EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA
Following the recommendations of the programme's inception workshops in Eastern and Southern Africa, a series of regional stakeholders meeting were held earlier in September to advance the decisions on re-establishing the regional resource hub and other protected area governance and management tools.
Leo Niskanen and Dr Sue Snyman from IUCN Eastern and Southern African Regional Office (ESARO) and Steve Peedell and Dr Lucy Bastin from the EU-Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently held meetings in Nairobi, Kenya with various relevant stakeholders to discuss the way forward for the Regional Reference Information Systems (RRIS), the Regional Resource Hub (previously called the Regional Observatory) and the testing of the Integrated Management Effectiveness (IMET) and other data tools in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA).
The meetings included consultation with the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as to their regional needs and requirements in terms of the RRIS, the role that the Regional Resource Hub will play and what the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) requirements are for this resource.
A telephonic meeting was also held with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat prior to the Nairobi meetings to get their inputs and ideas as well. A meeting was also held with the Kenya Wildlife Services to discuss potential pilot sites for testing data and measurement tools to support them in their current project of institutionalising protected area management effectiveness (PAME) assessments across the country.
It was emphasised that it will be important to work not only at a regional level, but also at a country level to identify country data needs, data tools and products required and what services countries would like the Regional Resource Hub to provide for them. Emphasis was also placed on what the aim of the Resource Hub is: to collect and analyse data to assist countries and regions to report on their national, international, and regional indicators and targets and also to provide technical support and capacity building related to data collection, analysis and reporting.
Roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder were discussed and various action points and steps to be taken to move forward with the RRIS and Regional Resource Hub were established. These meetings provided important input into the ongoing development of the BIOPAMA workplan and related activities, which will be shared with stakeholders in the coming months.