STAKEHOLDERS IN CAPACITY BUILDING HOLDS A WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS OF OBSERVATORY FOR BIODIVERSITY AND PROTECTED AREAS OF WEST AFRICA (OBAPAO)
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STAKEHOLDERS IN CAPACITY BUILDING HOLDS A WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS OF OBSERVATORY FOR BIODIVERSITY AND PROTECTED AREAS OF WEST AFRICA (OBAPAO)




STAKEHOLDERS IN CAPACITY BUILDING HOLDS A WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS OF OBSERVATORY FOR BIODIVERSITY AND PROTECTED AREAS OF WEST AFRICA (OBAPAO)




On 24th May, 2021, Accra, Ghana. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union ( WAEMU), in partnership with the OBAPAO Consortium composed of the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (Dakar, SENEGAL), the Regional Marine Centre of the University of Ghana (Accra, GHANA), the Réseau régional

d'aires marines protégées en Afrique de l'Ouest (RAMPAO, Dakar, SENEGAL) and the

AGRHYMET Regional Centre (Niamey, NIGER) a capacity building workshop for the

National Focal Points of the Observatory for Biodiversity and Protected Areas in West Africa

(OBAPAO), from 24th to 28th May, 2021 in Accra, Ghana. 


About the OBAPAO 


OBAPAO is Organization that was found to improve in biodiversity conservation in West Africa on a long term basis and also to promote the use of best scientific knowledge and data and build capacity to support policy and decision making on issues related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of protected areas 



As a reminder, the BIOPAMA Program covers the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It supports regional observatories from the Caribbean to the Pacific Islands, including the different regions of Africa. An initiative of the ACP Group of States funded by the European Union's 11th European Development Fund, the program was launched in September 2017 and will run until June 2023. It aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in protected areas and surrunding communities,through data and information managenment tools, knowledge enhancement services and capacity building for planning and decision making for sustainable protected areas management.




In West Africa, BIOPAMA Supports the technical consortium hosting OBAPAO and the WAEMU Commission as the institutional anchor of this observatory, in its capacity as lead agency on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission and the sixteen (16) beneficiary states of the program.



Speaking at the workshop, Chief Director of the WAEMU Commission’s on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development Division,Mr Cheikh Tidiane KANE, Said beyond the political will reasserted  many times by the West Africa States and their intergovernmental integration Organization, structured data and other information generated by robust and proven information systems are key parameters for their different levels of decision making processes related to the sustainable management of their biodiversity and protected areas in general and in particular in a context of shared natural resource .




He add by saying the purpose of this OBAPAO National Focal Points capacity building workshop is to promote stakeholders engagement with reference information systems and other existing databases tool for biodiversity and protected areas management in the West Africa region.


The Regional Reference Information System (RRIS) functions as the main observatory for data and information repository, with the aim of analyzing and sharing information on biodiversity and protected areas.



Mr. Stephen Peedell ,a  Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC), in a statement said OBAPAO is an important regional asset that requires a strong commitment from national biodiversity and protected areas agencies,


This will ensure that OBAPAO will provide essential information and knowledge,particularly through robust data, to help countries achieve their national goals from a broader regional and global perspective.


Through the JRC’s technical partnerships with the OBAPAO consortium,it is committed to supporting these objectives through an evidence based approach 



Finally, Mr. Allou Faye, IUCN Regional Director for Central and West Africa, also add his voice to it and said since the launch of OBAPAO in Dakar in November 2019, IUCN have been supporting and will continue to support this regional observatory through the BIOPAMA and PAPBIO programs in order to ensure its effective implementation and encourages the 16 States focal points in the sub region to take up this initiative with a view to influencing decisions on conservation in West Africa.

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