In order to support protected area planning and decision making, BIOPAMA is providing tools that respond to the specific requests in data collection, information management, protected area management effectiveness, governance assessments and others.
IMET (the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool) was developed in the context of the BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) programme to contribute to improving protected area management effectiveness and meeting conservation targets. This tool concerns the planning, monitoring and evaluation of protected areas and it directly support managers on the field and at national agencies level.
The tool, IMET, is integrated in the approach of the BIOPAMA Observatory for West and Central Africa for data collection and analysis. COMIT (Coach Observatory Mission Information Toolkit) is the pedagogical support guidelines aimed at helping coaches to carry out their training/support assignments using the IMET.
The IMET Form aims to improve the use and appropriation of planning monitoring-evaluation tools at the conservation site and central administration levels by focusing information on targeted decision-making. IMET is not a new assessment tool. However, the way the information is structured, the quantification of targeted outcomes, and the possibility to visualise the relative contribution of each to management effectiveness, provide managers with the necessary elements to analyse the current situation, identify strengths and weaknesses, and define the improvements necessary to achieve objectives targets.
The protected areas management effectiveness is addressed through several tools and methodologies, in addition to those initiated through the BIOPAMA programme. One of them is the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas.
The IUCN Green List Standard aims to encourage, achieve, and promote effective, equitable and successful protected areas in partner countries and jurisdictions worldwide. It provides suitable measures for strengthening conservation outcomes and improving equitable and effective management of protected and conserved areas. By committing to meet this standard, site managers seek to demonstrate and maintain performance and deliver real nature conservation results.
Governance of protected areas is a powerful concept, clearly distinguished from management. Management usually concerns what activities are being carried out in a given situation or area, while governance concerns who decides what those activities are, how that is decided and how those decisions are implemented. Viewing protected areas through a governance lens opens up key information about not only power, authority and responsibility but also history, culture, traditions, people and political context. It is commonly discussed in two dimensions: governance diversity (type) and governance quality. The IUCN and BIOPAMA developed a set of Best Practice Guidelines which has a step by step approach to assessing governance, available here. These guidelines are also being used in conjunction with the IUCN Green List Standard.
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.