Drs Margaret Jacobsohn (Namibia) and Nigel Crawhall (South Africa) of the WCPA-CEESP inter-Commission Theme on Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas (TILCEPA) ran a half-day session on governance of Protected Areas at the CBD capacity building workshop on the Programme of Work for Protected Areas for Central, East and Southern Africa, 30 January – 3 February 2012. The workshop was held outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
The governance presentations included an overview of Namibia’s experience with setting up a Community Conservancy network from the time of independence to present. The presentation described different aspects of governance, equity of benefit sharing, partnerships and sustainable capacity, and the notion that rights come with responsibilities. The second input dealt with the challenges of implementing and reporting on Element 2 of the PoWPA, emphasising the conservation benefits of good governance and the possibilities of synergising Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) with governance capacity building.
One of the observations in the workshop that countries which are able to create good intra-governmental communication, are also more likely to appreciate inter-sectoral and community contributions. Delegates identified best-practices in PA governance in their national contexts, and extracted some of the elements which made these successes possible. South Africa’s team shared their view that successful governance usually occurs in situations where there is conflict, and where one party or agency takes responsibility to examine the conflict, create dialogue opportunities, and a platform for improving governance.
The common theme was that most PoWPA focal points do not get access to the data they need from the various authorities responsible for reporting. In some cases, there are legal or administrative frameworks already in place but they are not being followed up on effectively.
Most of the actions involved stimulating existing information systems to ensure a steady flow of the right information to the CBD PoWPA focal point.
IUCN TILCEPA, in cooperation with GiZ and partners will be releasing a Protected Areas Governance Resource Kit in 2012, in cooperation with UN CBD’s e-module training course on Protected Areas. The online version will be available in all UN languages.