National Biodiversity Project: Conservation of Iona National Park

What is the project about

 Himba ethnic group talking with a park ranger in his native language in IONA Park - Credit: UNDP Angola 2016

Angola’s protected area system was created during the colonial era (i.e. prior to 1975). It comprises 13 protected areas (6 national parks, 2 strict nature reserves, 1 regional park and 4 partial reserves), covering  ~6.6% (82,322 km2) of the national territory. Due to prolonged periods of instability in the country (1975-2002) and growing population needs, many of the conservation areas have been almost completely abandoned, without adequate funding, equipment or staff. Angola’s conservation areas are served by a weak administrative system, with extremely limited resources and capacity. The rationalisation and rehabilitation of the existing network of conservation areas, and the creation of new conservation areas, are considered important interventions required for the effective conservation of Angola’s globally significant biodiversity and national reconstruction efforts.

The project goal is to establish and effectively manage a network of protected areas to conserve representative samples of Angola’s globally unique biodiversity. The project objective is to catalyse an improvement in the overall management of the protected areas network, through rehabilitating Iona National Park.

What have we accomplished so far

  Park staff Patrolling in IONA Park - credit: UNDP Angola 2016

The Project is designed as the first phase of a more comprehensive national program to rehabilitate, strengthen and expand Angola’s system of protected areas. For this phase of the national program, the project will focus outputs and activities - over a period of four years - at two levels of intervention.

At a national level, the project will support the government in the establishment and operationalisation of the ‘Department of Conservation Areas’ within the recently approvedInstituto Nacional de Biodiversidade e Áreas de Conservação (INBAC). It will specifically support:

1- the preparation of a strategic business planning framework for the protected area system;

2- the development of an organisational structure and functional staffing complement for the protected area system;

3- an assessment of the current state (biodiversity, infrastructure, management, settlement, land use, etc.) of national parks and strict nature reserves; and

4- the preparation of detailed implementation plans for the rehabilitation of these national parks and strict nature reserves.

At a local level, the project will seek to assist the government to rehabilitate a single protected area - the largest National Park in Angola, Iona National Park (15,150 km2) - through: (i) the establishment, training, and equipping of a functional staff complement for the park; (ii) the renovation and construction of key park infrastructure (i.e. accommodation, offices, roads, water supply, waste management facilities, electrical supply, fencing, etc.); (iii) the development of a park management planning system; and (iv) the piloting of a cooperative governance framework for the park.

In order to achieve the project objective, and address the barriers the project’s intervention has been organised into two outcomes:

Outcome 1: Rehabilitation of Iona National Park

Outcome 2: Strengthen institutional capacity to manage the protected areas network

Who Finances it?



2013
Donor name Amount contributed per year
UNDP $ 530,000
Global Environment Fund (GEF)
$ 264,000
European Commission
$ 452,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

2013
Donor name Amount contributed per year
UNDP $ 354,000
Global Environment Fund (GEF)
$   86,000
European Commission $ 104,000
                                             2014/2015
GEF $ 2,000,000
Europe Union EUR 3,900,000