From local to global
The impact of EU-ACP investment in biodiversity and protected area management: BIOPAMA examples
Since 2012, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (EC-JRC), have been implementing BIOPAMA (the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme) on behalf of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, with the financial support of the 10th European Development Fund.
BIOPAMA has significantly improved access to best available science, information and knowledge, enhanced the work of existing institutions and networks and built capacity to improve policy and decision-making on biodiversity conservation and protected area management.
East Africa, Central Africa, Caribbean, Pacific
Reference Information Systems (RIS)
Case of managing protected area conflicts
In Eastern and Southern Africa, the BIOPAMA capacity building programme equipped protected area practitioners with skills to manage land and resource conflicts around protected areas and therefore improve the management effectiveness of these protected areas.
A graduate of the BIOPAMA capacity development training from Kenya used the technique learnt at the workshop called "Mutual Gains Approach" to negotiations and consensus building. The graduate successfully solved the problem of rampant destruction of mangroves as a result of logging by the timber industry in the Funzi Bay Ramisi River estuary in Kwale Country in Kenya.
Consensus building was used during a meeting of resource users whose interest was the de-gazzetting of a park area that the Kenya Wildlife Service was not utilizing and the resource users were interested in for fishing purposes. The main stakeholders in this conflict, Kenya Wildlife Services and the fishermen, mutually agreed on a process to solve the problem. This has moved the dialogue forward substantially.
Similar success stories were identified from the other over 100 protected areas actors from Eastern and Southern Africa who have been trained on negotiation skills, as part of BIOPAMA's response to the capacity development needs in this region.
Case of the Bahamas national protected areas system
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and IUCN/BIOPAMA started in 2014 a collaboration to develop the Bahamas protected areas management system. Supported by the BIOPAMA Capacity Building Action Plan for the Caribbean, this was the first time the Bahamas has engaged in a review of their protected areas management categories.
In collaboration with BNT, a series of 3 workshops were organized in the Bahamas, taking the participants through a sequence of exercises designed to improve their decision-making, competencies and capacities in categorizing existing and new protected areas in the archipelago according to the IUCN guidelines.
This collaboration resulted into a successful reclassification of the Bahamas protected areas under the IUCN categories, and establishment of a framework for future legislated protected areas to also be classified.
BIOPAMA has engaged with the ACP countries at different levels, from offering technical support on specific biodiversity issues to capacity development on data and information management and the use of the regional information systems.
Case of the Pacific Protected Areas Working Group
BIOPAMA established the regional Protected Areas Working Group under the umbrella of the Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation. The group has considerable collective reach within the region and encourages and supports collaboration and coordination on protected areas issues and brings together numerous local and regional NGOs –National Trust Fiji, CI, TNC, BirdLife, WWF, WCS, the Coral Triangle Initiative, Locally Marine Managed Areas (LMMAs), etc and ensures there is a forum for cross dialogue and development of partnerships where opportunities present.
Another example of BIOPAMA major contribution to Pacific regional cooperation is the support to peer network of planners and managers working with existing or proposed large scale marine managed areas, including Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area, the Cook Islands Marae Moana and Palau’s Marine Sanctuary.
BIOPAMA has been working closely at the regional level with protected area networks, UN bodies and economic communities throughout the ACP regions.
Case of the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET)
An important tool to assess the management effectiveness of protected areas, IMET (Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool) has been developed in the framework of BIOPAMA's efforts in West and Central Africa. The development of this tool responded to the specific request made by the governments of these regions since the beginnings of BIOPAMA.
IMET benefits from a network of 24 coaches across West and Central Africa and a manual explaining how to use the tool (COMIT - Coach Observatory Mission Toolkit, available in English and in French). It was tested in 80 protected areas in Burundi, Chad, Cameroon, R. Congo, R.D. Congo, Gabon, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Over 400 professionals from national administrations have benefited from the advanced training in IMET use. 800 other stakeholders (public, private sectors and communities) have been involved in the process of IMET data collection.
Acknowledging the tool, the national universities of Benin committed early in 2017 to integrate IMET in the curricula of faculties training the future protected area managers. Developed initially for the West and Central African context, IMET was tested in Uganda and Kenya.
Support to achieve countries' international commitments to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Through the work of the regional observatories, BIOPAMA supported regional intergovernmental organizations' to implement at national levels the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), particularly on Aichi Targets 11 and 12.
BIOPAMA has also been involved in the preparation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) for countries with a strong focus on protected areas (for e.g. Vanuatu and Marshall Islands).
The regional observatories act as regional hubs to assist countries with provision of their protected area data as required for CBD reporting. The data collected already contributed to the update of UNEP-WCMC World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and the two latest editions of the Protected Planet Reports, 2014 and 2016.
Support provided through BIOPAMA II will enhance and expand activities initiated during the first phase of this programme and in particularly it will support field actions in response to identified needs from ACP countries. These needs were identified during the consultation process that took place for the design of this second phase. Such actions will aim to strengthen management and governance of priority protected areas whilst contributing to improve the livelihoods of local communities.
BIOPAMA II will continue to improve the capacity at different levels to enable countries to implement their commitments under the CBD as well as helping them to achieve the Sustainable Development Targets.