The second meeting of the Protected Area Advisory Committee has been designed to include as part of the three days training program as mentioned above to learn about the significance of using GIS to monitor Protected areas under the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme, which is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
BIOPAMA supports the long-term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources in all ACP countries in protected areas and surrounding communities through better use and monitoring of information and capacity development on management and governance. BIOPAMA is jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (EC-JRC). In the Pacific region, BIOPAMA is implemented by IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office (IUCN ORO) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Purpose and objective of the Protected Area Advisory Committee
The main purpose and objective of the proposed protected area technical advisory committee (PAAC) is to ensure the Samoa’s protected area targets and priorities are met through a coordinated and inclusive manner supported by the availability of accurate and reliable information shared and disseminated effectively and efficiently to inform policy formulation, future programs and projects development and monitoring of progress towards the achievement of protected area targets for Samoa.
The SPREP team afioga Bradley Eichelberger and Vainuupo Jungblut conducted the three days intense training on how to implement the GPS device outside on the field for monitoring of Samoa’s protected areas also the QGIS software for analyzing and editing of spatial information, in addition to that is the composing and exporting graphical maps. QGIS software contains special features, both raster and vector that stored as either point, line, or polygon features for mapping.
Responsibilities of the Protected Area Advisory Committee PAAC
- Provide technical advice on protected area policies and programmes.
- Facilitate the collation, consolidation and sharing of information and data to support protectedarea management; policy and project development.
- Provide technical input to the preparation of technical reports for the National Environment Sector Plan, NBSAP, SDS and also reports required under the CBD and other related regional and international agreements.
- Monitor the status of Samoa’s protected areas and track progress towards the achievement of Samoa’s PA targets as described in the NBSAP and the Roadmap.
- Participate in national surveys and related activities on protected areas, as appropriate.
Update on the status of Protected Area works in Samoa and the region.
- In terms of updating GIS data and information for existing Protected Areas on the master spreadsheet that was circulated to PAAC members (photos shown below)
This excel form has been shared with SPREP (regional repository) and the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center (WCMC) for assessment and inclusion in the World Database on Protected Area update. SPREP and MNRE have been working with the WCMC officers to ensure there is an update for Samoa in the next reporting. This work was completed for some sites, mainly government managed sites, and the update will be available in March 2020. This will be shared with PAAC members once received.
- The majority of the work to be done is gathering updated information for each site especially community conservation areas. To address this, MNRE has submitted an application for funding through the BIOPAMA Phase Two – Small Technical Grant, due on 4th February, 2020 for assistance to help Samoa identify the missing gaps with information needed on the status of its PA.
- There is still information required from some of our stakeholders including the Fisheries reserves layers, CCAs, mangroves and catchment areas. Thus we urge members to encourage sharing of information as required to update the status of our PAs.
Update by SPREP – PIPAP regional PA data observatory (Seiuli Vainuupo Jungblut)
Seiuli presented on the Pacific Island Protected Area Portal update as it is a key instrument for updating Samoa’s data/information but also the Pacific Island countries that participates in the BIOPAMA program. Through this portal, SPREP coordinates data that comes from all Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and to the WDPA and back. One of the Protected Area team of SPREP services is to assist with the process of data review and verification at the national level and ensure it is reflected at the global level through the WDPA.