Protected areas (PAs) perform a number of critical functions: conservation of biological species, development of recreation and tourism, support of ecosystem services and many others. In order to evaluate if a particular PA achieves the goals of its creation, various methods are used worldwide to assess the effectiveness of its management. Today, more than 80% of countries around the world that use these techniques have formed their national version.
In order to adapt these methods for Ukrainian PAs, within the Support to Nature Protected Areas in Ukraine project, experts analyzed nine methods for assessing the effectiveness of management. As a result, METT – Methodology for Tracking Performance Assessment, was chosen as a basis for a national version. It was developed and supported by the World Bank, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and other institutions. In 2008 methodology was adapted for the regional level in Ukraine, namely for the Carpathian region (CPAMETT version).
“This is a brief assessment with no additional costs. For several hours PA’s employees are surveyed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of management on 14 criteria: from legislation and equipment to conservation of species ” – explained the Conservation Officer of the SNPA project, Ph.D., Bogdan Prots.
This adapted methodology is used in order to assess the effectiveness of investments into the target areas of the SNPA project. Such an evaluation process is conducted in 3 stages: at the beginning of the SNPA project, directly after investments and at the end of the project.
For the SNPA project, the initial evaluation showed an average of 53% in management effectiveness. In the best German parks, for example, this figure reaches 90-100%. However, it is inappropriate to compare parks with each other, but only analyze their dynamics over time.
The second stage will be the evaluation after the purchase of computer equipment, cars and motorcycles, uniforms, etc. The third stage – at the end of the project, in order to compare with the baseline and analyze the effectiveness of investments within the project. The expected increase is 20% on average. According to our estimates, the planned investments accelerate the development of model PAs by 27 years.
Based on the experience gained using the methodology (CCPAMETT) over the last 10 years, the project specialists together with experts from the German Development Bank KfW (which is implementing the SNPA project on behalf of the German government) have developed a number of necessary improvements. As a result, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and National Resources of Ukraine was presented with an adapted methodology for the assessment of Ukrainian PAs – U-METT. Currently is planned that this technique will become mandatory when assessing the effectiveness of the Nature Reserve Fund institutions. In order to implement the methodology at the national level, the manual will be finalized and should be approved as a mandatory document for use for the whole protected area sector in Ukraine.