29-04-2018, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, this morning kick-started a regional workshop on Biodiversity Data Sharing and Visibility in Djibouti which also marks the closing of the IGAD Biodiversity Management Programme (BMP). The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment of Djibouti and a Representative from the European Delegation to Djibouti attended the opening ceremony of the workshop.
IGAD, with financial support of the European Union (EU) to a tune of 14 million Euros, has been implementing this regional biodiversity programme. The main objective of the programme was to promote regional cooperation and integration in the environment sector, in particular in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity resources in the region.
The BMP addressed three result areas, namely, biodiversity policy development, biodiversity database and information systems development at national and regional levels, and the conservation of biodiversity resources at three cross-border demonstration sites to showcase the sustainable management and use of biodiversity resources in the region. The demo sites included:
- The Boma-Gambella Landscape (South-East South Sudan and South-West Ethiopia);
- The Tana-Kipini-Laga Badana Bushbush Land and Seascape (North East Kenya and South East Somalia);
- The Lower Awash-Lake Abbé Landscape (North East Ethiopia and South West Djibouti).
During the last five years, IGAD with the support of its Implementing Partners (IUCN and ICRAF) and with the technical assistance of NIRAS, has formulated a regional policy, a regional protocol and supporting strategies which were approved at Ministerial level. Studies and Joint Management Plans at demo sites were also formulated and approved. In addition, equipment, software and training were provided to the national biodiversity database and information system host institutions. Efforts are being made to operationalize these databases at national and regional levels.
The current workshop focuses on biodiversity data sharing and visibility. The workshop is bringing together senior experts from the biodiversity management/conservation institutions of IGAD member states, representatives from international organizations (Joint Research Center )JRC of the EU, GeoSolutions, NIRAS, etc), the EU Delegation in Djibouti, the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Program (BIOPAMA), the Coastal Ocean Research Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO), experts from IGAD Secretariat and the implementing Partners such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), to deliberate on how to enhance the sharing of biodiversity data and the positive experiences gathered by the Implementing Partners and how to minimize the negative experience in future management of biodiversity resources in the region.
At the end of this 3-day workshop, it is expected that the status of biodiversity database at national and regional level will be better known and an enhanced biodiversity data sharing and Visibility of EU, IGAD and other Partner Institutions will be attained.