REFERENCE: 2021/458-953

Budget: 349.800 Euros

Duration: 10 months


The European Commission has decided to support the ecotourism sector in protected areas in Sub-Sahara African countries where the Covid-19 crisis has stuck the wildlife economy stopping or blocking the development of sustainable tourism.

These countries face an increasing pressure on their natural resources, which in many cases are already threatened and overexploited. Many of these countries are biodiversity rich, protect biodiversity hotspots, unique ecosystems and forests (humid and dry) that are essential in the current climate mitigation international effort following the COP-26 in Glasgow.

Several of these countries are explicitly foreseeing to support biodiversity conservation efforts and more generally environment protection.

The EU “Larger than Elephants” strategy identifies the key landscape for conservation in these regions and recognises tourism as a potential support to reinforce the nexus between biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. It covers the priorities agreed with all of the sub-Saharan countries now also through the newly adopted NaturAfrica initiative, which approach is to tackle biodiversity loss by supporting a network of protected areas to protect wildlife and offer opportunities in green sectors for local populations”. This approach entails that a sustainable tourism sector around protected areas is built back better.


In a consortium with COWI, Prospect C&S is implementing consulting services with the overall objective to inform the EU on the best options to support ‘build back better’ approaches in protected area tourism following the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and testing the relaunch of sustainable tourism in African protected areas.

The results to achieve are :

Result 1. Analysis, formulation and testing of concrete possibilities to use new financing instruments to support nature-based tourism programmes in Africa.

Result 2. Support training and re-training of staff to selected test case destinations of nature-based tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa where i) a stop has been marked or ii) the development has not been possible due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Prospect C&S will draw on the experience of the successfully implemented previous project in Africa: “Consolidating and Replicating Eco-Tourism Successes in Sub-Saharan Africa”, which included among main topics of support :

  • Capitalisation of and recommendations for the support to ecotourism initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Safeguard measures for the protection of indigenous and local populations associated with tourism initiatives;
  • Training programs for hospitality services in Dzanga Sangha National Park (Central Africa Republic) and Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo).