From Data to Decision-making

Supporting conservation strategies, improving protected areas management.

The BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Reference Information System (RIS) is a free web-based, open-source information system for protected areas across the 79 countries of the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

This version - the "RIS 3.0" - is a major re-design to the previous version. Explore the set of modules below to track progress towards conservation targets, analyse protected area performance,  conservation scenarios, or simply browse facts, figures and story maps.

Protected Areas Governance and Equity

PAGE Module on protected area governance and equity has been developed and deployed in collaboration with IUCN, IIED, and FFI. The module includes essential information and resources for anyone interested in assessing social impacts, governance, and equity of protected and conserved areas. 

The PAGE Module is a thematic resource portal for the central RIS, Regional Observatories, national ministries and agencies, protected area (PA) staff, and other partners (e.g. donors and NGOs). It provides one-stop-shop for essential information and resources on PAGE.

Protected Area Dashboard

Using the BIOPAMA Protected Area Dashboards you can display and download protected area coverage statistics and other indicators at the country (GAUL) and region levels.

Spatial statistics are calculated every month using open-source software (QGis) and scripts (Python) following the procedure available at Protected Planet
The code is available at: Github: Protection Analyst
If you want to reuse our data please visit Protection Level API

Statistics might differ from those reported officially by countries or by other institutions due to differences in methodologies, software, and datasets used to assess protected area coverage and differences in the base maps used to measure the terrestrial and marine areas of a country or territory.

Protected Area Management Effectiveness

Protected areas (PAs) are a key strategy for the conservation of natural values with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. But PAs need to be managed effectively in order to achieve their multiple goals and objectives. The evaluation of Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) is therefore a critical element of adaptive PA management.

This PAME Module of the BIOPAMA Reference Information System (RIS) provides a one-stop shop for essential information and resources on PAME in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The module supports the BIOPAMA Regional Observatories, national ministries and agencies, PA managers and staff, and others (e.g. donors and NGOs).

The module provides an overview of the most important PAME assessment tools and the many PAME assessments carried out in the ACP countries (e.g. which tools have been used where and when). This includes the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET) tool developed by BIOPAMA. The module also provides easy access to key PAME resources and PA management plans. Registered users can contribute additional information and resources to the PAME Module.

Tracking Conservation Targets


 One of the more advanced concepts of BIOPAMA RIS is to provide a comprehensive framework for measuring progress towards conservation targets. Policies and plans are often not systematically tracked, even though they are full of targets which can be measured. Instead of simply presenting data layers, in this module, data are explicitly linked to targets.

Sharing Spatial Data on Protected Areas


The BIOPAMA project aims at building a solid information base for decision making on protected areas in the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) region. This repository, based on GeoNode, is part of the BIOPAMA Reference Information System. Here you can discover and use maps and geospatial data, and upload your own to share with others. The themes of data you can find here cover a broad range of natural resource management and related topics.

The core development is done by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, based in Italy. Our project partners IUCN are working with regional institutions to set up Observatories, which will use GeoNode to help share important data.


Story Maps

BIOPAMA is full of engaging stories of success, challenges, innovation, endeavour and much much more. Here you can access engaging narratives, presented in text, multimedia and storymap formats, that highlight why protected areas matter, and how they contribute to both conservation and development goals

BIOPAMA Analytics

Marxan Web is an online version of the widely-used DOS-base decision support tool called Marxan. The purpose of the tool is to support the extension of protected area networks using algorithms which optimise the protection for key conservation features at minimum cost. Over time, we aim to add other analytical tools to our portfolio, benefiting from the improved data and knowledge gathered through the BIOPAMA Regional Observatories.

Explore Marxan Web

The Conservation Analyst is a decision support platform that allows to analyse and spatially compare biodiversity related information and is designed to provide an easy-to-use and flexible environment that can contribute to conservation prioritisation efforts by weighting variables based on specific priorities that are applicable to conservation goals, and help identify ways in which PA networks can be improved to conserve biodiversity.

Explore the BIOPAMA Conservation Analyst



All of the documents in the RIS



  • This can include:
  • User guides
  • Managements Plans
  • Assessment documentation
  • etc
WDPA Version Tracker
RIS Blog

The blog shows  the latest updates on biodiversity indicators, PAME and PAGE assessments, statistics in protected area coverage for ACP countries and news and events related to the BIOPAMA programme.



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