With the objective of developing a sustainable financing system for natural protected areas in Egypt, the environmental ministry, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has organised a consultative workshop to discuss the financing strategy for protected areas in Egypt as part of the planned activities of the GEF/UNDP project entitled 'Strengthening protected areas management and financing systems in Egypt'. This project is funded by the Government of Egypt, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNDP.
Participants in this workshop included representatives of the ministries of tourism, petroleum, finance, agriculture, foreign affairs, international cooperation and planning, in addition to universities and research centres, the private sector, the donor community, NGOs and the local community.
The workshop aimed to present the vision of the environment ministry on the PA financing strategy and discussed the most appropriate funding mechanisms for national parks in Egypt and to enhance opportunities for investment in national parks, in order to ensure the conservation of natural resources and provide the necessary funding for their sustainable management.
The protected areas financing strategy is considered a cornerstone to the Nature Conservation Sector strategy. The strategy includes the conduct of an assessment of the status of protected areas, funding gaps and associated legal provisions.
Furthermore, it explores the available revenue generation tools and methods for financial retention to secure the financial needs of the protected areas. Moreover, it presents a framework for Protected Areas financing policy and strategy in light of diverse funding resources, an effective financial administration, an enabling environment, and strong capacities. Additionally, it addresses recommendations on institutional reform, defines the required ministerial decree and explores the factors that prompt the development of a system for protected areas.