BIOPAMA Programme Promotes Local Solutions to GBF-Target 3

9 July 2024

At the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda, the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme showcased its impactful work in promoting local solutions to Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Target 3 for 30% of the planet’s lands and waters under conservation by 2030. 

Pacific Regional Coordinator, Rahul Chand, facilitated the event, which explored the impact of BIOPAMA funding on data collection, resilience, and biodiversity conservation, highlighting critical aspects of the programme’s successes and ongoing challenges. 

In her remarks to open the session, Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn, IUCN’s Caribbean Regional Coordinator for BIOPAMA, highlighted global achievements including the establishment of five CBD-endorsed biodiversity centres of excellence across the ACP region. She also stated: “Establishing strong partnerships and networks, alongside developing and strengthening stakeholder management and governance capacities are key pillars for success in BIOPAMA’s ability to influence policy and decision making across the Africa, Pacific and Caribbean regions.”   

Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania, shared insights from the SOPACA report for the Pacific region. She recognised the important contribution of local communities and indigenous peoples in the management of protected areas, despite the capacity constraints at national level that made area-based conservation challenging. She noted therefore that tools such as the SOPACA (The State of Protected and Conserved Areas reports produced under the BIOPAMA initiative) are essential for biodiversity conservation and opportunities exist to create a professional and skilled workforce, focusing on cultural retention and interconnectedness from local to national levels. 

Tenika Griffith, GIS Specialist with the Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (CPAG) underscored the platform’s significance in providing open access to data, facilitating data analysis and visualisations, including through tools such as the SOPACA, and tracking national and regional progress in achieving the GBF targets.  As the Caribbean’s biodiversity centre of excellence, CPAG offers essential tools for public use and fosters regional collaboration.   

The Deputy Commissioner at the National Parks Authority (NPA), Ruleta Camacho-Thomas, demonstrated local-level action to support GBF implementation. She shared how the NPA’s access to key infrastructure has enabled effective research, monitoring, and spatial planning, significantly improving the management of the natural aspects of the Nelson’s Dockyard UNESCO World Heritage Site. She also noted that networking and collaboration though challenging were essential for the site’s continued effective operation.   

The event facilitated a rich discussion around other key issues faced by SIDS, including the need for greater balance between economic activity and resource conservation. The isolation of different fields often hampers effective conservation efforts, highlighting the need for greater connectedness and integration among disciplines. 

Within the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific regions, the impact of the BIOPAMA programme has been recognised for strengthening local and national capacities and providing essential tools, knowledge, and policy support to achieve the GBF. As the final grants come to a close in December 2024, the legacy of the initiative in laying the groundwork for local efforts towards Target 3 of the GBF is a global example for effective conservation action. 

Related Stories: 

IUCN Oceania highlights importance of local solutions to Global Biodiversity Framework at SIDS conference – Story | IUCN

BIOPAMA-established and supported Regional Observatories’ role in the GBF implementation recognised – Story | IUCN

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