Mainstreaming biodiversity in the tourism sector in Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde has set ambitious targets for the expansion of its tourism industry. The achievement of these targets relies on long term competitiveness, which for a significant proportion of the tourism on offer depends on good environmental quality standards and the effective conservation of the country’s landscape and biodiversity assets.

In 2015 Dr Anna Spenceley provided technical assistance to UNDP to help develop a proposal to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for a new USD14 million project to mainstream biodiversity into the tourism sector and strengthen the protected areas system in Cabo Verde. Anna collaborated with a team of international and local consultants to develop the project, through a series of field visits, stakeholder interviews and workshops to develop the project document for submission to GEF.

If the GEF proposal is successful, this project will support initiatives in four priority islands – Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista and Maio. The project will develop coherent and effective enabling frameworks for enhanced multi-sectoral strategic land-use planning at the landscape level, focusing on the tourism and associated real estate/construction sectors. The project also proposes to support the development of new national standards on sustainable tourism and the uptake of international certification systems that are aligned with Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria while promoting destination-based sustainable tourism standards and their operationalisation. The project also intends to spearhead the operationalization of 8 protected areas based on the development of management and ecotourism plans and associated regulations.


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