EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA
The Technical Officer for BIOPAMA Eastern and Southern Africa and the Geospatial Information Technology Technician from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) recently met the BIOPAMA focal points and the GIS team at the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in Pretoria, South Africa.
The discussions focused on the management and governance structure of protected areas in South Africa, the DEA portal, ideas on the BIOPAMA Regional Resource Hub (RRH) website, data and information availability for the Eastern and Southern Africa State of Protected and Conserved Area Report (SoPACA) and South Africa’s national priorities as regards to protected area management.
There was a mutual understanding on what the BIOPAMA programme has to offer in the region and with support from the member states including the development of the SoPACA report with a positive response to contribute to data and information for its development. South Africa is also keen to begin the process of Green Listing its national parks and were eager to learn more about the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET) developed by the Joint Research Center (JRC). Currently, all parks in South Africa use the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) that has been adapted to South Africa for their management effectiveness assessments. The outcomes of the second version of the adapted METT will be displayed on a website currently in its final stages of development for public viewing.
Finally, there was discussion on the BIOPAMA Regional Resource Hub (RRH) currently in its development stages and aiming at promoting the sharing of knowledge and best practices with the goal of strengthening institutions and promoting effective policies and decision-making. DEA was excited to share its knowledge on PA management with other countries in the region as well as to learn from other countries while taking into account the differences in landscapes and other national dynamics. Already having their own fully developed and running system, they shared their ideas for the design and development of the RRH website. We are looking forward to working with DEA and other partners on ensuring that the BIOPAMA RRH is a one-stop shop for protected and conserved area management effectiveness, governance and equity.
Report by Berly Nyamgeroh, Technical Officer, BIOPAMA Regional Resource Hub