Story | 13 Jun, 2024

IUCN Oceania Delivers Collaborative Workshop and Preparatory Meeting to Advance Conservation Efforts in the Pacific

In a proactive move to enhance biodiversity conservation in the Pacific region, IUCN Oceania recently conducted a series of impactful engagements, aligning with the theme "Be Part of the Plan." This theme, a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), underscored the urgency of collaborative efforts.

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Photo: IUCN Regional and Global BIOPAMA team.

The journey comprised a preparatory meeting for the Oceania Regional Conservation Forum (ORCF) and Protected and Conserved Areas (PCA) workshop held from 1-4 May in Sydney, Australia.

The PCA workshop, funded by BIOPAMA, emerged as the focal point of the trip. It addressed critical objectives such as understanding biodiversity targets, promoting protected areas' significance, and introducing tailored capacity-building tools. The trip also yielded fruitful discussions during the ORCF preparatory meeting, highlighting strategies to shape agendas, enhance communication, and strengthen member engagement.

Key outcomes of the PCA workshop encompassed capability building, financing strategies, and regional collaboration initiatives. These included the development of best practice guidelines, financial support frameworks, and commitments to regular stakeholder meetings.

Moving forward, IUCN Oceania commits to advocating for workshop recommendations, fostering collaboration through further dialogues, providing technical support, influencing policy changes, and emphasizing the importance of recognizing Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMS).

This holistic approach underscores IUCN's dedication to driving impactful conservation action in the Pacific, fostering collaboration, and promoting sustainable development.

In the last 12 months: Empowering Pacific Communities: Sharing Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation

On this World Biodiversity Day, the spotlight shines on a remarkable initiative bridging continents and empowering Pacific communities in their efforts towards biodiversity conservation. Last year, amidst the challenges of a world grappling with environmental crises, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Oceania, with financial backing from the European Union (EU) funds, sponsored 10 participants from the Pacific to attend a knowledge-sharing workshop in Nairobi, Kenya last year.

Facilitated by the BIOPAMA and BEST 2.0 Projects, implemented by IUCN across Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, this workshop served as a beacon of collaboration and action. Participants hailed from Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Palau, Fiji, and Samoa, representing a diverse mix of governmental and non-governmental organizations associated with BIOPAMA Grants. Their common goal? Protecting biodiversity, managing protected areas, adapting to climate change, and fostering community awareness and education initiatives.

The workshop, held from 2nd to 7th May 2023, was a platform for cross-regional learning and knowledge exchange. It aimed to amplify successes, share best practices, and dissect lessons learned from BIOPAMA and BEST 2.0 initiatives, ultimately enhancing conservation efforts worldwide. Rahul Chand, the IUCN Oceania Coordinator for Protected and Conserved Areas, emphasized the significance of this endeavor, stating, “The workshop will provide opportunities for the Pacific Grantees to share and exchange their experiences with participants from other regions.”

This collaborative spirit underscores the essence of BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme), which supports African, Caribbean, and Pacific nations in bolstering biodiversity management and governance. Through tools, services, and funding, BIOPAMA aids conservation actors in these regions, striving for long-term sustainability.

Similarly, BEST 2.0+ focuses on biodiversity conservation and sustainable ecosystem use, particularly in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Together, these initiatives form a vital tapestry of global conservation efforts, weaving together diverse communities and ecosystems under the shared banner of environmental stewardship.

The workshop wasn't just about sharing experiences; it was about catalyzing change. Participants engaged in reflective exercises, identifying scalable practices and forging potential partnerships. As Mr. Chand noted, “The idea of the capitalization workshop has been developed in view of giving individuals and organizations opportunities to reflect on their experience, identify practices that can be scaled up, describe and analyze them in detail, and share the learnings that they derive from it.”

The journey towards biodiversity conservation is ongoing and multifaceted. Preparatory events in April laid the groundwork for the hands-on workshop in May, fostering active engagement and critical reflection. Through this iterative process, participants distilled insights, analyzed experiences, and charted a course for future interventions.

As we celebrate World Biodiversity Day, let us draw inspiration from endeavors like these, where individuals and organizations unite across borders to safeguard our planet's rich tapestry of life. Through knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and unwavering commitment, we can build a more sustainable future for generations to come.