An Assessment, Monitoring and Forecasting Tool of Protected Areas: for Whom and for What?

The main purpose of the DOPA is to provide to decision makers with a regularly updated tool to assess the state of protected areas and to prioritize them according to biodiversity values and threats so as to support decision making and fund allocation processes. We also intend to extend the list of end-users to a larger community, in particular to researchers involved in science-based conservation, managers of the PAs and the general public. Should you be interested in any aspects of an information system that is monitoring Protected Areas, please feel free to use this Wiki to provide us with your comments and suggestions.

European Commission
  • The Development Directorate-General (DEVCO) is responsible for the policy formulation and programming of environmental and forestry actions in all developing countries. DG DEV can benefit from the analysis as basic indicators at national level during the negotiation of the EDF indicative programs.
  • The Environment Directorate-General (ENV) officially represents the European Commission at conven-tions related to environmental topics, such as the conventions related to biodiversity, climate change, and desertification The current work can drastically improve the monitoring of protected areas as well as reporting activities in the framework of the CBD, and in particular the 2010 target.

  • The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has set up an ACP Observatory for Sustainable Development whose mission is to provide scientific and technical support to EC policies, programs and projects for the sus-tainable management of natural resources. The current work will be further developed and integrated with other natural resource monitoring (land, forest, coastal…).

  • The EC Delegations in African countries are in charge of the day-to-day management of EC policies, programs and projects since the devolution process, which aims to bring decision making and implemen-tation closer to the beneficiaries. This tool can provide valuable information both for programming at the national and regional level and for implementing programs and projects at the local level.

EU Member states
  • EU Member States have their own projects of biodiversity conservation in African countries and can put in perspective their interventions with other protected areas. These projects can also contribute to the richness of the information system developed in the frame of this work.

African nations and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

National services and Regional bodies
  • Those in charge of protected area management can easily access important information on biodiversity value and threats in a systematic way and prioritise their interventions in the same way as EC services.

UN organisations and Multilateral Environmental Agreements
  • The United Nations Environment Program develops monitoring programs and indicators on various en-vironmental issues. This database can contribute to the Global Environmental Outlook. It can also pro-vide consistent information for the verification of the target 2010 of the CBD.

Non Governmental Organisations
  • Many NGOs have developed “hot spots” of biodiversity (based on value and threats) at broad scale (e.g. Conservation International with an important analysis by Myers et al., 2000). For the first time, this analysis is done at the level of individual protected areas. The efforts of the conservation NGOs can be better spatially focused with this approach.
Managers of Protected Areas
  • DOPA will provide an an environmental alert system that might help managers of PAs to assess threats

Scientific Community
  • The information provided by the DOPA is very much descriptive although based on quantitative information. We plan to improve query tools for end-users to allow the community of researchers to make more advanced request. It is also foreseen to provide information (e.g. indicators and maps) in a format that can be reused for visualisation and modelling purposes rather than by the means of jpegs displayed on the web site. Last but not least, the whole system is based on web services allowing other web services to connect and exchange with interoperable data and model services.
Other regional organisations
  • The information provided by the DOPA is currently focusing on Africa while the concept and the architecture should allow the system to be ported to othere regions, depending only on data availability.

The general public
  • The information provided, although generated through sophisticated systems, should be understandable by everyone. Many citizens are supporting non-governemental organizations active in conservation issues and in the promotion of the sustainable use of natural resources. This wiki and the monitoring tools developed should provide the citizen with more information about the means used to monitor the biodiversity in our environment.