|AROUND THE WORLD|
|FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT|
The Office of International Affairs has planned and facilitated the National Park Service’s technical assistance and training efforts provided to countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
Listed below are the guiding principles that the Office of International Affairs utilizes when developing and/or evaluating international technical assistance proposals.
Proposed technical assistance activities enable the National Park Service to:
Empower park and conservation authorities and personnel, both domestically and internationally, in enhancing the protection, management, and interpretation of the world’s natural and cultural resources.
Help prevent an imminent threat to internationally recognized resources or will result in the tangible conservation of an internationally recognized park or resource.
Protected Areas Management
Sustain the concept of "best practices" for park and conservation management internationally.
Build capacity and strengthen the institutions that have the responsibility for protected areas management through technical assistance.
Concentrate on making resource protection/tourism one of the ways to help project partners help themselves (Capacity-building).
Identify and implement methods to balance the compatibility of resource protection and tourism, involving outside partners and stakeholders, as appropriate.
Assist in the development of international partners that can teach others within their geographical region.
Planning and Community Outreach
Encourage and provide planners of protected areas with the skills to reach out to stakeholders and involve them in park planning, management, and resource protection processes.
Enable local communities and protected areas’ visitors to comprehend and value the need for the protection of the area’s natural and cultural resources.
International activities should provide the following benefits to the National Park Service:
Assist in the protection of nationally and internationally significant natural and cultural resources managed by the Park Service when they are affected by specific cross-border resource issues and threats.
Enhance the National Park Service’s ability to pro-actively confront challenges it faces in achieving its domestic mission through increased experience and professional growth of its employees generated through participation in internationally-related activities.
Focus on a new, innovative opportunities of importance to the Park Service.
Listed below are guidelines for project selection:
The proposed project must be compatible with U.S. foreign policy objectives and/or helps implement U.S. treaty obligations.
NPS has a legal basis or mandate for providing assistance to, or exchange with, this country.
The project is compatible with the NPS mission and it is feasible and suitable for the Park Service to be involved.
There is not an over-saturation or duplication of "donor" assistance in this subject area from other sources (e.g. non-governmental organizations, other international park/protected areas agencies, other U.S. environmental agencies, and/or the private sector).
The project integrates conservation activities with sustainable development, not only on-site but in surrounding communities, so that local residents can see the economic viability of conservation activities.
It is a demonstration project that can be used to train others and/or assist partners to become a regional resource for other protected areas professionals.
All proposed NPS international activities must be developed in accordance with the NPS International Strategic Plan, developed in 2003-2004. In particular, all proposed international projects and/or travel must address the following "Evaluation Factors:"
Established relationship with a country or organization; in most cases, a formal agreement
Significant potential for capacity building in the country
Urgent and compelling need
Shared natural or cultural features
Issues of common concern
Important to U.S. foreign policy
Potential for effective follow-through
Discernible benefits to U.S. parks and NPS
Cost sharing with another country or partner(s)
Is NPS the best agency to do the project?
More information on the NPS International Strategic Plan is available here.
Note: The National Park Service recognizes the sovereignty of its key international partners and involves them, as well as strategic stakeholders, in the planning process to determine their needs and alternative strategies for addressing those needs.