Rehabilitation of Iona National Park

Iona National Park - Credit: UNDP

On Thursday, February 7th, 2013 the Republic of Angola, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a funding agreement for the conservation of biodiversity in the largest transboundary national park in the country, Iona National Park.
On the part of Angola, the document was signed by the Minister of Planning and Territorial Development, Job Graça, as coordinator of the European Development Fund (EDF) and the European Union, through his ambassador to Angola, Javier Puvol.

For this project, Angola contributes a value of 2,700,000 Euros,  4,000,000 Euros from the  European Union, 1,800,000 from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and 1, 500,000 from the Global Environment Fund (GEF -5).

At the same ceremony, the Angolan Minister of Environment, Maria de Fátima Jardim, as the implementation and project beneficiary agency, also signed with the UNDP, under the same Iona project, an agreement for the implementation of the Strategic Support Environment Programme (ASAP). The document was signed by the UN Resident Coordinator in Angola and UNDP Representative, Maria do Valle Ribeiro.

Highlights

  • The total cost of the project is 10 million Euros.
  • The project will also finance capacity building in the concerned areas of conservation.
  • Iona National Park offers the possibility to be one of the main areas of the transboundary conservation in Africa.

On this occasion, the Minister of Planning and Territorial Development highlighted the fundamental importance of protecting biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development in Angola.

The National Project for the conservation of biodiversity of the Iona National Park will take place over four years and with have two levels of interventions.
At the national level, the project will support the National Institute of Conservation Areas of Biodiversity in the assessment of the current state of national parks and nature reserves, and the management of protected area systems.
At the local level, the project will rehabilitate the Iona National Park, which has a large number of unique species and habitats, and will form a geographic link with the large areas of coastal conservation in Namibia "Skeleton Coast Park.”  Thus, it offers the possibility to be one of the main areas of the transboundary conservation in Africa.

According to the Minister of the Environment, the project will also finance capacity building in the concerned areas of conservation. The Minister argued that the project will contribute to the implementation of the National Plan for the Environment and Biodiversity and also the adaptation strategy for climate change.

"The impact of climate change, and the inappropriate use of natural resources, has affected our most vulnerable populations. To assist them, we will work with the support of international organizations to change the situation on the basis of sustainable development commitments, " stated Fátima Jardim.

Through the different developed strategic projects, the sector will be able to give greater attention to women, who are considered the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

"With the different developed projects to implement, we stress that Angola is turning a new page to make the environmental sector as a priority," she mentioned.

Officials from the Governments of Angola, representatives of the European Union and from UNDP participated in the event.

Located in the province of Namibe, the park covers 15,000 square kilometers.