Developing capacity for protected areas in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific
The richness and diversity of the plants, animals and ecosystems in protected areas of many countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific provides services to local people and communities in and around these areas. The protection and sustainable use of these resources can help reduce poverty and provide benefits for urban areas and communities located far from the protected area itself. However, in most countries there are often information gaps and a lack of adequate capacity to plan and effectively manage protected areas.
BIOPAMA – Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme– seeks to address this challenge. The programme was launched by the European Commission in July 2011 and it is financially supported with Intra-ACP (Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific countries) resources from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). This programme has two main components: one on protected areas which will be implemented by IUCN and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), and another on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), which will be implemented by the Multi-Donor ABS Capacity Development Initiative managed by the German Development Cooperation (GiZ).
BIOPAMA will combine a variety of approaches:
By improving access to and availability of relevant data and information on biodiversity, climate, natural resource management, governance and socioeconomic issues, the programme aims to enhance the management of protected areas and national systems of protected areas. Regional capacity building programmes will be developed in partnership with existing institutions, such as regional training centres. These programmes will train decision makers and protected area managers in order to increase support for protected areas and put in place capacities that enable effective and equitable management of well governed protected areas. They will also involve updating and expanding curricula on conservation and protected areas, as well as developing tools to solve regional conservation issues.
BIOPAMA’s protected areas component is implemented by IUCN and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC). The partners will work together to establish Regional Observatories. These observatories will enable the provision of relevant data and information to assist in better planning and decision making as well as exchanging knowledge.
IUCN will implement BIOPAMA through its Global Protected Areas Programme, its European Regional Programme, four regional offices and two commissions, the World Commission on Protected Areas and Species Survival Commission. This programme is a unique example of how to integrate all of IUCN’s main components - Secretariat, Commissions and Members – under the umbrella of IUCN’s “One Programme” approach. BIOPAMA will also enhance regional partnerships, as well as strengthen existing global partnerships such as those with the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the European Commission/Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (EC/ACP) Secretariat.
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