EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA
Following on from the BIOPAMA Regional Assessment Tool Workshop recently hosted in Zambia and hosting 15 Eastern and Southern Africa countries, BIOPAMA hosted the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Island Assessment Tool workshop in Madagascar. The workshop was co-sponsored, co-organised and co-hosted by IUCN, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Madagascar National Parks (MNP) and the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) in Madagascar.
The event hosted 43 participants, including from 22 national parks in Madagascar, Ministry staff, IUCN NGO members from Seychelles, Comoros, and Mauritius, Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Madagascar National Parks HQ staff (including the CEO), WCS and other Malagasy NGOs. The workshop included site visits to Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks. The goal of the workshop was to present and promote an integrated set of standards, tools and approaches that will help measure and improve the quality of protected and conserved area sites and systems.
The highlights of the workshop include:
The opening session set the scene and highlighted the importance of management, social and governance assessments. There were a combination of plenary and breakaway sessions as well as clinic sessions to learn about the tools/concepts in more detail. The combination of workshop sessions and site visits allowed for a large amount of interaction and sharing of learnings across the parks in Madagascar, as well as between the WIO islands. A session was also held on ecotourism with reflections from the site visits and advice on how to improve/grow ecotourism on the islands.