About this project

The CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA), adopted by the 7th CBD Conference of Parties in 2004, is a global action plan to establish comprehensive, effectively managed and sustainably funded protected area nteworks in each country. The implementation of the PoWPA has been highly variable across the world, and many deadlines have come and gone. In order to support improved implementation, a number of international conservation NGOs, UN agencies including the CBD Secretariat, and the GEF agreed to develop a program to provide targeted financial assistance for PoWPA implementation.


Because the PoWPA is an ambitious programme with 92 different activities, the UNDP/GEF project team identified a list of the most crucial activities with 2006/2007 deadlines, as well as some critical enabling activities. The focus of the project, therefore, is on 13 critical PoWPA activities, including:

Developing targets and indicators (PoWPA Goal 1.1.1)

Assessing protected area governance (PoWPA Goal 1.1.4)

Assessing ecological gaps (PoWPA Goal 1.1.5)

Integrating protected areas into the wider landscape, seascape and sectors (PoWPA Goal 1.2.1)

Promoting diverse protected area types (PoWPA Goal 2.1.2)

Assessing legislative gaps (PoWPA Goal 3.1.1)

Assessing protected area values (PoWPA Goal 3.1.2)

Eliminating perverse incentives (PoWPA Goal 3.1.5)

Creating positive incentives (PoWPA Goal 3.1.6)

Strengthening protected area capacity (PoWPA Goal 3.2.1)

Assessing and improving sustainable finance (PoWPA Goal 3.4.1)

Developing long-term monitoring programmes (PoWPA Goal 4.1.2)

Assessing and improving management effectiveness (PoWPA Goal 4.2.1)

The project gives priority to Small Island Development States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) -- over 90 percent of the countries in the portfolio are LDCs and/or SIDS. The project was launched in 2007, and the first grants were distributed in October 2007. By January 2009, USD 7.9 million were committed by the project to 47 countries as a result of 5 public application rounds. Grant approvals were made by the International Technical Review Committee (ITRC), comprised of volunteer members from the GEF Secretariat, CBD, UNDP, UNEP/WCMC, World Bank, TNC, WWF, IUCN-WCPA and the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel.

This web-site shares the latest information on PoWPA project implementation in all 47 countries. It is meant to support country-level implementation, as well as to facilitate international communication and learning on the PoWPA. Information is organized by countries and by PoWPA activities, and can be accessed from the menu in the left side of the screen.
To download the recent mid-term evaluation, please click here.
Project facts
  • First call for applications: October 2007
  • Last call for applications: December 2008
  • Number of countries supported: 47
  • Number of grants awarded: 57
  • Number of LDCs and SIDS supported: 43
  • Committed grants: USD 7.9 million
  • Leveraged co-financing: USD 7.4 million
  • Protected area gap analysis supported in 23 countries
  • Vocational training courses to be established in 20 countries
  • Demonstration activities taking place at 93 sites in 33 countries