Financial Considerations and Donor’s Meeting
Establishing and managing protected areas costs money. There are significant running costs associated with ensuring that protected areas are effectively protected, that local communities benefit from them and that the value of protected areas are maintained in perpetuity. Three separate studies estimated the total annual cost for effective management of the existing protected areas in developing countries ranges from US $1.1 billion to $2.5 billion per year / and the funding shortfall (total cost minus current funding) between US $1 and 1.7 billion per year (figure).
Figure. Estimates of funding needs and gaps for effective management of existing protected areas in developing countries (Source: Bruner et al., 2004)
Governments are conscious of these estimated shortfalls and, in adopting the programme of work on protected areas, they called for increased financing, including external financial assistance for developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The Conference of the Parties therefore urged Parties, other Governments and funding organizations to “mobilize as a matter of urgency through different mechanisms adequate and timely financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work by developing countries, particularly in the least developed and the small island developing States amongst them, and countries with economies in transition, in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention, with special emphasis on those elements of the programme of work requiring early action” (paragraph 9 of decision VII/28). The Conference of the Parties also called on Parties and development agencies to integrate protected area objectives into their development strategies (paragraph 11 of decision VII/28).
Activity 3.4.7 of the programme of work calls for the convening of a meeting of the donor agencies to discuss options for mobilizing funding. In this context, potential donor agencies and other relevant organizations met in Montecatini, Italy on 20 and 21 June 2005, and identified financial considerations for protected areas, including short-term national-, regional- and global- level options for mobilizing additional financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas. This meeting also emphasized to undertake country-level protected area values and benefits initiatives to assess protected area contributions to poverty reduction and Millennium Development Goals..