The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to assist the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in developing a framework for improving technical and institutional approaches to conserve biodiversity, in protected and conserved areas, through regional cooperation and capacity building activities. These actions are structured around the work of a series of Regional Observatories (RO) for protected areas across the ACP, managed by regional institutions, and housing Regional Reference Information Systems (RRIS) with tools and services that stakeholders can use to monitor and report on the status of biodiversity and PAs. In the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region, the observatory will be known as the Regional Resource Hub.
BIOPAMA is jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and RCMRD will be the host institution for this observatory.
Protected areas are one of the cornerstones and fundamental strategies for promoting and conserving biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being – at local and global scale. For the Eastern and Southern African region, this has been acknowledged at regional level through various regional strategies and policies and at international level through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which sets an ambitious framework for the future development of the world’s protected area system, as well as in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The BIOPAMA programme also implements an Action Component which comprises a grants programme to support specific actions on the ground in priority conservation landscapes that are aimed at strengthening protected area (PA) and natural resource management effectiveness and governance. The Action Component involves the implementation of a comprehensive portfolio of small to medium sized grants. In order to ensure the efficacy of the grants programme, it is important to align proposals with identified national and regional priorities.
RCMRD collaborated with Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) in March 2017. Crop productivity and food security in Africa pivots on the weather. However, African hydro-meteorological data are virtually non-existent, and crop failures and disease outbreaks are frequent. Furthermore, there is nearly no basis for the determination of how the African climate is changing. Thus, the partnership with TAHMO will help improve the hydro-meteorological services in RCMRD member States and beyond.
In addition, the partnership included collaboration in activities like the RCMRD Space challenge where the TAHMO program is deploying automatic Weather Stations in schools in Africa. RCMRD international space challenge that is a three-year programme. The challenge begun in April 2017 in collaboration with TAHMO, GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) Kenya and 4-H Kenya and will run until 2019. TAHMO was able to set up automatic weather station (AWS) at RCMRD on 24th July 2017. Furthermore, this collaboration will help some universities obtain automatic weather stations from TAHMO such as Ardhi University (Tanzania), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (Kenya), Moi university (Kenya) and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (Kenya). The automatic weather stations from TAHMO can be viewed using this link: https://school2school.net/. The RCMRD AWS can be viewed https://school2school.net/station/?siteCode=TA00182.
The data from RCMRD AWS is visualized as shown below: