Sustainable Funding for Nature Parks in the Netherlands Antilles. Feasibility Study of a Protected Areas Trust Fund
In 1998 the Dutch Parliament called for a feasibility study for a trust fund and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations agreed, under certain conditions, to make a financial contribution to
such a fund. In 2003 the Antillean Environmental Department invited tenders for this study, which began in 2004 with funding from the Dutch Ministry of the Interior. Besides assessing the feasibility of a trust fund to cover the operational costs of one terrestrial and one marine park per island, the study also included a broader analysis of how park funding can be made more sustainable. The consultants also advised on the technical and organisational aspects of the management and administration of a trust fund and presented a fundraising and communication strategy to support the process.
Summary of the findings
Sustainable funding: feasibility and constraints
- The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that manage the nature parks on the Netherlands Antilles need at least €2.25 million each year to cover the costs of adequately managing at least one terrestrial park and one marine park per island.
- External funding sources are therefore necessary to achieve a sustainable financial situation.
- Certain developments in 2004 and early 2005 have considerably increased the chances of creating a sustainable funding strategy involving these four tracks:
- In future years the National Postcode Lottery (NPL) will play a key role in providing longer-term funding to cover the running costs of the parks (track 1).
- An essential element in the strategy for achieving sustainable funding for conservation management is the establishment of a Trust Fund (track 2).
- The Antillean governments should take their own share of the responsibility by ensuring the required legislative framework is in place and making a long-term financial commitment.
- The main capital donors to the most successful trust funds elsewhere in the world are bilateral and multilateral agencies (such as GEF and the World Bank) as well as international nature conservation organisations such as WWF and Conservation International. It is therefore highly important to obtain contributions from one or more of these parties in addition to the anticipated contribution from the National Postcode Lottery.
- The private sector (business community, individuals and investment funds) is a potentially good source of funds in various tracks, particularly in the form of earmarked or non-earmarked donations, sponsorships and contributions to a Trust Fund (tracks 2 and 3).
- Assuming a combined income of €1.17 million, an annual grant from NPL of €0.45 million and a return on investment of 6%, the Trust Fund would require a capital of €18.9 million to guarantee basic levels of park management on the islands.
- The study provides a detailed design of the institutional set-up and a legal and financial framework for the Trust Fund. Instead of being a separate legal entity, the proposed Trust Fund will be established within the structure of the DCNA, since the advantages of this option outweigh the disadvantages.