The Program on African Protected areas & Conservation (PAPACO) aims at improving the management and governance of protected areas in Africa and their positive results on biodiversity conservation.
Papaco focuses on 3 complementary domains which are: equitable governance, efficient management and long-term sustainability of PAs.
Working closely with the World Commission for protected Areas (WCPA), Papaco has 4 main work approaches:
- Carry out various evaluations and studies (at site level, or at country or regional levels…) to provide relevant information to all stakeholders for better management and better governance,
- Develop relevant tools for parks governance, management and monitoring, based on the methodologies elaborated with/by the WCPA (such as the Green List of PAs),
- Build the capacities of parks managers and their partners in Africa on these methodologies and tools, through regional, national or local training programs on PA management and governance.
- Provide targeted technical support to duly selected sites/organizations where a good potential for improvement is detected (for instance to build their sustainability).
Papaco initially started as a regional program in West and Central Africa in 2006 but has expanded to a pan-African program in 2011. Therefore, most of the work of Papaco to date has been carried out in West and Central Africa but the program is now building on experiences from all over the continent. Papaco is working in collaboration with the two regional programs of IUCN focusing on protected areas in Africa, namely: the Regional Thematic Program for Protected Areas in West and Central Africa (PTRAP) and the Program on Conservation Areas and Species Diversity in East and Southern Africa (CASD).
Papaco is made of a small team of conservationists dedicated to conservation in Africa.