LATEST NEWS AND STORIES
Build it and they will come: an open data fallacy?

An insight in the work of the BIOPAMA Caribbean Gateway and how it engages stakeholders for data sharing, by Dionne Carbon, research assistant at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), Cave Hill, UWI. Part of the vision of the Caribbean Gateway includes the sharing and openness of data that leads to the sustainable development of the Caribbean’s protected areas. One of the first steps to achieving this vision was to get data custodians on board. Read more

BIOPAMA: delivering results since 2012

The BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Programme was launched in March 2012. Initiated by the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group with the support of the European Union, this programme has been delivering results on the ground for better conservation outcomes. Three implementing partners (IUCN, EC-JRC and the ABS Initiative), two components (protected areas and ABS- access and benefit sharing), three continents concerned, more than 400 staff trained and thousands of others interacting with the programme and its solutions for better protected area management. Discover BIOPAMA and its results in this short video.

Solutions for improving data access

The Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (Caribbean Gateway) had an invaluable opportunity to share its model for linking data to better decision making on an international scale when it hosted a Knowledge Café at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress 2016.  Read more

BIOPAMA at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016

More than 10,000 top government officials, scientists and civil society leaders convened for the world’s largest environmental and nature conservation event, the IUCN World Conservation Congress, 1-10 September 2016, Hawai’i. The BIOPAMA programme was represented with 30 events and a team of 13 staff. Their results are outline in a new report of the BIOPAMA, European Union and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group visibility at the IUCN Congress 2016. Read more here.

The stakes of open data

How can data contribute to the sustainable management of protected areas? What is in the future for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) data sharing and access? Dionne Carbon, Research Assistant with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), Cave Hill, UWI, shares her vision on these challenges in the Caribbean region. Read it here

THE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS GROUP TO DELIVER JOINT RESULTS WITH BIOPAMA (27 April 2016)

The Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation working in the environment field in Antigua and Barbuda since 1989. The EAG partnered up with BIOPAMA Caribbean for the organization of a protected areas data management training for Antigua and Barbuda in October 2015 and this collaboration is continuing with the development of a case study on the protected area data situation in the country.

INCREASED CAPACITY FOR PROTECTED AREAS IN THE SPANISH SPEAKING CARIBBEAN (26 February 2016)

Twenty-eight professionals from nine Caribbean countries  involved in the management of protected areas engaged in 6 days of intensive learning and sharing of experiences. Held in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic from 11-16 January, 2016, this course covered the design and management of protected areas, law enforcement and governance for protected areas, participatory governance of protected areas and sustainable tourism planning and management of tourism enterprises.

CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES IMPROVE PROTECTED AREA DATA MANAGEMENT CAPACITY (4 February 2016)

The Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (Caribbean Gateway) has been accelerating its engagement with regional governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to equip them to contribute meaningfully to its Caribbean Reference Information System (RIS) , an online access point to data and tools for analysis for biodiversity and protected area management.

NEW TRAINING FOR TERRESTRIAL PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT 11-15 January 2016

BIOPAMA will offer a one week training course in Spanish for terrestrially-focused protected area professionals and it targets the Caribbean ACP Spanish speaking countries. The training, scheduled for 11-16 January 2016 in the Dominican Republic, will cover: (1) stakeholder engagement and developing partnerships for PA management; (2) PA design, management category, governance and management planning; (3) developing sustainable livelihoods; and (4) PA-relevant law (basic legislation and principles; regulation, compliance & enforcement and financing). Read more about it in English or Spanish.

THE CARIBBEAN GATEWAY, A FREE AND OPEN ACCESS DATA MANAGEMENT TOOL, PRESENTED TO CARIBBEAN STAKEHOLDERS DURING THE REGIONAL CONSERVATION FORUM IN PANAMA (3 September 2015)

2 September 2015. Panama City. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and The University of the West Indies (UWI) are pleased to announce that “The Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway (Caribbean Gateway)” was officially launched on September 2, 2015, during the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum in Panama City, Panama. The Caribbean Gateway, that serves to integrate a diverse range of relevant protected areas and biodiversity data and information across the region, is a joint undertaking between the European Union- funded Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme in the Caribbean and UWI’s Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), an IUCN Member, at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.

YOUNG PROTECTED AREA MANAGER USES DANCE TO CONVEY CONSERVATION MESSAGES IN ST KITTS AND NEVIS (5 August 2015)

Over the course of its activities in the Caribbean, the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme, jointly implemented by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has focused much of its efforts on capacity building among young protected areas managers. One such professional who has benefited from several training opportunities through BIOPAMA is 28-year-old Tricia Greaux, who is currently employed as the Marine Resource Officer responsible for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at the Department of Marine Resources in the federation of St Kitts and Nevis.  Read the interview.

NEW DIRECTION FOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT IN PROTECTED AREAS IN NEXT 10 YEARS (03 August 2015)

A new strategy intended to support the recommendations on capacity development included in the Promise of Sydney that resulted from the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 (IUCN WPC) has been completed. The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Strategic Framework for Capacity Development in Protected Areas and other Conserved Territories 2015-2025 (SFCD) is the result of a widespread programme of activities and consultations during 2013 and 2014 culminating in the IUCN WPC 2014. Consult the SFCD here.

BOOSTED CAPACITY FOR CARIBBEAN'S TERRESTRIAL PROTECTED AREAS (28 July 2015)

It is estimated that approximately 22 per cent of the land mass in the English-speaking Caribbean is designated as protected areas. 25 professionals tasked with the important job of protecting many of these important resource areas underwent a one week training programme focused on terrestrial protected areas from July 6 to 11, 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago. The training programme was led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) under the framework of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme.

CARIBBEAN TRAINING STRENGTHENS REGIONAL INFORMAL NETWORKKS (8 July 2015)

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) managers in the Caribbean have begun to strengthen their informal networks and share initiatives and best practices as a result of undergoing capacity building in part funded by the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme.

PREVIOUS ACTIVITIES AND HIGHLIGHTS
BIOPAMA IN THE CARIBBEAN: WATCH THE VIDEO

THE CARIBBEAN: CONTEXT, CHALLENGES AND PROTECTED AREAS

Context

The Caribbean region is characterized by an enormous ecological, cultural, political and economic diversity. Insular and coastal ecosystems are predominant. High biodiversity and a great variety of landforms and habitats is also marked by by high population densities, especially in the Insular Caribbean.

Caribbean economies are strongly dependent on natural resources and while tourism, in addition to mining and oil exploration, represents a major income source, there are significant impacts of these activities on the environment.

Main threats and challenges

Excessive resource exploitation, such as overfishing, puts pressure on natural resources. Caribbean coral reefs are threatened by climate change, including rising sea levels and temperatures. Invasive alien species are a widespread threat to native biodiversity.

Present environmental degradation is aggravated by unsustainable consumption patterns, increased demand for environmental goods and services, demographic change towards high population density in environmentally sensitive areas such as coastal zones, and ecosystem fragmentation.

Language barriers and limited conservation experience and skills present difficulties for  project implementation, as do a lack of regional cooperation and institutional coordination. Most institutions in the region are constrained by lack of staff and resources.

Protected areas in the Caribbean region

Less than seven percent of the islands and waters of the Caribbean are protected. Protected area networks have developed unevenly in the region and are incomplete, with some countries, having major gaps.

Establishment of marine protected areas has focused on coral reefs and mangroves, with important seagrass ecosystems being underrepresented. Public knowledge of the value of protected areas is inadequate, and their economic benefits are not being realized sufficiently. Institutions involved with protected areas are usually small, understaffed, and under-trained.

Lack of experience at the institutional and individual level is another issue, stemming from the fact that many protected areas were established only recently. This stands in stark contrast to the extremely complex ecological, social and economic challenges that protected area managers face. Major conflicts often occur within marine protected areas between the fish and tourism industries, particularly between fisher folk and divers.