Understanding tools for protected area management, governance and social impacts

6 November 2019

The BIOPAMA programme is providing and assessing tools that respond to the specific requests in data collection, information management, protected area management effectiveness, governance and social assessments and others.

A global workshop organised by BIOPAMA earlier this year in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy set the scene for sharing the experience from all over the world of existing methodologies, gaining an understanding of the global trends in the application of such tools and ultimately providing the guidance protected and conserved areas need to enhance their performance.

Tailored for Eastern and Southern Africa, the recently concluded BIOPAMA workshop in Zambia presented and promoted an integrated set of standards, tools and approaches that will help measure and improve the quality of protected and conserved area sites and systems. “There are many tools out there, and stakeholders want an understanding of what tools to use when, information on new tools and how to use the information from the assessments”, emphasised Dr Sue Snyman, BIOPAMA coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The workshop included presentations on the various governance, social and management effectiveness frameworks, tools and their implementation. They were supported by selected case studies, key lessons learned from the application of different tools to identify best practice for management, social and governance assessments. The IUCN Green List Standard, the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET) were among the tools presented, which raised a large amount of interest from the participants at the workshop.

A new BIOPAMA report on “Management Effectiveness, Governance, and Social Assessments of Protected and Conserved Areas in Eastern and Southern Africa”, provided a baseline and background information on the assessments used in this region to-date. The findings of this assessment report include an overview of the key standards, tools and approaches for management, social and governance assessments that are in use in, or relevant to, the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

The report also reveals that there are important gaps in terms of countries doing assessments, and there is a need to encourage them to do them more consistently and regularly.  As such, this workshop allowed stakeholders to discuss potential pilot cases for the implementation of management, governance and social assessments, and the IUCN Green List in this region. In the future, BIOPAMA will support trainings on the use of the assessment tools for governance, social impact and management effectiveness, as required.

The participants were proposed a common reporting system and format for collecting, maintaining and assessing data and information resulting from the application of management, social and governance assessments for the BIOPAMA Regional Resource Hub (RRH), RRIS, and global datasets linked to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) such as the Global Database on Protected Area Management Effectiveness (GD-PAME). In this regard, the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) has shared with the countries templates for reporting to make that process more efficient.

The participants included national experts responsible for protected and conserved area assessments from 15 Eastern and Southern African (ESA) countries, representatives from SADC and IGAD and technical experts working on assessments.

Read the workshop report here.

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