KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday March 9, 2018 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) and IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, have renewed a five-year collaboration supporting Caribbean countries to best manage and utilise important sea and land resources for the benefits of those who depend on them, ultimately contributing to the long term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
This work is being implemented with support from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union through the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme. With BIOPAMA’s second phase now progressing to 2023, it is important to stress the vital role information plays to bring about good and timely decisions in this follow-up to the first five years of activities and outcomes of the programme.
In this sense, BIOPAMA, through the Protected Areas Caribbean Gateway information platform provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions.
“We are pleased to be working closely with The University of West Indies (UWI) to improve the quality of data for protected areas in the Caribbean region not only for information purposes, but also to facilitate the decision-making process in different sectors. This is very important for the effective management and good governance of protected areas, as well as to ensure sustainability of biodiversity and natural resources,” said Viviana Sanchez, acting IUCN Regional Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Professor Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research at the UWI at the signing ceremony in Kingston, Jamaica said the BIOPAMA Programme offers “great potential for our region in the form of technical and financial assistance to build capacity in our citizens who have oversight and management for the protected areas across our lands and shared sea spaces.”
“I therefore look forward to lending my support and the resources of the UWI to BIOPAMA in this second implementing phase and expect increased access and agility with this multi-organization alignment,” he added.
The BIOPAMA Programme in the Caribbean is coordinated by the IUCN Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and hosted by the UWI.
The signing of the IUCN – UWI agreement took place in the first day of the BIOPAMA regional relaunch. This meeting hosted approximately 60 participants from 21 countries in the Caribbean region and beyond who represented the stakeholders and potential beneficiaries of the BIOPAMA actions in this region.