On Thursday, the 9th of November 2023, a workshop was held at Palau Coral Reef International Center (PICRC) bringing together the working hands of the Palau Protected Area Network (PAN) and its conservation partner agencies. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an overview of the Pacific Biodiversity and Sustainable LandSeascapes (Pacific BioScapes) Program in Palau, its activities and timeline. The Pacific BioScapes Program targets building the management capacity in the communities in the area of conservation, specifically addressing capacity building in project management, surveillance and enforcement, and technical skills. The PAN Coordinators, Conservation Officers, and Rangers together with relevant conservation agencies discussed the capacity needs and gaps in their various roles, processes, and structure at the state and national level and prioritized the immediate skills and trainings needed to be successful in their roles and systems in conservation. Leading the collaboration of partners and agencies was Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAFE) Bureau of Environment’s Director Mrs. Leena Mesebeluu and PAN Office Coordinator Melvira Kazuma. The project over the next three years will be facilitated by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with MAFE BOE, PCS, PICRC, State Governors and the PAN personnel in each state. This capacity building activity is part of a larger Pacific program addressing the critical issues concerning coastal and marine biodiversity, and ecosystem-based responses to climate change adaptation. Below is a summary of the program and its objectives.
EU Intra-ACP Pacific Biodiversity and Sustainable Land-Seascapes (Pacific BioScapes) Programme
SPREP is implementing a component within the framework of an existing Financing Agreement between the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU) for the implementation of the Intra-African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Support Program for ACP Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Coastal Countries. This global program’s overall goal is to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land) as well as the three Rio Conventions – The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United National Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), concentrating on climate change, resilience building and the environment. The Program will contribute to the sustainable development of Pacific SIDS by supporting and improving the management and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. It provides an opportunity to address critical issues concerning coastal and marine biodiversity, and ecosystem-based responses to climate change adaptation. Pacific SIDS continue to face growing environmental challenges with the potential to drastically impact the natural assets upon which the foundation of their national economies and community livelihoods depends. The Programme will apply ridge-to-reef and other management approaches to include both marine and terrestrial environments and to contribute to addressing barriers to effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.