PARCS Project

Project description

The Full-Sized UNDP-GEF project Strengthening the Institutional and Financial Sustainability of the National Protected Area System – PARCS project seeks to conserve globally significant marine and terrestrial biological diversity in Croatia, through effective management of the protected area (PA) system.

The PARCS Project was prepared during period 2012-2013 by team of consultants - fully engaging respective partners in the project design phase, including one-on-one consultations, working group meetings and project development workshops. 


The proposed project is programmed under the GEF Biodiversity Focal Area, Strategic Objective One: Improve Sustainability of Protected Areas (PAs), and is organized in two components: 

1. Reforming the institutional framework to strengthen the management effectiveness of national protected areas 

This project component is focused on improving the current institutional framework for national protected areas in order to address the key systemic and institutional weaknesses, such as weak coordination, limited performance accountability, duplication, cost-inefficiencies or inequitable distribution of funds.

Under this component a national planning framework for protected areas will be developed. The framework will comprise an overarching long-term strategic plan, a medium-term financial plan and a set of operational policies and guidelines that will lead to better coordination of the efforts and alignment of the performance accountability of all the national protected area agencies (i.e. MENP, SINP and the 19 national protected area Public Institutions [PIs]). 

In parallel with development of national planning framework, the PARCS Project will provide technical assistance to strengthening of the financial management capacities of the national protected area agencies with the goal of reduction cost-inefficiencies and increase of revenues. 

Further, project will provide support for establishment of a ‘shared service centre’ - that will provide centralized support services to individual parks. This will be implemented as a means of delivering value-added system-based services to, reducing duplication of effort across, and improving the cost-effectiveness of, the national protected areas.

Finally, as a conclusion of this component efficacy assessment of – over the longer term – establishing a single, rationalized ‘park agency’ as a more enduring solution to the systemic and institutional weaknesses of the current institutional framework will be performed. 

2. Improving the financial sustainability of the network of national protected areas 

The second component of the project is focused on improving the financial sustainability of the national protected areas to ensure that they have adequate financial resources to cover the full costs of their management.

In this component, project activities will be focused on reducing the transaction costs of user pay systems in national protected areas by developing and testing alternative automated entry/user fee collection systems and piloting mooring fees as a means of collecting revenues for boat-based access to marine national protected areas.

Also efforts will be invested in supporting the expansion and inter-linking of a number of isolated attractions/destinations in national protected areas into a more integrated tourism and recreational product in order to improve the visitor and/or user experience.

Finally, project will assist activities of improving the productive efficiencies in national protected areas by: (i) identifying the mechanisms required to strengthen service standards, and improve economic efficiencies in the high-income generating national parks; and (ii) encouraging the adoption of more energy efficient technologies in national protected area in order to reduce the high recurrent costs of power supply.


Donors                          Amount
Global Environmental Facility (GEF)                               $4.953,000
Co-financing                                 Amount
Government                            $16.700,000
UNDP                                $ 500,000
Public Institution Vransko jezero Nature Park                                 $123,000
Public Institution Papuk Nature Park                                   $78,978
Public Institution Telascica Nature Park                                   $76,956
Public Institution Risnjak National Park                                 $400,000
Public Institution Ucka National Park                                 $143,182