Global initiative of $ 23.6 million to support Sudan’s national parks and ecotourism
The main national parks of Sudan must be given increased protection and support for better management, local communities and ecotourism. The $ 23.6 million initiative is to be funded by the Global Environment Facility and the remainder by contributions from the United Nations and national countries, and partners.
A joint statement from Khartoum on Sunday by the Higher Council for the Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR), the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the United Nations Development Program, points out that the announcement comes ahead of the Day World Environment Forum (June 5).
The five-year project will support more than 20,000 square kilometers of land and sea areas – in Dinder National Park, Jebel El Dair National Park and Dungonab Bay Marine National Park, based in the Red Sea – Mukkawar Island. “This will be complemented by assistance to neighboring communities and businesses, national policies and the administration of wildlife and parks,” the statement said.
“This project will provide Sudan with opportunities to further develop in all communities, ensure biodiversity and protect natural resources,” said Dr Amin Saleh Yassin, Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. . “We thank all the partners for their contribution and their progress towards sustainable development. “
Sudan’s rich natural environment is affected by the lack of robust protected areas, both at the policy and operational levels, and by limited livelihood options for those living nearby. Project initiatives will improve key sites, combat environmental degradation and create economic opportunities.
In the parks, biodiversity will be supported through a series of targeted activities, including consultative demarcation of park boundaries and buffer zones with communities; the rehabilitation of some sites of wetlands, mangroves and other areas; creation of wildlife corridors; efforts to combat invasive species; and extended surveillance of protected areas. In addition, improvements will be made to the park’s equipment and facilities.
Efforts to develop economic opportunities will include ecotourism – establishing tourism infrastructure and working with operators on environmentally friendly activities – and expanding livelihood opportunities for the 62 communities within. and near parks.
“This project and other related interventions focus on sustainable livelihoods and the ability of people to make a sustainable living off the land, while protecting the natural resources of Sudan,” said Yuri Afanasiev. , UNDP Resident Representative in Sudan. “We hope this will contribute to the government’s further efforts to support recovery in Sudan.”
At the national level, assistance will include training of international experts for staff of national conservation and environment agencies, and financial support to comply with UNESCO international conservation guidelines, improve management of the system. national parks and develop a park tourism strategy and other national policies.
Emphasizing the expected impact, Professor Rashid Meky, Secretary General of the HCENR, said: “It is a long journey that begins today as we take the first steps of this five-year program. We look forward to strengthening the collaboration we have always enjoyed with UNDP and its partners – this is an important opportunity for the Government and the people of the Sudan. “
The project involves contributions from a range of agencies and partners, including: the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, HCENR, GEF, UNDP, General Administration of Wildlife Conservation, General Directorate of Pastures and Pastures (RPGD), Agriculture Research Corporation (ARC), Sudan Development Initiative (SUDIA), Wildlife Research Center, Sudanese Society for Environmental Conservation ( SECS) and UNESCO.