PARCC West Africa

PA management, financing and monitoring


Key findings: The approaches of 'change management' can assist PA managers in successfully implementing adaptation strategies. Many of these strategies are already being applied but need to integrate climate change information and adopt a more dynamic approach. There is a broad range of PA financing mechanisms available, but only a few of them are currently used in West Africa.

This review involved a) researching a broad range of possible adaptation options for managing PAs to minimise climate change impacts, and b) reviewing possible financing mechanisms. The review was compiled via a desktop literature review, consultation with key experts, and validation by the project's technical advisory group. It is targeted primarily at government and non-government agencies responsible for funding and managing PAs, although some findings may also be relevant to donor governments and agencies.

A range of possible adaptation strategies were identified, including some which are already in use in West Africa. Furthermore, it was shown that 'change management' approaches can assist PA managers to successfully implement their chosen adaptation strategies. Many climate change adaptation strategies are available and already in use. These adaptation strategies use similar tools and approaches to business-as-usual PA management, but integrate information about climate change impacts and a much more dynamic understanding of biodiversity and climate. In West Africa, the PARCC project is at the forefront of efforts to assist PA managers with climate change adaptation. However, there are significant challenges associated with introducing PA agencies to a new more dynamic approach, and change management techniques can assist with necessary transitions.

A broad range of PA financing mechanisms are available, some of them commonly in use in West Africa, however, adaptation financing for PAs is different from other financing mechanisms, and some specific criteria should be taken into account when developing PA adaptation and funding strategies in the region. Of the many available mechanisms to finance PAs, only a small number are commonly used in West Africa and include tourism charges (especially gate entry fees), central government budgets, and donor funds. Furthermore, PA financing is not simply about having more funding, but also the mechanisms to manage and use the funding effectively, which are ultimately questions of management effectiveness. It is difficult to distinguish financing for PA adaptation to climate change from general PA management costs, and it may not be useful to do so. West African PAs face particular challenges, which point to seeking out more straightforward solutions to climate change adaptation and financing challenges. A simple nine-step model is proposed to provide general guidance to PA managers in West Africa to successfully meet the challenges, and indeed opportunities, presented by climate change: 1. Start up, 2. Build a coalition, 3. Get better information, 4. Set your evidence-based strategy, 5. Plan for change and manage adaptively, 6. Mobilise resources, 7. Implement, monitor, evaluate and improve, 8. Build capacity, and 9. Share and exchange. Some of the available tools to help PA managers are also presented in the review.

Smith J. 2013. Managing and financing protected areas to adapt to climate change: A rapid review of options. UNEP-WCMC technical report.


Key findings: A new climate change component has been added to the original Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) framework, developed by IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and two new indicators on the integration of climate change issues into management effectiveness assessments have been added to the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT).

The successful management of PAs is complex and requires the full consideration of all threats, including the potential effects of climate change. However, existing site-focused tools for measuring PA management effectiveness do not include the likely impacts of climate change in their assessments.

Additions to the original Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) framework developed by IUCN's World Commission on Protected A eas (WCPA) were formulated, and a new climate change component was integrated. Based on this updated framework, two new indicators related to the integration of climate change issues into site-based management effectiveness assessments were developed. These new indicators constitute important additions to the existing Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) that is mandatory for use in all GEF protected area projects globally, and is also used by many nations and NGOs working with protected areas effectiveness. By adding new questions to the METT that address the planning and management response to climate change at the PA scale, we have proposed changes to a generic tool that can be used in all protected areas to monitor management issues related to climate change.

The two new questions on climate change with each four possible answers are as follows:

1. Has the protected area been designed to take into account the likely effects of climate change?
1.0: Climate change was not taken into account during PA design, and no subsequent consideration has been given to address its impact
1.1: Climate change was not taken into account during PA design, some planning, but no action has been taken to address its impact
1.2: Climate change was not taken into account during PA design, but planning and some action to address its impact has taken place
1.3: Climate change was taken into account during PA design or in subsequent planning for impacts and has resulted in changes to the PA design

2. Is the protected area being consciously managed to adapt to climate change?
2.0: There have been no efforts to consider adaptation to climate change in management.
2.1: Some initial thought has taken place about likely impacts of climate change, but this has yet to be translated into management plans.
2.2: Detailed plans have been drawn up about how to adapt management to predicted climate change, but these have yet to be translated into active management.
2.3: Detailed plans have been drawn up about how to adapt management to predicted climate change, and these are already being implemented.

Beside this new module on climate change, a question on governance and resource rights was also included. The updated METT tool was successfully tested in the eight PAs of The Gambia as a pilot country. The new tool was then applied to the five transboundary protected areas of the project. By bringing it to the national level, the new tool was applied in different PAs and countries, and helped nations gather important information on the status of management in their PA networks that will enable them to measure changes over time, including in relation to climate change.

Belle E., Stolton S., Dudley N., Hockings M. and Burgess N.D. 2012. Protected Area Management effectiveness: A regional framework and additional METT module for monitoring the effects of climate change. UNEP-WCMC technical report.