The Regional Resource Hub for protected areas and biodiversity is now available to support the 24 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa in improving conservation outcomes and achieving global commitments, for the benefit of nature and people.
During an online event, the International Union for Conservation of Nature-IUCN, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development-RCMRD, and partners on Tuesday officially launched the Regional Resource Hub and one of its flagship knowledge products, the most comprehensive analysis on the state of protected areas in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The Regional Resource Hub is a knowledge hub that compiles and analyses relevant data and provides information to support field interventions and policy dialogues, for fair and effective management and governance of protected and conserved areas in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The hub acts as one of the regional observatories implemented by the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme and is hosted by the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).
It includes an information system, co-developed with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, which helps decision-makers to track progress on conservation targets and to manage and assess the protected and conserved areas in the region.
Other similar hubs have been established with BIOPAMA’s support in Western and Central Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. “Effective conservation, management, and governance of protected and conserved areas in Eastern and Southern Africa is crucial to long-term economic growth and development.”
“The establishment of this Resource Hub is a great milestone as it will facilitate the provision of relevant information and data to support policies and effective decision-making on protected and conserved areas which are our invaluable natural heritage,” said Luther Bois Anukur, Regional Director, IUCN Eastern, and Southern Africa Regional Office.
The Regional Resource Hub was launched in the presence of Heads of Protected Area agencies, ministries responsible for protected areas and wildlife, high-level technical institutions, Regional Economic Communities, and BIOPAMA donors and partners.
“RCMRD is confident that the data and information availed in the Regional Resource Hub will go a long way in delivering useful information to make informed decisions, as the various stakeholders in conservation address the challenges that threaten our biodiversity,” said Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza, Director General, Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development.
The knowledge generated here aims to support national governments, regional organizations, NGOs, communities, and other organizations, in achieving their biodiversity conservation objectives and to report their progress on multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, more accurately.