Building the case for increased funding for protected area and coral reef management

Published: 07 April 2021
Last edited: 08 April 2021

DECR is one of the main protected area managers in TCI. As a government department, DECR depends on funding allocated through a regular budget cycle. Although the government collects a number of fees and taxes that are linked to nature-dependent sectors such as tourism, none of these payments is earmarked to protected area management. Instead, these funds flow to the consolidated fund, from which they are redistributed across public entities.


Building a strong case for protected area management was fundamental for DECR to promote: 1. increasing funding through the regular budget cycle, and 2. earmarking of a portion of nature-related revenues.


To support DECR in this task, GCFI funded technical assistance for the estimation of budget needs and gaps for basic and optimal protected area management. In addition, an assessment of the tourism value of nature was conducted based on existing studies. By comparing these figures, DECR could show authorities that increasing funding was financially reasonable, given that its operating budget in the year under analysis (2015/2016) was 25 times smaller than the added value of nature for tourism and 30 times smaller than the nature-related tourism revenue for the government.


Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Sustainable financing
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Inception phase

Enabling factors

  • Active participation of DECR staff in different functional areas to help establish specific budget needs.
  • Availability of 'willingness to pay' studies in neighbouring countries and territories with similar visitor profiles.
  • Availability of information from tourist exit survey.

Lessons learned

Active involvement of various DECR representatives in the preparation of the business case was fundamental due to the following reasons:

  • Key staff should have a good understanding of the information presented in the business case and the methods used, so that this can be used and updated in the future.
  • Key staff should also be able to effectively communicate the business case to stakeholders.
  • If any staff members leaves the institution, then other members involved in the process should be able to transfer the information internally.

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