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About the project

History and status of the project

Okavango River signThe EPSMO Project was inititated in 2001 by the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) with the support of the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. To address the critical transboundary elements of a proposed Environmental Assessment  and IMP, Stage I of GEF support was designed to enable completion of a Trans-boundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), and to formulate  a Strategic Action programme (SAP).  This project provides for these activities, and sets the stage for long term investment activities to protect the ecological integrity of the basin.

Specifically, the TDA will develop required physical and socio-economic models across the whole basin needed to facilitate joint management based on wide participation and the removal of institutional barriers. The SAP will structure diverse inputs and identify specific resources necessary for implementation of the transboundary elements of the EA and the IMP. A follow on project will support implementation of the SAP. The SAP will provide an essential monitoring and evaluation tool for the implementation phase. The project provides for a process of formal endorsement of the SAP by the participating governments, support to the translation of SAP provisions into national policy and legislation, and the mobilisation of institutional and investment resources for its implementation. A follow on project will support implementation of the SAP.

Following an OKACOM decision in July 2001, the Programme Management Unit (PMU) was  located in Luanda, Angola. The UNDP/GEF EPSMO project has been operationally closed as of end October 2010, following the decision made at its final Tripartite Review meeting held on 6 October 2010. The financial closure of the project will follow within 12 months after the operational closure. In the meantime, OKACOM developed its Roadmap towards SAP finalization and endorsement in August 2010, and also developed an implementation plan for the Roadmap (with clear milestones and timelines) in September 2010. OKACOM requested UNDP’s assistance to support the Commission in carrying out the implementation plan and realizing the Roadmap, beyond the operational closure of the EPSMO (UNDP/GEF project). Responding to the request, UNDP began supporting the countries and OKACOM from September 2010 to March 2011. According to the OKACOM Roadmap and its implementation plan, both TDA and SAP will be finalized, reviewed, and approved, and SAP endorsed at the ministerial level by March 2011. Currently, revised TDA and SAP are under review by OKACOM.

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