Regional economic communities increase engagement with the Eastern and Southern Africa Resource Hub

4 March 2020

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to assist the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in developing a framework for improving technical and institutional approaches to conserve biodiversity, in protected and conserved areas, through regional cooperation and capacity building activities. 

The programme uses two complementary strategies : (i) the establishment of regional observatories such as the Regional Resource Hub in Eastern and Southern Africa to facilitate the provision of relevant information and data to support policies and guide more effective decision-making on protected and conserved areas and (ii) the capacity development of managers and decision-makers of protected and conserved areas to build regional capacity to effectively use data and information.

The Regional Resource Hub is a regional centre that compiles and analyzes relevant data and provides information to support field interventions, policies dialogues and decision-making processes at local, national and regional levels. It is hosted by the Regional Centre for Mapping Resources for Development (RCMRD) and covers the 24 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

BIOPAMA Southern Africa regional economic communities workshop

A strategic planning workshop for the development of the 2020 Regional Resource Hub (RRH) action plan was held at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 24 to 25 February 2020.

The workshop was attended by relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), besides the RCMRD team, IUCN and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) focal points for the region.

The event allowed enhanced engagement of the regional economic community with the resource hub through networking. It also facilitated the identification of needs and priorities in terms of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, of protected and conserved areas and surrounding communities.

Key outputs of the workshop are a detailed work plan and agreed on actions for each counterpart on the way forward for the implementation of the RRH. Some of the follow-up activities include:

  • The development of a data management and sharing protocol;
  • An analysis of training needs and compilation list of regional training institutions;
  • The creation of knowledge products such as a marine protected area portal or a dashboard for each transfrontier conservation area at a landscape or seascape level.

BIOPAMA offers support to develop the Regional Resource Hub in order to improve and strengthen management and governance in the protected and conserved areas in Eastern and Southern Africa. This can be implemented through capacity development activities, the Action Component – the BIOPAMA grant-making facility that supports activities on the ground -, and the establishment of the regional reference information system (RRIS).

The regional reference information system is free, secure and built using open source technologies. The system hosts a broad range of data that can be stored and used, such as field data, international indicators, satellite imagery, maps, photos, surveys and documents.

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