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The BIOPAMA partnership combines the protected areas and the biodiversity conservation expertise of IUCN with the scientific know how of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). Within IUCN as a Union, BIOPAMA brings together the Secretariat and four regional offices, the expertise of the IUCN WCPA – Capacity Development group, and many IUCN members, States and non-governmental, as beneficiaries. Regional organizations in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific also participate in the implementation of the programme, especially through the collaboration for the Observatories for protected areas and biodiversity.

The benefits:

The direct beneficiaries of the BIOPAMA programme are the protected area actors at the regional, national and local levels, whose efforts will continue to be supported by the provision of tools, services, capacity development and the possibility to finance actions at the site level.

The regions:

BIOPAMA intervenes in three regions: 79 countries hosting 9,000 protected areas, encompassing a massive diversity of ecological, social, economic and cultural landscapes. The regions represent some of the most challenging places on Earth and host a huge share of our planet’s biodiversity. While the programme’s objectives are the same across all the regions, BIOPAMA can only succeed by tailoring them to respond to specific needs and complement countries’ efforts filling the gaps where they exist.


The European Union

The European Union (EU) is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU's main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). The EDF is established within the framework of an international agreement between the EU and its partner countries. The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement – also known as the ‘Cotonou Agreement’ – was concluded in 2000 and is revised every five years.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is the largest trans-national intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the international system, with 79 member countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Today, the main goal of the Group is to drive South-South solidarity and North-South cooperation for the sustainable development of ACP countries and their successful integration into the world economy. Originally brought together as a result of the Association Clause in the Rome Treaty of 1957, that established the European Common Market, the Georgetown Agreement of 1975 formally established the ACP Group as an intergovernmental association. The group has its own structure and a Secretariat based in Brussels that coordinates its activities and provides a rallying point for its meetings and development agendas.

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the in-house science service of the European Commission, provides EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support, including policies and programmes at global level and specifically those focusing on the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

In the BIOPAMA programme, JRC leads the design and development of the "Regional Reference Information Systems" (RRIS) for biodiversity and protected areas management that are being deployed in the regional observatories in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific regions.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together. Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards. IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development. IUCN's Global Protected Areas Programme, four regional offices, two commissions, as well as IUCN members and other experts, take part in implementing and benefit from the BIOPAMA programme.


The BIOPAMA Reference Information System is brought to you by a dedicated group of people distributed across the globe. The core development is done by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, based in Italy. Across the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) region, IUCN have regional programme officers and technical officers for the regional observatories, and we work with numerous partners.



The BIOPAMA community on Yammer has currently 700 members and it is growing. It is open to all who have an interest in biodiversity and protected area management, especially in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.


What is the Reference Information System?

The Reference Information Systems (RIS) is a tool that gathers in one place the information from the many knowledge products, projects, databases on protected areas, species and related information, in addition to the data uploaded, created and generated by the users themselves. This information can be used to support decision making for planning, designating and managing protected areas. The regional versions of the RIS are key features of the BIOPAMA Observatories for protected areas and biodiversity established in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.