“BEST RUP” works within the framework of the BEST initiative and the pilot project 'inventory of species and habitats in the French Outermost Regions (ORs)' submitted by the Member of the European Parliament Younous Omarjee in 2015. The project, managed by the European Commission was launched on 15 January 2017 and will run for 3 years.
The overall objective of the project is to foster the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems as well as sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation and nature-based solutions, in the 6 French Outermost Regions (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, French Guiana, Mayotte and Réunion).
BEST RUP will be implemented through 3 main activities in conjunction with the work led by the BEST III consortium and along similar lines as the BEST 2.0 Programme :
Activity 1: Diffusion of species and habitats lists for the French ORs using the existing available data. This activity will be led in collaboration with the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle to facilitate data sharing and benefit from the analytical expertise of the Museum.
Activity 2: Explore the implementation conditions of Mapping and Assessing Ecosystem Services (MAES) in the context of ORs, capitalizing on the Amazonian Ecosystem profile elaborated in French Guiana. The Key Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Areas (KBESAs) identified in the Ecosystem profile will be shared through the participation of relevant MAES activities, in particular during the MAES hands-on workshop ESMERALDA (Azores, February 2017) and with the aim to drawing recommendations on MAES implementation methodology in the ORs.
Activity 3: Carry out one dedicated call for proposals for “swift small grants” of up to EUR 50,000. The call will be launched in the 3 Regions where the ORs are located (Amazonia – Caribbean – Indian Ocean) with the aim to empower and strengthen local stakeholders, including civil society organisations committed to local development, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in the ORs.
More information is available on the BEST RUP web portal.
GOVERNANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION
The governance and implementation of BEST RUP is managed by different bodies.
In order to ensure synergies and good coordination with the BEST III project and BEST 2.0 programme, IUCN, which is administrating the BEST III contract and the BEST 2.0 Programme consortia, administers the BEST RUP pilot project. This includes hosting the secretariat and in collaboration with its partners; the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle and WWF, contributing to the implementation of the 3 activities listed above.
In each of the 3 regions where the French ORs are located, a BEST OR officer (Regional focal point) will be in charge of promoting and supporting the implementation of the swift small grant call (activity 3) in close collaboration with the secretariat.
One regional advisory committee gathering experts from the 3 regions (Amazonia, Caribbean and Indian Ocean) will provide technical analysis, advice and recommendations on the project proposals submitted in the frame of the call for proposals.
A Steering Committee chaired by the European Commission (DG ENV) will provide overall strategic direction. The ultimate decision making body, including validation of the swift small grants, is the European Commission.