Up to 17 participants from 3 agencies committed to participate in this training focused on data collection and analysis for marine protected area (MPA) management. Participants will be trained on how to collect specific data necessary for MPA management, how to process and manipulate this data using free open source software, and making it usable to a broad spectrum of users. The training will utilize biophysical and socio-economic data that are collected and utilized to support decision-making in the management of the MPAs. Partner institutions are expected to provide relevant data to be integrated into the Grenada Marine Protected Areas Network databases. For more information, please contact Jason Williams.
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 data management training in Belize addressed the key topic of data collection and analysis within terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This training was organized with the support of the Forestry Deptartment within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of Belize and TIDE, an organization working with communities in Belize to promite sustainable use and managmeent of the area's rich resources. 12 participants from 4 agencies took part in this training. For more information, please contact Jason Williams.
The 68th Annual meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute provided another opportunity to introduce the Caribbean Gateway to relevant stakeholders from the Caribbean region. A lunch event was organized by IUCN in the framework of the BIOPAMA programme on 10 November from 12:30 to 14:00h and the agenda included an interactive presentation of the online data platform (Caribbean Regional Information System). Learn more about the GCFI.
13 agencies from Antigua and Barbuda participated in this training coordinated by the Environmental Awareness Group in collaboration with the BIOPAMA programme, as key capacity building action of the Caribbean Gateway. The workshop topic focused on "data clinic", covering data collection, management and analysis relating to bird survey. For more information, please contact Jason Williams.
10 agencies from Jamaica committed to participate in this workshop led by the Caribbean Gateway and coordinated by the CARIBSAVE Partnership. The participants of the training were introduced to a Data Management Framework and were required to develop one for their organization. They reviewed various quantitative (CLIF monitoring) and qualitative (socio-economic monitoring) data collection methods developed under the Caribbean Fish Sanctuary (C-FISH) initiative being implemented by CARIBSAVE. For more information, please contact Jason Williams.
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.