World Bank Project
The World Bank Board approved a grant of US$ 5,5 million from the Global Environment Facility to assist with the expansion and conservation of the exhilarating Addo Elephant National Park. The World Bank Project will span 6 years from 2004 – 2010.
The project will focus on five key areas, namely: Conservation Planning, implementation, institution and governance, community development and economic development.
Over the six years, the project’s vision is to continue to expand both the terrestrial and marine areas of the park; increase the amount of land under private ownership by way of contractual agreements; to develop an Environmental Monitoring System to determine improvements; to increase employment levels by 30% over an April 2000 baseline and to have capable staff and management systems in place to effectively manage the park.
The Resettlement Policy Framework and Action Plan, hailed by the World Bank as Best Practice, was introduced to address the needs of any farm workers who could be affected by the purchase of farm land for park expansion. The formation of a Resettlement Working Group, which meets on a quarterly basis (or as and when required) looks specifically at the implementation of this policy. Representatives on this group include affected farm workers, Agri-EC, Land Affairs, affected municipalities - more specifically housing and development - and SANParks. To date 12 farm workers have been given permanent employment and a further 34 employed in poverty relief programmes in the park.
The development of small- medium- and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in local communities around the Addo Elephant National Park is greatly benefiting both the economy of locals and the conservation of biodiversity.
An SMME liaison officer was appointed through the World Bank Project to oversee implementation of these development goals and the development programme was launched in October 2004. Work began with the verification of an existing database of SMMEs created during the DEAT poverty relief programme. New SMMEs capable of being developed were also identified and added to the database.
Currently, 48 SMMEs are registered on the database, with 40 of these being formal SMMEs – registered and fully-operating businesses.
A training programme was implemented, based on the findings of a skills audit, concentrating on costing, pricing and tendering – vital skills needed in the competitive business world.
Work opportunities within the park were identified for these. This is where the benefit for biodiversity came in, with large areas of newly acquired land in the Park being rehabilitated for introduction of wildlife.
Between February 2005 and February 2006, a total of R4 565 967-20 was awarded to these SMMEs. In addition, 661 previously unemployed people from local communities are employed.
SMMEs are also linked up with outside opportunities where possible. One success story is that of an SMME in the small town of Paterson who identified a need for protective overalls within the farming communities around the Park. Through the Park’s SMME Development Programme, they were linked up with a mentor and new opportunities, thereby creating a successful small business.
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Official Guide on Sale
This 52-page full-colour brochure gives the visitor a complete overview of the Park, its fauna and flora, history, new developments, accommodation and activities. Highly recommended! Available from the park directly.
Did You Know?
- The park boasts the Big Seven: (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark)