The Regional Resource Hub (RRH) is the regionally tailored name for the BIOPAMA regional observatory for Eastern and Southern Africa hosted by RCMRD, the Regional Centre for Mapping Resources for Development. The Regional Resource Hub covers the 24 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and its work starts with piloting the activities in three countries, one from each of the sub-regions: the Indian Ocean, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa.
A pilot visit for the development of the Regional Resource Hub RRH took place in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 19 to 24May 2019, one among three pilot country visits to be carried out for the RRH.
The BIOPAMA Regional Observatories for Protected Areas and Biodiversity are the central pillar of BIOPAMA’s work. They support data collection, analysis, monitoring and reporting, develop the capacities of staff and organisations to manage this information and provide policy guidance for better decision making on biodiversity conservation.
Members of the BIOPAMA team from IUCN, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and RCMRD, engaged with Malagasy conservation actors, including:
- protected and conserved area managers: Andasibe National Park, Association Fanamby, Madagascar National Parks (MNP), Madagasikara Voakajy,
- the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development,
- the EU delegation in Madagascar,
- agencies and NGOs: The Peregrine Fund, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Hay Tao programme, Vondrona Ivon'ny Fampandrosoana, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The main purpose of the pilot visit was a data and information gathering and networking exercise to understand the priorities of Madagascar in terms of protected areas management, governance and equity. These will support the development of the Eastern and Southern Africa State of Protected and Conserved Areas report, the RRH and the BIOPAMA Reference Information System (RIS).
The main follow-up step for the pilot visit is to initiate the process of dialogue with the IUCN Green List focal point from Madagascar National Parks on the support that BIOPAMA could potentially offer in the process of Green-listing the national parks.
The support offered by BIOPAMA and the Regional Resource Hub to improve and strengthen management and governance in the protected and conserved areas in Madagascar can be implemented through capacity development activities, the Action Component – the BIOPAMA grant-making facility, the application of protected area management effectiveness tools such as IMET, etc.
BIOPAMA Eastern and Southern Africa is also looking to follow up on conversations with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development on how to support the development of the National Protected Areas portal that will aggregate the currently dispersed portals in Madagascar, which will in due course link to the BIOPAMA RRH and the RIS.