BIOPAMA Report from the IUCN WPC 2014

The Biodiversity and Protected Area Management (BIOPAMA) programme participated in the protected area event of the decade, the IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) 2014, taking place in Sydney, Australia, 12-19 November 2014. By putting forward its resources and capacity, and with the support of the European Union and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, who initiated and funded this programme, BIOPAMA achieved important results at this global event. This report summarizes in a few numbers, words, and images, the breadth of activities and work that resulted in a strong BIOPAMA presence and visibility of the European Union and the ACP Secretariat at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014.Read the report here


The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 was held in the Oceania region, offering the most optimum opportunity for BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme) Pacific to invest in showcasing this programme to regional and global actors. Looking back at the successes for the Pacific of this once-in-a-decade event, Tony O’Keeffe, BIOPAMA Coordinator for the Pacific, shares his thoughts on the opportunities to ensure a promising future for the region and the innovative means to voice the Pacific messages to the world.


The European Union is the biggest contributor to biodiversity finance in developing countries, and with the designation of 2015 as the “European Year for Development”, the achievements of the European Union’s global action in the field of conservation will be in the spotlight. Some of these results were showcased recently at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, through the participation of EU-supported protected areas initiatives such as BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management programme).


Capacity development is a key BIOPAMA contribution being highlighted at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, and the Protected Area Governance and Management Book is one of the concrete outputs of the BIOPAMA support for protected areas capacity development.


Regional solidarity, committed international partnerships, education and the need to look beyond the perceived barriers to successful conservation, were at the forefront of an informal dialogue between Pacific island leaders at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney on 13 November.


The world is on track to meet a 2020 target on the expansion of protected areas, but more work is needed to ensure areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are prioritized for protection under equitably managed conditions, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Protected Planet Report.

As part of its information management component, BIOPAMA invested in the production of this report. Download the report here


"Our drums are the voices of our People. Our sails are flags of hope. Our vakas (canoes) are symbols of our communities who have lived as one with nature.
We have adapted to the vast expanses of the Pacific – harnessing the energy of the wind, the sun and the currents and, guided by nature we travel with our message to the world."

Read the Mua messages here. BIOPAMA is supporting the voyage of "Mua:Guided by Naure" to deliver the key protected area messages in the Pacific.


The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress shared knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme "Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions", it presented, discussed and created original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

BIOPAMA supports the objective of the IUCN World Parks Congress Capacity Development theme, to develop and implement a legacy of protected areas capacity development programmes and products. In addition to the specific regional capacity development activities and results, BIOPAMA presented at the IUCN WPC a set of capacity development materials, thus contributing to one of the key capacity development policy aims: the production of learning resources and knowledge products and the development of tools to support achievement of competent professionals.

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas is supporting BIOPAMA’s capacity development activities through the development and testing of a comprehensive set of capacity development materials, with some pilot activities in targeted countries, institutions, and agencies in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. These capacity building materials and activities, and the initial results of their testing, were presented at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014.


The BIOPAMA programme was part of the IUCN WPC 2014 programme with 29 events or related-events, representing 13% of the congress events.  Download this programme here

Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Vaka Traditional Welcome Ceremony (8:30-12:00, Darling Harbor)
BIOPAMA is supporting the voyage of “Mua: Guided by Nature” to deliver key protected areas messages in the Pacific.

Thursday, 13 November 2014
Pacific Islands Leaders Talanoa (11:30-13:15, WIN – Pacific Pavilion)
BIOPAMA is supporting this high level dialogue that will provide commitments from Pacific leaders toward the promise of Sydney.

Launch of the Protected Planet Report (12:00-13:30, Protected Planet Pavilion)
As part of its information management component, BIOPAMA invested in the production of this report.

Presentation of the IUCN WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and PAs (16:00- 17:00, Protected Planet Pavilion)
Results from global study on PA successes in conserving biodiversity; The study was supported by BIOPAMA. 

E-poster Inspiring Solutions for Developing Capacity (15:15-18:30, Touch screen 3)
5 minutes presentation of BIOPAMA inspiring solutions through its capacity development programme.

Conflict-sensitive management of protected areas: Building sustainable and equitable peace side event (20:00-21:00, venue tbc)
Event highlighting BIOPAMA’s capacity development activities on negotiation skills training in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Friday, 14 November 2014
Protected Planet: Status and Trends of Protected Area Coverage Across Countries (13:30-15:00, Room 3A1)
JRC will present the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA): “Providing the right information to the right people with the right tools”. DOPA is the main technical platform for the BIOPAMA Regional Reference Information System (RRIS).

A new paradigm for capacity development: The Global Partnership for Professionalizing Protected Area Management (GPPPAM) (15:30-17:00 Southee Complex Room 3)
Presented by the IUCN WCPA Capacity Development group working on GPPPAM, supported in part by BIOPAMA.

Africa Night (17:30-20:30, Playfair room 2)
A networking event funded and introduced by BIOPAMA, organized with the PAPACO.

Saturday, 15 November 2014
Pacific Day in the WIN Pavilion (7:00-20:30)
Throughout the day, the WIN Pavilion is dedicated to the Pacific. BIOPAMA is financially supporting the Pacific Pavilion on behalf of the region and the discussions link directly to the BIOPAMA priorities for the Pacific. 

Pacific session: Celebrating achievements (8:30-10:00, WIN Pavilion)
One of the achievements celebrated will be the recently established IUCN-SPREP partnership for the BIOPAMA regional observatory for the Pacific.

Africa Leaders’ Dialogue (10:00, venue tbc)
BIOPAMA is helping to coordinate this high level segment that will provide commitments from African leaders as part of the Promise of Sydney.

A Body of Knowledge for protected area management (10:30-12:00, Southee Complex Room 3)
The Body of Knowledge for protected areas is part of the IUCN WCPA Capacity Development group working on GPPPAM, supported in part by BIOPAMA.

Pacific Islands Talanoa (10:30-14:00, WIN – Pacific Pavilion)
BIOPAMA is supporting a facilitated dialogue that will follow through from the Pacific Islands Leaders Talanoa held on Thursday 13th November.

Certification for protected area professionals (13:30-15:00, Southee Complex Room 3) 
A draft guideline, and some working examples presented by the IUCN WCPA Capacity Development group working on GPPPAM, supported in part by BIOPAMA.

BIOPAMA in the Pacific (14:00-15:00, WIN Pavilion)
This session highlights the Pacific developments of the BIOPAMA programme. BIOPAMA is also implemented regionally in Africa and the Caribbean.

Launch of the Protected Area Governance and Management Book (17:30-19:00, Protected Planet Pavilion) 
A new publication supported in part by BIOPAMA to meet the needs of capacity development initiatives across the globe.

Best Practices Guidelines for Climate Change and Protected Areas- launch (17:30-19:00, Nature Based Solut ions Pavilion) 
The guidelines are being produced with BIOPAMA support.

Advancing protected area governance in Africa (18:30-21:30, Stream 6 Home room) 
This event will address the outcomes of the high level dialogue on protected area governance, co-organized earlier this year in South Africa with BIOPAMA support.

The B4Life flagship and the EU support to Protected Areas in Africa (20:00-21:30, Playfair Room 2)
This event organized by the European Commission will highlight, among others, the results of European Union funded projects on African protected areas. BIOPAMA is an initiative funded by the European Union and implemented in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), at the ACP Secretariat initiative.

Protected Areas Networks and Regional Integration in West and Central Africa (20:00-21:30, Playfair Room 1)
This side event demonstrates results of investment in strengthening regional protected areas networks for sustainable natural resource management. BIOPAMA works closely with these networks in the region.

Monday, 17 November 2014
A Resource Fair- Capacity development tools and partners for informal training (7:00-8:00, Southee Complex Room 3) 
The Mutual Gains Approach, promoted within the BIOPAMA Capacity Development Programme, presented by Christine Mentzel, BIOPAMA regional coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa.

TED talks - Mutual Gains Approach (8:30-10:00, Stream 5 Home room) 
The Mutual Gains Approach, promoted within the BIOPAMA Capacity Development Programme, presented by Christine Mentzel, BIOPAMA regional coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Monitoring conservation outcomes inside and outside protected areas (8:30-10:00, Southee North Room)
At this session,  speakers will present and demonstrate relevant applications, including DOPA and the BIOPAMA RRIS.

Mainstreaming protected areas into jobs and sustainable livelihoods (13:30-15:00, Playfair Room 2)
JRC will contribute to this session with an intervention on “Information tools for biodiversity and protected areas management - understanding interactions between conservation and livelihoods”.

Inspiring Solutions for Developing Capacity (15:30-17:00, Southee Complex Room 3)
Interactive session led by the team implementing BIOPAMA will provide an opportunity for participants to share common experiences and to identify capacity building priorities and approaches that will inspire better decisions and improve management of terrestrial and marine protected areas.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Pacific Partners’ Sessions (8:30-10:30, WIN – Pacific Pavilion)
During this event, the BIOPAMA Pacific draft Capacity Development Action Plan will be presented and preliminary input will be sought from partners.

Protected Area Decision Support Tools (17:30-19:00, Member’s Bar) 
BIOPAMA networking event on cutting-edge information technology to improve conservation and protected area management; speakers from Google, ESRI, EC, ZSL, UNEP-WCMC and IUCN.

Next steps for delivering Best Practice Guidelines for Climate Change (19:00-21:00, Hall 3A2)
Follow on session from the launch of “Managing Protected Areas in the Face of Climate Change: Guidance for Protected Areas Managers and Planners” on November 15. The guidelines are being produced with BIOPAMA support.