Environmental governance and biodiversity

Project description

Title: Environmental governance and biodiversity
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Algeria
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water Resources and the Environment (MREE)
Overall term: 2014 to 2019

Context

Algeria has an abundance of natural and biological resources. However, the development of urban centres, increasing industrialisation, climate change and the absence of suitable environmental governance mechanisms are threatening the country’s environment, ecosystems and biodiversity. Environmental governance mechanisms cover all regulations related to the environment, including policy prescriptions and funding mechanisms.

Objective

Instruments and approaches for environmental governance that aim to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity are introduced. 

Approach

The project team is working with and bringing together policy makers from various ministries, institutions and the private sector to introduce environmental governance principals. The project is promoting dialogue among all parties involved and training employees in the areas of environmental governance and biodiversity. It is supporting employees from institutions in the capital as well as in the Wilaya region and its municipalities in making administrative processes more efficient. The project team is getting members of the community and civil society organisations involved with its work. The approaches developed in the Wilaya region can then be replicated in other regions of Algeria.

Results

The project team has cooperated with local partners to create a geographic information system for El Kala National Park and thus obtain sound information on biodiversity. To raise the National Park’s profile, they launched a design competition, which resulted in six potential logos for the park. 600 schoolchildren from nearby Wilaya El Tarf took part in a competition to select the best biodiversity posters for the park. This has raised the public’s awareness of the importance of the park.

Imams are also committed to biodiversity: twelve imams from Wilaya El Tarf took part in a competition to prepare the best sermon on biodiversity.

An interministerial commission is currently working to develop a standardised taxonomic reference framework. This will outline a uniform process for classifying the biodiversity situation and the environment based on certain criteria.

To ensure that people in Algeria can make sustainable use of biodiversity resources, the project team has identified four ecosystems, which provide 20 ecosystem services. The project has evaluated the economic benefits of 14 of these ecosystem services. Based on this evaluation, four product lines have been set up, including oils from the mastic tree (pistacia lentiscus), and oil and vinegar from prickly pears (opuntia ficus-indica).