-Limpopo Node in Limpopo Province, and the Greater iSimangaliso Node in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Component two is designed to share lessons learned from the three project nodes – between the nodes, at national level, and internationally through the Global Wildlife Program – for replication and scale-up. These activities will be carried out at the national level.

Specific activities to be financed include: training on business planning and business expansion; mentorship programs; and small grants for equipment and small infrastructure. Financing will include: technical assistance and extension services to communities to achieve the following: (i) design, implement, and monitor land-use management plans; (i) restore and/or maintain the veld for grazing productivity and ecosystem functioning; (ii) undertake infrastructure planning and development (e.g., in the form of a CDF); (iii) implement a system for sustainable off-take and harvesting rates and procedures, e.g. for timber, medicinal plants, game; (iv) equip youth as community monitors of ecosystem condition and functioning; and (v) manage potential human-wildlife interaction.


Important documents to note


Environmental and social management framework (ESMF), 12 May 2020

The ESMF is an instrument that examines the risks and impacts when a project consists of a program and/or series of subprojects, and the risks and impacts cannot be determined until the program or subproject details have been identified. This ESMF is expected to ensure that environmental and social management is integrated into the development and operation of investments to be financed under the Project to ensure effective mitigation of potentially adverse impacts while enhancing accruing benefits.

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Process framework, May 2020

This document is the process framework for the proposed South Africa: Catalysing Financing and Capacity for the Biodiversity Economy around Protected Areas, P170213 (the Project). The aim of the PF is to establish the consultative process by which the communities that agree to land restrictions participate in the designing of the restrictions as well as in proposing the mitigation measures that are critical for the successful outcomes and in order to avoid any adverse social and economic impacts from restrictions to land use.

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Stakeholder engagement procedures, 11 May 2020

The overall objective of this stakeholder engagement plan (SEP) is to define a program for stakeholder engagement, including public information disclosure and consultation, throughout the entire project cycle. The SEP outlines the ways in which the project team will communicate with stakeholders and includes a mechanism by which people can raise concerns, provide feedback, or make complaints about project and any activities related to the project.

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