AfDB Group Supports Environmental Conservation in Angola
Tunis, 11 March 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will help support environmental conservation and sustainable development in Angola with a loan of 12 million Units of Account, equivalent to US$ 17.6 million approved on Wednesday in Tunis by the institution’s Board of Directors.
The Environmental Sector Support Project (ESSP) aims at strengthening the legal, policy, institutional and regulatory framework in support of environmental conservation and sustainable management of the country’s natural resource base. The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the government and other stakeholder institutions with a view to improving livelihoods and reducing poverty.
The Project has three main components: Environmental Governance, Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening; Integrated Natural Resource Conservation and Management as well as Project Management.
This multi-sector project is anchored in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) update, which identified agriculture and environment/natural resource sectors, as key priorities. The project is a follow-up to and a consolidation of a Bank-funded Environmental Investment Study completed in 2006, which established a strong basis for poverty reduction through sustainable exploitation of the country’s natural resource base and environmental awareness creation.
Angola has unique wealth of biodiversity and scientists agree that the country’s biodiversity is one of the most important on the African continent, accounting for 1,260 endemic plants of the estimated 5,000 plant species in Africa and making it the second richest country in Africa in endemic plants. The diversity of mammals is also one of the richest on the continent. Forests occupy about 35% of the country’s territory while the coastline of over 1,600 km is rich in various fish species. The country is also rich in oil and mineral resources including diamonds. The recent trend of environmental degradation poses a threat to fish resources, over-exploitation of plant species, soil erosion, and pollution of soils, water and the atmosphere as well as climate change vulnerability raises concerns about the inherent risks to environmental sustainability.
Direct beneficiaries of the project will include the environment and other line ministries and agencies in the sector including agriculture and rural development, water, fisheries, forestry; NGOs, Community-based Organisation (CBOs), the private sector, research and academic institutions as well as provincial and local governments.
The total project cost is estimated at UA 13.33 million. The African Development Fund (ADF) loan represents 90% of the costs. The Angolan government will provide the remaining 10% or UA 1.33 million.