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The Global Environment Facility Council Approves US$41.3 Million Project to Strengthen Management and Climate Change Resilience in Angola's Conservation Areas for Sustainable Development

September 20, 2021

  • Improved management for 3.8 million hectares of terrestrial Protected Areas.
  • Climate-resilient management for 35,000 hectares of community lands.
  • At least 38,000 people to benefit directly, and approximately 250,000 indirectly.
  • Enhanced protection for 17 endangered wildlife species. 

Luanda, Angola (September 20, 2021)The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has approved a US$41.3 million seven-year project (2021-2028) to strengthen the resilience of Angola’s local communities and ecosystems to climate change and support the management of two national parks: the Luengue-Luiana National Park (part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) and Iona National Park (part of the Iona-Skeleton Coast Transfrontier Conservation Area).

The project will support the management of nearly 3.8 million hectares of terrestrial Protected Areas, place 35,000 hectares of community lands under climate-resilient management and enhance protection for 17 endangered wildlife species. It will benefit 38,000 people, of which 14,000 will have enhanced capacity to identify climate risks and engage in adaptation measures. At least 250,000 others are projected to benefit indirectly.

Angola hosts some of the richest biodiversity on the African continent. Its conservation areas are strongholds for species of global concern; they are also the backbone of livelihoods for local communities. However, the conservation areas and the people living in and around them face growing threats from i) climate change and climate variability; ii) deforestation and land degradation; iii) land encroachment; iv) wildlife habitat loss and fragmentation; v) human-wildlife conflict; and vi) overexploitation of wildlife, including poaching; vii) poverty.

Angola’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Environment will manage the project in collaboration with nonprofit and GEF Agency Conservation International. The project is funded by a US$14.8 million GEF grant and US$26.3 million co-finance from the Government of Angola, Conservation International, African Parks, Peace Parks Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and The International Conservation Caucus Foundation. This project is part of the GEF-funded Global Wildlife Program (GWP).

“This project supports Angola’s transition to a resilient economy and low carbon pathway through building on past and ongoing climate change and conservation initiatives, promoting entrepreneurship and ecotourism in conservation areas and strengthening public-private partnerships,” said Her Excellency Paula Francisco Coelho, Secretary of State for Environment, Ministry of Culture Tourism and Environment (MCTE), Republic of Angola.

“This project will significantly contribute to realizing Angola’s vision to rehabilitate its network of National Parks to effectively protect the country’s remarkable biodiversity and secure the invaluable benefits that the parks provide to Angolans and people in southern Africa,” said Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President, Conservation International, Africa Field Division.

The project’s components are:

  • Strengthening the resilience of local communities to climate change in targeted protected areas.
  • Improving conservation area management and wildlife conservation in the two parks.
  • Enhancing the technical and institutional capacity of Angola’s climate change and conservation institutions.
  • Facilitating project monitoring, knowledge management, and sharing of lessons learned.

Key project results include: 

  • Establishing flagship eco-villages with renewable energy, sustainable water supply, and energy-efficient technologies around the Luengue-Luiana and Iona National Parks.
  • Development and implementation of local climate adaptation plans and training of park staff, local communities, and key stakeholders on climate adaptation.
  • Supporting local communities to set up viable climate-resilient livelihood opportunities.
  • Development and implementation of anti-poaching strategies, including training and deployment of rangers.
  • Update and implementation of Management Plans for Luengue-Luiana and Ions National Parks.
  • Development of a comprehensive training programme for rangers, park managers, and relevant stakeholders, and institutionalizing it in Angola’s Wildlife Ranger School in Menongue.
  • Reviewing key policies and planning tools to incorporate climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation.
  • Restructuring Angola’s environmental fund to provide climate and biodiversity finance.
  • Boosting investments in Nature-Based Tourism enterprises in and around the parks.

More information about the project can be accessed by clicking HERE.

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About Conservation International: Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships, and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

 About the Angola Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Environment (MCTE): The Angola Presidential Decree No. 162/20 (dated 8th June 2020) approves the statute of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Environment (MTCE). The MCTE is mandated to formulate legislative frameworks that govern culture, tourism, and the environment; supervise, evaluate and execute the Executive's policy in the field of culture, tourism, and environment; conduct strategies, programmes, and projects that promote culture, tourism, and sustainable environmental management; ensure compliance with national legislation in the culture, tourism, and the environment sectors; ensure compliance with international conventions and agreements that Angola is a party; promote research and education training in the culture, tourism and the environment.

About Global Environment Facility:  The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 135 countries.