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GEF Full Sized Project (Vlasic)

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Strengthening the institutional and financial sustainability of the national protected area system

Strengthening the institutional and financial sustainability of the national protected area system

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  • Timewise – a two-year process, 18 months of hard prep work
  • Processwise – GEF initially approves the idea, approves a grant to fund preparaiton – assessments, analyses, stakeholder enggeement, participatory process, detailes of full project acitivites, monitorning framework, indicators, tracking tools preparations.... Prodoc in the end has 100 pages sharp! And 15 additional files...
  • What is it about?
  • Where is it about? 8 national parks and 11 parks of nature – nationally designated protected areas
  • The current institutional set-up for management
  • The first component:of the project is focused on improving the current institutional framework for national protected areas in order to address its key systemic and institutional weaknesses (weak coordination; limited performance accountability; duplication; cost-inefficiencies; and inequitable distribution of funds). The incremental approach of the proposed project is summarised as follows: (i) The largest portion of the protected area system in Croatia encompasses a network of 19 National Parks and Nature Parks (‘national protected areas’), each park being administered by a relatively autonomous Public Institution (PI). (ii) Despite a sizable overall budget for these national protected areas, there are two significant barriers to the effective conservation of biodiversity in these national protected areas:The first is that the PIs are currently administering each of the National Parks and Nature Parks with very little coordination, limited accountability and with some replication and/or duplication of effort.The second is that only two national protected areas currently cover all their annual human resource, operating and capital costs from self-generated income. The PIs for the remaining 17 national protected areas all require additional financial assistance from the state budget, with a cumulative annual shortfall estimated at ~US$3m/annum.(iii) The Government of Croatia thus seeks to focus immediate priority and attention on addressing the institutional and financial sustainability of the network of national protected areas, in order to improve the delivery of their core biodiversity conservation mandate. (iv) The key interventions required to improve this institutional and financial sustainability are: a) strengthening the governance (i.e. roles and responsibilities; policies; management processes; management approaches; accountability) of the institutional framework for national protected areas; and b) diversifying the sources of funding for, and adopting more cost-effective management approaches in, national protected areas. (v) These interventions will collectively result in a significant improvement in the conservation, management and rehabilitation of the priority ecosystems, ecological corridors, habitats and species represented in national protected areas. Without the GEF investment in the proposed project, the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario for the national protected area network in the next few years is one where: (i) There is limited capacity, and variable regulatory authority, in MENP to effectively fulfil a coordinating and oversight function for national protected areas; (ii) There is limited cooperation, collaboration and sharing of resources across and between the individual national protected areas, and their PIs; (iii) The majority of national PIs do not have sufficient funding to staff and effectively manage protected areas, and are highly dependent on financial support from government and donors; (iv) A small number of national protected areas continue to generate high revenue flows, but no mechanisms are in place to cross-subsidize other less well funded national protected areas from these large income streams; (v) There is a lack of consistency and standardisation in the implementation of best practice conservation planning and management approaches across different protected areas; (vi) Operational inefficiencies, and duplication of effort, commonly occur in national PIs, leading to excessive and wasteful expenditures; (vii) The reporting on, and accountability for, the performance of the protected areas is weak and not aligned to meeting national biodiversity conservation objectives; (viii) The financial imperative in PIs is leading them to increasingly manage the protected areas for extractive harvesting purposes and/or to increase tourism and recreational use to the detriment of the core protected areas biodiversity and heritage values; and (ix) There is increasingly limited influence and control over the detrimental impacts on the biodiversity and heritage values in national PAs.  Alternative scenario enabled by the GEF: The project has been designed to incrementally build on the existing foundation of institutional capacities in, and financial resources of, the network of national protected areas in Croatia. The project has been organised into two components, and will be implemented over a period of four years. The first component of the project is focused on improving the current institutional framework for national protected areas in order to address its key systemic and institutional weaknesses - weak coordination, limited performance accountability, duplication, cost-inefficiencies and inequitable distribution of funds. Under this component GEF funding will be used to develop a national planning framework for protected areas – comprising an overarching long-term strategic plan, a medium-term financial plan and a set of operational policies and guidelines – as a mechanism to better coordinate the efforts, and align the performance accountability, of the protected area agencies (MENP, SINP and the national protected area PIs). GEF resources will also be used in this component to strengthen the financial management capacities of these protected area agencies in order to reduce cost-inefficiencies, improve revenues and develop mechanisms for revenue-sharing between PIs. Further, GEF funds will be used to support the establishment of a ‘shared service centre’ - that will function as a centralised support service to individual PIs - as a means of reducing duplication of effort across the protected area agencies and improving their cost-effectiveness through ‘economies of scale’. Finally, GEF funds will be used in this component to assess the efficacy of – over the longer term – establishing a single, rationalised park agency as a more enduring solution to the systemic and institutional weaknesses of the current institutional framework. The second component of the project is focused on improving the financial sustainability of the national protected areas to ensure that they have adequate financial resources to cover the full costs of their management. In this component, GEF funds will specifically be used to reduce the transaction costs of user pay systems in national protected areas by developing and testing alternative automated entry/user fee collection systems and piloting mooring fees as a means of collecting revenues for boat-based access to marine national protected areas. GEF resources will also be used under this component to support the expansion and inter-linking of a number of isolated attractions/destinations in national protected areas into a more integrated tourism and recreational product in order to improve the visitor and/or user experience. Finally, GEF funding will be allocated under this component to improving the productive efficiencies in national protected areas by: (i) identifying the mechanisms required to strengthen service standards, and improve economic efficiencies in the high-income generating national parks; and (ii) encouraging the adoption of more energy efficient technologies in national protected area in order to reduce the high recurrent costs of power supply.  
  • 1.1.Prepare a medium-term national planning framework, for the PA system comprising:1. Strategic Plan (strategic direction, coordination, collaboration) for protected area system2. Financial plan (funding needs; mechanisms to diversify and increase income streams; cost-savings; efficiencies; financial management systems; financial management skills; etc.) for protected area system3. Operational policies and guidelines for national protected areas 1.2. Financial and accounting policies and proceduresIn-house training program on financial and accounting policies and proceduresSpecialist professional financial management support service (on retainer contract)Professional short-course financial training supportPricing strategy and standardised fee structure for all products, services and facilitiesTechnical support to raise funds from targeted donors and other agencies1.3. Focus on testing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of establishing a SSC (in the legal form of an association of PI’s) to deliver commonly used services (initially marketing, centralised booking and legal support) to PAs.GEF funds will be used to develop a detailed business case for this SSC. GEF funds could also be used to co-finance the establishment, equipping, staffing and running costs of this SSC. Finally, GEF funds could be used to co-finance the contracting of technical and specialist support to this SSC. 1.4. Define and profile alternative optionsCBA and ranking of different optionsPrepare a conceptual design for preferred optionMap the approach to, and technical requirements for, implementing the preferred optionDevelop a costing for implementing the preferred option over a pre-defined transitional period
  • Pogled na Kornate
  • The second component: of the project is focused on improving the financial sustainability of the national protected areas to ensure that they have adequate financial resources to cover the full costs of their managementThe second is that only two national protected areas currently cover all their annual human resource, operating and capital costs from self-generated income. The PIs for the remaining 17 national protected areas all require additional financial assistance from the state budget, with a cumulative annual shortfall estimated at ~US$3m/annum. The table below summarizes the total available funding for 2011 for national protected areas:Source of fundingNational Pis(National Parks and Nature Parks)2011 (US$) + SINP (protected area functions)2011 (US$)Government Budget Allocations8 160 472 + 1 623 981Other Government Income652 027 + 57 489Property Income752 364+ 103 368Own Income56 457 680 + 1 155Donor Revenue and other income1 222 554 + 1 219TOTAL (US$)67 245 097 + 1 787 212  Of the total funding available (~US$ 72,193,218) for the national protected area system in 2011 (including funding for protected area support functions in SINP and MENP), US$51,979,654 (~72%) is generated directly by just three National Parks – Plitvickajezera (US$35,267,865), Krka (US$9,204,815) and Brijuni (US$7,506,974). Excluding the budget allocations for protected area support functions in MENP (estimated at US$3,160,909).
  • 2.1. (i) Testing the feasibility of developing an annual/monthly smart-card based electronic ticketing system (including business plan, system design, branding, printing, software, distribution system, pricing, administration system, promotions, etc.) for national protected areas(ii) Procuring and installing in situ automatic entry-ticket vending machines (Ucka Nature Park, Risnjak NP and Papuk Nature Park) (iii) Design, installation and management of a mooring buoy pay-for-use system (Telascica Nature Park) 2.2. (i) Risnjak NP – guided mini-bus/walking/cycling circuit route though Kupa river valley to link with entry and finish point at Hrvatsko(ii) Ucka Nature Park – electric train transport system to link the visitor centre at Poklon to Vojak Peak lookout point (and connect with the future cableway to Medveja) via tar road(iii) Vranskojezero Nature Park – electric boat transport system linking individual park attractions (Prosika-Basinka-bird viewing reserve-Crkvine)(iv) Papuk Nature Park – overnight accommodation facilities at Duboka stream for multi-day education, recreation and adventure activities2.3. (i) Assess ways of improving the cost-effectiveness of existing tourism services in, and optimising the income streams from, high tourism use national parks (Plitvickajezera, Brijuni, Krka) – CBA and recommendations (ii) Encourage the adoption of more energy efficient technologies in Risnjak NP (Crni Lug) and Papuk Nature Park (Velika) – retrofitting administrative buildings/visitor complex to reduce power usage (heating and cooling systems, water heating system, lighting, building energy performance, etc.)
  • Špilja Modrič, Paklenica
  • Transcript

    • 1. GEF Full Sized Project ‘Strengthening the institutional and financial sustainability of the national protected area system’
    • 2. The project context • June 2012: the project concept is summarised in a Project Information Form (PIF), approved into the pipeline of the fifth funding cycle of GEF (‘GEF 5’) • December 2013: the project is cleared by the GEF and endorsed for an amount of US$4,953,000 grant to Croatia
    • 3. The project context • GEF has provided funding, through a Project Preparation Grant, to develop the project documentation. • A team of consultants (3 national and one international) have been contracted to support UNDP and the Ministry in the drafting of the project documentation • The full project will be implemented over a period of four years 2014-2017
    • 4. Submission file: prodoc of 100 pages, 15 additional files...
    • 5. Strategic approach to project design The project is activity-focused around two key areas of support to national protected areas: Key area 1: increase efficiency of management - Reform the institutional framework and strengthen systemic and institutional management capacities Key area 2: increase financial efficiency - Improve the financial sustainablity of the network of national protected areas
    • 6. Strategic approach to project design The project is spatially focused on the network of ‘national protected areas’ (National Parks and Nature Parks)
    • 7. Project structure - two components Component 1: • improve the current institutional framework • address it’s key weaknesses • build on the strong sides of the system [19 public institutions, weak coordination; limited performance accountability; duplication of functions]
    • 8. Component 1 - outputs Output 1.1: National planning framework for PA system Output 1.2: Financial management capacity of PA institutions Output 1.3: Shared Service Centre (SSC) for national PAs Output 1.4: Feasibility assessment – CBA and ranking of different options for establishing a ‘park agency’
    • 9. Project structure - two components Component 2: • improve the financial sustainability of the national protected areas • ensure that they have adequate financial resources to cover the full costs of their management [cost-inefficiencies; inequitable distribution of funds; funding gap for optimal management]
    • 10. Component 2 - outputs Output 2.1: Reduce transaction costs of userpay systems in national protected areas Output 2.2: Develop integrated tourism services in national protected areas Output 2.3: Improve the productive efficiency of national protected areas
    • 11. Full project budget GEF funding GEF (USD) Component 1 (including M&E) 1,762,000 Component 2 2,842,000 Project management 349,000 TOTAL (GEF) Co-financing 4,953,000 GEF (USD) UNDP (project management) 500,000 National PIs (Vransko jazero; Papuk; Ucka; Telascica; Risnjak) 811,116 MENP 16,700,000 TOTAL (Co-financing) 18,011,116
    • 12. Implementation arrangements UNDP Responsible to GEF for monitoring of project implementation - Provide administrative and financial support services to project (procurement, accounting services, contracting services, etc.) Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection Responsible to UNDP for national implementation of project - Appoint a National Project Director (NPD) to provide strategic oversight and guidance to project implementation
    • 13. Implementation arrangements Project Board (PB) Responsible for project co-ordination and decision-making. Representation may include: - MENP (Chair) - UNDP - SINP - MRD&EU Funds - MF - National PIs
    • 14. Implementation arrangements Project management staff Day-to-day administration of project - Project Manager - Project Associate (administrative and technical support) Protected area institutions (SINP + PIs) Responsible for implementing predesignated project outputs and activities
    • 15. Parks: for people and nature toghether! sandra.vlasic@undp.org