WESTERN & CENTRAL AFRICA
The most recent meeting of the Working Group on protected areas and wildlife of COMIFAC that took place at the end of May 2016 endorsed the IMET (Integrated Management Effectiveness) tool and encouraged further engagements of the Central African States for protected areas planning, monitoring and evaluation using this tool.
The Commission for Central African Forests (COMIFAC) Executive Secretariat organized in Douala from 24 to 27 May 2016 the meeting of the Working Group on protected areas and wildlife. One of the objectives of the meeting was to exchange on the different initiatives for protected areas management in Central Africa. In this context, IMET was brought to the attention of the participants at this meeting, representing States: Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Rwanda and Chad, regional organizations: COMIFAC and RAPAC (Central African Protected Areas Network), as well as other organizations acting in this region: GIZ, IUCN, WWF, TRAFFIC and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
Representatives of OFAC (the Central African Forests Observatory), the host of the BIOPAMA Protected Areas observatory for Central Africa, provided the participants with an update on the IMET tool and how it is applied in protected areas in this region based on the trainings and data collection that already took place in protected areas in Burundi, Gabon and DR Congo. Similar activities took place in West Africa in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.
IMET was developed in the context of the BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) programme to contribute to improving protected area management effectiveness and meeting conservation targets. This tool concerns the planning, monitoring and evaluation of protected areas and it directly support managers on the field and at national agencies level.
The recommendations of the COMIFAC meeting show a clear support of the Central African actors for the use of the IMET to improve biodiversity conservation and protected area management in the region. In addition, OFAC and other regional partners were urged to continue enhancing the capacity building trainings, in order to equip national actors with the knowledge on using the IMET in their jurisdiction. The process of data collection and analysis through the IMET will be formalized with national protected areas agencies and reinforced by a regional agreement between COMIFAC/OFAC and RAPAC.