Nature Hotspots to Get Boost Through Joint EU Initiative

9 September 2012

Jeju, Korea, 10 Sept, 2012 (IUCN) – Threatened natural areas in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are set to benefit from a unique partnership between the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC) and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ)

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme (BIOPAMA) is an initiative of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States funded by the European Union through its European Development Fund. It is a 20 million Euro (28.1 Billion South Korean Won) effort to develop capacity in the three regions for biodiversity conservation. BIOPAMA will also be supported by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries are home to extremely rich natural and human diversity, including nearly 2.2 million square kilometres of state, community managed and other protected areas. These countries are also host to 11 of 25 of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and at least 220 different indigenous groups. The protection and sustainable use of these diverse regions’ natural resources, however, is under threat due to lack of information and capacity to plan and effectively manage them.

BIOPAMA will address this challenge by providing skills, tools, training and information to conservation managers, policy makers, indigenous and local communities, training institutions, universities and the private sector. This will enable protected areas in these countries to be more effectively managed, while garnering the benefits from their use. BIOPAMA will contribute to improving implementation of global and national nature conservation policies in the framework of the three objectives (conservation, sustainable use and sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“Better conserving and valuing our biodiversity can help reduce poverty and provide benefits for local and national development,” said Grethel Aguilar, Director of the IUCN Regional Office in Mesoamerica, which will be helping to implement BIOPAMA’s Caribbean efforts. “BIOPAMA will, for example, help provide protected area managers and conservation staff in the Caribbean with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to conserve biodiversity, in turn benefiting the region’s diverse communities.”

BIOPAMA will provide technical support and advice to policy makers and protected area agencies as well as to all relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, conservation observatories will be established in the regions to facilitate networking, serve as training centres, coordinate policy and develop and implement regionally tailored protected areas awareness programmes. Existing training centres will also benefit from support for improving their curricula and capacities.

BIOPAMA runs initially for four years starting in 2012. BIOPAMA has two main components – one on protected areas implemented by IUCN and the European Commission and another on access to and sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources implemented by the multi-donor Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Capacity Development Initiative managed by GIZ.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
• Brian Thomson, IUCN Media Relations, m +41 79 721 8326, email [email protected] 
• Maggie Roth, IUCN Media Relations, m +41 79 104 2460, email [email protected]

About IUCN
IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

About the European Commission and the Joint Research Centre
The European Commission represents the general interest of the EU and is the driving force in proposing legislation (to Parliament and the Council), administering and implementing EU policies, enforcing EU law (jointly with the Court of Justice), negotiating in the international arena and providing international aid. As the in-house science service of the EC, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support, including policies and programmes at global level and specifically those focusing on the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).  

About the ABS Capacity Development Initiative managed by GIZ
The ABS Capacity Development Initiative aims to contribute to poverty reduction, food security, technology transfer, social development including equity and rights, and biodiversity conservation through implementing the Nagoya Protocol (NP) on ABS and the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in its entirety. Established in 2006, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the governments of Germany, Norway and Denmark, the Institute de l’énergie et de l’environnement de la Francophonie and the European Union.


An initiative of the ACP Secretariat, funded by the European Union

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