A series of events taking place in Suva, Fiji from 25 November to 6 December will provide an opportunity to advance the work of BIOPAMA in the Pacific region, while maximizing the potential to gain a concentrated account of regional progress on the implementation of ecosystem conservation.
The events – the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas (PICNCPA), the CBD capacity building workshop for the Pacific on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi targets, and the UNESCO Pacific World Heritage Workshop – will also provide the IUCN BIOPAMA Pacific team the chance to track initiatives and lessons learned, view summarized information, and observe and contribute to the key regional and national strategic actions required to push progress toward the Aichi targets. Workshops on topics such as marine spatial planning and species conservation running alongside the events will also provide learning and information gathering opportunities. For BIOPAMA in the Pacific, the influx of events is fortuitous timing. All Pacific countries and territories will be represented by their focal points for various projects, and a host of experts, institutions and NGOs will contribute to the dialogue.
BIOPAMA will be presented during the lead-in week workshops, as well as providing its own parallel session at the PICNCPA. In addition to introduction sessions, presenters will showcase current data and information systems and tools under development, including the primary BIOPAMA tool, the Digital Observatory of Protected Areas (DOPA). An overview of regional capacity building efforts and recommended approaches will also be detailed, with feedback encouraged. The presentations will stimulate discussion around tactical approaches to resolving delivery blockages, and how the presented initiatives, and similar ones, could be tailored, refined and applied for the most effective regional impact. The forums will additionally provide the chance to establish relationships with new colleagues. Most significantly, however, they will enable specific exploration and prioritization of the most fundamental and critical actions that BIOPAMA should be pursuing in order to be an effective and influential regional program.
With the establishment of the Pacific DOPA about to commence, along with the development of a capacity building action plan, the events provide the ideal occasion to look, listen and engage with regional practitioners, improving their awareness of BIOPAMA and refining the best approaches for the program. Additionally, synergies between BIOPAMA and other projects and initiatives will be identified, as will requirements for closer cross-institutional partnerships to optimize programme delivery.