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On the 14th of December 2018, the Joint Research Centre launched the version 2.0 of the Reference Information System for BIOPAMA, aimed at assisting the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in addressing their conservation priorities and the sustainable use of natural resources with innovative geospatial information tools and technologies.


RIS 2.0 users' interface - preview


What is it?

  • The BIOPAMA Reference Information System (RIS) 2.0 is a web-based, open source information system specifically developed for African, Caribbean and Pacific protected areas.

  • It provides up-to-date information on the status of conservation in ACP countries, based on a broad range of consistent and comparable indicators at protected area, national and regional level, thus tracking progress towards agreed conservation targets.

  • The system contains, for example, key indicators from the global Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) and the Copernicus Earth observation programme, highlighting changes in the land cover, surface water and built-up areas in protected areas and their surroundings.

  • It aims at supporting protected area decision making at all levels with strong evidence on the implementation of conservation policies and actions.

  • It has been developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

  • It will be implemented in several Regional Observatories hosted in the ACP regions, responsible for running and customizing them based on regional priorities.

  • The Reference Information System also provides fundamental information and factual evidence to enable Regional Observatories to identify priority areas of intervention. These areas can benefit by the Action Component of BIOPAMA, a small and medium scale grant mechanism accessible through the portal from 2019.


What’s new in the RIS 2.0?

  • The latest version is highly performant in low-bandwidth areas and has a completely revised interface grouping indicators according to the pressure – state – response model, a logical framework widely used in conservation.

  • Users can navigate maps, country and protected area pages and indicators in addition to generate themselves their own indicators, customise and download reports.

  • All information comes from web services, so that it is always consistent and up-to-date across all platforms.

  • Restricted access to sensitive information (e.g. management effectiveness assessments) is available to authorised users.

Who is it for?

  • The Reference Information System targets primarily national and regional level agencies and institutions but also protected area managers and anyone else interested in ACP protected areas.

What is the role of the Regional Observatories

  • The Regional Observatories are well-established regional institutions with core competencies in the field of geospatial data and information management, responsible - in partnership with the respective owners - of data management. In BIOPAMA, they have the mandate to develop and handle spatial databases, establish services and applications for online data use, and provide regular support and policy guidance for better decision making on biodiversity conservation.

    Why should my organization use the RIS 2.0?

    • To allow decision makers to access the most updated and comprehensive information on protected areas and natural resources management.

    • To contribute data, information and guidance that can enhance the protected area decision-making and planning at regional, national and site levels.

    • To benefit from periodic status reports on biodiversity and other policy support materials, as well as the networking function of the Regional Observatories.

    • To build the capacity of countries to report regularly to international conventions and agreements, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


    What’s the overall purpose of BIOPAMA?

    • Strengthening the capacity of decision-makers and protected area managers across the ACP regions to address their priorities for improved management and governance of biodiversity and natural resources.



    RIS 2.0