BIOPAMA: Protected areas and biodiversity in Central Africa acquire operational Observatory


From 10 to 11 October, the city of Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo hosted the launch workshop of the Observatory for Protected Areas and Biodiversity in West and Central Africa which aimed to formalize the establishment of the BIOPAMA Observatory for the regions of Central and West Africa.

The meeting brought together fifty participants representing institutions likely to use or provide data to the Observatory namely: sub-regional institutions in charge of managing protected areas; supranational biodiversity management institutions; NGOs; networks; national and sub-regional institutions in charge of managing databases on biodiversity and protected areas; research and / or training institutions specialized in the field of conservation.

As part of the workshop’s objectives, participants were treated to a series of presentations grouped under five major themes, namely:

1-Introduction and background of the observatory.

This item entailed an introduction to BIOPAMA’s history and the European Union’s vision; BIOPAMA as a bridge between conservation efforts; BIOPAMA’s structure and the organization of the workshop’s deliberations; a brief report of progress achieved since Dakar 2013 and Ispra 2014.

2. Functions of the observatory: type of data.

This involves collection of data on protected area management - Introduction of test phases in the DRC and Gabon, results of the test phase, introduction of SMART and SCAEMPS tools and ties with BIOPAMA, WAEMU’s contribution to the observatory, Next Steps: objectives, actors, funding, schedule, ...

3. The functions of the observatory: who are the users?

4. Communications: functions of the observatory - governance.

The presentations tackled the Observatory’s communication strategy and the capacity building strategy as well.

5. Communications: functions of the observatory – workplan

The different presentations gave rise to questions asked for clarification purposes and also provided an opportunity for participants to comment on: the design and development of the BIOPAMA Reference Information System; integration / collection of various existing data from other databases and conditions for contributions to be made by various beneficiaries and contributors; the Observatory’s role in supporting the "Capacity building" component of the BIOPAMA project; communication and monitoring & evaluation strategies. The attendees achieved consensus on the recommendations which were documented in a statement issued at the end of this discussion workshop.

As the workshop closed, the attendees could be credited with having clarified the Observatory’s role and more thoroughly discussed the conditions for its implementation, and various aspects of the validation and analysis of information.

Details on this launch workshop are provided in the report which can be downloaded HERE BELOW:



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