CREWs on board with the Caribbean Gateway

13 July 2019

Natural resource managers across the Caribbean have been brought together to collectively improve how data on protected areas in their territories is validated, monitored, and used by policy makers regionally and internationally to make decisions about managing their natural resources.

Twenty-six representatives from government agencies and non-governmental organisations in the Caribbean have become CREW (Credible, Reliable, Energetic and Willing) supporters of the Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (the Caribbean Gateway), the regional observatory for biodiversity and conservation management for the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme in the Caribbean.

The BIOPAMA Programme aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the ACP Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund, jointly implemented in the Caribbean by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and The University of the West Indies (UWI).

The CREWs drawn from 14 of the 15 ACP countries in the Caribbean participated in a regional training workshop between May 20 and 23, 2019, hosted at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) in The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, which houses the Caribbean Gateway.

The workshop facilitated a detailed review and update to the design and functionality of the Caribbean Gateway and improved the understanding by participants of the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) data management process. The WDPA is the most comprehensive global database of marine and terrestrial protected areas (PAs) and provides the information that the Caribbean Gateway draws on to populate its datasets on PAs in the region.

Participants got an opportunity to review and validate the information held in this public database about their countries in the presence of a team from the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), which compiles and manages the data that is in the WDPA.

UNEP-WCMC has partnered with the BIOPAMA Programme through its regional observatories to work with countries to improve the quality of the PA information represented in the WDPA. The establishment of the CREWs in-country teams is part of the strategy being implemented by the Caribbean Gateway to engage countries and facilitate the uptake, sharing and usage of this data and information.

This is in keeping with the mission of the Caribbean Gateway to be a resource hub for facilitating and promoting viable decision and policymaking for the effective and sustainable management of protected areas and biodiversity.

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