The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme (BIOPAMA) aims to address threats to biodiversity in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, while reducing poverty in communities in and around protected areas. Specifically, the programme will enhance existing institutions and networks by making the best available science and knowledge available for building capacity to improve policies and better decision-making on biodiversity conservation, protected areas management and access and benefit sharing.
BIOPAMA is an initiative of the ACP Group financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) of the European Union.
BIOPAMA consists of two main parts:
1. A protected areas component, jointly implemented by IUCN and the EC-JRC, that includes:
- Capacity building for regional and national institutions, technical personnel, and protected areas managers;
- Improved access and availability of biodiversity data through the establishment of regional observatories and information systems to improve decision making.
2. An Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) component implemented by the Multi-donor ABS Capacity Development Initiative managed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Well designed and effectively managed systems of protected areas are a vital tool for biodiversity conservation and for maintaining ecosystem services. In some cases they may also provide opportunities for enhancing the livelihoods of local communities, thus having a possible role to play in reducing poverty.
African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries host a huge share of our planet’s biological and cultural diversity. A high number of the world's current thirty-five biodiversity hotspots are situated in ACP Countries – eight of them in African countries. In total these countries have nearly 2.2 million square kilometers of state, community managed and other protected 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. Yet, in spite of governments’ efforts, the rate of biodiversity loss in ACP countries has not slowed down. This is in part due to the fact that existing human and institutional capacity to deal with the issues of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is limited.
The direct beneficiaries of the protected areas component are the regional and national institutions in charge of protected areas planning and management, and the protected areas managers. The indirect beneficiaries are the training centres and national and regional schools, colleges and universities providing training to protected areas managers. The ultimate beneficiaries of the support will be the local communities living in or around existing protected areas.
Beneficiaries of the ABS concept vary depending on where ABS is being applied. Among the main beneficiaries in the context of BIOPAMA are: the National competent authorities for ABS and public institutions in charge of natural resource management, research institutions, private sector stakeholders as well as indigenous and local communities.