Contractual arrangements for financing and managing African protected areas: insights from three case studies
Lapeyre, R., Laurans, Y. (2017). Contractual arrangements for financing and managing African protected areas: insights from three case studies, Parks Journal 23(1), March 2017 / DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2017.PARKS-23-1RL.en
Protected area management, contractual approaches, funding gap, innovative financial mechanisms, Africa
Protected areas and conservation are inadequately funded throughout the world, especially in Africa. In response to this challenge, ‘innovative financial mechanisms’ are meant to make use of markets and contractual arrangements to provide for additional and secured funding. The use of these instruments within nature conservation has increased in recent years. Proponents of these instruments argue that they may soon fill the funding gap. Critics warn that such instruments may favour market priorities, which could undervalue the overall conservation goals. This paper analyses the practical functioning of three cases of innovative financial mechanisms for African protected areas. It draws insights about their potential replication, with respect to their contractual design, their associated impacts and success factors, as well as the challenges encountered. The paper argues that these contractual approaches critically depend on enforcing conditionalities, maintaining long-term relations through intermediary organizations, as well as finding champions and building capacities. Challenges to be assessed in the future include the variability of markets and the significance of transaction costs.